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DH spoke to the doctor

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

So the doctor from yesterday's appointment called DH to discuss SD's visit and tonsils with him. Basically, this doctor recommends SD's tonsils be removed solely on BM's claims of SD having sleep apnea. DH explained to the doctor that these symptoms BM is saying SD has had for years, DH has never witnessed and years ago he had primary custody, then he also had 50/50.

The doctor also said that BM told the doctor that she tried SD on a few allergy meds and none of them had helped. SD's tonsils aren't huge nor are they small so it is not based off the tonsils being too large. The doctor also said that unfortunately he cannot prove or disprove BM's claims about SD's issues at night. The doctor said if BM's claims are true that removal of SD's tonsils may help, but it may not also, otherwise SD is a completely healthy child.

So now both specialists are basing their recommendation off of BM's account of SD's issues, there is no additional documentation of infections or anything else related to SD's tonsils. BM either tried SD on allergy meds and never told us for when SD was staying with us, BM never tried SD on allergy meds, OR BM tried SD on the allergy meds for a few days and saw no improvement so she ruled that out as helping. 

So now DH messaged BM saying that he spoke to the doctor, how he is waiting on the enviornmental allergy tests to come back, and asking BM what allergy meds she has tried for SD since she never shared that information. Cannot wait to hear the excuses for why she did not tell DH about the allergy meds and why she did not list him on SD's paperwork. 


NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

I posted this blog. I would think that would be the next step to see whether or not the tonsils is the issue not play the "it might help" game

Edit: My only guess is that BM's claims that she has exhausted all other efforts since the doctor said SD's mom said that she has exhausted all other efforts of allergy testing and allergy medicine, etc. Meanwhile SD has only been tested for nuts, dairy, and seafood and the doctor confirmed this after it was brought up

ESMOD's picture

The problem is that the Dr's are being presented with a "problem" and they are giving options for fixing said problem.  The fix is not in itself without some risks.. but it also isn't generally considered an extremely life threatening procedure either.. yes there are risks.. but generally it is a common enough procedure.

I am curious as to what you and your DH think is really BM's "game" here.  It seems awfully extreme to take a kid to get surgery to prove some control issue.  It does seem that it could be a bit more likely that the child has been having "some" issues.. and that they could have developed as the child got older and maybe don't happen "all the time".  It could be somewhat seasonal and something she didn't suffer from when she was with you more.

but... is your DH wanting to prove she has an unwell environment and get custody?  Not pay for part of a procedure? 

I mean, I get that he doesn't want BM to exert all control but just because BM is presenting this issue to him in and of itself doesn't necessarily mean it's the wrong solution.. and yes.. dr's have given opinions on this.  

Do you really think she is making this up so her child will go under the knife? seems extreme.... and honestly doesn't seem to be a "win" of anything for her????

tog redux's picture

Eh, these HCBMs live to play "poor single parent" to doctors. These doctors should not do surgery unless it's necessary on a little kid, there are risks involved.  This is how parents get away with Munchausen's - doctors who don't do the right tests or ask the right questions. BM could be starting down that path. 

ESMOD's picture

I think the sleep study would be a good idea to get some actual science behind the procedure request too.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

out of mole hills.I have many many examples of this. At every turn, BM tries to take SD to a specialist for something or a counselor for anything else. Do we know why? Nope and we never will understand the high conflict irrational behavior behind it. I am not a doctor nor is DH, but every doctors visit that DH has taken SD to or that BM has sent paperwork for, indicates how healthy and normal SD is, but yet BM always tries to make something be "wrong" with SD. Probably for attention.

BM's attempt to get DH to agree was "well I had my tonsils removed and they will give her ice cream afterwards, it will be fine."

Like that is great, don't care about your tonsils nor about the fact that SD gets ice cream. What DH cares about is SD not getting a procedure that is not necessary. I know tonsil removal surgery is not as severe as others, but wouldn't DH not be a caring/responsible parent if he just automatically agreed to a surgery for a problem BM has never told DH has been a problem until now but claims it has been ongoing for 3 years and has no medical documentation of it being an issue until 2 months ago? 

