Avoid the Stomach Flu–Or Embrace It

What to do when a virus races through your house?

Get it.

That’s my answer: get sick and get over it.

I write that as I sit here, trying to figure out whether I’m feeling sick or not.  I’m tired–normal, late morning, I-don’t-feel-like-working-tired?  Or abnormal, illness tired?   I’m alternately hungry and a little queasy–too much coffee?  Or the beginning twinges of the stomach flu which has raged through my household over the last few days?   I look pale and exhausted.  I always look like that, don’t I?  I’m old, for god’s sake.

Or do I look unusually pale and exhausted this morning?

It started with my daughter.  Well, more accurately, it started with a potluck dinner party last Sunday night (I can trace it back because I used to read “Annals of Medicine” in The New Yorker and learned a thing or two about epidemiology.  Plus half the people at this one event have come down with the stomach flu).  Anyway, very early Tuesday morning, my daughter comes into our room, moves around restlessly on the sofa, then sits up–and vomits sideways onto the floor.  She didn’t stop doing that, on and off, for several hours, although at some point I got her a bowl to barf in because I got tired of cleaning up the floor.

Around the time Annie stopped vomiting, my niece who’s living with us  this year called from school to say she had thrown up four times and and needed to be picked up.  Then my son texted me to say he didn’t feel well–he made it through the day of school but came home and went to bed.  But the real excitement came at 1:30 am that night when my husband AND my youngest son managed to awaken and vomit within seconds of each other.

Good times, good times.

A side note: why do kids know they should lean over to vomit, but don’t think about actually doing it IN something?  I spent a good hour cleaning up after my son had stopped vomiting: his room looked like some kind of cholera-ridden battlefield hospital.

All of this is to say: I must be doomed, right?  I mean, the stomach flu can’t sweep through that many members of my family and not get to me.  Can it?  My oldest son has remained healthy but that’s normal for him–he frequently manages to avoid family illnesses (maybe because he frequently avoids the family–jk).   But I’ve been in the trenches from the very first hurl to the last mopping up of the floor, so I have to get this thing.

Only I haven’t yet.  And, frankly, it’s driving me nuts. 

I don’t want to get sick.  I hate vomiting more than I hate pretty much anything else (other than having Bush and Cheney as our president and VP–and THEY’RE ALMOST GONE).  But this state of waiting to get sick is slowly but surely turning me insane.  I keep thinking I’m “about to get it.”  Every stomach gurgle and every moment of weariness jolts me into thinking, “This is it.”  Only it hasn’t been.  Yet.   Or never?

I don’t even know when the statute of limitations runs out on this thing.  It seems to have a short incubation.  But who knows?  And if my last exposure was the one that doomed me, the incubation may well not be up yet.  I’m scared to make plans or leave the house–but I’m probably fine.  Or am I?

So I find myself envying those who’ve simply had the damn stomach flu and are now on the mend.  Sure, they were miserable–really, really, really miserable–but at least they know the worst is behind them.  I don’t know that.  Although maybe there is no worst for me.  But what if there is? 

Besides, if I simply get this stupid virus, I can console myself by reciting my favorite line from the movie The Devil Wears Prada–“I’m one stomach flu away from my goal weight.”  Not entirely accurate–it would take me several stomach flus to get there–but inspiring in its admittedly sick and pathetic way. 

Besides, I’d rather be sick than insane.

As with so many things in life, it’s the not knowing that’s so hard . . .



Filed under illness

126 responses to “Avoid the Stomach Flu–Or Embrace It


    OWWW feel better!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I am where you were and thinking the same things! Thanks for the giggle 🙂

  3. Claire

    I’m happy to say that the stomach flu has moved on from our household and I never actually threw up. I did feel lousy but, honestly, it may have been psychosomatic. I’ll never know for sure. My oldest son didn’t get it either–everyone else was flattened. I cleaned up a lot of vomit so I’m still wondering why I didn’t get it like everyone else. The mysteries of viruses . . . Stay healthy!

  4. Kristin

    Oh my gosh – such good words of wisdom! It’s the not knowing that kills me! I am frantically Googling to find out all kinds of sage advice, and believe you me – this one tops all of the medical articles out there. 😉

  5. Claire

    Aw, thanks. What’s funny is that this is probably my most read post. Who’d have guessed?

  6. kim

    I am so glad I found your post! Two of my daughters have been sick, the older one started right after the younger one stopped. I am waiting for my possible turn–every gurgle makes me wonder and I’ve put myself on the brat diet along with my daughters–probably ridiculous but somehow I think I can beat it if I start the brat diet now (or at least it will be less awful when/if I start throwing up too). So, here I sit wondering if I’ll be next and I am making myself a bit crazy! Glad you never did get it and hope I’m in the same boat! Thanks for the chuckle and well written blog!….Kim

  7. Claire

    So glad you like it, Kim! But now’s the time to eat your favorite junk food–if it DOES come up, you might as well have enjoyed it the first time. Hee-hee.

  8. i read that the stomach flu isn’t a real flu and can’t be transmitted like a virus through the air. so i bet it was something that your family members ate but you avoided!

  9. Claire

    That’s interesting. I always wonder with stomach upsets what the source is–food or virus? I have friends who constantly have the stomach flu and others who never get it, so I suspect some of us have a lot more natural resistance to bacteria than others! (Or a lot more GOOD bacteria in our guts.)

  10. Wendy

    LOVED, LOVED your article…. Claire thank you!!!! This is exactly what Im going through at the moment. Out of 25 people at Thanksgiving 19 have had the stomach flu and 1 more that we gave it to when we got home. But still not me!!
    Thanks again.

  11. Claire

    I’m glad you liked it!

  12. Kristin

    Your article was awesome! I’m so relieved that someone else does this thing with anticipating the stomach big. Right now I’m on my bathroom floor with my iPhone googling “the stomach flu”. My daughter had it the night before last theny boyfriend (who does not live in this house) got it yesterday and threw up and had diarreah for hours. You see, I have a severe phobia of vomitting so this is literally about killing me or at least my spirit. I started a new job yesterday and would die if I had to call in sick. So tell me even though I have little symptoms here and there, I may not get this thing full blown like my little girl or my boyfriend suffered it? Oh and my hands are split and cracked from clorox and hand sanitizer! Ughhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! Help!

  13. Claire

    I know what you mean about a phobia of vomiting. It’s horrible in reality but possibly worse in anticipation. This is probably a good time to try to find the Zen part of you and realize what will be will be. I do think that some people are more prone to stomach bugs than others so maybe you’ll have a resistance the others in your family don’t. Possible. Good luck!

  14. Kristin

    Thanks Claire! I did find out that individuals who have O type blood have less resistance. I am A positive. I am working on the ” what will be will be” thing. It’s tough because I am a person who plans each step. Throwing the “maybe” stomach virus into it really messes me up! Again, great post!

  15. Stephanie

    OH my goodness this is totally me. My husband was sick for the first time since we’ve been married and I panicked. I’m an emetaphobic and it scares the life out of me to hear that anyone whether i’ve been around them or not has thrown up. My husband only threw up once and he just felt tired and sick the rest of the day but now I’m on edge thinking that every weird feeling is me about to get the stomach flu or whatever he had. I haven’t thrown up in 5 years and before that I hadn’t thrown up in 13 years so maybe i’m just being paranoid and won’t get it but there is always that “it could happen” running in my mind causing me to panick… Ahhhh

  16. Claire

    I learned a new word from you! I love “emetaphobic.” I know a lot of people who are like that but never knew the word for it before. Thanks!

  17. kellie


    its so refreshing to hear that someone else out there is just like me. i fear throwing up more than anything else. i dread the “stomach flu”

  18. Anonymous

    Oh my gosh! You are all making me feel so normal. I thought i was the only one that worried this much about the stomach flu. We have not had it for several years and then got it last year… at least 2 of the 5 did. Probably thanks to my severe bleaching and disinfecting I go through when this happens. Well..my daughter got it again this year. Everytime someone gets it I think I make myself sick because I never really get that sick. I dread my husband getting it the worst cuz he practically shakes the house every time he pukes. Ick! Enough to make you sick if you aren’t already. Anyway… thanks for making me feel a little normal guys!!

  19. Heather

    Wow wow wow……Im in the same boat! Sooooo good to know that Im not the only paranoid emetaphobic! I constantly worry about that horrible horrible bug getting my home! If anyone has any advice to add on how to prevent spreading it other than all the crazy bleach and LySol spray cleaning, not breathing the air around a vomiting person, wash wash washing hands please let me know. I absolutey hate the worry of this, but it’s good to know that Im not the only one!

  20. Joanne

    My daughter had a Super Bowl Party (which I didn’t go to) but almost every guest got sick within 2 days. My pregnant daughter got it, and her husband, then my husband and my youngest daughter had it, and I have been living in fear of getting it! I am an emetaphobic also. I feel like I could have written this article! In fact, I printed it out and showed my family because it is exactly the style of writing and my feelings put down to words by you! It was incredible. I have been researching for days about all of this and it’s driving me insane. I told my family that as much as I dread vomiting with all my heart and soul, I am almost envious they had it because they can move on, and I keep feeling like I’m playing Russian roulette every time I eat or drink. It’s like the barrel gets spun, the trigger is pulled and you wait for the gunshot and it doesn’t come that round, but you know what of those rounds it will hit you! It is a horrible feeling. I have my daughters baby shower in 3 days and I just know I will be sick, and then I will be devastated to miss out on her shower. (those events don’t happen but once of twice in your lifetime) It was just refreshing to know I’m not the nut case my family thinks I am. Thank you!

  21. Joanne

    Sorry….that should have said “you know ONE of those rounds it will hit you”.
    also I did want to point out that Lysol does not kill the Norovirus. Bleach is the only chemical that kills it (but it can be diluted in water and wear gloves so your hands don’t get affected by the bleach). Also ‘most’ food poisoning is the Norovirus that was contaminated by whoever made the food. Then the people who ate the food are also contagious, so that’s why it’s such a vicious virus to fight. Most people think food poisoning isn’t contagious. I was very sad to learn that!

  22. Claire

    fascinating, Joanne! I feel like I know so much more now . . .

  23. Maria

    I am the same exact way! Throwing up just absolutely freaks me out, I cannot deal with it.. My daughter has the flu now praying it doesn’t go to the whole family!

  24. Thank you for this article. As most of the others have said it seems like quite a few of us suffer from emetaphobia. If I hear someone that I know has the stomach bug I go into an instant panic. It is a rather difficult way to live and I am trying to find ways to cope with this phobia. I agree with so many of you who say they wish they could just get it and get over it, I feel the same way. I always worry it tonight will be the night my 5 year old wakes me up from the bug. I guess it’s the element of suprise that gets me on this, you just never know when it’s about to strike. I wish all my fellow emetophobes a healthy remainder of winter and luckily spring is around the corner and hopefully all of the sickness will subside.

