Anxiety, anxiety disorder, Emetophobia, facing your fears, panic attacks, phobias

It Happened. Again.

happened

Two years ago, I caught a 24 hour stomach bug. I might have blogged about it, but I’m too exhausted to go back and check. Anyway, it happened again. Maybe it was a bug. Maybe it was food poisoning. I’m not sure. It didn’t last as long as the time it happened two years ago, but this time…something else did. 

I have emetophobia (a phobia of vomiting). I woke up last night at 1:30 with a super upset stomach. This is not uncommon for me. It’s usually because I’m hungry or forgot to take my acid reflux medication. So I ate a piece of bread, drank a bit of water, and watched some TV to distract myself. Well, an hour later I was feeling way, way worse. So I took a Gravol, thinking my own anxiety was playing into the pain.

I was wrong. At 3:00, I woke up Jeff. He groggily joined me on the living floor as I shook and panicked and did everything I could to suppress the gag reflex. I was beyond nauseous.

Around 3:30, I ran to the bathroom. I dry heaved over the toilet bowl three times. At this point, I almost wanted “it” to happen because I felt so horrible and the dry heaving actually caused relief for about 10 seconds. So I called Jeff in, he gave me a hair tie, and I dry heaved again. Nothing.

Was it because of the Gravol? I don’t know. I remember having tons of Gravol during a childhood  bout of the stomach flu (that ended up causing my emetophobia)  and if I was gonna throw-up, no amount of Gravol could stop it.

So I sit in front of the toilet for like, twenty minutes. I’m prepared now. I’m not even scared. If I could get through the dry heaving, that was basically the same thing as actually vomiting. Except the dry heaving didn’t make me feel better. I knew vomiting would.

But, it never happened. I waited another half an hour, hovered over the toilet again…nothing. At one point, I was SO exhausted and in so much pain, that I actually gagged myself just to get it over with. It didn’t work. I gave up. I created a towel nest on the bathroom floor and slept on that for a few hours. When I woke up around 7:00 this morning, I felt marginally better. I went back to my bedroom, and slept on the floor (the floor is my safe zone) until 9:45.

My actual towel nest. Now just more laundry I need to do.
My actual towel nest. Now just more laundry I need to do.

Now, it’s 10:20 as I write this. I still feel pretty crappy. I had to cancel a meeting set up for today with my professor, and I can’t go into work. I’m frustrated, because I was in the process of getting over a 3 week long cold and then this happened.

BUT, on the bright side, I handled myself MUCH better than last time. Last time this happened, I wouldn’t even accept the fact that vomiting could happen and I suppressed the feeling for over 4 hours. This time, I was terrified, but when I accepted it, the fear went away! I don’t think I’ve beat this stupid phobia, but I think I have a bit of a better handle on it now.

4 thoughts on “It Happened. Again.”

  1. I have the same horrible phobia. I’m glad you got through this experience okay. I’m really lucky to have a super supportive partner too :)

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