I feel horrible for even having to think this type of stuff, but I believe, as does my husband, that my best friend is suffering from Munchausen and MSBP. THis is so sensitive as we are also business partners. I really do like her and she has lots of good qualities, but her bad ones, well....they are quite horrific.
Let me give a little background. When she was little she suffered severe physical, sexual and emotional abuse at the hands of her mother, but was "rescued" and raised by her alcoholic OCD step mom and verbally abusive father. SHe got pregnant at 17 and then God got a hold of her life, she married the guy and well, eventually met me.
She is now divorced and has two kids. She's 26 and her boys are 4 and 7. She's very much a control freak, I mean I am some too, but hers is out of control and her temper when that control is lost is scary. She's also in the medical field, specifically dealing with pregnant women. But she has a huge problem with authority, especially doctors who she thinks are stupid. She also displays other attention seeking and drama making behavior and lying/exxageration.
Classic background for a Muncher.
The issue is that all three of them have had multiple life threatening, off the charts rare, totally unrelated to each other illnesses.
I know one was a real sickness, her youngest boy was born with a heart valve defect. It was fixed before he was two and there have been no problems with that since. About that time, the oldest had some sort of uber rare infection that required him to be hospitalized and they had to give him this super rare medicine that can only be given 4 times in a lifetime and they had to give it to him 3 times! (I'm relating what she told me). No problems with that since.
When I first met her, most of the drama from her boy being sick had started to wane, then she took sick. Constant sinus infections, arthritis (at 25?), one lady problem after another, fibromyalgia, insomnia, etc, etc. She still worked and played and lived her very active life, because "praise God, he give me strength!" She only couldn't get out of bed on days that she had nothing planned or in the middle of the night. She had tons of other drama that she was manufacturing at the time, but I paid it no head because she was doing good work in our business venture, did fine at her job, and her boys seemed happy.
Then, people stopped feeling as sorry for her about her illnesses. SHe wasn't really doing anything to make herself better, and she kept saying it was no big deal, "God would get her through." So we stopped feeling sorry for her.
And that's when the boys started getting ill again. Or saying the boys were ill. First the youngest, "started holding his breath when he was mad, and he's too old for that now. So something must be wrong neurologically." She started to ave lots of tests and doctor's appointments, but then that stopped suddenly when the older boy started having stomach pains and diarhea. I suggested he had a food allergy (their diet is terrible despite her insistance otherwise). She goes all the way and is convinced its crones (in her defense, the kids father has crones). Massive specialists. Colonoscopies, steroids, stool samples, 20 pounds of lost weight (supposedly), trips to the ER all the time. Many melodramtic messages to me and my parents about how she's not sure she can take this anymore, but that God will give her strength.
But, I spend a couple days a week babysitting these boys. And so does their dad. They are never sick for us, though we keep checking in on him. She'll say that's because he's fine for a couple days then has a bad day. But you would think, statistically that he would at least have one bad day when she has something she wants to do or that someone else is watching them.
Two weeks ago the older boy was having some serious cat allergy problems at my house. I've known for a while that he was allergic, but today was a little worse because I needed to vacuum and dust... So I emntioned it to her and gave him some allergy medicine and he seemed a little better.
She called me a day later and said that she was taking him to the ER because his throat was swollen up and he couldn't breath. I calmed her down and conivinced her to take him to the doctor instead. (I could hear him talking in the background...) The doctor said, yes it's an allergy. Please don't over exaggerate... then she stormed out and called to tell me that she was never going back their because the doctor was so rude. She called an allergy specialist. had a full scratch panel run on him and told me that her son would die if he was around cats. Still dropped them off at my house for babysitting...
Lat week, she had to take some stool samples. She had all week to do it. Then she does it on thursday night (the night before the big holiday weekend and everything is going to be closed) when we were there. Makes a big to do about it and then freaks out because she found blood in his stools. And oh no, the proctitis didn't heal and its spread further up and now he'll need to have surgery because his colon is torn.
But she couldn't turn in that stool sample and it turned bad.
Anyway... That's the basics. I could say more. My whole family is getting a little burnt out, and my husband and I, because we spend more time with them, are becoming concerned about the boys.
Accusing someone of MSBP is pretty serious. It's child abuse and her children would get taken away. If I am wrong... And it would most likely be the end of a mostly great friendship and business partnership.
Is there anyone else that I can alert? She won't tell me the doctor's name... (control) and goes to a lot of different specialists for the boys. Can we do an intervention? I am just at a loss. Can't take much more of it.