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Preventer inhaler- dad won't give

(12 Posts)
mamacirca2013 Mon 19-Oct-20 17:34:51

Hi, just looking for some advice about how to go about dealing with my son's dad refusing to give him his preventer inhaler. He was prescribed this earlier on in the year, as Covid-19 was becoming more prominent in the UK, just before lock down. I took him for his asthma review and queried how to manage his asthma should he become ill with the virus, and how it may affect him. He's been hospitalised before as a baby due to suffering with a cold that triggered asthma symptoms, but could not be diagnosed due to his age. He's 6 years old now , the nurse advised he use a preventer to reduce his asthma symptoms when he does catch a cold, which can become overwhelming and I am proficient enough in managing his illnesses with inhalers as advised by staff in hospital etc.

I explained to his dad that he would need this new preventer each morning and evening as prescribed, but he messaged back that he doesn't wish to follow the advice. He has asthma also and used his experience as a child to justify his reasoning, he told me that his doctor told him eventually that to stop using the inhalers altogether. He believes that his lungs will benefit from not taking the preventer inhaler as he grows and rather, use his reliever as and when needed. I do understand that committing to administering long-term medicines to children can be daunting, but as trainee-medical professional myself I do think the preventer is the best course of action for my son. He resides with his dad 40% of the time and so I cannot be the one to ensure his preventer inhaler is taken every day. I provided one to his dad and informed him that I would be giving it to him, I know that he doesn't follow the same advice, which my son confirms.

I've noticed my son becoming more wheezy than usual when I pick him up from school after he has stayed with his dad. His dad was emotionally abusive and controlling and since our separation a few years ago, it has been extremely difficult to agree on many things, and the conflict has become too much that I now get anxiety about having to communicate with him about the smallest of things; I end up always having to do what he says to avoid future issues or verbal abuse. I don't know how to approach the subject again. I'm aware that I can provide him with resources, I've already told him he is welcome to speak to a nurse or GP himself, but at the end of it all, if he chooses not to give the inhaler, it will be our son who could suffer, and I cannot physically do anything about that. I do plan to take my son back to the GP to query the recent wheezing. I wondered if anyone else has had a similar experience or just some ideas? Sorry for the lengthy post!

OP’s posts: |
omg35 Mon 19-Oct-20 17:42:52

I'd have to take legal advice on this if your son is suffering. Surely it's neglectful to ignore medical advice and prescribed treatment. I thought my ex was bad enough for not treating nits

caringcarer Mon 19-Oct-20 17:47:07

Would it be possible to speak to school nurse and see if your son could take this inhaler at school first thing in the morning?

mamacirca2013 Mon 19-Oct-20 17:50:39

@omg35 I would gladly take legal advice, however I just cannot afford it at the moment. I'll be asking the GP or nurse about this and see what action they'd medically advise and then look into any available free legal advice if his dad disagrees to follow again.
You're right, I share the opinion that it is neglectful, but he is of the train of thought that medical advice is just advice and unfortunately at the end of the day he can disagree as far as I'm aware. Thanks for replying, it's nice to know I'm not alone in my thinking.

OP’s posts: |
mamacirca2013 Mon 19-Oct-20 17:52:55

@caringcarer That's a fantastic idea! I will definitely look in to this, thank you!

OP’s posts: |
WhereverIGoddamnLike Mon 19-Oct-20 17:57:44

Literally the first thought I had when you mentioned picking him up from school after being at his dads was to just fill out the forms at school to have them give him the inhaler at 9 and 2.45 (on days he is dropped off and picked him by dad).

I'm surprised you didnt think of it before.

If you speak with his GP about it and can have a letter written up detailing the medical need and te effect of it not being administered, can you stop overnight contact and seek legal advice. Make him available to his dad for day visits at the weekend, but no overnight care?

mamacirca2013 Mon 19-Oct-20 18:35:13

@WhereverIGoddamLike It was prescribed just before lockdown so he hasn't been in school for this to be an option, it's also just in recent weeks I've noticed the changes regarding his wheezing, I imagine it could be related to changes in weather and being in a school environment again. Having been insolation for so long he hasn't been exposed to much at all.
Thinking out loud, if school were to agree, which would also mean them becoming liable, the issue would be is that the dose is per 12 hours and would need to be administered in the evening for it to be effective and prevent any overdose, and wouldn't include the weekends either. I'll look in to what they can do though, definitely.

There is already a court order in place that is complex and difficult to change and to withhold contact could cause some serious issues. I want to know what I can do before possibly going down the legal route, I could hopefully reason with his dad first with support from the GP. Thank you for your advice!

OP’s posts: |
WhereverIGoddamnLike Mon 19-Oct-20 18:46:12

Ah, with a court order involved that makes it harder to get around dad, you would need to have serious concerns for his welfare (and be able to pack those concerns up with medical evidence).

If he wint engage with you, and you feel that your son needs this treatment then the legal route may be your last option.

mamacirca2013 Mon 19-Oct-20 19:19:04

@WhereverIGoddamnLike It's so frustrating! At times I think he disagrees with me because it's coming from me, he makes me feel like I'm being overbearing. I have to arrange and deal with everything, despite him having shared responsibility, he's never contributed financially to anything, not even his school uniform. I think it's rich that he feels can be so bold when it comes to some medication.

There'll be medical records of his asthmatic-related illnesses and trips to the GP and hospital, and also messages when I've informed his dad whenever he's been unwell, so hopefully I will have enough evidence should I need it. Perhaps legally the least the courts could do is place prohibited steps or something along those lines to ensure he does give him his preventer inhaler. I just hope he sees some sense first!

OP’s posts: |
RosesandPumpkins Mon 19-Oct-20 19:29:24

Definitely ask for school to administer it. Also at 6 your DC can start becoming responsible for their own medication. Teach them to identify their symptoms and to take their inhaler themselves.

bigmugs Mon 19-Oct-20 19:45:49

Good idea about asking school to help. Could you also perhaps speak to your GP and see if they would give your ex a call to speak to him about why the inhaler has been prescribed and how important it is to take it.

ruthet Fri 23-Oct-20 15:49:51

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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