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My wife might be. I need direction.

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My wife might be. I need direction.

Postby Confusedhusbandhelp » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:28 pm

In the back of my mind I have suspected there might be something wrong for a while, but when a close friend suggested out of the blue last night my wife might have Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome, it really got me thinking. A lot of what I have read about it since makes a lot of sense, and I have become worried she might have a very mild case of it. This morning I jotted down the things that came to mind that seemed to relate to what I read:

She has taken the kids to pediatricians, hospitals, naturopaths, chiropractors, neurologists, geneticists, lyme literate MDs, infectious disease doctors, and several other types of specialists in 4 states. Plus she has a doctor in Maine that she has never seen but orders tests for her. Our children have had way more blood, urine, and hair tests done than I can remember. We are on a first name basis with the employees at the lab where we get blood drawn for many of the tests, and they joke about how often we come in. The kids have had MRIs, x-rays, and multiple trips to emergency rooms, sometimes over a cold. Between her medical expenses and the kids' we have spent over $60,000 of our own money over the last 4-5 years. The insurance company has spent hundreds of thousands if not millions.

One time she insisted we take Noah to the ER, the dr checked him out and wanted to release him even though my wife kept insisting he needed IV fluids. She basically refused to leave until they ran more tests. The tests all came back negative, but one test showed he had higher acid levels than normal in his blood. The ER doctor basically said if we really wanted to, he could give my son some IV fluids for the acid level in his blood, but he didn't really think it was necessary. When the doctor left the room she went on her typical rant about how stupid doctors are and they never listen- "Of course he needs fluids." These rants usually include something about how doctors are a part of the big pharmaceutical companies' conspiracy to keep us all sick so they keep making money. If doctors would just listen to her, they could actually heal people instead of pushing pills. She scheduled a follow-up visit with one of the pediatricians in Louisville to get a referral to a specialist. He wasn't any more concerned than the ER doctor. He didn't understand why she needed to see a specialist, but after a lengthy debate, he conceded and gave her a referral to a geneticist at Cincinnati Children's hospital.

She has different doctors that will call in orders for tests whenever she requests. We test for things like toxins, heavy metals, and antibodies in the blood. Pediatricians have told us some of these tests are not really valid because these levels fluctuate so much, and when a level is a little high it is inconclusive. Even though our pediatrician won't order these tests she has found naturopaths and LLMDs that will. Even if the tests come back normal, she will repeat them every couple months to monitor. Some of these tests are very expensive and not covered by insurance. If we get back a test result with an elevated level, she glows, gets really excited and then spends multiple hours researching it on the internet. It seems like it's what she lives for.

She was so determined to find food allergies, but the allergy doctor said he didn't have any. She then found a doctor in Tennesee that ran an igg test for food "sensitivities". The pediatrician and allergy doctor said these tests are unreliable, but she was so excited when the test said he had some sensitivities. She then put both kids on a very restrictive diet with no gluten, soy, dairy, food coloring, or high fructose corn syrup. The pediatrician thought it would be better to have a well-rounded diet. It took me a year to talk her into letting them have a more well-rounded diet again.

She spends probably 10-20 hours a week researching medical stuff on the internet. She is self-employed and has turned down a lot of work over the past year to be able to spend more time researching toxins, neurotransmitters, detox pathways, etc. she says no amount of money is too much to spend on health. She has on multiple occasions suggested we sell a car and move into antrailernor tent so we can spend even more on medical tests and treatments. A lot of times when she orders a test, I will ask, "Even if that test comes back positive, is there even anything that can be done to treat or improve that issue?" Her response is always, "it doesn't matter if nothing can be done. I will know more about our kids' health, and that is what matters."

She talks to the kids all the time about how they are "different" than the other kids because of their medical issues. She uses big medical terms they don't understand to try to explain this to them, and they have started to go along with her on this even though they usually look very confused and ask questions. If I try to get Noah to eat breakfast she will say not to push him because his belly hurts in the mornings from all the chemicals. He will agree with her but then eat pizza or something else she feeds him.

