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Are we blinded by distrust?

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

So now that we have all of SD's medical records, it is very interesting. If you have been following and are interested in putting your opinion below, it is definitely appreciated. BM has only been taking SD to the doctor since beginning of 2020, prior to that DH was the one taking SD to the doctor. Below is a summary of the visits SD has had since January 2020, I have not altered any of the info just summarized what the pages say about symptoms, exam, etc.

-2/10/20 Visit: sore throat: yes, cough: yes, sleep: normal, no concerns voiced, oral cavity: no note about enlarged tonsils, strep test: negative.

-10/8/20: sore throat: no, cough: no, shortness of breath: no, sleep: no concerns, oral cavity: no note about enlarged tonsils, runny nose: no

-7/19/21: no history of throat infections, no history of difficulty breathing, no interruption of sleep, snoring: yes, sore throat: no, tonsils: 3+, Nasal congestion: no

-8/24/21: ENT #1: recommends tonsil removal due to BM's account of SD snoring, red tonsils, mouth breathing, coughing, and sore throat. SD wakes frequently, has difficulty breathing, stops breathing at night. ENT notes tonsils are 4+. BM says these issues have been going on for a few years.

-9/13/21: ENT #2: severity of enlarged tonsils: moderate, associated manifestations: snoring, nasal congestion, and times where she is unable to swallow. Tonsils: 2+. BM says problem has been going on for 2+ years. ENT recommends removal due to BM's description of SD at night.

-9/14/21: Follow up visit to a bug bite from 9/11/21... SD was absent from school due to BM saying "sick, cold symptoms" from 9/15/21 to 9/20/21 ... BM claims it is due to SD's tonsils, but never took her to the doctor to see if she has an infection or anything. BM sent photo of SD's tonsils which do not look bad at all, a little irritated, yes. Also, her tongue was a bit white, like mine gets when I have a cold. COVID test was done it was negative. So to me, she probably had a cold, but I am not a doctor, nor was I there

-10/11/21: sore throat: no, cough: no, shortness of breath: no, tonsils: 3+, sleep concerns: none, runny nose: no


*I will also add that on 9/14/21, SD's teacher says SD has not complained of her throat hurting, has not had any issues eating, or complained of any pain or sickness of any type.

**9/30/21 SD's teacher tells DH that SD has complained almost every day of her throat hurting and been going to the nurse since our 9/14/21 discussion. SD's teacher said she would request the nurse to send us an email about it. 

***Nurse emails over log, SD went to the nurse the day of her first ENT appointment, the day following her bug bite appointment, then 3 more times after discussing with BM how SD had not complained in school to her teacher or anyone.

****During our end of July - August visitation we had with SD, she did not complain once about her throat or tonsils, we looked at her tonsils and throat several times and there was no irritation or enlargement, etc. We also have been asking SD when we talk to her on the phone if she is feeling okay or if her throat hurts, etc. and the answer is always no.

*****Learned that from 2/20/20 - 10/8/21 that BM has had SD referred to family counseling by the pediatrician, BM also portrays this picture of DH all last year that SD is suffering from being with DH more than BM, how the two houses are different is emotionally damaging SD, etc... Sounds like all last year BM was secretly trying to get even more custody of SD whether legal or physical and get proof via counselors/doctors of this. We had no idea BM was taking her to counseling or anything. Big surprise on the paperwork from these appointments, she left that page out when uploading them to the app.


Also, I want to note that in the files from the doctor's office, BM told the doctor yesterday she is concerned SD has dyslexia sine DH has a history of it. Well this is a complete lie. DH is not at all dyslexic. Funny how in yesterday's conversation BM mentions she worries that SD might be dyslexic, but doesn't make any comment about DH being dyslexic, because she knows he isn't!


Anyway, if anyone read all this and wants to give an objective opinion on if it sounds like SD is struggling as much with tonsil issues or if BM has encouraged SD to say x, y, and z at school to make it seem as though it is more of an issue since DH had pointed out that SD had not been complaining at school about it. Personally, that is my opinion after reading over all the doctor reports that BM doesn't mention any of these symptoms until all of a sudden. It could be possible that SD is now having issues, for sure, but it is hard to know which is the case. Just want us to be able to make what is truely the right decision for SD and not be blinded by BM's usual antics.


CastleJJ's picture

It looks like BM hasn't been very consistent with her documentation and is doing a terrible job proving her point. I'd be curious to know what the number ratings are for the ENT and if that indicates a current problem with inflammation of the tonsils. I hope your DH has medical records from his physician encounters with SD prior to the move to again contradict BM's record keeping that this isn't a problem. It is clear BM is trying to correct herself since you keep calling out her inconsistencies, which is why you see increased documentation proving her point following conversations with her. She is working overtime on a paper trail. Your DH should call the doctor about the "history of dyslexia" to make it clear that he doesn't have it. 