  25. Heather

    No one can understand what it is like to suffer from phobias, especially that of emetaphobia. I am 37 years old and have suffered with this for over the past 20+ years of my life. What’s extremely sad is that this phobia along with a few others may just be ruining my marriage. My fears extend out a s far as locking myself in certain parts of the house to avoid contact with my family who may be ill. Currently I am in the basement of our house, where I spend a lot of my time on the pullout coach trying to avoid sickness that may be lingering upstairs. Both my sons in the last two days have come home telling stories of the kids in their classes that are vomiting. Of course this automatically puts me on high alert and leaves me in a state of barely being able to breath, especially cause my 9 year old went to bed complaining his stomach hurt and I just heard a bunch of commossion in the last 1/2 hour that something is definelty going on upstairs. I have an extreme husband who literally handles it all, the only thing that he can’t handle is me and the contant withdrawnness I have created. The sad thing is that I have a wonderful life, but my inability to fuction and overcome daily phobias is tearing me further and further away from my family. Not to mention the hours of sleep I’ve lost afraid to go to sleep that I will wake sick.
    o you ever give in at some point.

  26. Lacey

    Hello all….I have the same problem, I hate the thought of vomiting. The sad part is, is that I work in a school filled with 5-12yr olds, and I have been there for 10yrs and went 7 of those years with never catching the stomach bug, until my daughter was born. My daughter caught it when she was one and it went through my home like wildfire, that was almost three years ago and none of us have cought it again. Every year I wonder if “this is the year”, I guess you just have to look at as “who cares” the worse thats going to happen is your going to puke, its not going to kill ya, and life goes on! Good luck everyone!

  27. Meg

    I loved this article! I never knew any body felt the same way I did about the stomach bug! My younger sister went on a sleep-away school field trip and my mom just left to go get her early, thats right, she got the stomach bug. I almost feel like I’m getting the virus now and my sisters not even home yet! My boyfriend is coming back from college to visit this weekend, he’s a 30 hour drive away from home so he doesn’t come home much. I’m dreading that when he arrives saturday I will have came down with the stomach bug. At least now I no I’m not the only emetaphobic out there!

  28. Todd

    I feel sorry for each of you that has posted your fear of vomitting, because i have the same fear. I’ve only started having this issue about 15 years ago and i’m 41 now. The strange thing is that I’m a father of 2 and married to a wonderful woman that, somehow, understands my issues with this. It seems strange that a guy that has been through what i’ve been through with the military can be scared of such a small thing as throwing up. I’ve been under fire and had no issue handling that metally or physically. I’ve jumped out of planes with no issues either. I would really like to find a way to deal with this issue because sometimes it makes me feel like there is no hope. Like it’s a helpless feeling. I guess that is why it makes me so crazy when someone around me gets sick. I wish i knew so i could understand.

  29. Claire

    My sympathy to everyone who’s had a tough time with this.

  30. jenny

    claire- how crazy you are getting comments 2 years after you first posted…
    all from people googling i’m sure. myself included.
    total vomit phobe myself. and am right there along for the ride with each of these folks. playing the waiting game. chugging echinacea and goldenseal, umeboshi plums, homeopathic influenza spray blah blah blah!
    crossing fingers it doesn’t come for me next.

    now..what i wanna know is if these people all ever got it…..

    thanks for the well written post.

  31. jenny

    oops- wanted to get follow up replys. thanks.

  32. Claire

    I really did tap into something with this post. It’s so funny. You’re right that I wrote it a LONG time ago. I think we all want to be able to control our health–that’s why we take so many supplements when we feel like we’re getting sick–but it may be the one part of our lives we have no control over whatsoever.

  33. I also did some Google research on avoiding the stomach flu when others have it and found this post. The waiting game has begun at my house. The noise of my wife puking at 5am woke me up, and she’s been vomiting all day.

    We’ve had a hell of a Fall. She’s pregnant, but somehow managed to only vomit once when she was in her first trimester, though she was neaseated continuously for about two months. As soon as she was nearing the end of her first trimester, I had fairly rapid onset appendicitis, and had to have an urgent appendectomy. Within 20 minutes of visiting Urgent Care, I was moved to the ER, and about six hours of arriving at the ER I was in the surgical theater. I spent four days in the hospital, and two weeks off work recovering. Right at my last two days of recovery, she caught a cold which took a good week to shake off.

    Here we are less than a month after my surgery and a week after her cold, and I’m carefully dancing around the house, and hoping my (usually) strong immune system can keep me on my feet, and avoid the stomach flu she caught. I also want to avoid using any more sick/vacation days at work, because I want to bank as many as I can for when the baby arrives in May.

    Thanks for giving me a sense of hope, and a little humor. Let’s hope my immune system, tempered with years of working in a retail environment, can battle this storm and keep me going!

  34. Claire

    I bet it does! Not everyone gets every stomach flu–that much I’ve learned from years of having a big family. Sometimes only one or two members get it. I hope you all stay healthy!

  35. Jenny

    Just found this blog entry after Googling “are some people more susceptible to stomach flu”. I, like many of you, am emetaphobic. I can’t remember what triggered it. One year I was fine and the thought of being ill didn’t bother me (although it’s never been pleasant, of course) and now I’m terrified. I get scared of being ill when I’m not at home, and wonder how I’d get home if I did get ill as I can’t drive. I’m terrified of getting stuck somewhere when I’m ill; to the extent that I will no longer holiday abroad, hate going to visit family who are more than half an hour’s drive away and get anxious when I’m in uni because I know I’m an hour away from home there.
    My Mum works in a private hospital, and some of the staff have been off with the stomach flu. One of them was ill in the hospital yesterday, and Mum’s in work today, and I can’t even begin to tell you how scared that is making me. Although people are probably ill all the time without her coming down with it, I think the simple fact that she’s told me about it makes me think that it’s going to happen. The rational part of me tells me that she’s hardly ever ill (she must have a strong immune system) and people MUST be ill in that way pretty much every day in a hospital environment, right? But at the same time I’m terrified.
    Like some above have mentioned, the anticipation of being ill is often worse than the illness itself. I also worry that if I am ill, the anxiety of being ill again will make me feel ill again and will create a horrible spiral of not wanting to go out because I’m not sure whether I’m going to be ill or not.
    I just wish I was normal. I wish I could join clubs without worrying they’ll want me to go on trips with them. I wish I could go out drinking without being terrified of what it might do to me. I wish I could go out of the house just once without being worried that I might be ill while I’m out (it’s a daily occurrence whether somebody I know is ill or not).
    I know that this is stupid to be afraid of, as everybody is going to be ill at some point in their lives. I know it’s stupid. I have seen a doctor, who prescribed me with anxiety pills. They may have worked, but I’ll never know. I couldn’t take them because “nausea” was listed as a possible side effect.
    I know this is really long, but just thought I’d post to let everyone else know that they’re not alone. I need to get over my phobia before I have children, which is something that I desperately want. Bizarrely, I think that I could cope with morning sickness because I would be expecting it to happen. It’s the thought of becoming suddenly ill that bothers me; and also the thought of my future children becoming ill and me not being able to comfort them.
    My current partner is very understanding, but he loves travelling, and I think he’s beginning to resent the fact that if he stays with me a lot of things aren’t going to be possible anymore.
    I’m going to leave it there, that’s the first time I’ve ever written about my issue and, if I’m being honest, it’s just made me horribly panicky about what my future holds all because of this stupid worry.

  36. Claire

    Thanks for being so open with us, Jenny. I think it’s clear from all the above comments that you’re truly not alone with this, that it’s a pretty common fear. Does it help to know that illness rarely comes that suddenly? Usually there’s a fair amount of warning. Did you talk to your doctor about your fear that the anxiety medication might make you throw up? That seems like a worthwhile conversation to have. I wish you all the best luck with this.

  37. Well to follow up, somehow I didn’t get sick!

    I kept her somewhat isolated in the bedroom while I slept on a blow up mattress. Lots of soap and water on any surface she touched, and lots of fluid to rehydrate her. She threw up for a total of about 12 hours, then another two to three days of building back up her strength.

  38. Heather

    It’s funny that I have found this article because I have been wondering the same thing..
    I have been researching.. all kinds of topics on this. How often do parents catch it?, how often does it go through your house?, Are some more susceptible than others.. etc..
    I am definitely emetephobic.. and my fear is worse than ever right now because I’m 18 weeks pregnant. I do not want to get it while I’m pregnant.
    I wonder, because I hear so many people and parents talk about getting it every year.. then I hear some say they never or rarely get it.

    I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve had it in my life.. and only once as an adult.. I’m 29 now.. and the last time I was 21.. and before that I was 8. I know it may be genetics because my parents and brothers rarely get them too.. I don’t think my parents or brothers ever caught it from me the few times I had it as a child. And my husband and I never catch it from the kids.. they get it 1 or 2 times a year.. and we never get it some how (knock on wood)… in their 5 and 6 years of life. They sometimes pass it to each other but we never get it. Everytime they get sick I worry we will, but we don’t. He said his parents never/rarely got sick either.. so maybe we just have good genetics. I’ve heard others say the same thing.. but then others who say they get it every year. So I’m just wondering what is more common? We don’t do anything special to prevent it. I guess we do take multi vitamins and wash our hands regularly.

    But regardless, I wonder is this normal? I sit around waiting for it to be my turn. One of my stepsons had it a month ago and two other children at his moms house got it, but the other stepson never got it. But he was sick a couple of weeks before. But no one else got it then. No adults caught this one.. somehow. I thought we made it through for the year.. but since the youngest one didn’t catch it when the other kids got it.. now I’m in constant fear that he’s going to get one still. But I”m hoping what he had a couple weeks before the others may have been the same virus.. but we contained it… and hopefully we’re good for awhile. Ugh.. it makes me so nervous. I also worry constantly because my husband teaches 7th graders… but I have noticed that it seems to happen more from children bringing it into the house.. whether parents get it or not. I’ve never caught it from work or seen it really go around work bad.. so I don’t know.

    Sorry to ramble on…….I was excited to read this.. and it is funny how it has gone on for 2 years! I”d also like to know if any of these people who posted ever got it!?