We have bought a sauna to help her and the kids detox, a rife machine, etc. she has taken the kids to use a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. She uses the rife machine regularly on the kids, and she has warned me not to tell doctors about this because they might report us to CPS because of her medical conspiracy theory that the medical/pharmaceutical industry is out to take away anything that heals people that they can't make money from. She says for this reason the FDA will probably ban rife machines soon and that they killed the inventor of the rife machine and destroyed all his equipment. I know she reads this stuff on the internet as part of her medical research, but I have to question it sometimes. For the sake of our marriage I now try to question her as little as possible about these things because she gets so angry when I do. She says I'm acting out of fear and wanting too much to fit into societal norms. She says "I'm done trying to fit into societal norms, and no doctor or anyone else is going to stop me from treating my kids. When are you going to realize we are all sick?". She still blames me for wanting to vaccinate our kids when they were babies because I should have known vaccines are a tool of the pharmaceutical industry to keep us all sick and needing them. She seeks out people who will support her way of thinking. Her dad believes in the medical conspiracy theories, and she is a member of several support groups online for various diseases.

After my daughter got bit by a tick, she found a lyme literate doctor in northern Ohio that ran a test that says our daughter has lyme disease. The pediatrician and infectious disease doctor both said they don't recognize this particular test for diagnosis because it doesn't mean a person has lyme disease. She will rant for a long time about how this test is used in China to diagnose lyme and the fda doesn't let doctors use it because the fda wants everyone sick and they make a lot of money selling drugs to undiagnosed lyme patients... we treated our daughter with a powerful antibiotic used for lyme prescribed by the doctor in Ohio. This antibiotic has bad possible side effects like it could turn her adult teeth gray. We won't know until her adult teeth come in a year or two. When we visited the infectious disease doctor in Indy, she instructed me to not tell her about the LLMD in Ohio because the Infectious disease Dr could report him and get him shutdown. She said the regular doctors like to get the LLMDs shut down because they actually heal people.

She read about how mold can make people sick in a lot of different ways. We had our house tested, and they found some mold. The pediatrician and allergy doctor didn't think it was possible formold to be causing the symptoms she was describing, but she found a lot of people in mold sufferers support groups that did. So, not only did we sell our house and moved, but we got rid of everything we owned. The day we left, we had to shower at my parents house, throw away our clothes, and leave town for 3 days while our cars were being cleaned by a company that uses ozone generators to kill mold. Our friends and family questioned why we would do this saying things like "Don't you know every house has some mold in it?", but we did it anyways. My reasoning was: even though I doubt the mold is making us sick, if there'seven a tiny chance my wife is right then we should move. I don't know if she was right or not, but she has reported feeling much better since we moved.

I came home the other day, and the shower curtain was gone. She said I need to get used to taking showers without a shower curtain, and that we are getting rid of all the kids toys and all plastics in our home. She said the kids will have to learn to play with toys they make out of cotton. She just emailed his 1st grade teacher to tell her Noah will not be doing homework (against my wishes because of course ai think Noah is very capable of doing his homeowrk). She is now saying we need to homeschool him because we don't know what chemicals he might be exposed to that could be making him sicker(i.e. There might be mold in the school basement and air pollution driving downtown)

After all the testing and doctor shopping, the only thing I can say with certainty either of the kids have is Noah's SPD and Apraxia which are neurological disorders he was diagnosed with at the age of 2. Hope might have lyme, but according to the pediatricians and neurologist, she doesn't. Noah got a diagnosis for adhd, but I really question that one. I have tried to be supportive through all this. In my opinion, the kids have not gotten any better as a result of all this. When I point this out to her she says they would be a lot worse off if not for all her interventions, and then she just keeps trying to find new reasons by ordering more tests. I have been I think reasonably supportive up to this point and tried not to confront her much, but now that it is threatening his academic career, I'm worried I might need to do something to more. He is in a great school, and if he gets kicked out for not doing homework, it would be really bad for him. I also don't think she's fit to homeschool, nor do I think that would be a good fit for him. I have tried to explain this gently to her, but, of course, it makes her very angry. From what I have read about Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome, it is highly not recommended to confront someone you suspect having it because their reaction would be so severe. I have no doubt this would be the case. However, I'm also concerned I am protecting/enabling her behavior. I also know she has the best intentions and would never intentionally hurt the kids. She believes anything she does is to help the kids.She is passionate about trying to help them. So, I'm not sure what to do.
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Re: My wife might be. I need direction.

