jessica-Faith's CVS Story
What if one day you woke up and you started vomiting and just couldn't stop? Ever. Well that is what happened to me. My name is Jessica-Faith, I am 26 years old and I have Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. I was officially diagnosed at 22. When I was a young child, I was an extremely active kid. I played outdoors with my friends, I played a bunch of sports, I helped my parents and families on holidays, I danced 5 classes until I was 18 and was in my high-schools colour guard and I loved the arts. The only thing I started to notice was different as school went on from kindergarten... I got an awful lot of "stomach viruses". A few a month that would leave me in bed for a week. These stomach flus would become more frequent and violent as I got older and would get even worse when I hit my first menstrual cycle. I can always remember the mornings and nights the absolute worst times for this excruciating abdominal pain, cold sweats, vomiting, sometimes fainting and migraines that left me missing me school. That is when my mom knew something was wrong. I would be hospitalized just maybe over a handful of times in high school for my vomiting just for dehydration and small amount of nausea medication. Then December 1, 2012, my life really changed. The Day It All Changed. I remember the utter pain when I woke up at 4am that morning. A pain that I have never felt before nor describe, running to the bathroom and vomiting like I never have before. It was a different kind of vomiting, not anything I had felt or felt I dealt with before. It was violent, and I did so 16 times in 3 minutes and remember not being able to breathe and saying to myself " Oh my God, what the hell is going on?" I called my mom and she rushed me to the doctors. He told me I was having an anxiety attack! O.O as I proceeded to be on the toilet, turn grey and pass out. The next thing I knew I was being put on a stretcher in the back of the ambulance. It was so violent and so out of the blue I asked the EMT if I was going to die. I was the weakest I had ever been and the most pain. Eventually, the doctors told me they couldn't help me anymore that no one knew what I had. Every test under the sun was coming back normal. Forward 6 G.I doctors later, all told me they couldn't do anything for me... I decided to go to Mt. Sinai University hospital in Manhattan, NYC because they have an extremely good Digestive Disease Centre. Where I got even more testing I've never heard of that also, guess what came back normal. I was heartbroken ... But I had a doctor that believed me! She said I believe you have something called Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. But there is no cure and my heart broke. We can only manage your symptoms and even that can take a long time to map out because everyone's triggers are different. With her guidance we tried a few combinations of medications which didn't help, and she suggested that I travel to Philadelphia, PA to Temple University to have their Digestive Disease Centre do testing and that's when everything spiralled. The testing that I had underwent induced me into a severe episode and caused me to throw up a wire from the test that was connected from my nose to test the acidity in my stomach and had to be instructed via my hotel room phone how to pull the wires out safely before the ambulance arrived to take me to their Emergency Room. I waited 4 hours before they got me to a room then was given Compazine oral and sent home only to go to the ER near my house (3hours away) to be admitted. Since then my episodes have been more violent and the admissions have become longer and more complicated with doctors. But now I force myself to wake up in the morning and do yoga for your digestive track and pelvic pain, go on the support group every morning and find out more information. Trial and error with health foods and several types of cooking and learning to listen to my body is huge. I am still in a struggle to find my cure and find a break in the cycle, but it is not impossible and that is what keeps my faith running every day. What many sufferers will find out is doctors won't believe us. Most doctors I should say. It will be hard with some friendships, those that don’t understand you don’t need in your life. It will be a fight, it will be exhausting, you will want to scream, cry and give up. And that is okay, if you remember you are taking a break and not tapping out. And you with have your days where you feel amazing, you will have the days where you don't want to move but your positive mindset gets you past your pain. You can still have a life (: You can still lead a healthy active life with this disease and Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome may not be pretty but our strength and support for each other is beautiful.