    Thanks for letting me vent!! 🙂

  39. elsbabs

    Omg, I’m 14 and for about 3 years I’m terrified of throwing up. Its stops me from doing things I would normally do. If I get bellyache, I instantly think I’ve got the stomach flu, in school if I’m in assembly, I get upset, I’ve had counselling and it still doesn’t go away! I’ve had talks, I’m so scared and my solution from today is don’t eat anything and you won’t throw up? I think its the bug bit that scares me, like how long woll I be sick for. If someones sick, I shake and cry, you can laugh I don’t care, it terrifies me, I thought that I was the only one like this. I can’t go on like this, I think that its the fact that I’ve nevergot stomach flu a lot? Maybe once every two years,touch wood’ but it still scares me to think about, sorry about the essay x

  40. Joey

    well i had it last week and it came around again, and its only me…

  41. Claire

    the stomach flu just came through town and got my son. I stayed up with him all night while he was sick, and even though he had a rough night of it, he’s fine now, so remember: it’s a very short term thing and a very quick recovery! And I haven’t gotten it so it’s not THAT contagious. Good luck everyone!

  42. Joan

    I’m sorry to say this but I loved reading this stream. I think I could have written parts of each post. It is very comforting to know that I am not the ONLY person in the world that has all these thoughts. I’ve know for a very long time that I have an extreme fear of both me vomiting or knowing anyone in my world is ill. I think the worst part of it is that it becomes so debilitating for me. I can’t think past it and have a very difficult time functioning. What really upsets me is that I miss out on a lot of things that should be fun, such as holidays, weddings, etc. It’s not that I don’t attend events but I’m usually so stressed I don’t enjoy them and then they’re over and I’m mad at myself for once again doing this to me. I feel bad that other people have to live what I live.

  43. Anonymous

    I live with my boyfriend of 6 years, and he has never gotten ill. but we went to visit his niece and nephew and they were sick. well my boyfriend got it. he’s in the room now feeling terrible while I’m on the couch waiting for my turn. we live in a small apartment, so I’m for sure next!! i have been washing my hands constantly. hopefully it works. cause i have a major phobia of stomach viruses!!! but knowing that some of y’all didn’t get it helps calm my nerves..but after he feels better he is still contagious for three days!! omg I’m doomed 😦

  44. Deana

    I have some kind of stomach epidemic thats running through Louisville, KY…. Its the second time Ive had it within 7 days. Everyone keeps passing it around.. Its horrible. I have a very important physical agility test in a cpl weeks & here I am not working out but fighting this crap.

  45. Wow, this post has been going on for a long time! I too found this after googling because my 1-year-old just vomited all over the place and I went into panic mode. It brought me to tears to read that other people have the same fear as me. It’s weird, some years I am fine and don’t really think about it and then others it’s so debilitating that I have a panic attack or 2 a day! It has kept me from doing a lot of things in my life and that alone KILLS me. I use to want to travel the world and now I can barely fly to the next state an hour away because I’m scared of getting sick on the airplane or if someone else is sick near me. When I was a teenager I would cut myself to distract me from the anxiety of throwing up. So for all of you that posted above of your fear YOU ARE NOT ALONE! It actually makes me feel a lot better. I always tell my husband that I wish I was normal like everyone else and this actually makes me feel like I am for ONCE in my life!

  46. Claire

    I’m happy this post has helped people feel less alone with this!

  47. I am notoriously paranoid when it comes to sickness in general, but especially stomach sickness as I’ve had stomach problems most of my life. When I get a bug like the stomach virus, it hits hard! I am currently in a state of panic because the facility where I was helping move my dad recently had an outbreak, and my brother who was with me the entire time helping was sick all through the night last night. I am currently at work and the thought of dealing with being sick at work (which coincidentally enough is a hospital, but still…) is terrifying. Driving home feeling ill would be the worst! I am currently torn between whether to leave early or stick it out. On the one hand, I would feel silly for leaving early, canceling a meeting, etc. for paranoia, yet on the other, it’s driving me crazy worrying when it will hit me, and if it does, I’d surely rather be in the comforts of home than in the office. Glad to know I’m not the only one who freaks out over this kind of thing. Wish we had already gotten past the stomach bug as a species from an evolutionary standpoint, it’s definitely one of my worst fears.

  48. tracyahowe

    Hi there. I too came across this thread by good ‘ol google! I am an emetephobe but am finding it increasingly difficult to live with since my 4 Year old daughter was born. The dreaded bug is circling our town yet again so now my heads in a complete spin just waiting for it to hit our house! I homestly feel like Im going insane with worry sometimes! Its definitely the not knowing thats the worst. I have no words of advice or measures to help avoid it but just wanted to share my thoughts. I read that a pharmaceutical company are working on a Norovirus vaccine but as there are so many strains of the virus its still a few years away from release to the general public! Im sure like me you fellow emetephobes cannot wait for that day!!!! No more worry – life would be perfect! I have had CBT for my phobia which did help initially but I personally think it is impossible to cure 😦 Our minds are great at controlling us. Hope everyone manages a healthy winter! Roll in Spring xxxxx

  49. Skip

    I found this site via Google and am having the same anxiety. Some people here at work are sick with the stomach bug and it’s people I am in contact with quite a bit throughout the day. It’s true that the worrying is worse than the actual bugs a lot of times. Just trying to get to the 48 hour mark from when I was last around someone with the virus as then and only then will I be ‘back to normal’ lol. Glad I’m not alone on this as I hate throwing up more than anything!

  50. H

    Completely agree with the above comment! My housemate got really really sick on feb 14th (after a meal with her boyfriend) Nobody can be sure if it’s food poisoning or a stomach virus. I am an emetephobe and have been ever since i can remember! It ruins my life daily, i often feel “sick” partly due to the anxiety! I can’t go or do anything without being scared of catching a bug. It got worse recently to the point that i panic if i go out for a day that i might catch something. When my housemate got ill and i could hear her for ages, my boyfriend (who is so so wonderful and understanding) had to calm me. Like the above, i too am waiting for the 48 hour mark from when i was last around her. Telling myself it was probably food poisoning and to calm down. I’m home for reading week so am away from my student house but i know my housemates aren’t that clean and the house won’t have been disinfected! It scares me to death. I have my own ensuite at uni- the girls were very understanding and knew my anxiety would be better with my own bathroom, but the main bathroom is right next to my room and we all share a kitchen! I left wednesday at 1pm so here’s hoping! This page is a godsend and it’s so wonderful knowing others are in the same boat.

  51. ree gee

    lol.. this is a great thread.. I have had to take Xanax to force myself to calm down and sleep since Tuesday when a guy who I’d kissed a few hours earlier called me to tell me he was throwing up n pooping water non stop.. I am a horribly paranoid crazy emet nutcase and it has been destroying me for years.. it’s been almost 72 hours and I have not had a full meal or anything close in fear of getting whatever he had.. he threw up a lot but was drinking a lot in between and couldnt urinate but I don’t know if I had already been exposed to it.. I am still in panic mode today.. unable to eat anything at all and the vitamin c is ripping me apart.. please cross all of your fingers for me.. this sucks on top of me falling down a flight of stairs yesterday and feeling like I was run over by a garbage truck..

  52. Alexandra

    Wow…I know this was written a few years ago, but I am experiencing the same feelings now, except i’m more sure I have it! I hate waiting…i feel like i need to put my life on hold. You’re post gives me hope and made me laugh.

  53. hope

    Omg i am sooo happyvi found this post!!!! i am the same way too! amd i googled this too lol…omg im soo terribly scared my lil sis came down with the stomach flu yesterday morning! and im scared of catching it since we share the same room and restroom!! I have plans this weekend and im scared ;( last yr my bf got sick and that night before he got sick i was with him and then 4 days later i saw him when he was feeling better i kissed him and everything but i didn’t get sick amd last time my lil sis got sick me and my dad didn’t catch it just my mom so now im terrified!!!! Im just Washing my hands like crazy!

  54. hope

    Sorry i ment happy.

  55. Melanie

    So thankful to read this nearly ancient post! I have a severe case of emetophobia, and the stomach flu is passing through my household like the plague for nearly a week now. Thankfully, my brother and I have not contracted the virus yet (and hopefully won’t). My fear of vomiting began when I was rather young, and I am 20 years old now. I often blame my fear for contributing to my anorexia during the time my phobia first started (it was triggered by sick classmates). I thought that if I didn’t eat, then I wouldn’t throw up. It made sense at the time because it is a virus that is ingested so if I didn’t eat, or touch my face; I thought I would avoid it. I now know that it’s not a logical way of thinking! But I just thought I would stand up and join those who share the same fears as me. Everyone, keep me in your thoughts that this outbreak passes over me. I have been washing my hands religiously and avoiding the ill, not even allowing the infected people in eye distance, so I can prevent it.

  56. hope

    Wow my phobia started when i was a little girl of age 7 because one day my lil sis drop her bottle and i got close to her and gave it to her and when i didi that she threw up all over my hair in face!!! Ever since ive been this way :(. Im also 20 and have never gotten over it…
    its day 2 since my lil sis has gotten sick well more like day 3 and me and my parents are still fine.. im hoping this horrible stomach flu skips us..

  57. Elizabeth

    Ill with a sick-bug right now so reading this, I can really relate to. Coming to the end of it so just feel weak, headachey and loss of appetite right now. I really feel for all of you because I only get sick when I stand up and not when I’m laying in bed. Not sure if that is common or not so every time I stand up to go to the toilet I’m like “Going to be sick now”. Horrible feeling, I have a horrible phobia of sickness too! I’m the first one to get it in my family so hope I don’t pass it on. Feel for all of you commenters and readers.

  58. Elizabeth

    I also am glad I stumbled upon this! There are 7 of us and so far 4/7 (myself included I was the first) have had this stomach bug. I have a terrible fear of throwing up and I am 41. Two nights ago I was sick and that was the first time since I was a young girl. Whenever I feel queasy I force myself into not getting sick (mind over matter thing, and it’s worked for decades!), but this time it did not work. I worry about my daughter now, as she’s going to school tomorrow and I don’t want her to get sick there. She’s in high school and says she has important classes but I wish she’d stay home so I can take care of her if need be. I told her to call me if she has any stomach ache at all and I will drive to get her right away. My fabulous husband has to deal with this whenever anyone gets sick while I plug my ears and close my eyes. That’s how bad it is! I hope he will stay home tomorrow as well in case the others get it. But the good thing is that it is over fast (at least this latest viral attack is short lived).. just a day of it and then you feel weak. I feel heart broken over those who have chronic illnesses, as this is minor compared to what a lot of people suffer with continuously.

  59. Casey

    Thinking back over the years I have been a mother (25) and the occassional times my kids got a stomach bug, never once did it run through our whole family, ever! It was always isolated to the sick person. I have no idea why..I took care of them, cleaned up after them, etc and somehow always avoided it as did everyone else.! Strange but true. However, my two grandsons who are at my house every day, have both had the stomach flu within the last 48 hours as did my youngest daughter, who happened to be here within the first 24 hours…so now I am dreading getting it myself…oh well, I will just have to suffer through as they did. Kids are so calm about the whole thing, no panic, no freaking out, just stop and puke!! I definately think the anticipation is the worst part for sure!!

