Our journey in the Autism Spectrum

A Post That Makes Me Gag

My Facebook page, A Chameleon in the Spectrum, has been a little quiet lately. Between work and family, sickness, and trying very hard to get things accomplished around the house, I just haven’t had a lot of time to check in there. This morning I stopped by my page to try to get caught up, perhaps throw out a status post, share a meme, etc. As I scrolled around I noticed that most of my personal status posts, those other than sharing someone else’s post, have been about vomit. Or emesis for those medically inclined. Puke, barf, up-chuck, or throw-up for the rest of us.

It seems I’ve cleaned up at least as much puke this week as I have done in my whole life. It’s one of the few things that truly turns my stomach. Literally. No pun intended.  I really do have to fight to not throw up myself. Our two girls are pretty quiet and “neat” about it. As for the little dude, well ASD and vomit are a horrible combination.

There is much crying and screaming and throwing up all along his way to try to get to our room. The bathroom is right across the hall from his room which he must pass on the way to our room, by the way. As soon as we hear him usually we are able to head him off at the end of the hallway to find he has thrown up just about everywhere except the toilet.  I do my best to calm and support Henry, getting him to lean over “the bucket” or the toilet, rubbing his back while trying not to gag as well. Grant and I have spent hours this week, at all times of the night mind you, cleaning and sanitizing every square inch of the path from the kids’ bed room to hallway to bathroom. (yes, including the walls.) We’ve done LOADS of laundry and thrown out two area rugs to the garbage.  It’s no wonder that I’ve been preoccupied with vomit.

Now, my mother LOVES to tell the story about how when I was a kid, I was the worst for throwing up. There was much crying and screaming and stomping and throwing up everywhere. I remember. I hated throwing up because it completely. freaked. me. out. I couldn’t breathe. My whole body was seizing up and out of control. And what throwing up actually feels like…ewwww!   I  remember when I was throwing up my entire being could only focus on the FEELINGS of throwing up. The term “sensory overload” sounds familiar and seems appropriate here. And I’m not even on the spectrum.

In case, by chance, you’re curious about the mechanisms of throwing up feel free to click here. I don’t need to go  into how this process  affects our senses either as we’ve all experienced it. (You’re welcome.)

I wonder what it must feel like for Henry. All I can imagine is my experience with throwing up multiplied by 100. It’s awful to see your child get sick. When I think about the sensory aspect of it for my son on the autism spectrum…well, it’s just that much worse. So many hurdles for him to overcome. It seems odd to add “throwing up” to that list of challenges.  As he continues to grow and learn and cope, I know he will learn to deal with many things, including throwing up. I just wish it wasn’t such a GROSS challenge. And I certainly hope he’ll learn he doesn’t have to obsess  about  it after it’s over.



Comments on: "A Post That Makes Me Gag" (3)

  1. So thankful my son pukes like a champ and it doesn’t gross me out. Hope Henry’s feeling well soon.

  2. Oh, man. I feel for you. I have a vomit phobia. I think it’s called emitophobia, or something like that. When I was a kid I bawled, and bawled when I got sick. I learned to control it, and not throw up for the most part, as I got to be an adult. I never even threw up when I was pregnant. I had a strong will. Now, I have kids to clean up after when they get sick. My mildly ASD son actually doesn’t seem to mind it. I really thought he would, because he is so much like me, but no. He just sees it as another part of life, and is quiet, and clean when it happens. My severely autistic son doesn’t seem to mind it, either, but he doesn’t understand it, and it goes everywhere. He’s nonverbal, so when if I don’t see it when it happens he just sits in it. It just totally grosses me out to no end.

    I hope Henry feels better soon. Coming from one vomit fearing mom to another, I totally get what you’re going through!

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    very close to this specific blog post, “A Post That Makes Me Gag A Chameleon’s Blog”. Will you mind if perhaps I personallymake use of some of your points? Thanks for your time -Ollie

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