The counseling is interesting and a major red flag. BM is smearing your name to anyone who will listen and if unchecked and uncorrected, will cause problems for your DH in terms of access. You will be fighting therapists, doctors, school officials, etc. just trying to get records on SD, because BM has already spread her narrative to half the town. You will become the controlling ones messing with BM with no custody and others will treat you as such. 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

answered why she could not generate a report of the visit that she claimed SD had because of her tonsils and when re-asked she said she did not remember and would have to look beause she is busy doing appointments for 3 people... Never brought it up again or uploaded anything because she did not take her to the doctor, but had SD stay home from school for 4 days. 

DH emailed back the woman who sent the records over pointing out that it needs to be corrected and if he could point her in the direction he needed to go to get it fixed. DH is also going to give the teacher a heads up in case she also told the teacher this yesterday at the parent teacher conference. 

Yep, BM is definitely doing that and grasping at straws to try and prove her point. Hence why she got mad after the 4th time DH asked for documentation proving it has been an issue before July 2021 and BM said she will have 4 months of consistent docuentation following October visit and that is sufficient enough. Like no, actually it does not work that way.

advice.only2's picture

Not sure if this tracks, but look at how much attention BM is getting from DH right now.  Now that he has access to all the medical and school files it will be interesting to see what new antics BM comes up with since he can essentially cut her out and go straight to the teacher or doctors. 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

I am hoping besides scheduling phone calls with SD there is no reason to talk to BM until SD is about to come to us in December. DH contacted the doctors to correct the dyslexic and is going to mention it to the teacher too so it doesn't go any further. DH wants to message BM and address her incorrect info with her too and it is like we should, but don't want to, just want to shut that door for a while

advice.only2's picture

Why bother correcting her, it's giving her the attention she wants.  Instead he has addressed it with the teachers and the doctor.  If she keeps pushing it he will see it in future communication from the school or the doctor.  He can let them know he may not be present since he lives cross country, but he is by no means an absent father.  If anything I would request to know who the counselor is so he can reach out to them.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

Just figured that if DH tells her in the court approved app then she uses it in the future after being told the info is correct that it will not look good on her to continue to use the lie

tog redux's picture

Personally, I think you have several doctors saying her tonsils are very large and she clearly has a fair number of sore throats. It's unlikely that BM would be able to convince her to complain of a sore throat every day, 5-year-olds are hard to alienate because they get distracted from the plan and ask too many questions.

As for the counseling, lawyers recommend it as a matter of course in order to get the counselor on their side in a custody battle.

I think he should agree to the tonsil surgery and then try not to give anything BM does so much attention in the future. I know that you guys want to be sure she's not getting unnecessary medical care, but it's going to be hard to do from so far away, and if she has symptoms and two doctors recommending it, it's time to give in.  You really risk looking like the high conflict ones. If several doctors and the teacher/nurse are saying she has symptoms and it's time, you guys pointing the finger at BM will not be a good look.  It will give BM lots of ammo to prove how difficult DH is, and the teachers/doctors will agree.  She's not amputating her arm, it's just a tonsillectomy and she will be fine.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

that even though both ENT specialist have recommended it really off of SD's night symptoms at BM's, not really much else, it is two doctors recommending it so we are going to give the go ahead to BM. The reason we have not given BM the go ahead yet after the second opinion is because BM has not brought it back up and has not provided the medical documents from even the last ENT appointment 9/13, we have had to chase all that info down, plus SD's medical history.  

We still do not know if the tonsils are really the issue, but because of two ent recommendations we really can't argue it, even though we were right that there is NO medical documentation of this being a 2-3 year problem like BM says. I think BM has tried to amp up how bad it is, honestly. However, if it helps SD, great. If it doesn't then maybe she should of done the allergy medicine that the doctors also suggested trying.

tog redux's picture

Well, 4+ tonsils are pretty big - so the doctors are seeing that they are enlarged, that would be the biggest proof for me.  And allergy meds won't help with that.

I know he wants to co-parent, but the truth is, at the distance you live, letting most things go is probably the best idea.

But to answer the question in your title, yes, we get blinded by distrust. We found out later that lots of things we assumed BM was lying about were true.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

Has a 1.5 star review and lots of reviews about how badly the tonsil removal surgery went with him. The other doctors note either 2+ or 3+, so that is why we weren't really going by the first ent specialist. 

