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Mom leaves teen daughter alone in ER on Christmas, 'she chose to eat trigger foods.'

Mom leaves teen daughter alone in ER on Christmas, 'she chose to eat trigger foods.'


Being allergic to your favorite foods is a major bummer.

Watching others chow down on sweets, pizza, or whatever your poison is, can feel unbearable. And some people with allergies or intolerances, 'power through' the physical effects because that brief moment of flavorful goodness seems worth it.

As a bystander, it can feel unnerving to watch someone create their own suffering by eating something easily avoidable. Even more so if you're a parent.

For one mom, her daughter's insistence on eating trigger foods this Christmas caused her to throw up her arms and shrug.

In a popular Reddit thread, said mom asked if she was wrong for not going to the ER with her daughter after she triggered her own stomach reaction.

She wrote:

AITA for not spending this Christmas in the hospital with my daughter?​​​​​​

My (39F) daughter (16F) has had a sensitive stomach ever since she was a kid. There are certain foods that will upset her stomach to the point where she's unable to stop throwing up.

We've seen countless doctors, but so far nobody's been able to give us a clear answer. The only advice we keep getting is to identify all trigger foods and cut them from her diet.

We have a pretty good idea of what those foods are: soda and other carbonated drinks, chips, cheetos, and other similar processed snacks, anything oily or fried and most sweets.

Unfortunately, this is exactly the kind of stuff my daughter loves to eat the most. And as horrible as she feels after she has them, she still refuses to cut them out of her diet.

This in turn led to her spending a lot of time in the hospital during the past few years. When she was little, it was easier to keep all these foods away from her because I simply wouldn't buy them.

But now that she's older, I can't always be there to check what she eats. She eats the greasy pizza at her school's cafeteria, she trades her lunch with her classmates, she goes out with her friends and stops to eat at KFC and so on.

And it always ends with her in the ER, crying and shaking because she can't stop throwing up. This was the case on this Christmas eve as well, when our whole family gathered at our place.

And of course, among the many dishes at our Christmas table were some of her main trigger foods, like chips, soda, chocolate, and sweets. Now mind you, these were far from the only foods available to her.

We also had a variety of home-cooked, traditional dishes on the table, with ingredients that don't upset her stomach, like vegetables, meat, dairy etc. All of them delicious and well-seasoned.

My daughter herself says she really likes most of these dishes. Despite this, my daughter chose to eat nothing but her trigger foods.

I reminded her that they'd make her feel awful, but she said she didn't care, because Christmas is only once a year and she just wants to live a little. Well, this ended with her violently throwing up in the ER a few hours later.

She had to be hospitalized for a few days and only just got out of the hospital a few hours ago.

And unlike all the previous times when something like this happened, this time I chose to spend my Christmas relaxing at home with the rest of our family, and not in the hospital by my daughter's side.

I kept in touch with her through calls and texts, and told her that if she needed anything I'd ask a family member to bring it to her, but I made it clear that I would not be visiting her during her stay.

And well, my daughter didn't take this too well. She cried every time we talked on the phone, begged me to come over, told me how horrible I was for 'abandoning' her there all alone and so on.

Most of our family didn't take my side in this either, and during the past few days I got called everything from 'a little extreme' to downright cruel and heartless. AITA, Reddit?

The court of the internet quickly adjourned.

SigSauerPower320 wrote:

Not sure if I'm gonna be in the minority, but I'm going with NTA. She's 16 and for sure smart enough and mature enough to know better. As the clichè the saying is, play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

This isn't a case of a 7-year old that doesn't really know any better. This is a person that will legally be an adult in less than 2 years. She knows full well what she can and cannot eat and she made a personal choice to eat things she shouldn't.

While it may seem cruel and heartless...maybe you leaving her there 'by herself' (obviously, she's not since there was plenty of staff there with her) will be the wake up call she needs to stop eating s**t that makes her get admitted into the hospital.

StrangledInMoonlight wrote:

The girl needs to be in therapy. She’s making herself sick, I’d be worried she’s doing it for attention or control her weight or a million other things. If this keeps up, she’ll have a whole lid of other issues from throwing up this often.

femmevenus wrote:

I started getting terrible migraines at 16 and found that several foods can trigger my migraines or make them worse (I still sometimes get them even if I stay away from trigger foods, just not as often).

So I was a big Dr. Pepper and Coke drinker, I loved peanut butter, I loved potato chips, and super greasy foods. I loved the super colorful candies that usually have red 40 in them. I had to cut them out so I could feel better.

It was hard at first because I wanted so badly to eat those things but I couldn’t blame anyone else when I ate them. My parents ensured that I had options in the house that I enjoyed.

My mom bought almond butter and sun chips and sparkling water. If I chose then to eat the options that hurt me, that was my own fault. All this is to say, op, you’re NTA. 16 is old enough to know better.

You cannot put your life on hold when your child made a decision they knew would result in this.

xInsomniCatx wrote:

NTA she willingly did this to herself, she needs to recognize that actions have consequences, and you don't need to be there every single time she decides to harm herself.

YES, this can be considered self-harm because she is willingly hurting herself by eating these foods. If anything I would have her start seeing a therapist to figure out what's going on and why she keeps self-harming.

ThePotPanda wrote:

This is going to be unpopular I’m sure but…ever taken your kid to a psychiatrist? There’s definitely some secondary gain going on here and the kid needs to find alternative, pro-social and adaptive behaviors to cope.

okayish_22 wrote:

Good night. This is way above Reddit’s pay grade. Your daughter’s illness has obviously triggered disordered eating problems and psychological issues. This isn’t the place to figure out any of that.

Get her and you the help you all need!

This seems like a situation where OP is clearly NTA, but her daughter isn't either, there's likely something deeper going on.

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