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My Fear of Stomach Bugs and Coping with Mild Emetophobia | AD

girl holding ProVen Probiotics

I’ve mentioned before in other blog posts how I do feel I have mild emetophobia, which in case you don’t know is the fear of being sick or in my case, watching other people be sick. I have no idea where this has come from but I know I have always had it since being a child. I wasn’t a very sicky child but I do have memories of having bugs and I know my fear of stomach bugs is something I have lived with for quite a long time.

The sad thing is my eldest daughter has followed suit. Luckily, she is not a very sickly child but she hates it when she has an upset stomach, if I am unwell or her brother or sister are sick. It makes her very anxious and upset and she needs a lot of reassurance. Luckily in some respects it is good I share her anxieties, as it helps me to help her. I do have more patience and can reassure and validate her feelings, as of course, they are very real!

Scared of Vomiting but Getting Better

For me, this time of year does fill me with a little dread. Winter is approaching. Back to school is approaching and even before Covid, I used to feel a little anxious! Coughs and colds usually spread (as I type this my little man is already full of one) and the dreaded stomach bugs can start to spread. I work in a hospital and quite often read and hear about wards shutting due to Norovirus. It used to terrify me when I first started out but as the years have passed, I have definitely chilled out a little.

My middle daughter was always the worst at bringing stomach bugs home and of course passing them on. I had a terrible year, around the time I was pregnant with the little man and not long after he was born, where I had about 4 stomach bugs from her and one I picked up myself! Coping with dashing to the loo and a newborn was certainly not fun! I was well and truly fed up of being unwell after the Easter of 2019 when all 5 of us succumbed to a horrible stomach bug which left my middle daughter sofa bound for 4-5 days and gave me the worst diarrhoea of my life! But you get through it and put it down to one of the experiences of parenthood!!

That feeling when one of your kids is sick is so recognisable. The worry about them being unwell. Trying to keep clean and them isolated. The panic about which kid (or adult, as I never avoid it!) is going to be next. It’s an anxiety that sits in the pit of of your stomach. I feel nauseous myself; completely psychological and I convince myself I’m ill immediately. It can be completely overwhelming and I remember having one Christmas where I was ridiculously anxious. I think I got so worried it would be ruined by a bug, which of course can happen but is totally out of your control. I knew I needed to try and get a grip on this after that point.

Thankfully since having children and actually having Covid, I’ve calmed slightly. I used to literally run if someone was going to vomit. Now I have to suck this fear up and be there for my children. You have to and I know now I would be able to do this for anyone I loved. You just have to get on with it. I’m not saying I will ever fully cope and I know I will be internally panicking but I know I can manage now.

Help to Keep Your Kids Healthy with ProVen Probiotics Fit for School Supplements

As I mentioned, this time of year is always when I start feeling a little twitchy again. I know they have to go back to school and I know they need to start mixing with friends again but I also know, that can come with coughs, colds and stomach bugs! My fear of stomach bugs gets worse! The issue is as well, kids can throw up even with a bad cough and cold.

ProVen Probiotics Fit for School Supplements

One way to help support your child’s immunity and wellbeing is with ProVen Probiotic’s Fit for School probiotics supplements, which come in a tasty strawberry flavour. They have been formulated to support children aged 4-16

Each tablet contains 12.5 billion of the unique Lab4 acidophilus and bifidus friendly bacteria combined with vitamin C to help maintain immune function and general wellbeing. They are also vegan, gluten free and dairy free.

As taken from the press-release:

The effectiveness of the Fit for School supplement in boosting children’s immunity has been proven by 2 clinical trials to date, offering a credible & science-backed solution to parents & children. The studies showed the following results for Fit for School:

  • Days with a cough or cold halved (49% reduction)
  • Days with a blocked or runny nose reduced by a third (33%)
  • Days with a sore throat reduced by 24%
  • Need for antibiotics reduced by 27%
  • Absenteeism from school due to coughs and colds reduced by 30%
  • Visits to the GP reduced by 43%
  • No side effects
  • Children love them

We tasted them and they are sweet and fruity! They are good to have with breakfast and go down well. I always remember taking a vitamin with my cereal as a child and kind of looked forward to it.

These are available from Boots and direct from ProVen Probiotics.

ProVen Probiotics Fit for School Supplements out of the box

Coping with Emetophobia

I know it is a lot easier said than done coping with a phobia, anxiety or worry. You want to stop being so ridiculous about something but you just can’t stop that internal panic. I do however have ways of coping and I will share them with you:

Avoidance. It may not be the best strategy but I’d much rather a bug or cough/cold come into the house randomly when I am not expecting it. If we are meant to be seeing someone who has been unwell, we always cancel. I also avoid soft plays like the plague in December.

Be hygienic and try and reduce any risk. Covid in some ways has done us a favour as the kids find it quite normal to wash their hands before food, when we come home and when I ask. It’s kind of normal now. I usually ask them quite nonchalantly when we have been out or they come home from school.

Keep Busy – if one of my kids is unwell, of course they need to rest but I often find it is good to try and keep busy with the others, as well as take care of the poorly one. It can be a distraction and keep any anxiety at bay.

– Try to go with the flow – you can be as clean and hygienic as possible but some of the bugs, like Norovirus are ridiculously contagious and one small amount of virus can infect you or others. Don’t beat yourself up and try and go with the flow. This is very hard for someone who struggles with no control (me) but trying to get away from that mindset helps.

– Relaxation Techniques – if all is failing and I’m still feeling rough and very anxious I will try relaxation techniques. For me this is actually watching TV, exercise and spending time alone helps.

– Talk and ask for support – it’s horrible feeling anxious and panicky and you do need validation and support. Talk to friends and family. I know some people struggle to get it but just listening and being there for me, always helps.

Keeping healthy and active can help too. As mentioned you can try a supplement for your kids like ProVen Probiotics Fit for School Supplements. Try and ensure your kids eat healthily and get as much sleep as possible.

Coughs, colds and stomach bugs are out of our control but you can try and reduce them picking them up and cope with the anxiety that comes with them!

Disclosure – we were provided with this product and compensated for our time. All thoughts and opinions are our own.