Woman Seeks Advice On How To Deal With Mother-In-Law Who Refuses To Acknowledge Her Grandson's Life-Threatening Peanut Allergy

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No nuts in this house!!

A mother on Reddit needed some serious advice about dealing with her in laws while trying to keep her kid alive. Reddit had sone thoughts.....

My [F28] MIL won't take my kid's [4] anaphylactic peanut allergy seriously

I've never really seen eye-to-eye with my MIL because she's very strict and old fashioned, she's like this with all of her grandchildren: she'll do things like yell at them for not sitting up straight, elbows on table, etc... I understand that children need discipline, but I prefer a gentler approach with my son. I've asked her many times to not do that, but my husband insists I let it go, so I've tried to.

Until now. My son was officially diagnosed with a life threatening peanut allergy, and we have an epipen for for him. She insists that when she was younger people "didn't have allergies," and if they did they would get rid of them via exposure and that I'm just babying him. I've explained to her that his allergy is very real and potentially deadly.


She has basically scoffed it off and the last time she came to pick him up, she took his epipen/fanny pack from around his waist and threw it on my driveway, saying she's taken him for ice cream many times and nothing has ever happened, and he doesn't "need it" with him. I told him she could no longer take him and brought him inside, she left and called my husband, she cried to him saying I accused her of being an unfit grandmother. Which I admittedly did because my child's safety is my priority and apparently not her's.

Now my husband wants me to apologize to her. He says she would take him to the hospital if he ingested peanuts and that I'm overreacting. I kindly explained to him that epipens save lives because anaphylaxis means your airways are narrowing, your breathing is becoming blocked, etc... and time is OF THE ESSENCE because it happens so quickly.


So, now my stance is... no epipen = no taking my child anywhere.

She's even insisting on taking him to a baseball game, which tends to have a LOT of peanuts, everywhere. I asked that she find a peanut free zone which the stadium does offer, but she once again belittled the idea and insisted he would be fine.


I'm getting really tired of her treatment toward my son, and my husband has always been a Mama's boy who thinks Mama can do no wrong and defends her endlessly. He says he turned out just fine being raised by her and I worry too much.

Would it be awful if I insist she only see him if I'm present? Am I completely unreasonable and overreacting? Is there anything else I can do so that they'll understand the severity or at the very least take some more precautions?

u/Pnutproblemz

Grow up Dad!

Giphy

I'm more concerned about your husband, does this dumbass understand that his kid could die quite easily from this. thetruthyoucanhandle

His blatant immaturity as a man and father. When you marry a woman, your mother takes a backseat. Period. If you're grown enough to start a family, you're grown enough to prioritize that family above all else.

OP, your husband's responsibility became you and your son as soon as he married you. (The whole thing really frustrates me, and I'm sorry that was how things worked out. Alas...) He is married to you–not his mother.

If he's unwilling to make you and your son a bigger priority than his infantile relationship with his mother, then it is your responsibility to fight for your son despite the cost to your "marriage."

Of course, fighting for your son means preserving your son's relationship with his father. That said, your monster-in-law should not be allowed a single unsupervised visit until you are sure she respects you and your wishes as a mother. internetleftovers

"prove she knows better"

Go make your husband read the r/justnomil post about the grandma who nearly killed her granddaughter with food containing allergens because she didn't take the problem seriously. And if that doesn't work, make him read the post about the woman who did kill her granddaughter with coconut oil when the child was allergic to coconuts. And if that doesn't work, demand counseling to sort through why he refuses to back you up when his child's life is on the line, regardless of who's threatening it.

No epi-pen, no unsupervised outings. It really is as simple as that. And frankly, you're being generous: I would make it no outings, period, until Grandma stops gambling with the kid's life just to "prove she knows better" than you and the doctors. mm172

Grow a Pair! 

Your husband needs to grow a bleeding pair. Your son could die if his care is not taken seriously, and even an attack could scar him for life and do serious damage. I'd say, stick to your guns and communicate to your husband he's being a poor father by trying to stay the golden son. GlitterAllie

No Joke.