I get it, but surgery and giving incorrect info to doctors which she just did yesterday does deserve attention and his involvement. I agree some things because of distance he should let go, but education and medical, if he isn't involved in that he might as well just be a part time parent

tog redux's picture

But - he IS a part-time parent. There's nothing else he can be with a non-custodial schedule. Not saying he should stop paying attention, but he should not challenge every decision BM makes. If she ends up getting her tested for an IEP, who cares? It's just a psychological test and if she doesn't qualify, she won't get an IEP. Most schools are fairly strict with special ed services and don't give them out lightly. They start with limited services and work their way up. And honestly, the earlier she gets diagnosed with a learning disorder, the better.

I know this is hard, but try to pretend that BM isn't high-conflict and you don't have to question everything she does. That's how most divorces work best, if the two parents aren't battling over every decision that has to be made but trust each other to make reasonable decisions. You two are going to drive yourselves crazy following around behind BM trying to prove her wrong. (And I know the feeling, I've been there. It's very, very hard to let go of battling a high conflict ex).  Not that he shouldn't pay attention - but not challenge everything.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

challenge every decision by BM, but we really don't. We have challenged her quick jump to SD needing her tonsils removed after we only heard about it for the first time in July 2021 then an ENT recommendation in August 2021 who only hae 1.5 stars, but she never brought it up beforehand. 

We also learned in trying to get access to the medical information that BM was witholding that BM was leaving DH off her medical forms which lead us to find out if she was also leaving him off of school forms too, which she was. So it has been a month of jumping through hoops to get DH access to things that he should already have, but was being boxed out by BM.

We have seen from other posters on here that sometimes depending on the school that they will add things on a child's IEP without any documentation from a medical professional that it is actually there so we are trying to stop that before it happens. The only other issue besides BM witholding information, lying, leaving DH off of paperwork is BM trying to override DH on his right to arrange SD's transportation for his visitation. 

The only times we communicate with BM is when there is an issue and unforunately there has been a lot of issues because she is trying to act as those she has sole custody both physical and legal and he does not need to be consulted. She even said in her first message to DH about the tonsils "SD is getting her tonsils removed, I am scheduling it." BM is not following that she has joint legal and DH will not allow him to be completely boxed out. 

DH and BM only communicate where there is a problem and unforunately there have been lots of problems popping up lately. If BM had not witheld information and included him on forms, etc. there would have been way less conflict, but BM doesn't want to coparent or parrellel parent with DH she wants to be the sole person to decide everything and when SD is with us she wants to dictate that time to and that simply is not going to happen.

I do get what you are saying, but it isn't like we are like challenging what tv shows she has SD watch or something silly like that. Yes, DH is not in the same state as BM and he never was going to be forever because BM wanted to leave too, but because he settled for being the non-custodial parent because BM was not going to agree to him having SD for the school year and the judge wasn't going to side with him because he did not want to separate SD from BM's other child, doesn't mean he has to act as though he is not an involved parent and let BM make dumb choices. He is just as important of a parent to SD as BM is to her

All I'm saying is the items we have challenged are kmpprtant. BM is a habitual liar so unfortunately we do need to do digging to find out if things she says are true, usually in doing so we also find she has lied about additional things such as DH having dyslexia. So for him to take her at her word, he might as well give her sole legal custody because she tailors things to fit her narrative 

tog redux's picture

I get it, believe me. But if I could go back in time, I'd push DH to a lot less fighting with BM, because it just kept the power struggle and conflict going.  He too just wanted to be a co-parent, but it was not ever, ever going to happen with BM. I think that if he had just let go and let her make decisions, life might have been easier.  And anyway, it was always going to end up with SS being alienated and preferring it at BM's with the lack of rules and structure.

Again, I'm not suggesting that he stop paying attention, just pick his battles very wisely.  Even if he does try to challenge all of BM's lies, he's not likely to be successful from so far away.  Don't waste the next 13 years focused on BM and documenting and challenging things. Look at all the effort JustMakingTheBest put into the situation to get absolutely nowhere.  BM is going to have more power in this situation by virtue of the fact that she has primary custody.


NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

I think part of it too is even though DH tried as hard as he could without deciding to be BM's rag doll, he let down BM's older daughter and he thinks down the road SD can say that DH gave up on her sister and also even SD so he doesn't want to feel like he also gave up on SD. Thankfully DH doesn't give up everything to chase around Bm and be a Disney dad etc. so he tries to do what he can by still doing what he needs to for himself and our family at the same time