My mother has been doing this for years but I have only recently begun to see the pattern. She loves being in the hospital, to the point that one time she cried and threw a tantrum because she was being discharged when wanted to stay. When she is in the hospital she is the happiest I ever seen her. She doesn't fake the illnesses, rather she creates them, for example, by consuming things that she knows she's allergic to, giving herself asthma attacks, etc.
My question is should I confront her about it and if so, how? I can't prove any of what I'm saying but i can see this pattern going back for at least 30 years.
My mom pulls similar stunts, has my entire life, I just ignore them. I have noticed that it has gotten less frequent because it doesn't produce the attention she desires.
You will never change her, so change how you respond to her.
Based on your profile, she lives in a senior community, so they keep an eye on her already. You're 64 and have a life. Keep living it and don't get sucked into her drama/mental illness. You are not going to change her.
angry. Has she had a consistent doctor for a long while during this behavior? It could help to speak to the doctor. Due to HIPPA law the doctors likely cannot speak to you, but they can listen. Express your concerns to her medical team, in writing.
I know someone who's health (but possibly also anxiety) has led down many rabbit holes for tests/scans/scopes for rare blood/heart/bone/gut disorders, tumours, MS + many others.
Some folk are just like that. They file most everything under *Panic Now!*
File little or nothing under *wait & watch it may be nothing*. Tests offer them reassurance.
There there are some who crave attention - medical attention bringing top shelf attention & interest from professionals. Something within them drives this (Genetic? Environmental? Family upbringing?)
She just got back from a hospital visit 2 days ago. Again no solid diagnosis. But while she was there, she was as happy as I've ever seen her. She always is when she's in the hospital.
That sounds awful, but she just LOVED being in the hospital, having a new ailment and all the accompanying 'stuff'. Probably between 25-30 fairly major surgeries over 50 years. Or more, I wasn't around for a lot of it.
Only when my DH pointed out to me that he'd never seen my mom w/o an appendage being wrapped in an ACE bandage in 20+ years, did it occur to me that she might be playing us.
She 'said' she had constant migraines and the only thing that worked was a shot from the hospital of Demerol and Phenergan. She was up to 2-3 times a week with those. If her dr couldn't get her in, she'd have someone take her to the ER.
She insisted (when you'd get to her place to pick her up) that she had been vomiting nonstop and that the pain was unbearable--but not once did I ever see anything that indicated she'd been vomiting. She'd have one of those little 'wash basins' that the hospital gives you, and it would be not just DRY, but dusty. And as soon as you showed up to take her to the hospital she was chatty and 'normal'.
Finally, after many, many years of this, the hospitals were all kind of in sync with each other and she was denied these shots by ALL the ER's.
I do have to say that once daddy died, she got 'better'. She resented all the attention and time his care required.
Munchausen syndrome: Symptoms, Treatment & Definition (clevelandclinic.org)
I would use this as a guide, and find professional treatment.
She has her own demons to fight, don't let them become yours too.
While she's in there getting attention, focus on yourself! Some of us wish our LO's would go in for a few days...