Postby Terry E. » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:06 pm

Okay, I am not going to tell you to relax you have nothing to worry about as it seems like your wife has a hell of a hobby, but I would bet it is not MBP. Just my opinion.

MBP children are genuinely sick, often life threatening and sometimes fatal. The cause so far in every case is a mother poisoning them. If you read some stuff here in varied ways from deliberate triggering allergies, to using illegally obtained nuclear medicine, to introducing feces material, to seriously abusing medications etc. In all cases the children were sick, very sick.

In every case I have seen the women had a strange relationship with the husband. Sometimes trying to gain attention, other times they were separated disliked or hated. But I guess that runs the gamut of many relationships.

In cases where I have discussed this with victims the mother was abusive to the children. Publicly a martyr but privately cold and or abusive mentally and or mentally and physically. That is just in the maybe 10 cases I have actually met MBP survivors.

In all cases I have seen they LOVE doctors / medical / specialists .. I cannot emphasize this enough. when interacting with doctors we report them as "glowing", they never seem as alive as when they are doing this.

They in many cases use the child a proxy for gaining attention often one from specific person.

So unless there is a lot of stuff going on that is not in your post I think MBP is not it. She sounds like a Super Helicopter mum to the max !!!! But have a think about the above, the big key is are they really sick, missing lots of school, underweight, weak, sickly looking etc etc.

One final thing. Almost everything you read in profiling MBP comes from an FBI profile over 20 years ago which was taken from Meadows own definitions 20 years prior to that.
Meadows: "to lose one child is unfortunate, 2 is a coincidence, 3 is murder".

(and yes to call someone MBP is akin to calling someone a pedophile or murderer ... so be careful and tread lightly with the term)

Meadows was a great man who finally called it for what it was. (later attacked by sections of the media/profession/ public). Saved a lot of lives.
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Re: My wife might be. I need direction.

Postby Holodeck » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:50 pm

Seconding what Terry posted. I'm guessing she's more a hypochondriac than MBP if nothing is coming up. Still be cautious if/when trying to intervene. Chances are she won't take it easily being told she has a problem.
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Re: My wife might be. I need direction.

Postby Confusedhusbandhelp » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:58 pm

Thanks for the info. It sounds like she might not be. I recall reading somewhere that some people have milder versions of it. I will seek help from a counselor on how to confront even if it's not munchaussen
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Re: My wife might be. I need direction.

Postby realityhere » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:10 pm

@confusedHH,

FYI-- hypochondriasis/

Hope this helps.
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Re: My wife might be. I need direction.

Postby grandpolly » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:54 pm

In the literature, "mild" MBP refers to deliberate lying or falsification of medical tests. "Severe" MBP is direct induction of illness. The distinction can be somewhat artificial.

The difference between hypochondria by proxy and MBP by proxy is that in hypochondria by proxy, they genuinely believe that the child is ill, while in MBP, they know, in some possibly convoluted way, what there responsibility in lying, falsification or induction of illness really is.

I'm a bit concerned about the medical conspiracy theories, as it seemingly kind of fuels her behaviour through frustration, on one hand. She doesn't seem to love MDs though, so that's kind of reassuring, on the other hand.
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Re: My wife might be. I need direction.

Postby Terry E. » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:00 am

grandpolly wrote:


The difference between hypochondria by proxy and MBP by proxy is that in hypochondria by proxy, they genuinely believe that the child is ill, while in MBP, they know, in some possibly convoluted way, what there responsibility in lying, falsification or induction of illness really is.





sometimes hard to tell until after the fact, but that is basically it.

one more thing

in what I have seen there seems to be a element of narcissism with MBP mothers that shows in other behaviour
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