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gettin the extended family to understand

My daughter is two years and four months old. She was given the inhaler when she was 16months old but it hasnt been until last september that asthma has been a real concern for us. It seems her triggers are the cold weather and like others she is extremely vulnerable to catching colds and bugs. By reading other blogs I have decided to organise a swine and flu vaccination for her.

My other problem however is that my husbands mother lives with us and takes care of my daughter when I am at work. She has never really been supportive of my daughters asthma diagnosis (because its not in either of our family history) and as such she has failed to recognise when my daughter has needed her reliever inhaler. Also, when we're about to go out in the cold she is very impatient of the preventative measures I take (i.e. takng her inhalers etc). I dare say it but I think she is afraid of people in her social circle knowing that my daughter has asthma. She is not a woman that I have a great relationship with but how do I get her to understand that asthma is a serious issue for us to manage???

I know my mother-in-law is a rare creature but has anyone else experienced this??? Any help appreciated. Thanxs

4 Replies

hi newbie,

although i am not a parent, i am often in the same situation at the hands of my partner's father. he believes that all asthma is handled by just a blue and brown inhaler, and used to refuse to let me carry my inhalers in my backpack when we were out with him. hense my love of wearing a hoodie and an aerochamber became invaluble.

Over Christmas he was convinced that I wasn't struggling because of all the dust in the air (because no it couldnt be his fault could it?) and told me that my nebuliser was a bid for sympathy. As a result, we decided to tell him that until he could admit his fault in all this and admit i had a problem, then we wouldnt go near. not a solution that fits most, but we had to basically make him understand by laying it out straight.

good luck



I could have written that myself!

A friend of mine bumped into my mother in law and asked how our daughter(also aged 2) was. My mother in law replied ""ooo she's fine! They're making a big fuss over nothing!""

my poor little girl struggles to breath, can't join in with here sister running around and has a home neb thAt she uses twice daily, along with countless other life saving drugs! She needs pred every 3 to 4 wks too! We are at the end of our tether and live in fear everyday!

I'm trying to understand that possibly she is just being naive or is burying her head in the sand! I don't know! All I do know is that we don't need attitudes like that! She knows we are in and out of hops but I still don't think she wants to believe how serious it is! It hurts a lot!

I don't know how I'd feel if she had to look after my daughter. Have you given her some literature to read? Maybe if in black and White it would hit home more? Maybe she could come to a consultant Appointment with you? Anything to get her to understand asthma! I think maybe that generation, if not needing to understand asthma first hand, would prob be in mindset that a quick puff of a blue inhaler and things will be fine!

I think it's about educating.

Hope you manage to sort it. Let us know.



failed attempt

Thanks Emily for the reply. Well mother-in-law had another showdown with me last night because she said our doctors were 'stupid' - this is despite having been seen by three different health professionals in a 20minute appointment; and crying like a blubbering child in front of them. I have taken your advice and will invite her to the asthma review that we have next week. Hopefully that will make her understand because I am running out of ideas. I feel like i am wasting energy on taking care of her feelings rather then getting my head round whats best for my daughter.

It been a tough week Mary has been ill every two weeks since November. Im worried about the quality of life she will have and whether i can cope with this cycle.

Some reassurance needed pls


Newbie, my heart goes out to you. I was lucky. My family were completely behind me, 30 years ago, when my baby daughter couldn't take cows milk or wheat, due to severe allergic reactions.

Neighbours around me, were the problem. The loud whispering between them as I came past eg 'allergies being all in your mind' and 'Soya milk? Bit of hippy thing.' I sometimes wished I could have invited the whole blooming lot along to doctor appointments.

I wish you peace with your mum-in-law and would suggest that your husband is more firm with his mother and insists that to better understand the care necessary for her grandchild's good health, you all go along on next appointment.

Best wishes and a very big hug,



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