My daughter is now 18, and has been "sick" at different times for almost 3 years now. She started throwing up once in a while and when I asked what was wrong, she "didn't know," and thought she may have been over heating, which I didn't deem strange because I am sensitive to being overheated and get sick as well. This started occurring more often, and I finally decided it was time to present this to her pediatrician, which in turn referred her to a pediatric gastroenterologist. After MANY tests (endoscopy, HIDA scan, stomach emptying test, loads of blood work etc.) all tests came back normal. In April of 2015, she started throwing up and couldn't stop, and ended up in the local Children's Hospital for a week, undergoing more workups, and another endoscopy. Complaints were severe nausea, hypersensitivity, severe abdominal, back pain, an of course the inability to hold solids or liquids down. Again, coming to the conclusion that nothing was medically wrong that would show on ANY test. The topic of cyclic vomiting syndrome was brought up as a mere possibility at that time.
The very last week of June 2015 we always prepare to go to the Outer Banks for the 4th of July, and she was yet again sick. She asked to be taken to the hospital, where they gave her fluids and anti nausea medications, and sent her on her way. We made 3 emergency room visits in 4 days. She was getting counseling at the time, and they had determined she was suffering from severe depressing and anxiety, and were trying to determine what her "triggers" were. We were encouraged to not cancel our trip, as it could upset her further and convince her the cancellation was "her fault," so we had a clear plan as to what measures would be taken if she was in need of medical attention. The docs approved, and we went. She remained sick off and on for the week we were there, but had snapped out of it at the very tail end of the vacation. We didn't have another episode until Christmas 2015.
Close to midnight Christmas night, I had 3 out of 4 kids throwing up.... LITERALLY ALL AT ONCE. Two of them threw up twice and were done. Probably a flu as it was very bad that time of year around here. My daughter, however, continued. It lasted about a week. Same song and dance. Medical testing was done, all was fine aside from mild dehydration. She spent a week in the hospital and was sent home after symptoms subsided.
Now, we are in the middle of another episode, but circumstances have changed a bit. She moved out in March after she turned 18 in February because she mistakenly thought she would have no rules after turning 18. She found the wrong crowd, made bad choices, lost job after job, and ultimately underestimated the challenges of living on your own. She ended up staying with her grandmother on her father's side (he passed of cancer when she was 7, which of course could be the underlying issue) after exhausting her welcome at a friend's house. Up until about two weeks ago it was working out "ok." Her grandmother came clean about having an affair, and was booted out of the house along with my daughter. She did NOT immediately start getting sick at this time. She was offered a room in her grandma's NEW boyfriend's house, and she accepted. However, when she went to the house, it was in a very dilapidated part of town, was in very poor condition, had ceilings falling in, and was not ideal living condition. She at that point went to stay a few nights with her boyfriend and his family, but was told she could not stay but a few nights. THIS is when her symptoms manifested. She called my husband and talked about ho horrible the house was, and how she absolutely did NOT want to stay there. We told her she could stay with us again, but would have VERY strict rules as we have a 4, 7, and 15 year old in the house. In the meantime, she started making comments to her boyfriend that eluded to her wanting to "not live" and he got scared and took her to the emergency room, and ended up in the psychiatric unit.
After talking to her doctors about the concerns with her coming back home, they suggested a contract be drawn up to prevent any question as to the expectations. One of our BIGGEST concerns was disrespect and behavior. They arranged a meeting between her and I, her therapist and her psychiatrist to discuss the contract. I arrived and she started vomiting again after not vomiting for more than a day. She had a foam cup with ice chips and was asking for me to rub her back (A common request while going through these episodes). I told her we first needed to start the meeting. She appeared very weak and tired, cold (wrapped up in a blanket). As the meeting started, she started questioning why some rules were put in place, and I started to give the reasons, but she didn't want the others to hear them, because they dealt with her past behavior in our home. She was "embarrassed" and felt "attacked." I continued anyway. She grew angry, and aggressive. At that time I told her I would not be signing her out to come home, because our first concern was respect, and if she was showing this behavior while still IN the hospital, how would it be when she came home? She punched the wall, tore a cloth towel in half, and threatened to hit me. Keeping in mind her "frail" condition upon entering the meeting.
Since then, she was signed out and has been take to South Carolina (we live in Ohio) to be with MY mother. More individual attention can be spent with her there. She is very set on going to the beach, yet isn't getting better. She "fainted" and while laying on the floor, called her boyfriend to tell him she fainted. I suggested to my mom she tell my daughter that if she doesn't hold down food and drink and start getting better, there would be no beach. It literally was like a light bulb went off, and she started eating and drinking again, after almost two weeks of being ill.
I googled what illnesses would make a person MAKE themselves sick for attention, and I came across factitious illness, particularly munchausen syndrome. After reading different articles, my heart almost stopped. SO MANY of the symptoms and characteristics are exactly what we have dealt with and are dealing with now. My fear is that if this is so sever yet rare, can she be properly diagnosed, and ultimately properly treated?
Desperate for answers and help