Parenthood

Sickness and Emetophobia

Sick kids, I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy.

The whining, the crying, the temper tantrums. Then there is the kids you have to deal with too.

Runny noses, sore throats, fevers, throw up, it doesn’t matter it’s coming your way at some point or another. Knowing it though doesn’t make it any easier. We just finally got over an almost three week cold. It started with the toddler one week, the baby and I the next week and just would not end.  Everyone felt miserable, no one would sleep, everyone wanted to be held, everyone was whining, me included. It was hell. But thankfully everyone is now mended and feeling well.

Knowing sickness and the bad times will pass is little consolation while you are right in the middle of it. It feels like it will never end. But it will.

Like every parent right now with school about to start, I’m a mix of excitement and dread. Excitement because let’s be honest a little bit of a break is needed sometimes. Dread because of germs, which means sickness headed our way. This is my toddlers first time in school so I know it will be a doozy this winter and I’m so not ready. Those of us out there that have Emetophobia, this season is our hell.

Emetophobia doesn’t help the dread of winter sickness in the least, it amplifies it by alot. For those who don’t know what it is, “Emetophobia is an intense phobia that causes overwhelming, intense anxiety pertaining to vomiting.” (definition via Wikipedia) This fear isn’t like when someone gets sick it’s just like ewww gross. Your heart starts racing, you can hear your heart beating in your ears, some people feel sick, some have full blown panic attacks. It can be debilitating and all consuming for others.

People who suffer from this phobia are much more germ aware than those who don’t. They can tell you what hand sanitizers are good for killing the stomach bug, the best tricks for stopping the spread of germs, and how long a good safety window is for when it’s safe to go around others all without batting an eye. I’m sure some of you are reading this and saying these people are crazy but we aren’t. What is the difference between us suffering with this versus others being afraid of heights, spiders or snakes? I have a friend who used to look at just a picture of a snake and would lose her mind. I know everyone out there has one friend who is terrified of heights, will have a panic attack if they go close to or past their limit. You know what I’m talking about the wide eyes, shaking, breathing hard and fast, feeling like they could pass out. It’s like that.

The winter and sickness is hard on everyone. Parents having to take off work to take care of sick kids, I know it sucks and I know you need the money but please oh please keep your children home until they are well. Don’t come to a function and be like, “Oh poor Billy was up all night throwing up” because while I will be wanting to punch you in the nose I won’t, because I don’t want to catch your sickness. But I will run far and run fast, I will try and save my family before your germs get ahold of us. Bleach and Zylast will be my best friend for the next week or two.

As intimidating, nerve wracking, and as anxiety ridden as winter will be it will pass. It won’t last forever no matter how bad it gets; now just remind me I said that this winter when I’m neck deep in the sickness trenches.

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