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Teen Stunned When Mom Refuses To Take Them To ER Because She’s Making Brother’s Birthday Meal

Stefania Pelfini, La Waziya Photography / Getty Images

Birthday celebrations are important.

Once a year, you get to celebrate someone you love or get celebrated yourself.

How do you handle it, though, when the celebration takes priority over your own needs?

This was the issue facing Redittor and Original Poster (OP) when they came to the “Am I the A**hole”(AITA) subReddit for clarity.

They asked:

“AITA for being upset at my mom for making my brother’s birthday meal rather than take me to the ER?”

First, some clarity. 

to add more context, yesterday was my brother’s birthday and my mom likes to make my siblings and I meals for our birthday every year.”

“I’m 19 and my brother is 24 and everyone else in my family is over the age of 14.”

Then, the problem.

“I came down with strep throat symptoms two days prior to this (swollen tonsils, white spots in the back of the throat, swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache, fatigue, and trouble swallowing even my own saliva).”

“I had an appointment with an urgent care doctor via telehealth and they said that the swelling to my tonsils was so bad that they wanted me to go to the emergency room to rule out anything more serious than strep throat and to have someone take me to immediately.”

Mom had different plans.

“I went to tell my mom this and she told me that she was going to be making my brother his birthday meal and that I was going to have to wait 4-5 hours for her to be done.”

“This really upset me because everyone in my family had all seen how sick and miserable I had been earlier in the day and the day before that.”

“It felt like she was prioritizing my brother over my health and well-being.”

“I understand that it was his birthday, but if the roles were switched I would have wanted her to take my brother to the ER asap.”

OP was left wondering:

“Am I the asshole here?”

Caught between wanting to celebrate a brother’s birthday and needing to see a doctor, OP came to Reddit for advice.

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 decided: NTA

Some were very direct in their response.


“Her priorities are f*cked.”~ScubaCC

Others were stunned by the mother’s choice.

“NTA. What your mom did is foolish and unacceptable. Swollen tonsils can severely compromise the airway, if not treated properly. I cannot fathom how she can prioritize anything over the health of her child.”~SelfDestructiveAss25


“Wtf is wrong with her, if someone is that sick they are in no condition to drive.”

“I’m sure your brother would have understood if your mom had to delay his birthday meal, health should always be the first priority in a family.”~Kareeenina

A mother even responded with her own perspective. 


“I got a call that my son was being taken to hospital in an ambulance, my daughter-in-law called saying she couldn’t go with him she was very upset, but they have a newborn baby and was advised by the paramedics to not go.”

“So I dropped everything, even my daughter (who I told to make sure was ok first), who has been having some serious issues herself and just started new medications to help with her health.”

“I drove an hour to get to him and stayed with him at the hospital til the early hours of the morning, thankfully he was told he would be ok I took him home got about 3 hours sleep, and went home.”

“Even if I had dinner in the oven it would have been turned off and out the door I would go.”

“So sorry your mum did this, hope you’re feeling better and have gotten the medicine etc to help you get better. Take care”~Empty_Flounder 

There were other personal examples as well.

“I’m disabled and have a compromised immune system. I’ve used the on-call people since Beforetimes.”

“Quite often we’ve had the decision to keep me home instead of going in- and if things change within next 6 hours go straight to ER.”

“But if I’m staying home a message is put into my PCP to see me in next few days.”

“So it does happen to tell someone to stay home and wait. But OPs description was where I wouldn’t even bother with a phone appointment, I’d head straight to be seen.”

“That situation can get bad extremely fast, especially now. But the phone appointments CYA (Cover Your A*s) is usually an ‘if it gets worse quickly go immediately to be seen.’ “ ~CocklesTurnip



“I had similar symptoms once and as a grown adult had to have someone else drive me. The doctor called it kissing tonsils.”

“I had to hold my head and neck a certain way or they touched and I had trouble breathing.”

“It’s dangerous to drive when you are that ill.”

“Health comes before dinner.”

“Sorry if it messes up your brother’s birthday but if he were to begrudge you that needed help, your parents failed in raising him.”

“Hopefully, he’s better than your mom. Who is in fact, an AH.”~angel2hi

There were logistics questions:

NTA. But why couldn’t someone else drive you? You said your brother is 24, so you could have asked him instead.” ~Ok-Culture-1983

OP did return to give some clarity. 

“I asked him and he ignored me :/ my other siblings aren’t old enough to drive and my dad wasn’t home so I had no other options besides my mom taking me.” 

There was a common suggestion:

“NTA- your mom is the a**hole and so is the birthday boy. I guess calling a friend to drop you off wasn’t possible either?”~spaceygracie12

Which prompted OP to return one last time to give a resolution.

“That’s actually what ended up happening.”

“After my mom decided she wasn’t going to take me, I called a couple of close friends and was able to get dropped off!”

“I really didn’t want to have outside people take me because of covid but I had no other choices.”

“I just wanted to make sure how I was feeling about my mom’s decision wasn’t invalid if that makes sense”~CryingCarrots

Birthday celebrations are important.

We must not forget, though, there are things far more important than a birthday.

Remember to always celebrate the people you love—and stick by them when they need you.

Written by Frank Geier

Frank Geier (pronouns he/him) is a nerd and father of three who recently moved to Alabama. He is an avid roleplayer and storyteller occasionally masquerading as a rational human.