Blog blackout is over! At least for today ;o) I know that many of you want updates on how David is doing, but to be honest writing about the past month seems kind of overwhelming. So I'm starting with a baby step and just updating about his first cleft appointment.
We went to see the cleft team on December 18th, except on the way up there we discovered that there was a mixup and we weren't actually on the schedule for the day! Thankfully the team coordinator is awesome and told me to come anyway and we would work something out. It actually ending up working out better! Instead of paying to see a speech pathologist (no speech, so not much to evaluate!), social worker, pediatrician (he had already seen ours), ENT (no fluid when the pediatrician saw him), audiologist (hearing tests are tricky when you don't speak English!), and dentist, we just saw our surgeon. It was just like having an office visit, just not in his office!
Dr. R checked out his cleft (non-evasively thank goodness!) and commented on both how wide it was and how old he is, compared to most cleft patients. David just sat on my lap and nervously eyed the doctor, but he didn't cry at all. Unfortunately the team orthodontist wasn't there, and he's a big part of the surgical plan. Dr. R. took some pictures of David to send to him, but nothing will be decided until we have an appointment with the orthodontist.
So, here are the options. We are hoping that we can use braces to bring David's cleft closer together. This will enable Dr. R. to close everything - lip, gumline, and palate - in one surgery. This would obviously be amazing, so we are praying that the braces are an option and that they are effective! Since David is 4, his bones are not as flexible as Lily's were when she had braces. If the orthodontist doesn't think they will work, then we go to Plan B. In Plan B David will have an appliance attached to the roof of his mouth that will help to close his palate. Unfortunately the only way to place is the appliance is with a surgery. Once the appliance is in place for about a month, David will have another surgery. In this surgery Dr. R. will close his lip and gumline and remove the appliance. The palate tissue will need time to heal from the appliance, so we will have to wait about 3 months for the lip to heal before David has a third surgery to close his palate.
We are obviously on Team Braces and are praying for one surgery! Our appointment with the orthodontist is on January 11th so we will know more then. If he thinks braces will work, they will go ahead and put them on that day so we don't have to drive back to Tampa (again!). I will update again when I know more!