Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Completely inconvenient phobia

Do you have any phobias?  Not just a fear of certain things, but true phobias?  I think the biggest difference between the two is when you fear something you can just say, "OMG, that scares the shit out of me."  With a phobia, you don't like to talk about it and it produces a true physical reaction.  I have a couple fears and only one phobia.  Emetophobia.  I'll save you the trouble from googling it.  It's the fear of throw up.  It's a reallllly convenient phobia to have when you have three young children, let me tell you.  Not a day goes by that I don't think about it.  Especially on those nights when Chris is at the firehouse.  I have a plan of action just in case I hear that horrid sound.  I won't go into the details of my plan but they do include contacting my neighbor who has assured me she's at the ready at any hour. 

I know that most people have an aversion to throw up.  This is so much more.  In a matter of half a second I break out in a sweat, I get tunnel vision, I can't think straight.  This involves the sight of it, the smell of it, the sound of it.  When I say I can't deal with it I absolutely mean it. 

This brings us to last night.  Chris and I had just gone to bed when at 12:03am we heard William's door open and he came into our room.  The two hours prior to this had been full of nightmares for both Drew and William and at this point we were just tired.  He walked up to my side of the bed and I said exhaustedly, "What, William?"  He said, "Mommy, my tummy hurts."  Then he let out this big burp.  Chris sat straight up in bed and I said, "Oh, shit!" as I shoved my pillow in his face.  Yep.  In his face.  'Cause I thought he was going to puke on me that was my first instinct.  MOTY.  Anyway, Chris jumped up and turned him around just as he threw up all over our bedroom floor.  OMG.  My only parenting nightmare had just come true for the first time.  Thankfully Chris was home.  In my real nightmare, Chris is at the firehouse and I'm left to do something about this on my own. 

I'll spare you the details of the next 4 hours but it wasn't pretty, we never slept, and I survived.  Oh, and so did William!  Poor William.  This actually became all about me, not him.  And that's another problem.  I can't get passed myself to help whomever is puking.  All the way around it's just not good. 

You know how you marvel at those pictures of those men walking without any ropes on the beams of steel while building highrises back in the early part of the 20th century?  You think, "Gosh, how in the world could anyone do that?" 

 That is how I look at Chris as he cleans up puke off the carpet.  It's the equivalent for me. 

I do have to say that I am extremely proud of how I handled the situation last night, though.  I got up with Chris every time and made myself go into William's room.  I even took the bowl downstairs to empty and clean it before bringing it back into his room.  That is SO HUGE for me.  I feel like that may have been kind of a breakthrough and it took a lot of courage to do it. 

Chris stayed home from work today.  If you know Chris, you know he doesn't do that.  He went to work when I was in labor with our first child, ya'll.  He gave me the whole, "Call me if it gets worse" speech.    When I say he doesn't stay home from work, he doesn't stay home from work.  I have to add that he wasn't happy about staying home today at all but I think he understood that his children were at great risk if he were to leave me here alone with them and William's stomach bug had spread.  I fully anticipate that the other two will get this before its reign here is through.  All I can do is hope and pray that Chris is home.  If not, I feel soooo sorry for my neighbor.  She's going to have a lot of puke to clean up.


  1. At this point, I'd say my daughter has an actual PHOBIA. However, childhood phobias are common (I'm just now learning this), so it's likely that she won't carry it over into adulthood. That is my hope, anyway.

    We are going to help her in any way we can with this without going overboard. It's a fine line, ya know, between helping her and making TOO big of a deal about it, so that what started as an actual phobia has now transformed into an attention-seeking behavior...

    Thanks for commenting on my blog, and I really hope that you become desensitized enough of barfing that it's no longer a phobia for you, either!

  2. You never had a child throw up in your classroom? WOW!

  3. Oh wow, that is a bad phobia to have with children! Look at you making it through the whole night!

  4. Here from Marie Green....

    I SO hear you. I too have this phobia and have gotten a bit better at dealing with it over the years, but it's still hard with little kids! I have dealt with several stomach bugs with my daughter and every time I can't sleep, can't eat, sweat, have the shakes etc. It's not pretty.

    This is one of the hardest parts of motherhood for me. How sad is that?

  5. Wow! Congratulations, you did a lot for one night. I do hope for all that it may be a sort of breakthrough. I get the sweats looking at the picture of the men you posted. I'll never lose my fear of open or heights.


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