Discussions By Condition: Medical Stories

Concerned about possible Munchausen by Proxy

Posted In: Medical Stories 1 Replies
  • Posted By: Laurelann
  • October 9, 2010
  • 02:35 AM

I am worried. A member of my family has a 2 month old baby. She became pregnant because she stopped taking birth control because she was positive she wasn't ovulating. :confused: She has a history of mental issues; I believe she's BPD. Her life is full of drama and self defeating behavior, and it's always someone else's fault. She's famous for her attention-seeking behavior (e.g., intentional overdose of tranquilizers during a party at which point the party ceased and she was rushed to the hospital).

Anyway, she called me a few nights ago. She rarely calls, maybe twice a year if that. She said "I just want you to know that the baby is in the hospital. He stopped breathing...diarrhea and vomiting...etc." But in her story, she said when she noticed the baby wasn't breathing, she went to get the thermometer and then took his temperature. It just didn't add up, so I started to think this is more embellished drama. Unfortunately she is a few hours away so I can't just be around frequently. The doctors kept the baby overnight and did a bunch of tests....nothing was found. But what she told me is that the dr's said she had "an ALTE situation", with no cause determiuned. The baby had diarhhea and vomiting and supposed trouble breathing. But they released the baby to go home, without a monitor.

Out of the blue a few hours after this conversation, I got hit with a horrible feeling. I am afraid. The mother has always been "disturbed" and the thought that hit me was Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. I have no idea where the thought came from, but I have it and it's strong. Then she called me again today to tell me more about the medical incident. She's telling everyone and getting a lot of attention for it. I understand that, but for some reason, can't shake suspicions.

I can't really tell anyone in the family about this. I have no evidence and I could be completely off base. They do not like to accept abnormalities in the family...nothing is discussed and there is denial about 'issues'. So I can't talk to anyone about it...it will just get me booted out of the family. And I don't want to accuse her; I just want someone who is closer to keep an eye on things with this possibility in mind. She really is kind of 'crazy' and always needs to be the one the world revolves around. And the husband is still in the stage of believing the drama and injustices she experiences, so he wouldn't ever believe she might do something to hurt the baby.

I don't know why I am posting this. I keep trying to tell myself that the sudden feeling I got was just a crazy whim. But I can't shake it. I hope this feeling was just a bizarre random thought. I can't think of anything to do to confirm that it was just a strange unexplained medical incident. But I'm afraid for the baby and just needed to tell someone about my concern.

I guess MSBP people do multiple incidents over time, vs one single act. I guess all I can do is keep track from a distance. I am dying to talk to someone in the family about this, but they'll just think I'm nuts.

Of course there's a 99% possibility that my imagine is working overtime. But then why am I having this feeling that more is going on here? I really am concerned.

Thanks for reading.

Reply Flag this Discussion

1 Replies:

  • I am worried. A member of my family has a 2 month old baby. She became pregnant because she stopped taking birth control because she was positive she wasn't ovulating. :confused: She has a history of mental issues; I believe she's BPD. Her life is full of drama and self defeating behavior, and it's always someone else's fault. She's famous for her attention-seeking behavior (e.g., intentional overdose of tranquilizers during a party at which point the party ceased and she was rushed to the hospital). Anyway, she called me a few nights ago. She rarely calls, maybe twice a year if that. She said "I just want you to know that the baby is in the hospital. He stopped breathing...diarrhea and vomiting...etc." But in her story, she said when she noticed the baby wasn't breathing, she went to get the thermometer and then took his temperature. It just didn't add up, so I started to think this is more embellished drama. Unfortunately she is a few hours away so I can't just be around frequently. The doctors kept the baby overnight and did a bunch of tests....nothing was found. But what she told me is that the dr's said she had "an ALTE situation", with no cause determiuned. The baby had diarhhea and vomiting and supposed trouble breathing. But they released the baby to go home, without a monitor. Out of the blue a few hours after this conversation, I got hit with a horrible feeling. I am afraid. The mother has always been "disturbed" and the thought that hit me was Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. I have no idea where the thought came from, but I have it and it's strong. Then she called me again today to tell me more about the medical incident. She's telling everyone and getting a lot of attention for it. I understand that, but for some reason, can't shake suspicions. I can't really tell anyone in the family about this. I have no evidence and I could be completely off base. They do not like to accept abnormalities in the family...nothing is discussed and there is denial about 'issues'. So I can't talk to anyone about it...it will just get me booted out of the family. And I don't want to accuse her; I just want someone who is closer to keep an eye on things with this possibility in mind. She really is kind of 'crazy' and always needs to be the one the world revolves around. And the husband is still in the stage of believing the drama and injustices she experiences, so he wouldn't ever believe she might do something to hurt the baby. I don't know why I am posting this. I keep trying to tell myself that the sudden feeling I got was just a crazy whim. But I can't shake it. I hope this feeling was just a bizarre random thought. I can't think of anything to do to confirm that it was just a strange unexplained medical incident. But I'm afraid for the baby and just needed to tell someone about my concern. I guess MSBP people do multiple incidents over time, vs one single act. I guess all I can do is keep track from a distance. I am dying to talk to someone in the family about this, but they'll just think I'm nuts. Of course there's a 99% possibility that my imagine is working overtime. But then why am I having this feeling that more is going on here? I really am concerned. Thanks for reading.I wouldn't discount your suspicion. If her baby has been hospitalized frequently and doctors cannot come up with a diagnosis, MSBP is a real possibility. However, since the two of you aren't close (geographically or otherwise) this baby may have been hospitalized several times without you knowing about it. Is there anyone you can contact to find out if the baby's OK now? Perhaps just ask casually, sort of "I heard so-and-so's baby was in the hospital. How's the little tyke doing now?" If it turns out that the baby's "mystery" illness continues, you may want to contact the local child protection services. In the area where I live, they investigate situations like this without revealing the name of the person who reported the problem. In fact, you probably could contact them anonymously. I work in family law, and I know that child protective services in my area are very aggressive when there's a suspicion of child endangerment. No one in your family needs to know. Good luck!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 12, 2011
    • 04:26 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.