Everyone knows the
misery of vomiting when you have a stomach bug, but Sharon Wilson has a rare condition that means she can be sick more than 100 times a day.
The mother-of-two suffered from Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome for almost 10 years before she was finally diagnosed.
The violent attacks are triggered whenever she becomes excited and leave her completely drained and exhausted.
In the past she has regularly had to swap foreign holidays and nights out for a hospital stay as her body struggled to cope with her condition.
The care worker, from Doncaster, Yorkshire, can throw up as many as 140 times a day and leave her bed-ridden for three days.
Mrs Wilson said: ‘Once it starts, it’s like clockwork – I am sick almost exactly every 10 minutes until my body cannot cope anymore and I have to fall asleep.
‘When my husband surprised me with a mini-break to Paris, I was sick 144 times in 24 hours.
‘And when we went to Las Vegas to renew our wedding vows for our silver wedding anniversary, I was so ill I could barely leave the hotel.
‘We should have been having the time of our lives – and I was stuck with my head in the toilet.
‘It sounds unbelievable – funny even – but it really is a living hell.’
Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome is thought to affect just a few hundred people in the UK – and the vast majority of those are children, who often grow out of the condition.
Medics have no idea what causes the condition, but it’s widely believed that attacks can be triggered by stress.
Mrs Wilson threw up 144 times in 24 hours after her husband surprised her with a mini-break to Paris
Sharon’s stomach starts to churn on the run up to a holiday, or a special occasion – she even spent two days in hospital when her dalmatian had puppies.
She said:’The attacks don’t happen when I’m over-excited – just when I have something nice to look forward to.
‘When I was at my worst, I was having attacks that lasted between one and three days about every four weeks.
‘If I know I have something nice planned for the next day, I will usually start feeling hot and dizzy at about 9pm the night before.
‘By 9.30pm, I am really really ill – and I am usually up all night. I vomit until my stomach is empty and retch every 10 minutes after that.
‘If I can avoid a hospital trip, I consider myself lucky.
‘I was signed off work by my GP for a year. It got to the point where I started to think I would be housebound.’
Doctor’s originally feared that Sharon’s sickness was caused by a tumour in her pituitary gland – and after eight years of constant tests and brain scans, she was finally diagnosed with CVS.
She was prescribed anti-sickness tablets – but her constant vomiting meant that she struggled to keep the medication down.
She was then given amitriptyline – medication designed to stop migraines – and a supply of diazepam to take if she does feel an attack coming on.
Sharon has now gone six months without suffering an attack – and hopes that she may have finally be able to move on with her life.
She added: ‘I’m thrilled not to have had an attack for so long – it feels great to have my life back.
‘Only time will tell whether this new medication will work in the long term – but for now I’m enjoying being able to have some excitement in my life without spending days in my bathroom.’