Both DH and I think that every avenue of fixing these issues should be explored before surgery is all

justmakingthebest's picture

Oh the lies on the child's health. Welcome to my world dear. 

I wish I could say that this is a winnable fight, but it isn't. This is just going to cost you a fortune in legal fees for nothing Sad

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

I feel like expecting mothers are just wishing for a healthy baby, but then there are these BM's that almost WANT something to be wrong with their child and I don't get it.

We are really hoping to not have to have any legal fees or it come to this point. All we ask is every avenue be explored to make sure surgery is the best option before agreeing to it, like any caring and responsible parent should want to do!

thinkthrice's picture

the attention!  Aka Munchausens!

bananaseedo's picture

I would see if he can call the Dr back and ask for a sleep study JUST to make sure they are making the right choice.  My SD should have had her tonsils removed, she had re-ocurring strep most of her life....wish they would have done it.  

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

See and that makes sense for tonsil removal. All we ask is for it to be 100% the best option for SD, that is all. Really simple

CastleJJ's picture

Sounds like Munchausen's Syndrome to me. This is going to be a hard fight to win because you are going to have to prove over and over again that BM is making up these conditions and that there aren't medical records present that indicate those conditions to be true. First it was allergies, now it is sleep apnea, what will it be next? You guys are going to do test after test after test, chasing your tails, all because BM is playing a game and refuses to provide a clear and accurate picture of SD's medical history. 

It is likely that you will both be running in circles trying to gather medical information while BM goes behind your back, schedules the surgery, and SD gets her tonsils removed. Then what? What will be your next course of action? BM is just going to argue that the doctors recommended it (and technically they did, even if under false pretenses), so what will the point/argument be? What is the end game in the bigger picture of things. 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

BM keeps referrencing herself too as examples of why things should be done or whatever on conditions that aren't necessarily even hereditary either. 

For us our end game is to try and protect SD from unneccessary medical procedures and such. A year and a half ago she was on this whole train of SD is not developing properly and has issues with learning. Her basis? Because she did not feel SD knew her colors and numbers so she needed to see a specialist about child development to get assessed. As soon as we found this out we shut that down because SD DID know these things, but since BM did not work with SD on her time on learning them, SD was shy about sharing this info with her. 

DH is trying to protect SD to his best ability from the other side of the country, but also not being naive or stupid in thinking any of this will change anything by a judge yet. So it is document in the court app that BM is witholding medical and educational info, BM is not communicating or discussing these things to make a joint legal decision for SD, etc. One day hopefully if it comes to it, having years of evidence in the court approved app will at least hold BM accountable, but not getting our hopes up about it either. 

Is the tonsil removal surgery going to hurt SD if she doesn't need them out neccessarily? Probably not, but who knows what the next thing will be. Just need to be proactive and create a paper trail of the lack of information, incorrect information, etc. so that if it comes down to it, we have it at the ready.

CastleJJ's picture

I am not saying this to appear paranoid or to paint a horrific picture of what may be, in reality, a minor situation, but I want to paint a big picture of what Munchausen can look like. The thing with Munchausen's Syndrome is that while DH is developing a paper trail against BM, BM is also developing her own paper trail, adding these conditions to SD's medical file. I'm sure every time BM meets a new doctor, she is adding allergies, sleep apnea, etc. to the medical record. And doctors aren't going to fact check, so they will add these conditions without a second thought. People who have this condition have been able to fake cancer, eating disorders, physical disabilities, etc. all because medical records don't necessarily transfer between providers and these perpetrators are able to add false medical information to their victim's records. They also give their victims unnecessary medication and stuff to continue the narrative and make the victims sicker. You can watch this in movies and TV series like 'Run' or 'The Act' (which is actually based on a true story.) And the worse part is, the courts struggle to see the Munchausen because the medical conditions are in the record, so they believe that the perpetrators are just caring caregivers and the suing party is just misinformed or uninvolved, out for vengeance over something else. 