  60. NotJustAnotherBlogger

    Reblogged this on Not Just Another Blog! and commented:
    Im still waitng too!

  61. Claire

    Thank you for reblogging this!

  62. WOW. I knew there were others out there with emetophobia but I didn’t think there were THIS many of us!! It’s such a great feeling to know we’re not alone. I was sick ALL the damn time when I was younger-usually with strep throat-that would have me throwing up for days and missing weeks of school. It got to the point where even when I would feel completely fine and show no symptoms, I’d still go to the doctor and test positive for it. They almost removed my tonsils but it finally stopped. I would always cry and freak out the first time I threw up when I was sick, and the 25 times after that would always suck just as much but obviously you just have to accept it at that point. Once it got so bad because I could not keep ANY fluid down and was so severely dehydrated that I had to go to urgent care to get an IV. Super fun when you’re only 8 years old. If only I had known about Dramamine back then-I’m not sure if it existed though. D: I’m surprised no one has mentioned it!! It is a GODSEND. It has both prevented me from throwing up and stopped it from happening more than once when I have, every time. Best nausea medicine EVER. But now I usually have a pretty strong immunity as an adult-I get sick once a year on average and that’s usually the standard flu in winter that only lasts for a few days. I had the stomach flu about two months ago though with a lot of diarrhea but only threw up once. I think most of the time now-even when I feel extremely nauseous-I can trick my body into not throwing up. I do everything I can possibly do to prevent it from happening-so unless it’s a case like food or alcohol poisoning where it absolutely HAS to come out, I usually don’t throw up. And again, Dramamine always saves the day.

    Only now the stomach flu is going through my whole family. 😦 Even my grandpa, who NEVER gets sick, has it today. I’m so damn paranoid and have been washing my hands about every ten seconds, using towels to touch surfaces, and not eating or drinking after them. I don’t know if it’s going to get to me or not, I just really REALLY hope not-and as so many others have mentioned, sitting here, waiting, dreading is almost unbearable. I don’t feel sick at all though and I’ve still been able to eat-although I’m sticking with light food still to be on the safe side. I felt a little icky this morning and couldn’t eat breakfast, I called out of work just in case-but I think I was just psyching myself out. After sleeping for about 10 hours and waking I felt completely normal. For the rest of my family the symptoms have taken about a day or two after the last person starts feeling better to show up. I just hate that it has spread to all of them, esp since it’s not even spread through the air. So I can only assume that they haven’t been washing up properly and maybe shared some food/drinks. I don’t know. I just hate, hate, hate not knowing whether or not I’m going to be able to escape it. I like to think that since I already had it not too long ago that I’m less susceptible, but who knows.

    Earlier this week when things were just getting started (my grandma had been throwing up all night-which meant less sleep for me since the bathroom is right next to my bedroom-one of my co-workers called out with stomach flu, another had just gotten over food poisoning) I was at work going “Dear God, please not me. Please please PLEASE.” washing, washing, washing. I work in a restaurant. Guess what happened. A damn toddler puked all over the place at a table. I didn’t have to clean it up or anything-no way in hell that I could have-but hearing/seeing it was bad enough. Then on the way home my grandma says she hasn’t been sick all day but is just now feeling nauseous. Perfect. I’m driving home as fast as I possibly can and begging her not to throw up in the car, and telling her that she HAS to tell me if she’s going to so I can pull over. Well it looks like she’s right about to so I just panic and pull over…where there isn’t really a place to pull over in the desert. I mowed down a bunch of desert brush and the car was all lopsided….she didn’t even end up throwing up but this is what happens as a result of my phobia. And then of course I have my family tearing me a new asshole because of this…because I panicked while driving and made a mistake…which never would have happened if she hadn’t been in the car with me. But we share one car because no one (including me) has the money for me to get my own. SO anyway….yeah. Sorry for writing a novel. But thanks to all of you I feel less alone than ever!! 🙂 Good health wishes to everyone-and please wish me luck in avoiding this bs myself, haha.

  63. OMG my 1-year old son, then my husband, then my daughter, then my father in-law and mother in-law got the stomach flu one after the other. It was like a dominoes effect. I was knee deep in vomit, cleaning for hours, and I didn’t get it. I keep thinking I’m going to, but it hasn’t happened (yet) and it’s driving me crazy! I almost fell out of my chair laughing while reading your post. Great one!!!!

  64. Randi

    WOW. This is fantastic hahaha! Great to know I’m not the only one who has this problem. My sister got the stomach flu a couple of days ago and it was awful, could barely sleep! But she got over it and I am currently at my bf’s house and just found out that both my mom and dad got it tonight/today so that’s just great.. Hopefully I’ll get over it, but it’s definitely the not knowing that’s worst! It would just be too unlucky that I somehow managed not to get it for three days and now when the whole family is traveling to the other side of the country (plane…). Well, just hope it doesn’t happen at all!!
    And thank you Claire and all the other commenters for letting me know I’m not as freaky as I thought.

  65. Tricia

    i just read this post and ALL of the comments. i can’t stop laughing because i can hear all of it in my own voice hahaha. i am a HUGE emetophobe and i’ve been feeling really sick lately (i’ve had “stomach problems” for years that all turned out to be anxiety) and my boyfriend came to my house for the weekend today. he was lying on my bed asking where i would like to go for dinner when he suddenly sat up, made a confused face and said “my stomach just turned”. I was putting my makeup on and of course, i flew up from my vanity seat and started interrogating him, “your stomach turned? are you hungry? are you sick? are you going to throw up?” etc etc. he convinced me that he wasn’t sick but then turned pale and insisted on leaving because he couldn’t throw up in front of me/at my house. he called me from the car on his way home (he lives about 2 hours away) to tell me that he had to pull over to vomit and i googled “will i get my boyfriend’s stomach virus” and ended up here. LOL. honestly, i’m hoping that i do get it. my emetophobia has been controlling my life for a while now and i SWEAR that if i could just get the stomach virus and puke a few times, it will be a lot less scary. my phobia seems to almost disappear every time i throw up and it stays away for months at a time.

    anyway, i HAD to comment because this is just too funny! and i love the fact that the conversation has been going on for years. good luck to all of you who do not want to be stuck with the icky stomach virus!

  66. Jessica

    LOL, I guess I am an emataphobe too, because ever since I can remember I have had the biggest fear of throwing up. It is LITERALLY the absolute worst thing you can do to me. I remember as a kid if someone told me they didn’t feel good my first question was, “are you going to throw up?” I actually threw my boyfriend out of my house once because he came over after work and laid in my bed before telling me he’d been throwing up all day at work!! I actually (knock on wood) have not been able to successfully throw up in about 8 years. Before that it had been close to 10. To make things worse actually had a rep call out yesterday because he was throwing up and my mom told me she threw up 10 times today, YIKES!!! It’s baaaaaaack! Off to the grocery store to purchase gallons of 100% grape juice– alkaline intestines here I come! Good luck all!!

  67. Nicole

    Thank goodness I’m not alone! sunday even my parents and I were sitting down having dinner. I was drinking a bottle of Gatorade and my mom wanted some, and then my dad. I’m an emetophobe but thought nothing of it, so I wiped the top of the bottle and took another drink of it. Sunday at 4am my mom woke up and threw up. She stayed home sick from work monday, and it was at this point I realized oh no… we all drank from that gatorade bottle, am I going to catch this?!?! my mom felt better tuesday and went to work, but tuesday evening my dad came home and was throwing up as well. At this point i was FREAKING out because I thought if they both have it, when’s my turn? Yesterday evening my brother came home from work and HE started throwing up! he’s home with me as we speak but all day yesterday and all day today i’ve had myself quarintined in my room with a 2L bottle of hand sanitizer and not entering a room unless i know someone used lysol disinfectant spray to spray everything down.Also, i babysat my cousin on tuesday and my aunt came and picked her up, and they’re both home sick today with the stomache flu, so i have no idea what to think. i mean, did it just skip over me?!?! I have not gotten sick yet but as so many of you said, it’s the waiting game that plays with your mind, not knowing if you’re going to get it or not. Just the thought of getting sick makes me feel sick, so of course i’ce been psyching myself out, and every little pain or ache i get in my stomache i flip. I feel a bit nauseous now but as i mentioned, it’s really the waiting game situation here, not knowing if i’m going to get it or not. I pray to god I don’t, because I haven’t been sick since i was 12 and i’m currently 19 and moving away for university in a week!

    Sorry for the novel, I’m just concerned and hoping I don’t end up catching this horrible thing!

  68. Kim Smith

    I am a vomit phobic as well .I just spent 3 long days and nights cloroxiing ,hand sanitizing and changing sheets etc after my 6 year old little boy had the virus. On day 4 my little girl came home from school vomiting . I then stepped up a notch the disinfecting process only to wake up at 6 the next morning vomiting and wishing I would just slip into a coma for 24 hours .I would love to throddle the jerk that sent a kid to school sick so they could go to work as I am sure that is where my son got it . When I got it yesterday it put our whole world into a tailspin as my husband had to come home from work since the kids and I were all vomiting . My husband had to take over for the kids and thank God my sweet mom came over to take care of me. Now I pray my mom and husband will not get it . I think the worst part of having it is the body pain and wobbly weakness that takes you over. Each time you throw up you get weaker and less able for the next trip to the toilet bowl . And let me tell you I HATE toilet bowls,even though in my house they are quite sanitary at all times …….

  69. Lisa C

    LOL, this is great! In a weird way it makes me feel SO much better! 2 of my children started with a stomach flu early yesterday morning. In the middle of the night one of my other kids started! So, all that’s left is my youngest kiddo, my boyfriend and myself. I’ve got my counter loaded with paper towels, lysol wipes, hand sanitizer, kitchen spray, gravol and ginger ale….I think waiting for this thing to hit me is going to put me in the poor house, not to mention my sanity! I’ve been awake since about 4am because my daughter came in to tell me she vomited, and I started to worry about getting ill….it’s driving me crazy! My only clear thoughts at this point are “How can I beat this thing” and “as soon as (so and so) is done in the washroom I have to go wipe everything down. I’m even avoiding eating anything (it’s almost noon!) just in case I get sick! After all, I don’t want to eat something I like and then puke it up…I’ll never want to eat it again. I even notified my youngest son’s teacher that there’s a possibility that I will be sick before days end and I might send someone else to pick him up! Crazy right? LOL Like you, I find myself envious of my son and daughter who are feeling MUCH better today and have it all behind them. UGH!! I think I’m going to ease up and just deal. I mean, we were all strong enough to endure giving birth to some of these people, lol, but a virus scares the crap out of us!!

