“I did consider suicide, looking after my body is like a full time job.”
Those are the words of Hall Green resident Sherrie Duggan who suffers from Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) – meaning she can throw up 15 times an hour.
The rare syndrome is characterised by lengthy spells of vomiting and currently affects around two per cent of the population.
In an interview with The Observer, Sherrie said she first suffered from the disorder in August 2014 and was only diagnosed, 16 months later, in December 2015.
Sherrie said: “I thought I had a tummy bug, however I was hospitalised 12 times within a year and I knew there was something wrong.
“I almost died from dehydration and the last 18 months has been a big battle.”
Sherrie described her first attacks as a ‘spinning vortex of unimaginable pain and suffering’.
“The power of nausea rendered me crippled on my bedroom floor,” said Sherrie.
“My mind switched into survival mode, despite my body being paralysed in the grip of sickness – the next memory was waking up in a hospital bed.
“I was acidotic, severely dehydrated and had suffered a diabetic coma as a result of non-stop vomiting.”
Not only has the disorder had an effect on Sherrie’s lifestyle, it has also impacted her mental health causing anxiety and even leading her to consider suicide.
Sherrie said: “The impact on my mental health has been horrendous.
“Anxiety can be the main trigger of an attack and in the darkest moments I have considered just ending everything.
“Now I’ve been diagnosed I live a sensible lifestyle with plenty of sleep and manage the disorder with a cocktail of medication.
“Every morning I swallow a palmful of pills and lay back down – knowing that I will have to endure half an hour of excruciating pain until the tablets kick in.”
Despite her improving health, Sherrie still has regular pains and frequent nausea and was only successfully diagnosed after meeting a fellow sufferer.
Now, the 35-year-old wants to raise awareness about CVS by using CVSIsARealThing on social media.
“I’ve put weight back on though returning to work is far away, I’m taking baby steps – hopefully I can get back to work,” she added.
“I’m quite a small person and I’ve lost half a stone in weight – but some people can be affected worse than others and I want to raise awareness.
“Figures suggest that two per cent of the population can suffer from CVS.
“Initially it was believed to be a child condition, however I was 34 when it began – adults can suffer too and we need to get that message across.”
Visit www.cvsa.org.uk to find out more about CVS and to be part of the #CVSIsARealThing campaign.