Thursday, April 24, 2008

In Sickness and in Health



I got a call from my cousin today. Her four-year-old is in the hospital, suffering from pneumonia. She feels like a loser because she didn't take him to the doctor until his illness was full-blown. I don't think she's a loser. I think she has the Opposite of Munchhausen Syndrome by Proxy. OOMSbypy for short.

Munchhausen Syndrome by Proxy is no laughing matter. It is a syndrome whereby caregivers inflict or invent illnesses so their children can get attention from medical personnel and the caregivers can get some weird jollies from the attention. It is a real mental illness sometimes associated with histrionic personality disorder.

Have you ever hauled your kid all of the way to the doctor so he could be treated for an invisible ear infection? What about viral infection that you could have sworn was bacterial? I've hauled my kid. It's annoying. It wastes gas and time, and makes me feel stupid. Hence, OOMSbypy. I avoid thinking there is anything seriously wrong with my children.

Does your ear hurt? Let's put a warm cloth on it and dose you up with ibuprofen. Croupy cough? Go outside at night. Weird rash? Hydrocortisone should take care of it. Did you hurt your leg, honey? We'll know if it's broken if you wake up in the middle of the night screaming.

I submit that the more kids you have, the more likely you are to have OOMSbypy. Let's not call it neglect, okay? The great thing about OOMSbypy is that when you call the pediatrician, the office knows you are serious. They'll see you right away. No time wasted, no feeling stupid. Just one sick kid who will be feeling better soon, hopefully without the aid of IV medication.

24 comments:

Paige said...

Yeah, you are good. My friend has this disease too and her daughter's lungs are now scarred from pneumonia, and she's emotionally scarred from the neglect, still awaiting the visit from social services. Broken limbs definitely have to wait overnight, or just the OK from Grandma to go in.

diane said...

I have it. My daughter had a double ear infection and I didn't take her in until one ruptured and she had the bloody goo coming out...well, she is 15. I thought she was too old. At least now we know she'll do well during child birth.

Denae (a.k.a. D-dawg) said...

I am a huge believer in waiting. Remember when Lexi had smelly green puss coming out of her ear for a few days? Thanks again for letting me know it wasn't just wax.

Also, my kids all get croup pretty bad and we go outside and it works. No need to drive anywhere.

Hollyween said...

My mom had that ooms-thingy. My precious purple CTR ring nearly had to be sawed off because she didn't believe me when I said my finger was broken. It took my finger swelling up and me crying in agony saying that the ice wasn't working for two days before she finally took me in. I wore a cast up to my elbow for six weeks. I don't think they do that anymore.

Jenibelle said...

It's nice to know that I am not alone in the neglect department. I yelled at Jeff to suck it up once at a ball game, turned out his collar bone was cracked, same thing with Lauren's broken arm, Mitch's ankle & wrist, Rachels shattered knee cap and Scotty's double ear infection and broken ankle. You'd think I'd learn huh? Now that I realize this, someone had better call CPS for my kids health!

tAnYeTTa said...

I use Tussin for everything! ;)

gab said...

Sam broke his femur two weeks after Jake was in the ER for a broken collarbone. Those social workers were ALL over me.

Lauren said...

Oh, I hear you on this one!

My first child was rushed to the doctor every time he sniffled.


I lightened up on the second child.


My third would probably be better cared for if he were raised by wolves.

Christie said...

I think we all have OOMSBY. I ignore fevers, coughs, some rashes, and any complaints for several days. I've just taken them in way too many times where it was nothing. A few months ago one of mine was diagnosed with pneumonia. I felt HORRIBLE, but he seemed fine.

Jessica said...

Lauren wins for best comment.

Did you read Shannen's post? She'll appreciate this one today.

Stella said...

I should buy stock in Motrin and Tylenol because I am convinced they heal all!!
You are so right about the pediatrician. They know that when I call it's serious. They know when I'm willing to haul my kids in and I say they are sick it's bad. The last visit landed us in the hospital with none other than Pneumonia!

Kenny and Linsey said...

My right leg looks like I was mauled by a tiger because my Mom was convinced my cuts weren't deep enough for stitches - I'm a little better than she with this, but not much. I always call her first anyway so maybe I'm not as "better" as I thought.

Once, Caleb had Thrush and I called her and she said "it will go away in a couple of days." I then called the Pediatrician, just to be safe, who made me bring him in and then gave us a perscription. After we got back from the doctor my Mom called and said, "by the way, apparently you're supposed to go see a doctor about Thrush these days - just for kicks I looked online and found that some things have changed in the last 25 years." At least she tried to combat her OOMSbypy.

the MomBabe said...

That's me, to a T.

By the time we go to the doctor, there's always something horribly wrong. Oh well.

Besides, sometimes my kids fake sick. it takes me a few days to differentiate between the fakers and the really sick people.

Meanwhile, I hate when you finally go in and they're all "there's nothing we can do, it's VIRAL." Gah, I just want to punch you in the face and take my twenty bucks back.

janelle said...

I have oomsby too. Then when I finally get the one kid to the doctor I sometimes try to slip in another kid or two, have them walk single file past the doc for a quick appraisal on all their blemishes, bumps, and red spots to see if we REALLY have to make an appointment for them too. Must not waste the precious visit.

Nichole said...

I wish my dad had had OOMSbypy. He always tried to overmedicate us under the philosophy "more is more".

My mom was more OOMSby-ish. BTW is it pronounced "oomsbippy"? Just want to know in case I am afflicted with it (I'm already showing signs) when I have my own kids to inflict it on.

Lindsey said...

Oh I HATE that! My first son had around 18 ear infections. So, naturally, I am a little paranoid about my 1 year old. He has had around 12, but I take him in always two days before it is full blown, and they just make me come back when it is full blown. Drives me CRAZY!

Nancy said...

My mom has this... and I think she gave it to me. I walked on a broken foot for a month before seeing a doctor when I was in college.

Nichole said...

Then there was my mission mom who's remedy for everything, bless her soul, was "boiled water and dry toast"! (Said in a New Zealand accent).

the MomBabe said...

"are you bleeding? is a bone sticking out?"

If the answer is no, you're fine.

the MomBabe said...

"are you bleeding? is a bone sticking out?"

If the answer is no, you're fine.

the MomBabe said...

"are you bleeding? is a bone sticking out?"

If the answer is no, you're fine.

Shannan said...

Did you read my post from yesterday about guilt payment? After you have your first born and you get sick of hauling him/her to the dr for every last thing, you learn to handle it for yourself. I'm not proud of this, but I took my first born to the dr for CHAPPED LIPS once. I'm not kidding. Boy I felt stupid when they told me that he wasn't suffering from some weird skin peeling disorder.

Kimberly said...

This is so true, so perfectly expressed. And I confess I giggled a little morbidly over the broken leg waiting for the screaming bit.

I can so see myself thinking that.

It took Emma being doubled up and shrieking before I thought to take her to see a doctor. "Mommeeeeee, my tummy huuuurts!", just doesn't cut it, I guess. Huh.

Hannah's Mom said...

Ah... I feel normal now.

And Lauren - Thank you. I desperately needed a chuckle!