Allergic reactions are no joke. I am allergic to bee stings and various insect bites. I've never (knock on wood) gone into anaphylactic shock, but I have had a few bad enough reactions to require an ER visit. There is no waiting in the ER when it is an allergic reaction, they take you right away to start treatment immediately. Allergic reactions can go so bad so quickly, you have to take them seriously and take all precautions. Lady_Artemis_1230

Mama's Boy. 

This is exactly his issue, maintaining his status as the perfect son in his Mom's eyes. When I asked him to talk to her about the severity of his allergy, he literally said to me, "Sorry that I love my Mama and I trust her? That's your problem if you don't, I'm not going to talk to her."

Not paraphrasing, word for word. I was jaw dropped. Like, I'm thrilled you love your Mom, but this is our son's life in danger...????

We got in a huge argument after that, which didn't really end in any resolution. I'll try communicating with him further though. Pnutproblemz

Avoid the Suffering! 

Yo, so I have a peanut allergy, and I just wanna provide the perspective that having an anaphylactic reaction really HURTS and I'm pretty sure I have some level of PTSD from the reactions that I had as a child.

I cannot reiterate enough that it is painful. My skin was on fire, headache like I had a knife through both eyes, body pleading for air that I couldn't get. This is more than a "we will have to go to the hospital and have him fixed" problem, this is an "she will cause your child agony" problem.

You're not just protecting him from a clinical list of symptoms and consequences, you're protecting him from suffering needlessly. 5RabbitsInALongCoat

It's NOT you!

Giphy

You're not at all overreacting. Your child's life is more important than whatever your MIL believes. Until she understands how serious and life threatening something like that is, you should be with her. If your husband doesn't understand that it isn't okay for a person with anaphylaxis to always have their epipen on them at all times no matter if they know they're gonna be exposed to peanuts or not then you really need to talk to him.

My brother has anaphylaxis and starts to have visible reactions to even smelling peanuts and his throat will start to be irritated. You get to be protective over his life until they get it. lamestlauren

he is a threat to your child's life.

When she was younger people did have allergies. They just died of them.

She is an unfit grandmother. Your husband needs to decide whether he wants his mother to be happy or his child to be alive.

It would be awful if you let her see him without you present and he died.

Seriously.

Your husband needs to choose between his mother's will and his child's life. And if he chooses his mother, then it turns out you need to choose between your marriage and your child's life.

Start documenting this now. Your mother-in-law's behavior, your husband's insistence that it'll be fine.

Explain to him that you love him, but if you have to choose between him and your son's life then it's your son, and if it does come to that? You're going to need this documentation to ensure that he never, ever gets unsupervised access to your child, because unless he can take a stand against his mother, he is a threat to your child's life. Otherwise_Window

"good old days"

Yeah, this is a logical fallacy I see a lot. "When I was young, nobody had X,"

Or even, "our ancestors never suffered from X, it's our modern lifestyle and all these chemicals..."

Okay, there are some lifestyle-related illnesses (like diabetes). But a lot of the increase in chronic diseases and genetic conditions is because of modern medicine saving babies & kids who wouldn't have survived.

People who are nostalgic for the "good old days" never want to look at stuff like infant mortality. HarrietVane-Jones

Talk all Together....

Giphy

Is there any way you could sit down with both of them and a doctor to explain why it's so important he has it with him? It might be that she's not taking it seriously because it's coming from you as horrible as that sounds. Either way you are not overreacting at all! This is your child's life. The fact your husband is not in agreement with you is worrying. Your MIL might not even take him to the hospital even if he did react because apparently "exposure" is a cure 😩 sofie-l

Tragedy.

I came on here to mention the coconut oil one. Literally can't even read that without crying. It's so sad and so avoidable. Do not let anyone who openly threatens to put your child's life in danger. You are in the right here and trust your instinct. TepidBrush

coconut story initedreamer

"I can't believe you're alive right now."

This! I have a tree nut allergy and was exposed to a near-death level in high school. There is nothing like having a doctor look you in the eyes and say "I can't believe you're alive right now." I had panic attacks, PTSD dreams where I was choking to death, developed a dependence on sleeping pills to avoid the dreams, and developed an eating disorder (including losing about 40 lbs I didn't have to lose) due to the lasting psychological stress from this experience.