  70. Lisa C

    Someone else’s reply up there reminded me of the 11/12 school year. My daughters came home every day for 3 days telling me that about 3 kids went home sick during the day. I found out from my girls’ friends that it was the same in their class! Students and teachers were dropping like flies, so I kept my girls home for the next 2-3 days to avoid them contracting the illness and bringing it home! The secretary seemed a little annoyed by this, but to me it made perfect sense, lol. She made a point of telling me that we could catch it anywhere, and I told her I’d take my chances in other places rather then sending my kids somewhere kids were literally vomiting all around them! Bah! Thankfully we avoided that round. 🙂 Anyone else ever keep their child home when there was an outbreak at school?

  71. Anonymous

    Oh my goodness. I thought I was the only one with this paralyzing fear! I found it as I am recovering from what I guess is a stomach virus. I went 20 years without throwing up and now I have thrown up twice in 4 months. It’s unthinkable that I could have contracted a stomach virus so soon after the
    last occurrence. I have wasted so much time and energy in my life just worrying that I might vomit or that my children might vomit. I thought I would get over my phobia as I got older but no such luck. Now my circle of worry has just grown with the addition of 6 grandchildren! I know the relief of having been sick and feeling like I don’t have to worry for a while. The phobia and the virus just stink! I so wish I could get rid of it.

  72. Darkey

    OMG!! I can’t think like you could DX!! I’m super emetophobic and quite possibly going insane!! D:
    I’m like 15 and can’t stand it is feel exactly like you at the moment…
    I can’t afford to get sick I could flunk school for all the times I’ve missed it D:

  73. Darkey

    Ahhh DX sorry for replying twice but I seriously just wish someone would answer my question about the stomach flu on yahoo answers!! D: I’m so so scared!! I’ve been scared ever since my friend joeys brother got sick!! Then I calmed down and said to myself oh so nonchalantly “probably something personaly wrong with him”. Then my grandmother picks me up and tells me she has to throw up and I’m like ohohoh no.. DX I go home and wash my hands and take a Damn probiotic tell y brothers and sisters to wash their hands with warm water and I disin

    ect with water and clorox everything we usually touch!! Today I felt feverish and lightheaded with some nausea and I’m like Nuuuuuu!!!! DX I won’t get this and if I do? It’s going down and not going up!!!! I get sick so super easily D: I’m trying to be very healthy I want to be okay D: its need to find a cure for this stupid arse Virus!! I’m so paranoid when it comes to things like this!! I will quarantine myself if I have to:3

  74. tracy brolan

    This was so funny reading!!! Think this blog is guna b around for years lol!!

  75. tracy brolan

    Going to get my friends to read this,,,,still giggling here in england bout this x myself and a friend going through this as I write,,thing is we are blaming each other as to who picked it up and gave it to our families!! Ha ha! X

  76. Marsha

    Very funny stuff. When my kids were little we had it at least twice a year, and every time one of them got it, I knew it was comin for me! Yep, they NEVER even THINK about making it to the bathroom! Just recently, my boyfriend got it, two days later it got me, only not so bad. I think all those years with the kids/getting sick toughened me up somehow or made me more resistant. It lasted a half a day, never threw up, and all my cramps and pain are gone! So I guess that is the upside to always getting it while you’re younger.

  77. Dayveion

    My wife has been on the toilet and hovering over the toilet for the past 2 days. I actually cleaned up her “Accidents” several times. I first thought it was food poisoning. Seeing as how she hasn’t thrown up in 15 years. After reading her sister who just left here to back to Ohio has the same thing, tells me it’s the flu. My 3 year old has a mild cough. My 10 month old is teething. Yet and still, I feel nothing. I would have thought that I would have gotten it by simply being around eachother, but to no avail. It also doesn’t help that I am an avid Lysoler so you can imagine how much of this stuff is being sprayed. I have a big emetaphobia issue, but I’ve cut my children some slack. Thankfully my 3 year old is one of the rare “Silent Slingers” so he doesn’t make any noises. (Which can be tricky if you walk into a bathroom he just left and step in it.) My 10 month old shows signs of a forceful reflex, but only during excessive whining or crying. So in that regard, I am fine with the current deck. Also I’m grateful to not have had the pleasure of hearing my wife. (Job, I knew you would prove useful some day). I just hope it passes me completely, even if it won’t bode well in the end. My wife already says I’m indestructible. NOT getting sick won’t make things better. 😉


  78. chelsea

    I literally thought I’d be the only crazy person out there. Stomach issues and anxiety have ruled my life for as long as I can remember, I’m only 23 years old and just recently have I been able to cope with them, very slowly, very sporadically too. My nephew, 11 months, is in daycare twice a week. He’s of course shared his illnesses with my family quite frequently – just the common cold, stuffy nose sorta thing until this past week. Projectile vomit 3 times in one day, I ran and hid. I couldn’t even help clean it up. I cried and screamed, he cried and screamed louder. After a few calls to the pediatrician, they confirmed it was a stomach virus. You bet I packed my bags and got the hell out of there as quickly as I could. But on my way home I realized, I was with him twice before he came down with this. . . a perfect time-span for him to be contagious and me to catch it. I quarantined myself for a day at my parents house – just to find out that my brother was violently ill. Mom and dad caught it too. Ran to my house, drank my weight in grape juice – cleared out my probiotic stash, vitamin C, as well as continued an antibiotic for acne. Baby is fine, brother and sister too, as well as mom & dad. I’m next, I have to be. Every noise, gurgle, I freak out. I’m absolutely scared to leave the house – cancelled 3 different sets of plans this weekend because at the last minute I pictured myself having fun and projectile vomiting across the room. Although I’m not one to vomit, unless alcohol is involved, I still can’t get this thought out of my head. I’m supposed to be returning to school on Monday after this Thanksgiving break, but I already see myself bailing until I know 100% I’m okay. What do I do, how do I break this awful cycle that has me trapped?

  79. Kay

    I have kept the children home today and tom as well there is this winter vomiting bug around again, a few in school have come down with it already and it scares the shit out of me!! I really dont want to catch this, its on my mind most of the day and hate when its time for bed incase one of us wakes being sick lol. Glad im not the only one out there that gets really terrified of this!!!

  80. alejandra

    IM SO SCARED!! my son is been trowing up for the past few hours ,he is sleeping now i;m really worry about him and worse that my lil sister just call me to tell me she s been trowing up too… a few days ago my nephews were sick they had diarrea and vomiting I felted sick yesterday my stomach really hurted but i feel better today… NOW I’M VERY WORRIED MY 9 MONTH OLD DAUGHTER ITS GONNA START VOMITING TOO…is there anything i could do to prevent her from getting it or at least make it better ?

  81. Laura

    Oh my gosh! Just stumbled across this article, it made me giggle! I’ve been thinking for ages that I’m so weird, paranoid and not normal for thinking every rumble of the tummy or every little cramp or pain is the start of a bug when there’s one going round! It’s so reassuring to know that others feel the same way! Thank you! You’ve made me smile 🙂 x

  82. Anonymous

    Been researching emetophobia! I’m a classic case! My 9 yo threw up today. Tomost people, big whoop! My husband has ALWAYS been the one o deal with it. He is on a biz trip for 10 days!! I am alone!!! I’m now awaiting my 6 yo to get it!!!

  83. Lili

    It’s as if we’re all reading each other’s minds! My brother and I both think we have emetophobia (fear of vomiting) and on top of that, I’m a germophobe in general. And since it’s close to winter, many types of nasty viruses are going around. I’m in college, and I witness people coughing and sneezing on their hands and then touching objects such as computers, doorknobs, and tables. We used to get sick a lot as children, which might have built up some immunity, since we rarely
    Some interesting facts about gastroenteritis (GE), or “stomach flu”:
    1. Viral GE is NOT a flu at all. The most common causes, such as norovirus, rotavirus, and astrovirus, are completely unrelated to the Orthomyxoviridae (influenza viruses), which are primarily upper respiratory diseases. *Note: Some strains of influenza can cause mild digestive disturbances, but this is more common in children.* The virus(es) target the small intestine.
    2. Norovirus (most common cause of viral GE in adults and the cause of up to half of all foodborne illness outbreaksin the U.S.) is spread primarily by the fecal-oral route (WASH HANDS!), food/water contamination (again, wash hands!) contamination of surfaces infected people touch, and aerosolization of particles when a person vomits, or vomit or diarrhea is flushed (the particles settle quickly, but try to stay out of that area for a while until cleaned up).
    3. The virus can survive for several hours/days on surfaces, and possibly years in contaminated water). After infection, the virus can be shed for weeks after symptoms have subsided, and some are asymptomatic, but still contagious. Be careful who you allow to handle and serve your food, make sure it’s washed/cooked thoroughly, and ALWAYS handwash after using the bathroom and before eating.
    4. There is evidence that people with different blood types are more resistant or more susceptible to different types of stomach viruses.
    5. Good news: There is also evidence that grape, cranberry, and pomegranate juices may inhibit or reduce the severity of infection of stomach bugs by deactivating the viruses. Further research is warranted.
    6. There are some vaccines against rotavirus available for children. Development of noro vaccines are still in progress.

  84. sabrina

    It’s amazing and shocking at the same time to see how long this blog has been going on for! Claire, I guess you hit a nerve here….I’ve been scared of being sick for as long as I can remember….I have been anorexic twice in my twenties and I can only say that it was due to me not eating because I was afraid of being sick…well anyway, it’s winter again and yesterday my boyfriend started with diarrhea and being sick…I’m terrified because obviously I kissed him on the day he got ill and also he doesn’t really understand my panicking and yes, he will wash his hands but won’t always desinfect them or the toilet which means I have to do it which increases the risk of catching it…I haven’t eaten in 2 days now and thought I was going to pass out at work…I have stomach pains and feel sick but this might as well be psychological as I’m driving myself insane…people who don’t suffer from this fear must think we’re all a bunch of crazy bored women…but this is so much more than crazyness it rules our lifes…I’m now also terrified that my 11 yo son might catch it on one hand cause I’d feel so sorry for him when he is so brave just pukes and done…he doesn’t get that from me!!! but on the other also cause it will increase the incubation period lol Afterall it’s good to read that I’m not alone and so many other people are suffering with me…I think I might stay up tonight as the biggest fear is to wake up to being sick or my son waking me up telling me that he’s been sick…all the best to all of you and stay healthy!!!

  85. Pingback: Day 90: A terrific run with minor fear of blowing chunks or literally having “the runs”! « runningkattales

  86. Claire S

    Read every single comment on here – can relate completely!! So many people in the office have been poorly and even reading that someone is ill on Facebook freaks me out!! NIGHTMARE!!!

