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Dad Outraged After New Wife Takes Lethargic Stepson To Doctor Without His Permission

A doctor talks with a young boy and his mom
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/GettyImages

Nobody likes going to the doctor, really.

It isn’t exactly what any of us would classify as a fun time.

But it is sometimes a necessity.

A visit for a child, though, can come with extra complications.

Especially with the adults involved not on the same page.

Case in point…

Redditor throwaway9183928283 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for taking my stepson to see the doctor without my husband’s permission?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I (25 F[emale]) live with my husband (29 M[ale]) and my stepson (7 M).”

“My husband has full custody of my stepson, Riley.”

“Riley has always been a late bloomer.”

“When I started dating my husband, Riley was five, and he still took naps even though most children grow out of them by then.”

“When he turned six, he stopped needing naps during the day except when he was sick or did a lot of physical activity.”

“Riley also has A[ttention]-d[eficit]/h[yperactivity] d[isorder] (so do I), so I know the hyperactivity can tire children out sometimes.”

“A few weeks ago, Riley started taking naps again for around an hour a day.”

“He also began falling asleep on car rides.”

“The length of time he napped kept increasing, and he now naps for 3 hours a day, meaning that he’s asleep for 13-14 hours a day.”

“I usually pick him up from school, and his teacher tells me that he’s exhausted and yawning the whole day.”

“I became extremely concerned, and I told my husband that Riley needed to see a doctor, but he didn’t think it was serious.”

“He thought that Riley was sleeping more because he was growing, but I was still worried.”

“I admittedly don’t know much about children as I’m the youngest on both sides of my family.”

“But I spoke to my parents and my in-laws and searched online, and they all said it was weird.”

“My in-laws did mention that my husband slept a lot as a child but not to the extent that my stepson does.”

“My husband still didn’t want to take Riley to see the doctor.”

“I decided to make an appointment for Riley anyway, and he saw the doctor yesterday.”

“The doctor was very concerned, and he arranged a blood test for next week.”

“And he also gave me a list of foods to cook for Riley to improve his energy levels.”

“When I told my husband, he was pissed off that I had gone behind his back about his son’s healthcare.”

“He wants me to apologize, but I believe I was acting in Riley’s best interest.”

“Most people I’ve spoken to have said that I was wrong because Riley isn’t my son, but I would like Reddit’s opinion.”

The OP was left to wonder.

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA. Even the doctor is concerned.”

“This could be something serious.”

“Your husband should be thrilled that you care so much about his child.” ~ Wonderful-Lie-650

“When my youngest nephew was two, his parents brought him to his pediatrician two days in a row with symptoms that I could have diagnosed as diabetes if I had known that children that young could get it.”

“And the pediatrician sent him home undiagnosed and untreated.”

“The next night, his parents brought him to the emergency room.”

“His blood glucose was over 600.”

“The doctor said that if they hadn’t brought him in, he wouldn’t have survived until morning. NTA.” ~ Beneficial-Year-one

“OP, I hope you see this.”

“It’s cheap and easy to go get a diabetic test kit from any pharmacy or Walmart.”

“Test the kid yourself for diabetes instead of waiting a week.”

“Pick his finger 1st thing in the morning, after he eats, and an hour later.”

“If it’s over about 120, take him to the E[mergency] R[oom].” ~ Brilliant_Lopsided

“Or anemia. I found out I had anemia when I started napping.”

“I never napped. Even as a child, I struggled.”

“But one day, I was just so exhausted I fell asleep.”

“I kept on getting more and more exhausted and went to the doctors, and now I have to take tablets and get shots.”

“OP definitely did the right thing.” ~ Millie1419

“I have both, and the Venn diagram for the medications for treatment is practically a circle with only a couple of differences.”

“I developed narcolepsy as a kid and got a lot of blood tests for a few years to figure out why I was sleeping so much.”

“Most people don’t realize that often narcolepsy is something you develop and not something you’re born with.”

“Also, it is more common for someone with ADHD to develop narcolepsy than a neurotypical person (there was a study of it, I think in Japan).”

