Pseudo Munchausen parents...

  1. 4
    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 child. But that has a chronic kid and just loves the attention that they (the parent) gets for having a sick child?

    I've had a few of these lately, and they are just so draining on me mentally. I get family-centered care, but that should still be the family centered around the PATIENT, and these parents want it centered around the parent instead.

    I'm drained and would love to hear if anyone has tips on dealing with these kind of parents or anyone that can at least commiserate with the annoyance that is dealing with a family where the parent has a bigger need for attention to them than need for getting their child attention.
    VivaLasViejas, anotherone, tnmarie, and 1 other like this.
  2. 43 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    It IS draining...I find myself engaging and staying on the side if logic when talking to these parents; I think it is harder when leadership has a "hands-off" approach in intervening with these cases.
    wooh likes this.
  4. 12
    This parent would be MY father. He was distant at best, absent at worst when I was growing up. He moved out my junior year of high school and I saw him for a few hours max/week. My senior year of high school, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor after having a seizure in sleep. He would whine to me about how stressed out he was over my medical condition on the rare occasions when I saw him. I was like, "really? Because I'm pretty sure I'm the one who's having seizures every day, I'm the one whose skull is going to be sawed open and other than keeping me on your health insurance policy that your work pays 100% for, you've done absolutely nothing for me in my life and in my illness." After I had surgery, he came in to the hospital one morning and woke me up to tell me how much pain he was in because he had stubbed his toe that morning. Stubbed toe vs. 28 staples in your skull... which is worse? Ugh... we don't speak any more.
  5. 0
    Quote from KelRN215
    This parent would be MY father. He was distant at best, absent at worst when I was growing up. He moved out my junior year of high school and I saw him for a few hours max/week. My senior year of high school, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor after having a seizure in sleep. He would whine to me about how stressed out he was over my medical condition on the rare occasions when I saw him. I was like, "really? Because I'm pretty sure I'm the one who's having seizures every day, I'm the one whose skull is going to be sawed open and other than keeping me on your health insurance policy that your work pays 100% for, you've done absolutely nothing for me in my life and in my illness." After I had surgery, he came in to the hospital one morning and woke me up to tell me how much pain he was in because he had stubbed his toe that morning. Stubbed toe vs. 28 staples in your skull... which is worse? Ugh... we don't speak any more.
    Hey! I had 52 staples...we could compare scars haha

    Back to topic, luckily I haven't had too may of these types of parents to deal with. Most of the parents I have encountered want to do anything to get their kiddos out of the hospital
  6. 4
    I remember spending time on the phone with a particular parent at my now per-diem job who kept stating to me that her child stated his g-tube hurt when he had a viral illness...he was sick, but there was a bug everyone had, including the nurses. She told me that this particular morning, he had coughed, and he touched his G-Tube and told him that it hurt. At our facility, he was running, jumping fine, even though he was sick. I had to stay in the reality. She added issue after issue...high temp but no fever during day for me, cough where she wanted to use a résumé inhaler; yet no cough or wheeze for me.

    This particular parent has prevented the child starting kindergarten, she thinks he needs a nurse to go to school with him. Our center worked in his eating habits and he was drinking his supplements and eating up to 4 Oz at meals; she claimed he was vomiting at home. He is smart and ready for kindergarten; but if you say that to her, she thinks he needs to stay at our facility, because lids will make fun of him if he gets a feed; it is sooo cyclical and confusing;her actions are truly alarming.

    I work there this coming week...it will be interesting if they will be taking to her in terms if starting kindergarten again...I'm just at a loss from the frustration of the administrative hands-off approach to this issue, or maybe they don't see it for what it is. *shrugs*
    sharpeimom, anotherone, GrnTea, and 1 other like this.
  7. 1
    Quote from KelRN215
    This parent would be MY father. He was distant at best, absent at worst when I was growing up. He moved out my junior year of high school and I saw him for a few hours max/week. My senior year of high school, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor after having a seizure in sleep. He would whine to me about how stressed out he was over my medical condition on the rare occasions when I saw him. I was like, "really? Because I'm pretty sure I'm the one who's having seizures every day, I'm the one whose skull is going to be sawed open and other than keeping me on your health insurance policy that your work pays 100% for, you've done absolutely nothing for me in my life and in my illness." After I had surgery, he came in to the hospital one morning and woke me up to tell me how much pain he was in because he had stubbed his toe that morning. Stubbed toe vs. 28 staples in your skull... which is worse? Ugh... we don't speak any more.
    Just WOW...
    salvadordolly likes this.
  8. 1
    Quote from umcRN
    Most of the parents I have encountered want to do anything to get their kiddos out of the hospital
    ^Same here at my new position...maybe because its CC...*shrugs*
    wooh likes this.
  9. 1
    Most parents of course do want to get their kid home. But those that don't...
    hiddencatRN likes this.
  10. 0
    I recently gained some insight into these type of people. I have one as a neighbor. She is incredibly isolated and busy with her child. She has no time for anything for herself. When I see her, she can't wait to talk or have some contact with an adult. She babbles on and on. I feel bad for her. Her whole life is her kid and she can't really see or talk about anything else. It's sad and I don't see that it could change much given her circumstances.
  11. 0
    Quote from wooh
    Most parents of course do want to get their kid home. But those that don't...
    Oh yeah... this reminds me of a parent I encountered when I worked in the hospital. His child was admitted with a syncopal episode and ruled out for everything under the sun. I went in to discharge them and the father started screaming at me that there was no way they could take their critically ill child (who had nothing wrong with him) home and how he could never go back to school like "this" and that it would be a liability on the school if he fainted there and all other nonsense. (Of course my other patient that day was actively dying/DNR/on continuous morphine and ketamine so you can imagine how much sympathy I had for this guy whose kid was fine.) My charge nurse and I had a good laugh over the guy's statement that his son "couldn't possibly go to school"... her son was diabetic and went to school every day and I recalled a student in my high school who was on oxygen/awaiting a heart transplant.


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