Recently we have been having some tough nights at our house which were followed with some tough news.
Zinnia has been having episodes of severe pain and vomiting in the middle of the night (between 1-5am) for approximately 2 hours at a time in waves of about 2 weeks. The weirdest part? She feels and acts completely fine before and after an episode.
It wasn't until recently that my mama-sense started telling me this was not the flu.
I took her to the doctor asking about seeing an allergy specialist and he sent me to a pediatrician. After a thorough exam and a long series of what felt like random questions the doctor concluded that Zinnia has CVS (Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome).
At first I felt a sense of relief. Ah-ha! I knew it wasn't the flu. We finally had the answer to our what.
What I didn't know, was how hard the why's would be.
CVS is a condition much like a migaraine throughout your whole body. Many of the triggers for this illness are similar to those of migraines and the pain is just as intense but localized in the stomach.
CVS tends to affect more children than adults and most children will eventually grow out of it into their adulthood.
Since the diagnosis I have been reading everything I can get my hands on and what I've learned is that this is going to be a long road.
With triggers ranging from travel, colds, foods and emotions we will have to explore elimination dieting, altering food schedules and changing our otherwise busy travelling lives. In doing so we hope to find out how Zinnia's illness is triggered and how it will cycle.
What does all this have to do with gratitude?
It's all Zinnia.
This little light of mine wakes up each morning after an episode and is genuinely elated to be feeling better.
Rather than holding a grudge, wallowing in self-pity or holding onto the frustrations of the night before she is truly grateful to just be feeling better.
Pain and vomit free.
Me on the other hand, not so much.
She wakes me up to cheerfully report that she's all better, smiling from ear to ear, snuggling me close and planning our day while I lie there fighting back the tears.
I am not only angry that this is happening to my baby but my heart is shattered. Watching her suffer for two hours in screaming pain with 5-10 minute intervals between vomiting is a slow torture burned into my mind and soul. Not being able to stop the suffering happening to her is like being tied up and beaten helplessly.
In an effort to honour the beauty of her gratitude I fight back my tears and play positive with her. I am grateful that she's feeling better for now, but I'm certainly still angry.
I know there are other parents in the CAMPS community whose children are suffering. Wether it be temporary or severe, I am with you and I understand your pain. When you cannot save your child from something it swallows you whole as a parent.
In this current wave Zinnia has had 6 episodes in 10 days. We are working tirelessly to figure out her triggers to help alleviate her symptoms but in the meantime will learn from her teachings.
We voice our gratitude daily and celebrate the happy between the bad. Today we were grateful to have an episode free night last night, to finally have the energy to go to school and see the friends and teacher we have missed and to snuggle each other for a well rested nap.
If anyone out there knows someone suffering with CVS please reach out! I know the benefits of a united community and could use the support!