You and DH live across the country, so you will not be able to police every medical intervention that BM initiates and if BM does well to disconnect SD's medical history by using a variety of doctors, specialists, etc. you and DH will struggle to keep up, meaning that BM will continue to medically harm SD and you won't be able to stop it without full custody. BM could be providing unnecessary medications, both prescription and over the counter, which can have lasting, harmful effects on SD and you would be none the wiser. Plus, if BM doesn't notify DH of appointments, he won't know what procedures or appointments SD has already had. For all you know, she could be only notifying you of half the appointments SD has and you are trying to base a paper trail on that. 

tog redux's picture

Chances are good she won't be full-blown Factitious Disorder, as that's very rare, but more of the garden variety HCBM who overuses the medical system and gets her kid a diagnosis so she can get attention and/or doesn't have to feel to blame for the kid's problems.  But I agree it will be extremely hard to counteract from across the country. BM could take her to many doctors and not even tell DH, and he won't find out until/unless SD tells him.  This is one of the perils of choosing to move so far away. 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

and I appreciate you suggesting it if I hadn't. 

It is totally scary and it is just horrific, but at this point in time other than documenting I am not sure what else can be done. No judge would take what has happened so far and change custody or do anything really about it. Unless you have a suggestion that does not require legal interventation at this stage? I am totally open to suggestions, but right now we would just throw money away for an attempt to have legal intervention.

At the end of the day, even if we did not move away, BM could still do what she is doing on her time and keep it quiet and we wouldn't know then either.

CastleJJ's picture

I'm not suggesting any major interventions at this point. I just meant that you and DH live across the country, so I'm assuming your visitation schedule is reduced to school breaks and summers, which means that you have less of a "insight" into SD's issues than someone who has more frequent contact like weekly/every other weekend. At best, you likely see SD a few days to a week, every few months. 

So let's say down the road that BM is fighting about a significant medical procedure (think life threatening or major possible risks), your DH may have the medical records and argue that he doesn't observe these issues during his parenting time, but since his parenting time is so little, it won't hold much merit. For example, I can say that my SS is never sick when he is with us, but we see him 57 days per year, so we have less insight than BM who has 308 days, so while he is never sick at our house, it doesn't mean he is never sick. Where if we had 182 days and BM had 182 days, we would appear more credible if SS was never sick with us and we had him half the time. 

Do you get what I'm saying? BM will be able to argue in court that because you and DH aren't around regularly, you aren't observing the same things she is (and she has SD every day), which supports her case. Plus, she will have all of her doctors and medical records proving her case. At best, you will just have failure to notify and coparent as your sole argument in court, which won't change the outcome if you are fighting against a major medical procedure. 

I would recommend documenting "symptoms" that you do observe during your visitation so you can argue "During x visitation, SD exhibited no difficulties breathing, no sign of sleep apnea, no snoring, etc" or "During x visitation, SD did not have any allergic reactions to the following supposed allergens even though contact occurred. SD did not exhibit hives, wheezing, difficulty breathing, etc." Heck, even getting second opinions during your parenting time and paying for it 100%, solely to contradict BM's medical records that aren't accurate since they are based on BM's claims only. The more you have this kind of stuff, the more you will have a fighting chance. Medical records are only half of the equation.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

On this topic we have a bit of a leg to stand on because in the last 3 years DH had primary custody one year, then every other week plus 3 months of summer the next year, and the last year only the school holidays/summer, so DH has spent significant time with SD in the last 3 years, BUT from here on DH won't be. 

That is a good idea, basically a medical journal when SD is with us. We did something similar, but not about medical things when the custody battle was going on. DH kept a journal along with photos of his time with SD just in case by the suggestion of his lawyer. Thanks for the advice! Definitely BM will try and use the distance as a leg to stand on that she is more reliable.

