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When it comes right down to it, do you force medicine or not administer? adult content

The TMI flag is up for graphic descriptions, so if you're squeamish, stop reading. If you think I give out too much personal info, stop reading. This is long, if that bothers you, stop reading. I'm kind of panicking, I hashed this all out years ago in therapy, but I have PTSD and no one else to talk to and I'm triggering, I need some help, if you're still with me and reading, please talk to me a little. If you want to be mean, go elsewhere right now.

I had to force my daughter to take cough medicine before she went to school this morning, and I'm wondering if I did the right thing. Reasoning failed. She's five. She wasn't that sick. No fever. Well enough for school. But she has asthma. I gave her a double dose of her inhaler, which is recommended, and called the nurse with instructions for an extra dose at noon, but she needed cough medicine. I had a chocolate and a drink of water for afterward, all the coaxing, but to no avail. So I held her hands, and her dad popped it in her mouth and held everything closed. The first dose she spit out all over her shirt and the floor, so we cleaned her up and tried again. He held tighter, and in a jiffy she swallowed. There was some gagging and screaming, and then it was all over. She went to school just fine.

Problem is, my mom used to force feed me. Particularly Carnation Instant Breakfast, which she didn't stir up too well, and I hated. If I complained about the chumks of chocolate at the bottom, she'd pour the glass down my throat and make me swallow. If I barfed, she'd make me swallow that. If the glass hit my nose and it bled, down that would go. If I cried, the snot would go down with the rest. I'd get sent to school in the shirt I had on, blood and chocolate and all. I'd just zip up my jacket and go. I always kept an extra shirt in my locker to change. It was a small town, CPS was a joke because my mom knew people at the police department. So anyway, I hashed this all out in therapy years ago, but I have lingering PTSD. I've had the shakes and panic attacks for the last hour, tears and hyperventilating and crap, and I just need someone to tell me if I did the right thing or if I really f**ked up and hurt my child and maybe I should have backed off on the cough medicine and let her go without it because I'm not sure. Sometimes parenting is difficult and confusing and you just can't wrap your head around what the right choice is because there are so many voices in your head pulling you in different directions freaking you out and you aren't sure which one to listen to and I'm alone in this house now and I wish some of you moms were here to have coffee with me.


Asked by Ballad at 11:19 AM on Dec. 12, 2013 in Kids' Health

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (31)
  • My parents used to pin me down in a chair, one would hold me down, the other would hold my head backwards and plug my nose. This was done for anything I refused, whether it be medicine or food I didn't like, liver, brussel sprouts, peas etc.
    Just reading this brought forth all those emotions I try to suppress.
    Ballad, don't do that anymore. As you know, it's horrible and scary. Next time, tell her she either takes it or she stays home. With no electronics, t.v. games etc. Have her go back to bed and explain to her that you're doing what you think is best for her.
    You're the mom and sometimes moms have to make decisions a child doesn't like. It sucks royally!

    Answer by KTElite at 11:24 PM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • I wouldn't force medicine, especially if it meant physically holding her mouth closed and pinning her hands down. That's traumatic and the potential consequences outweigh the benefits in this case. I would have kept her home rather than choose that path but that is just me.

    It sounds as though you would benefit from further therapy and I hope you'll consider looking in to that.

    Answer by Brawn at 11:33 AM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • I think you need to slow it down some and take some deep breaths. You are not the same mother your mom was. You child was not bleeding, you had her change her clothes (I'm assuming). You are concerned about her health. If this is a fairly common thing, perhaps taking the cough medicine to school and have the nurse there administer it. Kids are usually much better for those they aren't as comfortable around. I don't think I would force it again, but I would recommend taking it to school for them to give it to her if need be. If you feel bad about how things went this morning, make sure to talk to her about it after school and make sure she understands that you give her that medicine to make sure she can breathe and feel well enough to stay in school. We all have crappy days, and while this is feeding your anxiety from your past, your daughter is likely just fine and may not even remember this morning by afternoon.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 11:42 AM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • Not the route I would have taken. Even if she is not scarred for life that is not the way I would send a kid off to school especially with asthma.

    I kind of agree about the therapy, it seems you have many things you are holding onto. I hope you daughter is feeling better.

    Answer by DJDNY at 11:45 AM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • I understand PTSD and how it can "interfere" in life even after good treatment. You seem to be doing great Ballad...keep it up!

    To others, I don't see how talking about the past over and over and over again in Counseling(which is all they will do as I'm sure Ballad has done some of the other types of treatment and therapy available) will help anything. Even a healthy and treated person with PTSD will have times when they are can not be "cured" by any type of therapy or counseling, it is only managed. And sometimes you just have to stop "talking" about it and try and move on being mindful of triggers and dealing with them accordingly(like Ballad did by calming herself down) when it happens.

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 2:21 PM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • It depends, for me, on why I'm giving the medicine. If it's something that's a must (an antibiotic, a daily med that must be taken to treat a condition, or something they need because it will truly, absolutely help them), then yes, I would force them if I had to. If it's something that I just think would help (say, Pepto when they complain of an upset tummy, aspirin for a headache,etc.), then it's up to them. I think it would help, but if they disagree or would rather wait a bit and see, it's their body, so they can choose.

    I don't think you scarred your daughter for life with this. If you do it on a regular basis, maybe, but just this once, or every now and then on a rare occasion when she refuses, I don't think it'll kill her. I would talk to her and find out why she was so against taking it. And depending on her health, maybe allowing her to skip and see what it would do (assuming it wouldn't hurt her badly) might help.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 11:32 AM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • First, calm down & you did the right thing. There is a big difference between force feeding a child & giving medicine that's needed. You have to do what you have to do when you have to do it. You are NOT your Mother. She was wrong. Doing what you did this morning is not what she did to you. Take a breath & understand you did the right thing! My Little one had an ear infection last winter when she was 1. I really had to force her antibiotic twice a day. My DH would hold her while I squirted the medication into her mouth. Most would be spit out & I'd have to give a little more. I can understand it is stressful but in the big realm of things, everything will be OK in the end. If I did not force her to take the medication then the result would have been 100 times worse. This is the same for your situation. Don't let your mind make a mountain out of a mole hill.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 11:37 AM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • For us,if the medicine is mandatory,it has to get in there somehow. We've had a couple of times where I had to hold his nose so he'd swallow.
    It's hard with the little ones. Yo KNOW they have to have it,and sometimes they want to pick that time for a power trip. They love to do that last minute I've noticed.
    When she gets home,i'd apologize and tell her that you are only trying to keep her from having an asthma attack,and ask her,you don't want to have to go to the doctor,do you? Tell her we all have to do things we don't want to,but we have to be brave.
    And hugs to you,my friend.

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 11:54 AM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • oh
    and i would not be me if i did not mention
    PLEASE get the kind without the dyes

    do i need to post another link to the dangers of Lake dyes
    i will, you know i will
    do make me post the links

    red #40= evil

    Answer by fiatpax at 5:25 PM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • No, I don't force medication. Only in a life and death situation. As someone with asthma, you could have sent her into a full blown asthma attack from what you did to her. And by giving her a second dose, you could have overdosed her. You don't know how much she actually swallowed.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 8:18 PM on Dec. 12, 2013