  87. Cheyenne

    I’m 15 years of age and have been suffering from emetophobia my whole life, just 3 days ago my younger sister woke up with the stomach bug, she vomited 2-3 times, then she was ok. I basically isolated myself from her until she was better the next day. Two days later (today) my mum just came down with it and was sick 4-6 times. I have been having massive panic attacks all day and crying even. I feel sick now and feel like i could possibly vomit tomorrow morning. But i have been very carefull, i have put lots of hand sanitizer and vitamins to help beat the bug. I havent let any of my family touch me. My emetophobia is ruining my life. I hope i dont throw up tomorrow 😦

  88. ry

    Last year i got it on Christmas

  89. Michelle

    It feels absolutely wonderful to know I’m not the only one, I have I think one of the worst fears ever, of someone in my house says they don’t feel good, I panic like crazy, infer tremors and make myself feel sick due to the fear that I’m going to be sick, my boyfriend just told me he has a stomach ache & I had to ask him if he’s sure he’s not gunna start throwing up, he gets really mad when I start asking questions, he doesn’t understand my phobia.. Pur daughter is almost 1
    & she had the flu last week, only vomited twice, & then I caught it and just had the runs and felt really lousy and just kept taking gravol to make sure I wasn’t going to be sick, my boyfriend never caught it.. It’s deffinatly an awful feeling & I also agree the antisapation that you might get it is worse then getting it. Thanks or the post Claire!

  90. Cesca

    I love this post so so much and a lot of the comments make me feel reassured and a bit more normal lol. I am 16 years old and petrified of vomiting. I was with my boyfriend, not last night but Monday night and I stayed there until Tuesday at around 6pm. Now, about… 2 or 3 hours after I had left, he began to vomit. He vomited 4 times in half an hour then once more 2 hours later. And now his mother has the bug. Although its been over 24 hours since I was with him and he wasn’t showing symptoms then… Could I still get the virus? I am hoping not as it is so close to Christmas and my emetaphobia is awfully bad. I am so so scared and need some more reassurance please 😦

  91. Claire

    I’m no doctor, but I will say this: I’ve taken care of my kids many times when they’ve had the stomach flu and almost never gotten it too. So I think transmission is very uneven and there’s a good chance you won’t get it!

  92. Cesca

    I really really hope not :/ I didn’t sleep until 5am this morning because I had about 3 panic attacks; it was awful -.- thank you though 🙂 brilliant post by the way 🙂

  93. Claire Mosby

    All I have to say is wow….
    This post describes my household at this very minute!
    My daughter got sickness & runs it last Wednesday then my twins were both hit bit only by sickness Sunday am and Sunday pm and then my husband was hit sick as a dog Monday morning and spent all day on loo, there’s my oldest son (8yrs) who hasn’t had it but has had a Nasty viral thing with his chest and I seem to be starting with the sore throat snotty nose.
    I have made myself so tired and stressed since sun night I’ve not slept or eaten properly since worrying if I’ll get the bug 😦
    I think I am also emetophobic. My hands have never seen so much sanitizer gel!
    Just too close to Xmas to actually get it myself now

  94. rachel C

    bahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!! I was just looking up stuff because I am freaked out since I am the only one in my house who hasn’t gotten sick…..so far.My hubby was up all night getting sick.Now I am a nervous wreck. Every tiny pain makes me think “IT”S COMING” and I am making myself crazy from worry. I HATE puking worse then ANYTHING!!!! I don’t just lean over and puke…nope…I wretch and heave for long periods of time and barely can breath….it’s not pretty. I have seen many people puke but mine tops the charts just for all the horrid sounds and dry heaves. Dang…..guess I will starve today just in case. Thanks for your post…it was as if I wrote it myself….except more cleverly written.

  95. Rebecca

    Wow, I feel like everyone is reading my mind! I have been an emetophobic since I was a child. Knock on wood, I have been personally vomit free for almost 20 years, but the stress of getting sick is ruling my life. I am married, but truly do not feel that I could have any children for fear of them getting sick. Thankfully my husband is understanding, but I don’t know how much it is truly affecting him. I follow the same rituals: hand wash and sanitize like crazy, avoid parties where alcohol is involved, and will avoid sick family members like they have the plague! I am on anxiety meds, but so far still feel the debilitating fear of getting sick. My family was sick a few weeks ago, my dad was sick this past Tuesday, and its now Sunday and I am feeling nauseous! Really? 5 days past exposure? Not sure if I am just feeling symptoms because of my fear or the actual bug itself! This is a real fear, as much as any other fear out there, it seems soo silly to be afraid, it’s not going to kill me but just the thought of illness sends me into panic mode! I am truly glad I am not the only one! The question is how to overcome it without letting it rule my life! Thanks for the comforting blog!

  96. ARF

    Well holy cow. I’ve just spent the past hour or so reading through this post, which I stumbled upon by doing a Google search on “is gravol effective against stomach viruses?”, and I, like many, if not all of you, am speechless at the fact that all of your comments describe exactly how I feel. I also think that it is beyond hilarious that the last post was just yesterday! The whole while that I was reading this I was thinking to myself “I wonder when the latest post was?”.

    I am an emetophobe, have been since I was a teenager or earlier, and I am now 37. Gladly I have gotten much better at dealing with many of the issues surrounding vomiting, but when it comes to vomiting itself, I am a wreck. I can’t be in the room with anyone if I feel sick (because the pressure of having to talk to someone would surely make me vomit), I can’t sit down, I can’t stand up, I can’t lie down, I can’t fall asleep (for fear of waking up sick), and I just can’t seem to divert my attention from the most probable imminence of vomiting. I vomited a couple of months ago, for the first time in roughly 8 years, and I remember feeling 100% better after vomiting, and telling myself to remember this important fact. But here I am again, freaking out, because my 1 year old threw up two days ago, and my husband has been nauseous all day. Is my queeziness psychosomatic??? Is it real????

    I find it very interesting that so many of us emetophobes rarely actually vomit. In fact, I have recently found out that there are many characteristic nuances to this phobia that many sufferers share. I did a google search recently on “emetophobia”, and found the wikipedia site (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emetophobia), which pretty much describes me to a T. Especially the part about having an “internal locus of control”, meaning that we seem to believe that WE have control of what our body does, versus an external locus of control which is when you believe, and accept, that you do not have control over your body. And the act of vomiting is totally out of our control, so this in itself makes the thought of vomiting very difficult, because it means completely relinquishing control.

    Anyway, I have a few funny stories. While I was in school a while back I had forgotten that my cell phone was in my pocket, and it was set to vibrate. So suddenly it started to vibrate, and I actually mistook this vibration for my stomach gurgling, which surely meant that I was going to vomit. I went into full panic attack mode. Even after realizing it was my phone I couldn’t quell the panic.

    One of the similarities among us emeto’s is that we avoid parties where people are drinking. Well, once I was at a club and the girl who I drove with was beyond belief wasted. I knew I had to drive her home, I was her only ride. Plus she was on a work visa from overseas and I felt badly about sending her home with a strange cab driver in an unfamiliar city. So I drove her home, knowing full well what I’d gotten myself into. Sure enough she starts hurling in the car. I pulled over and pushed her torso out of the car door so she could continue hurling on the ground. At this point it was like 2 in the morning, in downtown Toronto, and I have no idea what to do. I tried hailing a cab for her, but none would take her because she was so wasted. Finally these two young guys (probably in their early 20s) came to my rescue. I lost all sense of shame and poured out my fears to them, and they agreed to help me take her home. I didn’t even know these guys, but I brought them into my car, and actually bargained with them that if they helped me with her I’d give them a ride home (which was very much out of my way). To this day I am so incredibly thankful for their help. They could have been rapists or murderers, but thankfully they were just nice guys.

    And yet another common thing is the fear of getting pregnant, and actually fearing your child bringing home viruses. Vomiting was seriously scaring me away from having a baby. But I forced myself into it, knowing that I’d just have to deal with it. I was super nauseous for my first trimester, but I think I actually willed myself not to vomit. And actually I was ok with the nausea because at least I knew there was a reasonable explanation for it. The worst kind of nausea is nausea of unknown origin! But still, I would freak out a lot, and especially when I was driving. I’d always stay in the right lane in case I had to pull over. And god-forbid if I vomited while I was driving over a bridge (no shoulders)! I would hold my breath and speed so quickly over any bridge.

    But now that I have a baby, I have developed another fear. The fear of passing on my phobia to her. I am going to have to be strong whenever she vomits, so as not to teach her that vomiting is a big deal. I attribute my fear of vomiting to two or three incidents when I was young. On was when I woke my mom up because I was vomiting, and she rushed me to the bathroom, which was occupied by my dad. She pounded on the door as if it were a life or death situation. Another time my friend’s little brother was violently ill one night when I was sleeping over. And another is when I saw a drunk man vomit. Now it is such an ingrained reaction in my when I see someone vomit, or someone super drunk. My body goes into fight or flight mode.

    Also though, I have developed a few “vomiting action plans”. I manage to keep a plastic bag hidden away in every room in my house. If I feel sick there is no way that my legs will carry me to the toilet, therefore I need bags at close hand. And I have a few light-hearted movies that I can watch to lighten the situation. I’ve also resorted to Angry Birds once, which seemed to help divert my thoughts.

    So anyway, as I sit here it is 9:30pm on new years eve. I’m currently laundering my bedsheets because my nauseous husband slept in them today. I think I’m feeling a bit better. And also, I always try to remember my sister’s “order of thankfulness”: If she is feeling down she’s thankful that she doesn’t have a cold, if she has a cold she’s thankful that she’s not throwing up, and if she is throwing up she’s thankful that she doesn’t have gangrene. So at least I don’t have gangrene.

    Thank you all for talking about this, just reading it has brought me so much relief. Happy New Year!

  97. ARF

    And minutes after posting this reply, my cat just vomited on the rug.

  98. Anonymous

    I just read through this entire blog and can relate to all entries. My fiancé came down with the stomach flu on Christmas morning. I have been terrified of catching it ever since. I need this to stop. It is driving me crazy.

  99. L. MTZ

    Oh my goodness, I was here researching stomach viruses and came along this, I guess you would call blog and all these comments describe me also, that is so cool to know that Im not alone. Right now im so paranoid cause my husband, son and I vistited some family not knowing that there little 2yr old had a stomach virus so not to be rude we stayed to visit but what i really wanted to do was run right out the door with my lil family right when I heard stomach. But we didnt we were there for about 3 1/2 hrs and they were the most dreadfull hours of my life. And of coarse they couldnt contain there lil 2 yr old so she was everywhere and of coarse with my luck she threw-up twice while we were there. So when we got home we all stripped down of our clothes, I put my son in the shower and made sure he took a good shower. Its been 24hrs and nobody has showed signs but it is killing me cause I cant be in peace with this paranoid of vomit mind of mine. Im watching every move, sigh, and look my son makes. Ive been praying almost everyhour that we dont get it. Does anyone know how long I should be parnoid? Please help me ease my mind.