CastleJJ's picture

And take photos of every injury, cut, scrape, etc. to add to that journal. The last thing you need is BM claiming that DH sent SD home with a "laceration" or "puncture wound." Our BM tried that and actually got pretty far with it. 

Felicity0224's picture

I don't know if you can do this for a child, but there are now sleep study options where you order a device online and do it at home. The results get sent to a physician for evaluation and then they can prescribe a c-pap. My friend did it recently and I believe she said it was $200? Might be worth looking into or even just suggesting it to BM to see if she balks. If SD really has sleep apnea, it seems like BM wouldn't have any objection to a sleep study (yes, I know that would be too rational. But it could be interesting to see what her reaction is.) 

Winterglow's picture

I wonder if anyone has considered that perhaps BM really does see these symptoms but that they are caused by something environmental in her home, dust (especially if he has fluffy toys), black mould, certain cosmetics/perfume, a specific detergent, pets ...? 

BethAnne's picture

Could be. We have a very similar situation with my SD who supposedly has breathing issues when with BM. She had her tonsils removed years ago  at BM's insitence but the issues persisted apparently. SD did have a sleep study but there was nothing found. SD supposedly has asthma but I've never seen any evidence of it myself in the last 10 years. 

My husband thinks it could be a combination of weed being smoked in BM's house and that she lives on the west coast and the smoke from wild fires. 

Personally I think that BM makes it up and/or exagerates. Though I've never been in any of BM's homes to know if she really smokes weed inside the house and I've managed to avoid being on the west coast when there have been wild fires. 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

and we have brought it up to her and originally she tried to play it off that SD had been tested for all that and her home was ruled out. Come to find out, SD was ONLY tested for seafood, dairy, and nuts, which she was allergic to none. This latest specialist did do an enviornmental allergy test and we are waiting on the results to come back. BM insists it is not that because she had her tonsils removed and had strep a lot. SD has NEVER had strep and tonsils is not something that they have found to be hereditary.

ExhaustedByItAll's picture

I can't remember if your DH has joint parental responsibility, I would guess he does because he can call the doctors. If he does, BM may be gearing up to try to take that away.

Our BM tried everything to get sole parental responsibility (which is different to custody here). She had to show DH was not allowing recommended medical treatment, would not care for the child as doctors recommend, or that the parents couldn't agree on treatment. This is really common where we are, the most common ones are:

ADHD medication (especially in very young children) - doctor prescribes it, dad doesn't want to give it to child, parents disagree, judge gives medical to BM for following doctors orders because no one can disprove BMs reported symptoms.

Tonsils and/or adenoids out - this is a really common procedure that doctors swear cures a lot of things and symptoms can be easily invented because no one sees them but BM.

Sleep medications - melatonin for kids is the big one here, doctor prescribes it, dad says child doesn't need it on their time, child sleeps just fine. BM says child returns complaining they didn't sleep the whole time. Also BM complains that child is having nightmares and wetting the bed after returning from dad's (never mind these are side effects of the melatonin BM is giving the child!) No one can disprove BM.

Snoring/sleep apnea - BMs will try to get a CPAP machine without a sleep study, just based on their reports then say kiddo can't go to dad's unless dad gets a machine and makes sure it's used.

Out BM tried all of these and more. She lost out because she tried to get SS circumcised. DH got all 4 of the doctors she went to to say "it is not medically necessary". Same with the CPAP machine. The judge ruled for joint as she was trying to put the child through an unnecessary procedure and DH provided the checks to make sure SS didn't go through any unnecessary trauma. 

We've had 4 friends/acquaintances go through family court since us, all of these HCBM's have the same playbook.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

for why BM is doing all of this. Personally I think because BM had her tonsils removed and had issues then SD MUST have the same thing going on. I sent my mom the photo BM sent us this morning as her evidence and my mom was like seriously? Because they just look a little irritated, but that is it. Plenty of room between the two tonsils