Cyclic vomiting syndrome, ever heard of it? I haven't until a few days ago. Many of you know my story. I started Bayou Blend Apparel a few months after my son's Autism diagnosis in 2017. He had just turned three. We had been trying to find out what was going on with him for an entire year before our diagnosis. For some, a diagnosis is despair, for us...it was relief. We finally had a label, we finally had clarification + were on our way for treatment/management, whatever you want to "label" the therapies. We were on our way-five days a week, eight hour days, four therapies: Speech, Behavioral, Physical + Occupational. I never heard so many acronyms under one roof in my life. When we were going through the evaluations, we soon realized that his older sister has Sensory Processing Disorder. Whoa-hold up God. Two children with special/additional needs, one with an Autism diagnosis, the other not, but both with sensory-sensitivity. While crying to God in the "Why's" I had the "A-Ha's!" Bayou Blend is based on a family need, "Kaysie, you started a company for those with sensitivity needs. How else will you be able to identify + empathetically advocate?"
My son graduated from therapies about two years ago + has been able to integrate into school + social norms independently. Occasionally, we will have a sensory meltdown, but they are quickly managed. His coping skills are intact. We still receive services for sensory for my oldest. If you have watched the video on the Bayou Blend Apparel website, then you know the story of when I knew Bayou Blend was going to work as a social cue. We were in the airport after visiting Disney, four years ago to the month, + my son had a meltdown due to the automatic flushing toilets. He was wearing a "Love You to Pieces" tee that I had made just for the trip. I quickly realized that what was once judgmental stares became sympathetic stares.
Fast forward...I anticipated a few meltdowns, some sensory overloads, but cyclic vomiting, I did not. The morning we woke up for our first day at Disney he immediately started crying in pain that his stomach hurt + began vomiting. My husband stood back while my mom + I took our girls to the parks. He seemed to be better + good spirits when we got back to the hotel. The next morning we watched a video of Space Mountain + he immediately ran to the bathroom. I asked him if he was nervous + explained that we wouldn't do anything he didn't feel comfortable doing. However, the consistent vomiting made me think, virus. We called the hotel's medical concierge, Dr. Shama Hussain. She was a complete God-send. She asked about his medical history + told us about cyclic vomiting. It was like all the pieces came together...when we evacuated because of the hurricanes he vomited. When he is over stimulated, or has a hard time at school he vomits. I knew tummy aches where a sign of anxiety, + I carry my own anxiety in my stomach, but I never fully comprehended the vastness of the situation. She said "you know, they remember everything, that is why they make good students." I kept thinking, he was THREE! How in the world, does he remember, but he does, + so does his body. Even if the moment is pleasant or unpleasant, the stimulation is present + the body never forgets.
“Trauma affects the entire human organism—body, mind, and brain. In PTSD the body continues to defend against a threat that belongs to the past. Healing from PTSD means being able to terminate this continued stress mobilization and restoring the entire organism to safety.”
I have been crying all morning. I realized his triggered trauma in turn triggered my own. It took me back to the place of where we were when we didn't know what was going on with him. As a mother, this is a debilitating feeling. So the wheels in my mind are turning, my heart is hurting, but I am determined to continue to learn more + heal. There are many other stories + revelations that happened on this trip. I will continue to tell them in upcoming blogs. I would love to hear from you all + your experiences. Collectively we can educate + advocate.
Blessings to you all,