“If the blood tests come back clear, try asking the pediatrician for a sleep study.” ~ Global_Principle956

“OP: And even if the doctor wasn’t concerned, you’re around this kid all the time and noticed a significant change and sought medical advice, which is exactly what you should do.”

“It wouldn’t make your decision the wrong thing if the doctor said no big deal.”

“It’s not uncommon at all for parents to be in denial about issues with their kids.”

“But the fact that it’s been pointed out by a doctor that there could be a problem, and your husband’s focus is still on wanting to be right and demanding an apology from you is concerning.”  ~ WishBear19

“I feel like OP should remind their husband that parents do lose their kids for neglecting their medical care.”

“The government doesn’t tolerate that – you are expected to provide it.”

“On the off-chance that the child turned out to have something like cancer (God forbid), and they died.”

“Both parents would be getting seriously questioned about why they never took that kid to a doctor.”

“Like, that’s the kind of thing that could end in jail time.”

“Taking your child to the doctor is not optional. It’s mandatory.”

“Sincerely, a medically neglected kid who, as an adult, is now trying to catch up with many health issues that would not be issued if my parents had taken my health seriously.” ~ lordmwahaha

“Yes! OP is a refreshing change from all of the stepparents writing in that basically want their stepchildren to disappear from their lives.” ~ karenna89

“A lot of stepparents are treated the way OP is, given no authority and reminded of their place if they venture out.”

“It’s a difficult needle to thread and sometimes results in stepparents taking a step back to avoid the pain and hurt of caring but being constantly reminded your opinion and perspective aren’t welcome.”

“Good for OP for putting her stepson ahead of her husband’s awful treatment of her.” ~ firesticks

“NTA. It’s a bit worrying to me that OP recognizes that there’s something wrong. Dad’s not at all interested in taking him to the doctor, so she researches and checks with people who have more parenting experience – and Dad is mad and wants an apology?!”

“I am glad someone has the stepson’s best interests at heart.” ~ BefuddledPolydactyls

“NTA. Although yes, maybe just let your husband in the loop of what’s going on. I feel like you did the right thing.”

“It shows you really care and love him.”

“I’m not sure on why he would be upset at you for taking time out of your day to care for your stepson?” ~ Bruisxdego

“Super dad does not ignore a significant change in a child’s behavior.”

“Super dad does not get angry. The only other parental figure in a child’s life took the child to the doctor.”

“Super dad listens to teachers and caregivers who express concern about changes they see in a child.”

“Especially those who work with many children and understand that these changes are not normal.”

“OP NTA. His Dad is, especially for discounting all of the above.”

“I am sure he loves his son, but getting angry at you for stepping up to the plate and taking him home to the doctor is wrong.” ~ GalianoGirl

“I know accepting help could be hard (as a parent, I truly get it) getting mad is definitely not the right answer.”

“He doesn’t have to be super dad, and he should be lucky he has a partner that cares for his child(ren) instead of neglecting the fact there might be something wrong.”

“All my advice can be is to talk to him and explain that he’s a great dad, and even when it’s tough to accept help, you’re always there for him and his kid and have the best of intentions.”

“Wish you luck xx.” ~ Bruisxdego

“If bio mom isn’t around, all the more reason he should be appreciative that you show this level of concern.”

“You’re showing that you are serious about being a maternal figure, and you are demonstrating that you are a good one. NTA.” ~ AffectionateGolf6032

“NTA. I would be concerned too.”

“The fact that the doctor is concerned shows you are in the right.”

“The question is – why isn’t your husband concerned about his son?” ~ OverRice2524

“NTA. My step-monster wouldn’t have done additional research, let alone taken me for a medical appointment if my life depended on it.”

“Thank you for not being a trash step-parent.”

“They’re sadly becoming the rule and not the exception in my experience.” ~ katehater

Well, OP, Reddit is with you.

You may have started the process of saving your stepson’s life… or at least getting to the bottom of this medical mystery.

You did what you had to, and Reddit respects that.

Your husband will hopefully come around and get everything rolling with his son’s health.

We wish you all luck.