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Factitious Illness

(6 Posts)
onlyadream Sat 08-Nov-14 23:17:27

I am a mother and health care professional.
I had a rectovaginal fistula missed for 2.5 years after bowel surgery that went wrong and was in agony. My daughter was also born with gut disease that was only diagnosed with a definitive diagnosis when she was 10.
The school was concerned that I 'looked like i enjoyed being ill' when in fact I was trying to be cheerful through the hell and pain. This led to suspicion that I had Factitious Illness (and by proxy)

I am really concerned that
medical care esp for women and children is decreasing in this country
that people who are fighting to get a diagnosis for themselves or their children and have a better life are labelled as having FII

I am at a loss however to know what to do
It seems that making a fuss doesn't help - and neither actually does staying calm and doing what you are told
It seems once you are labelled that your care and that of your children will always be effected
It seems that as the medical care worsens the cases are probably increasing - but if you read on 'what do they know' there are several questions in relation to this and it seems that no stats are being kept, no audit is being done and no research on the effects of the allegations on children and their families'. Either this is bad practice or is deliberate. It certainly would not be allowable in any other part of medical practice.

I am interested in hearing from others on their experiences and how they resolved the situation (or didn't)

I don't want to defame or slander anyone but i do think there might be pockets of areas where professionals are making these allegations more than other places so i am happy to receive private messages sharing your experiences. My thoughts as limited as they are are that these pockets are in places where social services aren't submerged with more serious cases of neglect and abuse (i am not talking about real cases of FII. Anyone who has deliberately harmed their child needs serious help and the child more help)

I am also interested in hearing from anyone whose ex partners have made the allegations especially when it was part of wider abuse

Oblomov Mon 17-Nov-14 21:33:31

I just wanted to respond to you op, even though we have exchanged a couple of pm 's.
I have been accused of fii, by ds1's school, disputing his AS diagnosis. It has been the worst thing that has EVER ever happened to me and I doubt I will ever ever get over it.

fredfredsausagehead1 Wed 19-Nov-14 17:22:22

I've always worried about this as I have children with medical problems but surely if they do have problems and you do you have the supporting paperwork?
I have piles and piles of doctor and hospital correspondence, copy it and send it to school? Send yours too then they can't say you're making it up

edamsavestheday Wed 19-Nov-14 23:07:38

I think the issue often arises when parents are seeking a diagnosis - so it's before you have reams of letters confirming an established diagnosis. If something is hard to diagnose, some doctors sometimes assume it does not exist.

Becca19962014 Fri 21-Nov-14 00:11:45

I went through this for over 30 years. When I was diagnosed with physical illness I couldn't cope - I'd finally accepted their view it was 'my fault' and had been undergoing private psychotherapy for several months to find out why I "liked to be liked to be ill". Then found out I was and have struggled immensely since then mentally.

I didn't want a diagnosis, one of my conditions means I lose consiousness a lot (can be hard to diagnose) and I was frightened, it was more about treatment than a label if that makes sense. It took over two decades and many many doctors saying it isn't epilepsy (actually it is a form of epilepsy as well!) so you are fine.

It is scarily common for children as well as adults to be labelled with FII with issues like mine. I'm on a support email group and more often than not first posts are about this. It's really sad.

It stil happens despite paperwork, proof and evidence. Sadly The label stuck.

onlyadream Fri 28-Nov-14 21:49:31

I agree with Becca. I had medical evidence for both me and my child. The gp knew what was going on - i had a stoma! and my daughter's illness had been diagnosed on biopsy of her gut so again could not be debated

BUT the teachers who somehow have more say than my GP thought i enjoyed being ill - how would i enjoy being in severe pain, i was trying to be cheerful. The local child protection doctor took more notice of them than my GP or the GOSH consultant

The school expected letters from the consultant who was on sabbatical and because they could only get them from GP they reported me to SS - because it added to their suspicions. They have no medical knowledge but their letters to SS says things about my daughter like ' and her biopsy was negative of course!!' when in fact it was negative because she was on steroids treating her gut. It is just wrong that people with so little training (in fact this was the school secretary and not even a teacher) are listened to

I will never ever get over it. It has destroyed me and my child as they removed her ' to be safe' and I had a breakdown

I was cleared of course but there was not ONE apology from anyone.

I am finding more and more people in my local area where the local child protection doctor has missed important diagnoses and then blamed the parents.

I remain interested in hearing through private messages from anyone who has been accused because i am keen to find out whether there are pockets especially in my area of Surrey

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