While a migraine may by one explanation for the onset of symptoms, Fleisher said many episodes are triggered by emotional stress or excitement. In fact, Robertson no longer experiences defined patterns of episodes. Almost every morning, Robertson experiences symptoms of CVS.
"She used to be totally healthy in between episodes," Bussey said. "But now big events, such as final exams or a special occasion, brings on an episode."
"It's really sad that Christmas is a trigger for me," Robertson said. "I interpret emotional pain physically now."
Worse, according to Fleisher, the anxiety experienced by some CVS sufferers in between episodes may cause some to continually experience symptoms of CVS, called dyspeptic nausea.
"CVS is generally not a fatal disease, but it can get complicated if not recognized or handled right," he said.
Robertson tries to manage her condition through a combination of medications aimed at quelling her pain, nausea and anxiety. But even this has not completely stopped the episodes or symptoms, Robertson said.
And because Robertson is often nauseous during the first part of her day, she is unable to maintain a regular work schedule.
"I've pretty much become physically incapable of taking care of myself," Robertson said.
With little awareness or research on CVS, Bussey said she fears Robertson may never have a chance to understand and treat her condition during her lifetime. She hopes time will perhaps heal her daughter's daily battle with her misunderstood condition.
"I keep saying, 'please, God, let me go through this instead of my daughter,'" Bussey said.
For more information on CVS, visit http://www.cvsaonline.org.