  100. Vonnie

    Wow. Just wow. I never knew there was a word for people like us, I thought i was crazy too! I have always been petrified by the stomach flu…… I didn’t even want to get pregnant for the fear of morning sickness. Lucky me though, I never got sick even once during pregnancy! I freak out as soon as my now 7 year old son says he has a tummy ache. Norovirus has been running rampant here this fall/winter, even shutting down several elementary schools. My son got it in October, and my husband took care of it all thankfully. I can’t even stand the words queasy or nauseous…..
    Well, my worst fears came true the day after Christmas, so 2 weeks ago today. My husband had acute appendicitis and I needed to be there for him. Oh my, probably the most difficult thing ever between the vomiting before the surgery and during the recovery. So we got him home about a week ago and all was going well. Until…….this past Monday morning. My son was all set to return to school after winter break when he woke up sick. I had to bite the bullet and take care of him since my husband couldn’t be exposed due to recovering from his surgery. He was sick a couple times during the day but back to his normal self yesterday morning. Because of the extreme noro outbreak this year, the school will not allow him to return until Friday. My husband who was never directly exposed came down with the worst stomach flu I’ve ever seen last night. So of course I’m wondering when I’m going to get it. So far i feel fine, but i have bleached the whole house many times…..I never do seem to get it, and just found out about the blood type thing. I am AB neg, least susceptible to it but i still worry! I work at a gymnastics studio where 90 percent of staff and 75 percent ofstudents have been ill over the last two months and knock on wood i have managed to escape it. My co-workers laugh at me when I am constantly sanitizing at work but I don’t want it. Ever! On a side note, I have also worked as a vet tech, yet dog and cat puke has no affect on me. Go figure! Thanks for the blog and thread that followed! 🙂

  101. Anonymous

    Another greatful person for this blog. I was with my friend on Tuesday Jan 8 and I had a bit of an upset stomach couldnt really sleep and it went into the next day a bit but I still ate and never got sick or anything. On Wednesday I text him Goodmorning and his reply was he was up at 6am with the stomach bug OMG I WENT INTO PANIC ATTACK MODE. He vomit, diarreaha for about 5 hours then rest and was fine after that just tired, but I am now sitting here on Friday Jan 11 waiting to see if I am going to be next and it is driving me INSANE!!!!!!!!!! I have not been around him since Tuesday but there is no telling when he actually got the bug could have been before or it could have been on Wed he was at the gym and at mall I have no clue but I am terrified and sick of thinking about it. I am so scared to throw up its ridiculious!!!!!!

  102. logan

    Lol this is funny because every post I have read is just the same as how I act around the bug!! One thing that is differnt is im a the HUSBAND and every post was put by the wife lol but I freak out whenever the stomach virus is around my daughter got it then my son then my wife all 2 days apart weird trends right?? My kids started with diarrhea then puking a few times throughout the night then my wife and I were at the casino and she was complaining of stomach pains and diarrhea so we left got home puked twice then she was up all night so I was convinced I was gonnq get it I cleaned and cleaned the bathroom kitchen sanitized door nobs my car everything around me tried not to breathe the same air then two days later I get diarrhea freakin out that im gonna be up all night vomiting. Ending up not puking but now im on the couch reading post and wondering if what im thinking is all in my head glad to know im not the only crazy one out there.. only guy though lol

  103. Yaz

    LOL! Thabks for this post. As my poor almost 11 months old came down with the flu Friday night and it’s Sunday afternoon. I hate the stomach bug, hate to throw up, hate cleaning it, listening to people throwing up. Ugh. I’m deadly scared older two 5 & 3, will get plus my husband and my visiting bro in law. And of course ME! I’m quarantined I’m the room with the baby Googling on my phone and first article I read was a woman saying how to sanitize everything! It was like out of the movie Outbreak. I feel like a ticking bomb and it’s driving me insane, read your article and I got to thank you! Somehow it put me at ease. You’re right, I might as well get it and get over it!!
    Thank you to ARF for her comment too. The order of gratefulnes made me laugh and it’s so very true!

  104. MN Amy

    This is an amazing thread and it really makes me feel so much better knowing that I am not alone. This year has been worse for me than most because I have a new baby and am so worried what she will bring home! Also I read every news article, listen to all the rumors and get freaked out every single time. I don’t know why I do that to myself. I cannot stop looking for it in the news, on Facebook etc. Its like I have to look and know every single detail about the thing I fear most.
    All through the first trimester of my pregnancy I was sick to my stomach. I even puked twice. But for some reason I never worried or panicked once about it. I think it is like someone before said, that there is an explanation for it, so somehow that made it OK and not a big deal. So in my head, three months of constant stomach issues is better than an bug that will last at the most 12 hours. I do think its the unknown that is the worst part.
    My husband had something bad Sunday night, it was about 8 hours of awful sickness and then he felt totally fine. Was hungry, drinking normally, back to himself. I on the other hand, have spent the past 4 days in complete panic mode. I have not really eaten anything and have bleached the whole house. Hey, we may die of the fumes, but at least we wont get sick!
    I feel so much better reading all of your stories that you have shared. I am so glad that I am not alone. And in these posts what I see is that we are all freaked out but when it comes down to it, we do take care of our loved ones, and we are there if we need to be. There is hope for us all even in that. I am on anxiety meds and therapy because of this and hoping to conquer it soon. Again, Thank you!

  105. Rachel

    I read most of the posts on here… It is so comforting that others out there have the same crippling phobia that I do!! I stumbled on this site after googling stuff about he stomach flu. I am super terrified of getting it. My boyfriends mom has it right now, she caught it from her aunt, who I think caught it from her husband. So I assume it is highly contagious. I’m freaking it because my boyfriend is never careful to avoid getting these viruses and doesn’t often wash his hands. It drives me crazy!! So now I’m thinking to myself, we’ll I’ve already probably been exposed to it, since I know you can be contagious before you even show symptoms (and for some time after recovering, as well). I’m trying to stay calm, I’ve gotten major panic attacks and stopped eating before due to the sheer fear of catching one of these bugs. I also noticed many of you sayin that you give yourself sort of a “2 day window” after you were around someone with the stomach flu, and you’re in the clear after that period. I do that too! I also freak out when people throw up on tv, even if its fake. I also keep track of how long it’s been since I last three up. It’s stupid, but for some reason I feel like the longer its been since I last threw up, the closer I come to throwing up again? Lol I know it’s weird. Anyone that throws up around me knows I will freak out! I once had a boyfriend who threw up (not due to illness, but due to being choked during a wrestling match that made him pass out.) at my house for like an hour. It was during a party I had, and my best friend had to go comfort him while he threw up, and I ran away from him and my friends had to comfort ME!!

    I still am emetophobic, but I think I’ve gotten better. Some argue this, but in general all emetophobes I’ve heard of (and research about them) rarely, if ever, vomit. I can see that because I am the same way I only recall throwing up about 2 times. And people in my family rarely throw up either. So I think this is a valid reason for being emetophobic, it’s foreign to you.
    Some things that help me feel better:
    Some people are more prone to catching these things than others (as others have stated, it can possibly be chalked up to blood types)
    Just because some one throws up doesn’t mean it’s contagious!!
    And due to the nature of viruses, it’s just not logical that Everyone who comes into contact with the virus will get it. Due to various factors, some people escape these viruses.

    Just try to stay positive, and I know it’s scary, but sometimes it helps to educate yourself and do research on the topic.
    I wish everyone luck because I know how debilitating this phobia is!!!

  106. Julie

    This is exactly how I feel! I am a 2nd grade teacher with two kids of my own. My anxiety is in high gear from November until the end of March. I don’t fall asleep until at least midnight most nights because I am afraid to wake up puking. Most nights I need to take a Gravol so that I feel comfortable enough to fall asleep, thinking to myself that the Gravol will surely appease any of the nausea/throwing up if I do come down with the norovirus. I clearly suffer from emetophobia and have been this way as long as I can remember. But chin up emetophobes, research has proved that because of our immense fear, we tend to rarely throw up stating that our meticulous habits and our nightly mind over matter ” I won’t throw up, I won’t throw up” are to thank for that.

  107. Anonymous

    100 percent Welch’s grape juice is supposed to help prevent norovirus, so drink 1 or 2 glasses a day. This juice helps keep the norovirus from attaching to your intestines. Many people agree with this. Also having a daily probiotic/prebiotic help keep good bacteria in your intestines. Just a suggestion, I have my juice and probiotic daily.

  108. girl

    love you for writing this. currently paranoid as F***

  109. Olivia

    And, several years later here I am finally finding comfort in that I am not alone.
    Funny, my story goes so similarly to everyone else’s. I got sick maybe 3 whole times in my life, once being caused my medication even! My stomach is crazy resistant! I can ride any ride at a theme park and be fine. I can see/watch things that may make people sick and be fine, my goodness… it took a bit of an overdose of medication (not done purposely, I had my wisdom teeth out and me being the tiny person I am had the same amount of Vicodin and other medications prescribed to me as my father who is much taller and larger than I it’s to any wonder why I couldn’t handle it) to actually cause my stomach to have me revisit a past meal (which was hard enough to get down as it was from the surgery)! Even with all of this in my knowledge I still, to this very second, have constant worry that I will be next.
    It’s really the anxiety (as I’m sure it is for everyone else) that gets me. While everything about throwing up is unpleasant at best, it’s really the suspense that gets me.
    I got a bit lackadaisical about my hand washing for a time. My typical (miserable) sinuses started up (stuffy nose, congestion, cough, pressure headaches) and I could feel myself getting weaker. At my school (I’m training to be a Cosmetologist) I was giving a dear friend of mine pedicures when the next morning she texts me and said she went home and threw up.
    The waiting game has begun. I know I wasn’t nearly as clean with my hands as I should’ve been. I’m second-guessing myself, did I use the hand sanitizer like I normally do right afterwards? Did I forget this time? My immune system is already weak so does that mean I’m likely to get it now moreso than ever even though my stomach has proven resilient?!
    Let the suspense begin.

