Twins with CVS

This is my daughters’ story. Isabella and Yasmin are identical twins. They started vomiting when they were five and had just started school. The unique thing about the vomiting was they would always be sick at the same time in the morning. They would start vomiting (or coughing up yellow bile) every 5 minutes for several hours then the interval between vomits would lengthen. Eventually they’d fall asleep for about half an hour and then they would wake up fine and would want something to eat. Sometimes they would be sick together, but more often it would be just one of them.

After several episodes I started to think it must be something they were eating. I then started eliminating certain foods from their diet to see if they had a food allergy. I cut out artificial colours and preservatives to see if this helped. They were still having episodes. After each episode I tried to figure out what they were eating on that day to see if that was the reason they were being sick. But it wasn’t that they were being sick that bothered me, it was how they were vomiting; I always felt it was weird that the pattern was always the same. I tried to explain this to the doctors but they just sent me to a dietician and I carried on watching their diet. Cutting out MSG was a big help in stopping the frequency of the episodes, but did not eliminate them completely.

Just when I thought they had stopped they would have an episode. Their other symptom is stomach-ache that they seem to have quite frequently, one daughter more than the other. I recently asked my doctor for them to be sent to an allergy clinic to ascertain exactly what they are allergic to. The doctors there said they didn’t think it was a food allergy, so my GP has now sent them to see a paediatrician.

They were both very ill this summer during the hot weather and I was at my wits’ end to see how I could help them. I started looking at IBS and other stomach conditions in children to see if they had similar symptoms when I came upon CVS. I felt like I was not going mad after all and it was a relief to get a name for what they could possibly have. The relief also was that most of the things I have been doing has helped them in some way. I know they have not been diagnosed with CVS as yet, but I feel I can ask the paediatrician when they are at the hospital to check them out thoroughly.

Reading the literature on CVS also reminded me that I suffered with migraines from the age of nine, but I thought this was due to me losing my balance, which in turn caused me to have headaches, dizzy spells and vomiting. I grew out of these when I was in my early twenties, but I still avoid things that will cause me to become dizzy or have motion sickness.

Lisa Hodson