“GREY’S ANATOMY” Featured Adult Patient with CVS
Episode Aired November 15th, based on illness of the daughter of Actor/Director Chandra Wilson. CAN YOU GET LINK FROM WEBSITE?
A Message from Chandra
At the 2012 CVSA family conference, I was specifically asked by our sufferers to find a way to get CVS onto Grey’s Anatomy. Historically, Grey’s Anatomy focuses less on the medicine of our patients and more on the lives of our regular characters and how they are impacted by the medicine and personal issues. Still, I made a pitch to my producers for a two-episode arc of a 25-year-old male character who repeatedly comes into the ER with what we know are classic CVS episodes, vomiting bile, writhing in pain, dehydrated, and without anyone there with him to speak as his advocate. He would eventually tell of how his school/work/personal life has been impacted by his illness, and begs to be taken seriously and for someone to figure out what’s wrong. Just as he is about to go through an unnecessary exploratory Laparotomy as a last resort to see if something surgical was causing his episodes, he was to get diagnosed with CVS by Arizona Robbins who has knowledge about CVS from working in pediatrics. But I was instead offered Santa in a one-episode arc. Weighing the pros, I decided that here was a vehicle to say the name Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome out loud on national television to up to 10 million viewers. Here was an opportunity to produce a Public Service Announcement to drive traffic to CVSA, its message board and Facebook page. Here was a chance, that even with all that would be missing in the Grey’s storyline, your comments and commentaries and posts would fill in the blanks for anyone coming to CVSA for the first time, looking for validation or a name to take to their physician or a community of support that they never knew existed. We collectively accomplished that last night.
Phones rang the next morning, hits were made to the website, and comments were posted. Even the disappointed posts spoke graphically of the reasons why the content didn’t do enough justice to the experience of CVS – way better than any episode of Grey’s Anatomy could have portrayed. We would need a Television Movie of the Week centered on a family affected by the CVS of one of the family members in order to accurately expose what our lives are like as sufferers and caretakers. Maybe I have earned the credibility to accomplish something like that for us in the future.
Even as I write this, Sarina has just finished an 11-day stay in Children’s Hospital Los Angeles with one of her most violent episodes of relapsing CVS, after almost a 2-year break. I’m watching her for every change in facial expression, keeping the trash can nearby, waiting for her gut to start regular motility again, eager for what is her normal energy level to return, praying that two days ago was indeed the end of this relapse, so that she can now go back to being a 19-year-old college student with her whole life in front of her. That’s CVS.