  110. Aeva

    Emetophobia sucks. The stomach flu was sweeping my college campus during the first week of school. I came close to seeing somebody vomit while in the health center, and I haven’t set foot back on campus since then because I’m so terrified…that was almost a month ago. When I lived with my parents, if one of them was sick I would sleep in my car until everybody was well again. I have lifelong stomach issues, so severe nausea is not that rare for me. I do everything I can to prevent/delay throwing up, and I have a dozen or more tools in my arsenal (pressure points, ginger, breathing exercises, mints, gum, dramamine, emetrol, etc.). The vast majority of the time, it is effective. I’ve only throw up 3 times in the last 15 years. When I DO get sick, I go into a state of panic as soon as I feel really nauseous. Right before I actually vomit for the first time, the panic attack evolves, and I begin hysterically crying/shaking/begging. After that first time, I am usually so insanely sick that I’m not even lucid enough to be freaked out.

  111. Anonymous

    Great feed! We will survive! I was a complete emetophobic unitl I got cancer. The treatments made me so sick I got over it. Had to! The more you barf, the less you care, I guess.
    Anyway, the five year old has been barfing all day and I make sub plans for the next week because I’m so paranoid it’s goine to sweep the family. The last thing I need is to be making sub plans while barfing. We’ll get through the winter, then relax a little. I’m looking forward to my kids being older and not bringing this stuff home as often!

  112. Anonymous

    This comment is sooooo late (hmm, 4 years later) but I just wanted to say that I am, at this very moment, experiencing the same waiting anxiety. My entire office is sick and I dread picking it up. I’m immunosuppressed as it is, so the stomach flu (aka norovirus) terrifies me. Last time I had what started as simple indigestion I ended up in the ER getting fluids. Oye. Funny post!

  113. Holli

    I too came across this post, even though it is old, and can relate. I am also on the bathroom floor “waiting.” I can remember being about 4-5 years old (now going on 29), and crying to go next door to my mamaws to stay when my older sister was throwing up. In 2004 I got my first stomach bug in over 10-15 years. Being a “panic attack” person over several things that years was the worse. I lost down to 85 lbs in fear of eating after that virus. Some how I managed to over come a serious case of food poisoning when pregnant with my now 3 yr old while on vacay. I guess I knew my unborn baby needed me to be strong and eat after 5 days of a few crackers. I now also have twin 7 month old boys! Only threw up once with them but it was from crying so hard due to relationship problems with separated husband at the time. Any who, my 3 yr old threw up Friday twice, seemed fine, once at 1 am Sunday morning, then not again until Tuesday. He seems to be better now (been 10 days since last incident. Then to make the anxiety worse, my husband got it (mostly diarrhea) but did throw up a few times within a 6 day period. I didn’t eat much at all for days in fear of it. Cooked yesterday and today good meal…low and behold I don’t feel sick but had 2 straight liquid diarrhea back to back….I wonder is it poor diet and the hot sauce meal I made today? But it was basically just bile that came out…I’m now in fear of throwing up…I took a phenergan to try and prevent it….anyone had success with stomach bug without it coming up the mouth and only the rear? Lol I usually weight 120 before it hit my house a couple weekes ago( hubby just got better yesterday) now I weigh in at 112!!!!!!!! If I do throw up I fear I will be back in 2004 in complete misery and bad health problems with not eating… ):

  114. teresa

    I am sitting here at work this morning I find your blog and I am laughing, because it so true. All of it. The reason I am reading it is because I am sitting here worried about the same thing. I woke up at 2 am to a sick daughter and husband. I have 2 more kids at home also waiting to get it. Needless to say I left for work at 4 am. I dont have to be here until 7:15. I wanted out as fast as I could. Now I am waiting and stressing it. Thanks for the laugh!

  115. Katie

    My husband

  116. Kristie

    I’m super super emitophobic. Like really really bad. My biggest fear EVER is that my husband will be away on business and that I will get the dreaded bug at the same time as one of my 4 young children. Then I won’t be able to help my kids. Soooo scary. I think about it almost everyday….everytime I eat anything ever. So insane right? My husband tells me I’m crazy all the time b/c of this. I carry Dramamine & Promethazine in my purse. (They make you sooo sleepy though)They are antiemetics. If I feel like throwing up I take one and then fight it, fight it, fight it. Usually works, but can’t eat much for days. I drink a lot of water to flush anything out. . Some people tell me zofran works too. see I really am crazy huh!

    I won’t let it hold me back though…..still go out, go on vacations and everything, just with the back up meds! I’m going to start the grape juice thing too. Heard it works.

    I try not to let me kids notice me worried, b/c I’d hate it if one of them gets this phobia. It can ruin you if you let it.
    I on here worrying b/c at my daughter’s back to school night last night the teacher was sick with a stomach bug….stayed home from school that day, but still came that night….I was annoyed. I hope the teacher didn’t give it to any kids. They are pre k, so aren’t amazing at hand washing. They only use hand sanitizer a lot too. Yikes. I’m scared it will make it to my house now. Mmmmm

    This post did make me feel a lot less worried though. Thanks for that.

  117. helen eaton

    oh my god. i am 58 with 3 grown up children and 4 grandchildren. i am absolutely terrified of stomach bugs – both the diarrohea and the vomiting. i panic the minute anyone feels ill and constantly question them about how there feeling. my husband gets really cross with me. i will avoid people like the plague if they say they are/have been/been in contact with the dreaded bug. i used to rely on my husband to cope with the kids when they were small which made me feel an awful mother. in the main stomah bug season i hate going out and hate my husband going to work in case he brings it home. i am terrified i will get uncontrollable sickness/diarrohea whilke out in a shop or on a bus etc. if one of my family gets ill i will cry and shake and be unable to sleep or eat for days. weirdly, like many people on this blog, there have been few times i have been really ill in all my 59years. don’t know why i’m like this, i hate it, it ruins my life and makes me feel stupid. most people don’t understand but it was so good reading this blog and finding so many people feel the same way.

  118. iheartswimteam99

    Hi! I’m CRAZY worried about the stomach flu and I’ve got obsessive emetophobia and I’m only 14. Last night, my mom informed me that the stomach flu was going around my brother and sister’s elementary school (she works there) and that several of her coworkers got it. And I go to a huge gigantic junior high school with six hundred people at it and I’m freaked out! I didn’t sleep very well last night, because I was SO worried someone would get it. I kept having dreams that somebody in our household came down with it, throwing up, and I always woke up sweating and heart pounding! I actually ENVY those who don’t have emetophobia and just alrealy got sick and don’t have to worry about it. But I didn’t get it last year, but I did the year before. I usually go two years without getting it, but I’m still nervous because anything could happen. Any advice??

  119. Fred

    Another husband here. Christmas dinner was a huge hit this year. Niece threw up on christmas eve, on the night between christmas day and boxing day the dreaded virus claimed more victims. First my cousin, then my wife, then my aunt, then my dad, then another niece and most recently my mum. Myself I am playing the waiting game. I almost never get sick and haven’t vomited in over twenty years. I am a control freak and I think that vomiting is the greatest affront to persons like me.

    I found this blog post by googling waiting game and stomach flu and found great comfort in reading the post and the associated comments. I try to stay positive but when one after one of the family members who came to christmas dinner hurls it’s tough. The nights are the worst.

    Have been BRAT:ing myself today and eating some crackers and yoghurt. I suffer from panic attacks and anxiety from time to time and have had great help from Lucinda Bassetts “Attacking Anxiety and Depression”, listening to the “tapes” gives some comfort when you hear that many others are going thru the same thing and has the same fears.

    But playing the waiting game still sucks! Take care out there!

  120. Victoria

    I am totally a freak about puking! I know I am late to the game reading this, but I have 1 thing to add.

    Lysol I I I does kill norovirus if you let it dry for 10 minutes. Bleach and lysol should be your best friends!

  121. Gregg

    PROMETHAZINE 25mg tablets will stop you from vomiting it won’t stop it from going out the other end but hey its better than the alternative my doctor gives it to me when ever I get low because it’s just a Histamine blocker, but it has worked four times now with the whole family getting sick, and I just sit on the toilet with no nausea or vomiting.

  122. Delora

    i don’t know how I didn’t read this post sooner! I am a self diagnosed emet myself and have been since I can remember. My dad said he would come home from work with towels all over the floor because I was literally running from myself. Now as a mom of 2 I dread the school year and annoy my kids 5 and 8 everyday with the “anyone at school sick today??” I was so excited for summer only to have both my daughter and son come down with diarrhea my daughter’s lasted all of a day my son’s about 5 with 1 vomiting episode. My husband actually thought he had it before them but then again he eats like junk and anything sends him on the toilet. So a week after I am thinking we made it… I survived only to hear my husband 2 nights ago who also rattles the house in the bathroom only vomited twice but has had it bad from the other end. I think the zofran I gave him kept more vomit away. So now the clock restart and I am back to full fledged panic! I have medical grade wipes spray and gloves and have kept him quarantined to our room and only 1 bathroom. Just when I thought we made it threw the whole school year (first for my son) stomach bug free!

  123. katie

    Wow im 25 year old mother of 3 i also have fear of vomiting to the point i cry and have panick attack anytime i just hear that someone is sick..i havent thrown up since i was 13 years old i had a stomach bug when i was 17 but just had extreme diahrea..my husband and my girls passed the bug around for a week..my 2 year old had it 2 am monday my husband wenesday morning and my 1year old on thursday night they have all been over it since friday..its now sunday and im not sick yet just starving i havent ate right out of fear and when my girls had it he took care of them havent come in contact with their vomit at all…im scared i also have left over phenergan i keep on hand but should i be in the clear now???? Do u think i would caught it by now? My 1 year old was last one with it she got up 11pm thursday night threw up 6 times in an hour and that was it but i wasnt around her thursday or friday…saturday i was in same room but havent held her or got extremely close and have bleached things an wash my hands all time..wat u think? Please help

  124. Fred

    Another Christmas is here. Wife got picked up by the EMT:s last Night and was taken to the ER after blacking out while puking. I’m glad she’s getting the help she needs but Now the waiting game har started for me. I feel really done with being an emet. This blog post and it’s comments helps quite a bit.

    Take care everyone.

  125. Kristen

    I’m so happy to find out I’m not the only one who has this fear! Like others I can’t really trace back to an event that triggered my sickness. Growin up I rarely ever got sick but when others around me did I would be sent home from school for freaking out. My live in boyfriend is recovering from the bug as we speak. I feel awful that I can’t be more supportive in making him feel better but luckily he understands. I wish I could get over this, especially since I’m a first grade teacher and it seems like everyday I’m hearing about another kid in school coming down with it. Cough on me, sneeze on me, I’m good. Just please don’t come near me if you’ve had the bug! Last night was my second night on the couch and using the downstairs bathroom. Hoping to make it back upstairs by the weekend:(.

  126. Pingback: How To Avoid Catching The Flu While Pregnant | Uomino2

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