Surgery…. 1 year on

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Saturday marked 1 year since Miss G had her cleft palate surgey. I absolutely cannot believe it has been a year! That year has gone quick!It definitely feels like worlds ago that I was sitting in that hospital willing the time to fly and for our little girl to be better. For her pain to be gone, her constant agitation at anything in her mouth to be gone and for our little cheeky girl to be back.

Refreshingly though, it really does feel like the whole cleft palate never happened, apart from the ears of course (talk about that in a second) but we had that with The Biz so it doesn’t really feel very different. She eats, drinks, talks and basically is, just like any other little toddler finding their way in the world (albeit about 100 more medical appointments than your average kid I’d say).

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The number one question that people ask is it affecting her speech. And of course it’s the hardest to answer. My darling girl is a chatter box. She has definitely established herself well in a family of talkers and already knows how to make herself heard. She loves to copy words and now phrases and will yell at me if I’m not looking at her when she is talking (something she has learnt from big sister of course). We of course understand her, but it’s hard to know if she is forming words as she should, especially seems The Biz practically came out talking conversations (well obviously not really but was speaker much more clearly at this age). The reason it is hardest to answer is because Miss G is a little too clever. We have persisted with 2 speech assessments and Georgie is yet to say more than one word at an appointment. She has even been talking away in the waiting room only to clamp her mouth shut the second we get in the door. The speechies have been lovely and have listened to me trying to replicate how she says things and have watched videos of her talking and have been very understanding to my I swear I’m not making this up. And they are not concerned, but still, I’d REALLY like to know for sure.

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Surgery wise, the Prof (Professor David David) is very pleased with his work. He has ensured me that she will grow and develop as any other child would and that she wont need re-surgery which is amazing to hear. I can think of a million other things I would rather do than put my girl through that again. And confirmation came via the ENT who had said that she had the most beautifully repaired uvula (ha ha look it up, it’s in your mouth not elsewhere) he had ever seen.

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While we are talking about the ENT, may as well report on the bloody ears. Quite literally sometimes. So as a part of the surgery, cleft kiddies have grommets put in. From what I can gather it is because when they swallow they don’t clear the fluid from their ear tubes, so they can get something called glue ear and apparently grommets help prevent this. Miss G’s grommets seem to be acting as a drainage vessel and every time she gets a runny nose, we see (and smell)  fluid coming out. Disgustingly it smells, and she gets really irritated with it sometimes causing her to stick her fingers in her ears and scratch, hence the bloody ears. She has been on nearly continual antibiotics, sometimes working, sometimes doing F-all. I question their use and really think the successes have been coincidence but hey, I’m not the doctor am I. We have a review next month with our incredible supportive ENT so I am hoping to know more after that.

But apart from that, this kid is thriving, quite literally. She grows, she plays, she loves, she lights up our days. She is a hilarious kiddie and has a personality that I can see will challenge us very much when she is in her teen years, oh boy! She is the definition of cheeky and already knows how to manipulate all three of us. Already. She is definitely going to keep us all on our toes but she is evened out by a most gorgeous and cuddly personality too. She gives more cuddles than The Biz ever did and will literally cling on like a koala. Difficult sometimes, but mostly very welcome cuddle time!

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So time will tell whether the cleft will impact our little girl any further. From this whole experience we have already learnt so many lessons as a family, as a married couple and for me as a mother and if that is the reason it happened then the universe has done well. We are happy to take each year as it comes and support our little fire cracker in anyway she needs it.

Life is good,

Heidi

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