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Mom Scolded For Calling Daughter’s New Cardiologist Girlfriend After Her Grandmother Was Hospitalized

doctor listening to older woman's heart
FG Trade Latin/Getty Images

In an emergency situation, people may not be on their best behavior, with boundaries or politeness being tossed aside.

When the emergency involves the life of a family member, getting help is what’s foremost in people’s minds.

After a woman responded to a medical emergency with her mother, her son criticized her actions so she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

AcademicThroat1757 asked:

“AITA for calling my daughter’s girlfriend who I’ve met once during an emergency?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“I (50, female) have two kids—Laura (26, female) and Chris (29, male). Laura is an interior designer and Chris is an RN.”

“I met Laura’s girlfriend of 6 months (Heather—28, female) in person around two weeks ago at a family gathering.”

“Heather was absolutely delightful.”

“She was polite, charming, kind, and she obviously had heart eyes around Laura, so we all immediately got to like her. She also hit it off with my mother (Ruth—75, female) really well.”

“My mom got sick the other day. She was breathless, pale, and kept saying her chest was hurting.

“Heather is training to be a cardiologist—she is already a doctor, in her residency. So after calling the ambulance, she was the first person I called.”

“She came to the hospital with Laura, helped us throughout the whole process, and only left after everything was sorted out and mom was well.”

“Chris was pretty mad at me for calling Heather because he said meeting a person once isn’t an indication to call them during an emergency.”

“He said I should apologise for disturbing Heather or get her a thank you gift or something—which I certainly will. He told me I had crossed a line, and I should have called him first instead of Heather.”

“I did call him afterwards—10 minutes later, max. My first instinct was to call her because my mom was showing heart attack symptoms, and she is training to be a cardiologist.”

“Was I wrong to call her?”

The OP summed up their situation.

“During an emergency, I called my daughter’s girlfriend, who I had just met.”

“I may be an AH because I don’t have much of a bond with her yet, and I could have at least given my son or daughter a call first instead of her.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors were split as some felt the emergency made the OP not the a**hole (NTA)…

“NTA—You did what you thought was best. I’d certainly get Heather a thank you gift, and proactively apologize just in case she was bothered.” ~ Doormatty

“NTA. You reached out to the most qualified person in an emergency and you’ve heard nothing from Laura or Heather indicating she was uncomfortable.”

“Chris might be used to people asking him for medical opinions and protecting Heather proactively or he might be jealous of Heather’s qualifications.

“I would reach out to Laura and ask if you made Heather uncomfortable, just to be aware of her boundaries in the future, but in this moment of crisis, you did nothing wrong.” ~ karivara

“I think Chris might be upset that his mother’s first call was not to her children but one of their partners. Also, what was Heather really going to do over the phone?”

“The mom is NTA, but I can see why Chris wants to be informed of family emergencies more quickly than non-family. Laura, too, might have wanted to know before her partner did.”

“I personally think it’s a little strange she called someone she’s met once before she called either of her children, but panic leads to strange decisions.” ~ GullibleWineBar

“NTA, cardiologist trumps a nurse in this case. Yes, it would have been better to call Laura and ask her to bring Heather, but in an emergency, your brain doesn’t always function rationally. I get that. Glad your mother is feeling better.” ~ BeautifulPhantom1

“NTA—you were in a stressful situation, wanting help for your mom. So, of course, your mind is going to go straight to the person you think could help you.”

“Chris is just upset he wasn’t called first and might assume he knows more on the subject than what someone training to be a cardiologist would.”

“Anyway, just get her a nice gift, thank her, and tell her how great she will be in the profession with how she handled this since the patient /family side is a hard thing to learn.” ~ shadow-foxe

…and some saw no a**holes here (NAH)…

“NAH. But it’s a bit odd to call her directly when you don’t really know her, and without knowing what you asked it may have been somewhat inappropriate to put her in the spot if she thought you were asking for free medical advice.”