I can't even imagine going through all of that as a young child where I didn't understand what was happening. OP, your husband needs to understand that even if your child is exposed and survives, he probably will have lasting psychological damage from such a traumatic experience. Is grandma's stupidity worth it? snookums666

Talk to a Doctor.

Giphy

If you have a regular doctor, it might also be prudent to have your husband educated on what a peanut allergy even is and what the epipen is for/how to use it properly.

Im allergic to many things and had plenty of family and friends think I was being too sensitive despite the asthma attacks I would have in front of them. Thats fine, you cant control their behavior. But what is most concerning to me is the fact that your husband sees this as a non-issue.

Reddit always has two sides of the story and it could've been easy to dismiss your post as FDP if not for the fact your child is LITERALLY PRESCRIBED AN EPIPEN. EmoMixtape

Good Luck. 

I know you've had a lot of great replies, but I just wanted to add my own because I've been there as a kid myself.

When I was a toddler, I had a milk allergy. Not anaphylactic, but I would be sick and have diarrhea for a few days. My parents explained this to my grandparents (dad's side) but Grandma didn't believe in allergies, and so when they came to pick me up later on that day I had a chocolate bar in each hand.

I was, unsurprisingly, sick for days. By the time my brother came along, we were no longer left alone with the grandparents, because my brother had (and still has) an anaphylactic egg allergy for which he has an epipen. They weren't about to let my grandparents near my brother considering how they treated my less serious allergy.

Essentially, your MIL should under no circumstances be left alone with your son, and your husband seriously needs to understand that his actions right now are basically saying "I care more about being a momma's boy than I do about my sons life." Follow the other Redditors suggestions and educate him about anaphylaxis, because until he understands that, frankly your sons life is in danger. Good luck. Little_Numbers

Divorce is no Solution. 

I've heard stories about children dying because grandma didn't take allergies seriously.

I'd never normally advise someone to consider divorce, but when your husband is putting your child's life in danger, I'd say that's an irreconcilable difference. Better a broken family than a dead child. Valuable_K

If they divorce, the father/grandmother will likely have visits with the child and the mother won't be there. It could be even more dangerous, depending on what type of visitation is allowed. no_mo_usernames

Straight Up Fool. 

Your husband is a straight up fool lol. intentions aside, your MIL is actively trying to put his 4 year old kid into life threatening situations on purpose and he's more worried about his big scawwy mommy telling him off?

she is an unfit grandmother, and he is an unfit father. if there's one thing a father is supposed to do, it's to protect their children.

to me, it's as simple as this: they are trying to kill your infant child.

Jesus. r0dents

Protection Above All.

I'm pretty excessively trained in first aid. Allergic reactions like this can cause death in minutes without immediate application of an Epi-pen. Driving to the hospital is not going to be an option 99% of the time. Your MIL is dangerously wrong about this. You aren't overreacting. Do what you have to protect your kid. CretinActual

Cut her Off.

Giphy

Nope, you're not overreacting. You've been more than forgiving, and now she's risking the life of your kid by not believing the diagnosis of a damn medical professional. She can screw right off with that nonsense and so can your husband.

I'm allergic to poultry, but not anaphylactic shock level - even then it comes on QUICK. If I ingest any bird product, within minutes I'm spewing vomit like a possessed demon..... so it won't take long for your kid to suffocate before they even realize what's happening.

No messing around here. You're well within your right to cut her off. Who's to say she won't lie to you, say she'll take it seriously, and then risk his life when you're not around? Take her and husband to the next doctor's appointment and have the doctor explain this if need be. fifthsonata

NO EXCEPTIONS!!!

My youngest daughter was diagnosed with a nut allergy at around 7 years old, she's 16 now. Everyone who came around her, or had any contact with her had to follow my strict rules for food. If she went anywhere with anyone, the epipen went, and all persons were instructed on how to use it.

My MIL actually started watching what she made for family holidays. If anyone refused to abide by my rules, it was NC until they did. NO EXCEPTIONS!!

OP you are not in the wrong here. You do not owe anyone an apology for protecting your child. Captsbunni28

Out of Time.

Giphy

I think your right to stand your ground about and I don't think you have anything to apologize for. This is something that happens very fast, and is very life threatening if you don't act within minutes. Driving to a hospital or having to wait for a ambulance is time wasted. disorder_ce

REDDIT

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