Pseudo Munchausen parents... - page 4

by wooh

10,394 Views | 43 Comments

Anybody have a patient's parent that seems to be living off the attention they get from having a sick child? Not a Munchausen by Proxy parent that actually hurts their child so that they can get attention for having a sick... Read More


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    Yes these are popping up everywhere and I can see both sides of it. I do know a family who has a private group. Private groups are invitation only not "likes" and this child's parents said they did this because they didn't want everyone out there to know his name, hospital, condition etc. The pages can be liked and seen by anyone, private groups cannot and having seen both I do think some parents (but not all) do enjoy getting sympathies from strangers about their sick child, but you can usually tell which ones pretty quickly.
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    Private facebook pages for friends and family to get updates? Make sense. When it's used as a fundraising and attention seeking device that the parent seems to care more about the page than actually taking care of the kid? Ergh....
    janfrn and umcRN like this.
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    I was filling in at an after-hours pedi clinic and took care of a baby that the mother complained that no one could figure out what was wrong with her child.
    He had a rare, non-productive cough, no nasal congestion or discharge, and his chest sounds were text-book perfect.
    He had been seen by seven different doctors before coming to us.
    Mom was 16 and the baby was 8 weeks old. She was the MOM and she KNEW that something was wrong. The doctor had her change formula and come back in 10 days. When she came back she was so glad that the doctor had listened to her, (unlike all those others who had not idea what they were doing) Her baby ". . . was cured!
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    I have a private duty patient, his Mom seems so excited and interested in his care. She has made his care into her entire life. She organizes all of his medical supplies, EVERYDAY she cleans stuff that doesn't need to be cleaned everyday, she is not OCD more like obsessed. She really goes above and beyond for him but she has no other life. His medical care is the only thing she talks about. She puts mic-key buttons in all of his stuffed animals.

    When she mentions that she is stressed out or something I say "This must be so difficult for you." or some sort of therapeutic communication.
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    Quote from KATRN78
    I have a private duty patient, his Mom seems so excited and interested in his care. She has made his care into her entire life. She organizes all of his medical supplies, EVERYDAY she cleans stuff that doesn't need to be cleaned everyday, she is not OCD more like obsessed. She really goes above and beyond for him but she has no other life. His medical care is the only thing she talks about. She puts mic-key buttons in all of his stuffed animals.

    When she mentions that she is stressed out or something I say "This must be so difficult for you." or some sort of therapeutic communication.
    ^Sounds like she may be headed towards the pseudo-muchausen side...Hope she is open to resources like parent support groups or an outlet when the child grows older and his quality of life can be maximized, her fixation may hinder those efforts.
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    We get these all the time... and there have been cases where I actually wonder if it's for real munchausen's. I call these parents "MunchY" and will often refer to them as such in report. I think the previous poster nailed it on the head when you she said you have to deal with your reality. I refuse to engage with the munchy aspects and simply care for the child. I mean, I will nod and smile but then I get on with what needs to be done for the patient. I mean, obviously they are ill if they are with me.... you know?

    I see it most often in my parents of my chronic children. I have several I feel like enjoy being at the hospital more than at home, and will take photos and post on facebook blow by blow details of their hospital stay as if they were on vacation. Odd bunch, these munchy parents.
    rnrg and wooh like this.
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    Quote from ~PedsRN~
    I see it most often in my parents of my chronic children. I have several I feel like enjoy being at the hospital more than at home, and will take photos and post on facebook blow by blow details of their hospital stay as if they were on vacation. Odd bunch, these munchy parents.
    Oh yeah... I've seen a few of these too. Very much attention-seeking behaviour... when they make the FB page publicly accessible and invite people to join. It's usually the mother doing this kind of thing, at least as I've perceived. And those mothers are always impeccably dressed and made up, not a hair out of place. Then there are the ones who disagree with medical advice and take to the Web looking for support... just wonderful.
    wooh likes this.
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    As a home health nurse my case is a 5 year old that has "seizures", when she stiffens her hands, opens her mouth wide and says...no really...says "seizure!" And the mom coaches me to make sure I document it bc if I don't her case will be closed. The mother exaggerates all of her symptoms and has fired 10+ nurses. An MR I revealed no seizures or reason to suspect seizures and the mother threatens to take the child for blood work if she doesn't behave. Well when Mom is around the child is a maniac, cries, runs and bites herself. She won't eat or drink and when mom leaves the child is complete opposite. After I calm her down she behaves, eats, is a normal child. On top of it the mother treats me like the nanny...I am to run after the child put her in and out of the car seat take her to the bathroom. Please...This is not what I went to nursing school for, to be treated like the help. I'm actively seeking other employment but for now I am working the case bc I have to feed my family. I think mom has munchausen by proxy...please, can anyone offer any advice. Should I report her bc other nurses have and nothing has been done. I'm afraid of losing my cool, my mind and my license
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    MRI can't confirm or rule out seizures. But it can provide secondary gain to a "Munchy" mom. We've had several kids with normal MRIs who have very definite EEG-demonstrable seizures. By age 5 I would expect an otherwise developmentally normal child with certain types of seizures to feel them coming on, so your description of this child's behaviour isn't complete proof that she doesn't in fact have seizures. You don't mention what medications she's on to treat her seizures or anything about EEGs. There should be documentation in this child's HH chart regarding test results, drug regimens and other factors. That's where you should start. You should also ask your agency to provide you with a list of your roles and responsibilities regarding this patient. If there's anything on the list that shouldn't be there, ask your manager why a REGISTERED NURSE is required to do these things. Once you have that, you can then say to the mother that your job is to do A, B and C. Anything else is on her.
    rnrg and LadyFree28 like this.
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    Quote from NurseGrace25
    As a home health nurse my case is a 5 year old that has "seizures", when she stiffens her hands, opens her mouth wide and says...no really...says "seizure!" And the mom coaches me to make sure I document it bc if I don't her case will be closed. The mother exaggerates all of her symptoms and has fired 10+ nurses. An MR I revealed no seizures or reason to suspect seizures and the mother threatens to take the child for blood work if she doesn't behave. Well when Mom is around the child is a maniac, cries, runs and bites herself. She won't eat or drink and when mom leaves the child is complete opposite. After I calm her down she behaves, eats, is a normal child. On top of it the mother treats me like the nanny...I am to run after the child put her in and out of the car seat take her to the bathroom. Please...This is not what I went to nursing school for, to be treated like the help. I'm actively seeking other employment but for now I am working the case bc I have to feed my family. I think mom has munchausen by proxy...please, can anyone offer any advice. Should I report her bc other nurses have and nothing has been done. I'm afraid of losing my cool, my mind and my license
    MRI cannot confirm or deny seizure activity. There are plenty of people with epilepsy who have normal MRIs. As Jan said, a 5 year old with seizures may very well know her aura so her ability to state that she is having a seizure doesn't mean what you think it does. I've worked with kids with seizures for 10 years and had daily seizures myself prior to having my brain tumor resected. I always knew they were coming. And I've had very young kids be able to state with 100% accuracy when they knew one was coming.


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