“It would have made more sense to call your daughter and ask her to ask Heather if she would mind coming to the hospital to help put your mind at rest.” ~ Little_Tangerine_101

“NAH. It sounds like you were panicking, and your brain jumped onto the nearest apparently logical person.”

“You should speak to Heather and apologize for putting that kind of pressure on her, but I can’t call anyone who went through that kind of scare an a**hole.” ~ Blobfish_Blues

“NAH. You panicked, it wasn’t like you intentionally cut him out, but Chris is your son, and you SHOULD tell family before calling for a medical professional to comfort you, which is entirely what calling Heather was—the ambulance was on its way, and Heather wasn’t next door so would always have had to meet you at the hospital.”

“And he’s right, you put Heather in a no-win situation where she felt obligated to give you medical help—in doing so you also put her in a position that might reasonably cause an ethical breach that could threaten her license, as you are too close to her via your daughter, so while I’m betting she took steps to avoid an ethical breach she still does deserve a thank you gift.” ~ NavigatorBlack1

…while others said the emergency explained why OP did it but didn’t excuse her from being the a**hole (YTA).

“YTA. Even though she is a doctor, she’s not your family’s doctor, nor have you established an actual relationship with her.”

“She may have felt in a position where she couldn’t say no since she’s still new to your family. Give her a gift to apologize and make a genuine effort to know her outside her profession.” ~ SnooGoats4412

“YTA. I’d listen to your son. He knows you, and you may have a tendency to be presumptious.”

“You should have at least called your daughter first. You may have placed the Gf in an awkward position to say no. You don’t know what her schedule and obligations are.”

“I’m not even sure why you have her phone number if you just met her. You should let your daughter be your guide regarding how close she wants you to be. You may love her, but what if your daughter doesn’t?”

“That being said, it’s not a big deal; just don’t make it a habit because it is rude.” ~ Dismal_Additions

“I’m sorry—it’s a really weird thing to do. REALLY WEIRD. You’re definitely one of those people who vortexes people into your anxiety.”

“It is your daughter’s job to decide if she NEEDS Heather there. Let’s lay it out.”

“What if your daughter just wanted to be w family for a traumatic event? What if her and Heather have been on the rocks, in the future, and your vortexing puts them over the edge?”

“Listen—if they were together for 10 yrs and you two had become bffs by that point… MAYBE then. But as it stands, you crossed the line BIG TIME. You had innocent intentions. But… do better.”

“That’s for sure. I’d be mad at you, if I was your kid.” ~ Moose-A-Ka

“YTA. You reached out to your daughter’s girlfriend, whom you met once, about medical advice.”

“I’m a veterinarian. People reach out all the time over Facebook, instagram, text message, Facebook messenger and literally every other form of social medial asking me for vet advice. Some of these people I haven’t seen in over a decade.”

“You all sit there and say ‘it was an emergency, it’s OK’. They have emergency doctors for a reason.”

“From what I read, Heather is in a residency program. Residency programs usually have long hours with below-average pay.”

“Heather probably felt obligated to be there for you because it would probably make her look like a PoS if your potential future DIL weren’t there for you. She then was probably afraid to speak up and tell you that she couldn’t be there.”

“When I tell people I can’t help them, they usually yell at me on the phone, and most of the time those people are strangers. How would you have reacted if she said she was busy or that it was her day off and she was unavailable?”

“Chris is probably reaching out too, based on his own experience with the medical field. Apologize profusely and never do it again unless she’s OK with it.”

“For all of you saying that asking xyz to be there because they’re a medical expert is OK are clearly people that have never been put into this position.” ~ NoAnt5675

The OP added in an update:

“I talked to Laura and she said Heather didn’t mind the whole thing at all and was happy to help.”

“She also said Heather was glad she was already being treated as part of the family. I will 100% get her a thank you gift.”

Ultimately, only her daughter’s girlfriend can say if calling her was inappropriate.

But the OP’s son can certainly voice his opinion on not being the person who was called first.

Whether apologies are given will be for the OP to decide.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.