How to convince a grandma something is wrong with her g-daughter?

  1. A very close friend of mine, her mother-in-law, "Sandy" is the primary caregiver of her 14-year-old g-daughter "Candice". Candice's mother, unfortunately, keeps going through a string of boyfriends and has pretty much abandoned Candice.

    Candice has been involved in dance lessons her entire life, yet she doesn't have a dancer's body. She is practically bones, and I recently attended a party and someone there told me that Candice weighed less than her 7-year-old cousin.

    Candice is, as far as hight, is the size of an 8 or 9 year old. She has not physically developed and has maintained an unusual child-like appearance, and because of this her peers. She is unusually thin but I know for a fact she is not anorexic. If you saw her you would understand...it's like she just turned 8 and stopped growing.

    She has not started her menstrual cycles yet, and no other secondary sexual characteristics. Her grandmother keeps changing Pediatricians because they tell her something is clearly wrong with Candice.

    Her grandmother doesn't think anything is wrong with her, and thinks Candice is "cute" and has now convinced Candice she is "cute". Candice's peers do not hang out with her because she is strikingly different than her peers, and they tease her at her high school. Boys are out of the question.

    I think her grandmother has turned Candice into her companion. If you saw her, it's maddening that no one is helping her. Candice isn't being neglected, I think she is being over-compensated for.

    Does anyone have any suggestions of anything potentially greater that could be wrong with this child that can be used as a scare tactic for his grandmother? I have and other family members have told her that it's not going to be cute when she doesn't have a date for the prom, and her reproductive system may be compromised because she has not matured. This didn't do it, and I am wondering what it will take?

    I am so fearful of what the future will hold for this child. She is so sweet.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   babynurselsa
    Obviously if grandma changes docs who are telling her the same thing she is simply not receptive to hearing it.
    When they discussed it with her it is highly likely they have thrown out some potential dx.
    This is a tough situation. I might have to disagree with you about the neglect part of this issue. This child may be in need of medical care and grandma is essentially refusing to seek it for this child.
  4. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from babynurselsa
    Obviously if grandma changes docs who are telling her the same thing she is simply not receptive to hearing it.
    When they discussed it with her it is highly likely they have thrown out some potential dx.
    This is a tough situation. I might have to disagree with you about the neglect part of this issue. This child may be in need of medical care and grandma is essentially refusing to seek it for this child.
    I agree. I mean, there is a difference between girls not developing until later and just stop growing..."Candice" falls into the later catagory. It just makes me sick, and has got to be such a sore subject with her grandmother, no one will discuss it anymore.

    I just don't understand why a Pediatrican (that she sees regularly) isn't more insistent on having her see a specialist, in fact, demanding it.
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Well, as you know, we can't offer medical advice of any sort here, including speculating on potential medical diagnoses. I see how concerned you are, and I do not blame you. I would strongly urge seeking second opinions if you feel you are not getting the right information and/or treatment from a given pediatrician. I would definately be concerned about this child and think referrals to specialists, e.g., pediatric endocrinologist, may definately be in order.

    I hope this family can get to the bottom of this young lady's health concerns and some peace of mind. I wish them the best. That is about all I can offer you.
  6. by   Daytonite
    Quote from BSNtobe2009
    Her grandmother keeps changing Pediatricians because they tell her something is clearly wrong with Candice. . .I think her grandmother has turned Candice into her companion. If you saw her, it's maddening that no one is helping her. . .I am so fearful of what the future will hold for this child. She is so sweet.
    Report the grandmother to your department of children's services. Too much of what you're describing about this child sounds contradictory and that something is very wrong with her. Reporting is anonymous and the department is obligated to investigate every complaint. The reason the grandmother may be changing doctors is because she knows that the pediatricians have a duty to report abuse. If she gives them false assurance she will take care of the kid and then doesn't show up for return appointments, the kid gets lost in the shuffle and forgotten about. She may have been reported before and is trying to avoid it. If you find out years later that this child was being abused in some way imagine how terrible you're going to feel that you stood by and did nothing. At least get child services involved, if only, to get this child proper medical care. Otherwise, stay out of the situation and MYOB.
  7. by   imenid37
    What about the school nurse? Maybe she can talk to Candice and the grandma. She can even do a PE on Candice perhaps too. If appropriate, maybe Social Services can get involved through the school. If this girl is not developing normally and the grandmom has not been following the dr's advice or f/u w/ diagnostic testing, then this person can perhaps help this young girl. It is the school nurses' job to be concerned w/ the health of kids under her care. Grandmom might take interventions/advice better from a professional like this than a friend who she might feel is overstepping her bounds. Good luck This poor girl needs some help. Maybe the grandmother does know what is wrong w/ Candice and just doesn't want to discuss it. My oldest child had JRA. She was WNL weight, but attended camp w/ a lot of other kids w/ different rheumatic conditions. Many of these kids were pitifully thin. It was their disease, not that they were not well-taken care of.
    Last edit by imenid37 on Dec 6, '06
  8. by   Dublin37
    child services! Doing good, and doing no harm!

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