Yesterday the girls and I headed up to the cities for their post-op visit. We left with plenty of time in case we ran into icy patches on the roads but the roads were fine. We made it to the reception desk at Gillette’s, started to check-in when suddenly Quinn started to whine and tug at my sleeve. I got a little annoyed but when I looked down she immediately started signing the sign for potty. So in mid-check-in we run off to the bathroom to go potty. Now, the girls are not potty trained but we have been playing around with sitting on the potty. I don’t think we made it in time for Quinn because she didn’t go at all but I did get Jenna to go. I put diapers back on and headed back to the check-in desk where now there was a very long line but the guy I was working with quickly flagged me down and we quickly finished checking in. We got a pager to let us know when it was our time to go back. I literally took 2 steps away from the check-in desk and it went off. I quickly found out which door I was suppose to go to and started on my way with 2 happily trotting girls tailing behind me. As I get closer to where I was suppose to go, I see the girls’ doctor waiting for us. We quickly check in with the nurse and in walks the doctor. I love when there is no waiting. Quinn quickly starts interacting with the doctor and in no time flat, she is sitting right next to him, happy as a lark. We let Jenna get in on the action too. They were both guiding the doctors hands and instructing him how to draw on the etch-o-sketch as we talked about different aspects of the girls recovery.
Dr. Lacey quickly checked everything out. He even examined Jenna without any screaming which doesn’t happen very often.
So what is next? Right now Dr. Lacey says everything looks great. There is still a bit of swelling in the lip area but that should continue to decrease. There does seem to be extra skin on the inside of their mouths right in front of their front teeth which I was a little concerned about. Dr. Lacey said that used to be their outside middle lip before he flipped it in. When the swelling goes down it should not stick out inside the mouth but if for some reason it does stay on the big side, the next time they are in for surgery, he will just make a quick snip and stitch it up. In the mean time we are going to wait and see how everything turns out. Our next appointment will be in 6 months with the whole cleft team.
Both he and I are concerned about the lack of progress with the girls’ speech. Hopefully we will start seeing some good progress soon. He did talk about a possible procedure when the girls are 4 or 5 years old if they do not start talking soon. He explained that if cleft kids get their palate fixed after 18 months old, they tend to speak using their mouth in an incorrect way. If that happens with our girls, they will take cameras and stick them up their noses and down their mouths to figure out how the girls are actually talking and may have to tweak things surgically so the girls use their mouth/nasal area correctly for communication. It doesn’t sound fun. I am going to try and see if I can get some more speech therapy for our girls so things don’t come to this step. I also need to call the speech therapist at the U of M to see if she has suggestions to get things moving a bit quicker. I am hoping the speech therapist in town can work more with the speech therapist at the U of M to get more progress out of the girls. We will see how everything works out in the next couple of months.