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'AITA for putting my sister's medical fees on my mom's credit card?' UPDATED

'AITA for putting my sister's medical fees on my mom's credit card?' UPDATED


"AITA for putting medical fees on my mom's credit card?"

Here's the original post:

I (F25) was given temporary guardianship of my baby sister (F15) for 6 weeks in the fall while my parents (M48 F46) had to be overseas for several reasons. Our parents left me with mom's car and keys as well as her credit card for any expenses I might run into.

On the first day that she stayed with me, my sister told me she had been having really bad tooth pain for a few weeks now. She was chewing only on one side of her mouth and sort of hesitant to eat.

I told her I'd set her up a dentist's appointment, and I did make her one for later in the week, but the next day she had a fever and her face looked somewhat swollen on that side, plus she said her pain was much worse. I called the dentist again and they were able to see her that day. It ended up being an infected abscess. We needed to pull the tooth, drain the abscess, and get her antibiotics.

My parents' insurance covered a lot of it, I wasn't sure what to do about the rest and my parents weren't answering the phone all day due to time zone difference. I just put down mom's credit card for the amount that needed to be covered right then, as well as to pay for the antibiotic prescription when I picked it up. I didn't think much of this at the time but when my parents found out, they were pissed.

Dad said the credit card was for standard everyday expenses like food and gas, not emergency funds (they didn't specify this before nor provide separate money for emergencies) and that I overstepped my bounds by dropping a large sum of money on such a rash and expensive choice that mom was going to have to pay off.

I offered to pay it back (it's technically within my means) and he said forget it, it's too late now due to my impulsivity. Mom also made an offhand comment about how I didn't "triple check" to make sure my sister actually needed medical attention rather than trying to get out of school.

This was a while ago so I thought it was behind us. My parents told me we weren't gathering for the holidays this winter and I found out yesterday from my sister that a bunch of family had visited and my parents hosted, so I'm sure they're more upset than I thought.

My take is that I made the necessary decision for my sister's well being and I don't regret it, but I could have done more to make sure I handled it in a more appropriate way financially, and maybe waited to go through with anything until we could get in touch.

However, I offered to reimburse and was turned down. As the acting legal guardian at that time, it seemed urgent. I was worried about my little sister and the treatment needed to be paid for. AITA?

What do you think? This is what top commenters had to say:

KitchenDismal9258 said:

NTA. Do you parents realise that your sister could've died if the abscess was not dealt with? It's a pretty serious thing when you get an infection so close to the sinuses and brain (esp if it was an upper tooth).

It was damn serious and you did the right thing. What would your parents have done if they were there? Let your sister get sicker and sicker and end up in hospital or worse? In fact they are probably negligent if they don't take her for regular check ups.

Unlucky-Flower-195 said:

NTA I've had an infected abscess burst in my mouth and I ended up in hospital with a swollen throat and doctors said if it had been left I could have died. You did the right thing here and your parents are obviously being unreasonable.

HW_Gina said:

Absolutely NTA. It makes me worry what other care your sister is being denied. The pain was going on for several weeks by the time you took over - so presumably they already knew about it and decided it wasn’t important.

Your mum said you didn’t “triple check” your sister wasn’t just trying to get out of school - surely that was proven by the pus coming out of her face! That’s difficult to fake! Even if you’re not invited back, please try and keep in touch with your sister in case she needs any other help.

It_s_just_me said:

NTA untreated tooth infection can be even deadly because it spreads into blood stream very quickly and usually it affects heart. In 2020 one Czech singer died of tooth infection because he was so scared of Covid he refused to go to the dentist and when he got to emergency care it was too late. You saved your sister's long therm health and probably her life also.

After her original post, she shared this update:

EDIT 1/3/23: Sort of an update I guess. The other night I talked to my sister a bit about what happened, and she said mom and dad didn't tell her they weren't inviting me to Christmas. When she asked where I was on Christmas morning, my dad told her I wasn't able to make it.

She knew that was bullshit because I'd have told her for sure if something came up, and when she got a chance to talk away from all the visiting family, she let me know what was up.

After we called, she apparently got pretty worked up and decided to confront our parents about not inviting me, and pressed really hard on the subject of the credit card, and that they're still mad that I kept her from dying while I was her guardian. Mom started crying, dad started yelling at mom that it's her fault her daughters are like this, sister told dad to,

"shut the F up and don't talk about me like i'm not here," dad backhanded sister. She told me and I obviously called cps, some other stuff happened I won't even get into, and now my sister is at my apartment. My dad has an order from law enforcement not to be on the same property as her for at least a week.

I'm not sure what's going to happen. I haven't heard from my mom except to let me know where she and dad are staying (separate from each other) in case anything happens. My sister told me the weeks I was her guardian were the easiest six weeks of her life, I told her I'm sorry I didn't step in sooner, we cried a lot, and I let her stay up late to play WoW with me and make mini cheesecakes.

Sources: Reddit
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