We’ve all known someone who has a pattern of overreacting when they get hurt or sick.
From lying on the couch all week with a stomachache or crying for hours over a small cut, they have a way of making a scene.
When we marry someone like this, we have to figure out how to navigate that pattern, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor No_Picture2914 did what they could to care for their wife after she rolled her ankle on the front porch.
But when she and her mother were furious for not going straight to the emergency room (ER), the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they should have just taken the leap.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to take my wife to the emergency room?”
The OP’s wife rolled her ankle while leaving the house.
“My wife and I were leaving the house yesterday when she missed a step on our porch and rolled her ankle.”
“She started crying and I picked her up and took her inside.”
“When I got her on the couch, I looked at her ankle. Now I am not a doctor, but I broke my ankle playing basketball in high school and have had a weak ankle ever since.”
“I have sprained it more times than I can count and have had countless team doctors check it out, and I know all the tests and treatments.”
The OP did what they could to care for their wife at home.
“First, I elevated her leg, put some ice on it, and waited.”
“After 30 minutes, it had not swollen at all, and she was able to rotate her ankle with little to no pain.”
“Then I stood her up and got her to put as much weight as she could on it. She was able to put all her weight on it.”
“Then I asked her to try and walk on it, and she was able to do so with very little pain.”
“I told her that everything looked good and it was just a minor sprain.”
“I put an ankle brace on, then elevated it, and put the ice pack back on. I gave her some Tylenol and told her to rest and stay off of it and it would probably be sore for the next few days, but she would be fine.”
“After a couple of hours, she said she felt fine and wanted to go to her parents’ house down the block and left.”
The OP was worried about their mother-in-law’s involvement.
“As she left, I realized a huge problem. Her mom is one of those people who turn every little injury or illness into the biggest deal in the world.”
“My wife feeds into this and gets paranoid about things, so I knew that when she came home, her ankle was going to be practically falling off according to her mom.”
The OP had an argument with their wife about the ankle.
“An hour later, she came home and said her ankle hurt worse and she needed to go to the ER.”
“Her mom thought it was broken and she was going to get blood poisoning or something if she didn’t go.”
“I checked it again and there were no changes. No swelling, no bruising, full mobility.”
“I tried to convince her gently that there was no chance it was broken, as she was able to walk on it fine, and I personally knew how bad a broken ankle looks.”
“She still demanded to go to the hospital.”
“I tried to compromise and told her to let it rest, and if she still thought it was broken in the morning, I would take her to urgent care.”
“Still no. I tried explaining that the doctors were going to take one look at it, tell her to follow RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) like we have been doing, and go home.”
The couple disagreed about going to the ER.
“Finally, I just told her that I was not going to take her to the ER.”
“It was 10 o’clock at night and I wasn’t going to spend my entire night in the waiting room and spend 300$ just because her mom had convinced her she was worse off than she really was again.”
“I told her that she is an adult and can make her own decisions, but I wouldn’t be going with her.”
“She ended up calling her mom and I went to bed.”
“Today she isn’t talking to me but she doesn’t have a cast on and is walking around, so I’m assuming exactly what I said would happen, happened.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some agreed with the OP and said the ER is for emergencies.
“NTA, this is appropriate triage. Urgent Care in the morning, and/or referral to orthopedic to get an x-ray, but ER is for EMERGENCY care, and a hurt ankle you can walk on is probably not an emergency, even if it is broken.”
“(If you can’t feel a pulse in the foot or it’s swelling huge and purple then you have something worse than a normally broken ankle and need attention.)”
“Leave the ER for the true emergencies, particularly when there’s a lot of people positive with the virus in there.” – AModel3Owner
“ERs are for emergencies like the name suggests. This wasn’t an emergency and at best case, if the swelling doesn’t go do an urgent care visit or primary care visit.” – Material_Cellist4133
“ERs should definitely be reserved for emergencies, but how that affects the body depends on the emergency. And people who can bring themselves absolutely don’t need to tie up an ambulance.”
“I once got a cat bite on my little finger (long story involving my cat being chased by a dog, my cat was fine) around 8 pm. By 11 pm I knew it was infected, but urgent cares were closed. I decided that it wasn’t going to kill me before 8 am so I went to bed.”
“The next morning I went to urgent care who sent me to the stand-alone ER who sent me to the hospital where I was admitted for three days on IV antibiotics. Because I had a very small wound on my pinky finger.”
“I felt 100% fine, but without emergency care, I would have died. As a side note, my cat had a lovely weekend visiting with the friends we had driven four hours to see. Without me.” – Yocat9887
“People like the MIL (Mother-in-Law) need to stop clogging up emergency departments with this nonsense. If it isn’t swollen, it isn’t an injury. It’s just an ouchie.” – WholeCollection6454
“NTA. Basic first aid can be performed at home and waiting until morning is perfectly reasonable. Save the ER resources for actual emergencies.” – zoe_zoe2
Others took issue with the mother-in-law.
“I hate to stereotype but 10/10 OP’s MIL is the person who goes to urgent care for a mosquito bite, constipation, foot blisters from shoes, bad breath, a sunburn that made it uncomfortable to sleep (so the solution obviously was to go wake the doctor at 3 am) or a swollen ‘fresh’ piercing, all of which my mum has seen at some point when she’s been on urgent care duty. That isn’t urgent people!”
“All of this was pre-pandemic, so I don’t know if people have wised up or not because most of that crap happened to people holidaying in the area where the surgery my mum works in is at and obviously these last two years not many people have been allowed to go to their summer homes/camps.” – Medicine-and-Cats
“Why didn’t her mother take her if she was so certain it was broken? Sounds like mom just wanted to stir up drama at someone else’s time and expense.” – delta-TL
“OP’s treatment plan was solid, but his logic was flawed. ‘I broke my ankle once, so I know what a broken ankle looks like.'”
“No, he knows what his broken ankle looked like. Breaks aren’t always visible to the naked eye and don’t always involve visible swelling or bruising.”
“Everyone here sounds insufferable. Mom makes blood poisoning out of a twisted ankle. The wife has no will of her own and follows uncritically where she’s led.”
“And OP is so certain he’s right that he’s obnoxious about it even when he’s making the right call.” – HoundstoothReader
“I do have one question OP. Did you specifically ask her, ‘Is this you speaking or your mother?'”
“You’ll get some flack for it, I do every time I give my wife a little reminder that she’s turning into her mother (and she hates the idea of that!).”
“However, this could have been a good opportunity to show her that she needs to start using her own brain and not repeating her mother’s nonsense.” – Hilthor
While the OP felt guilty for how their wife was taking this essentially as a form of rejection, the subReddit thought they had done the right thing.
They were careful to take care of their wife at home and were prepared to take her to the ER the next morning if needed. She was only upset because she didn’t go on the trip she thought she needed.