I'm so thankful that we had an opportunity to get away as a family last night. I needed a chance to come to grips with this week and process. Now, I feel relaxed again and ready to handle all that this summer holds in store for us. It will most likely not be an easy summer for our family.
On Thursday, we took Carly for her annual check up with her surgeon. I realize now that I had really been clinging to the news from last year that we MIGHT be able to avoid another palate surgery. I had turned that MIGHT into a sure thing. Now I know that I had gotten my hopes us way too high. It is just hard as a Mom. I have seen this girl through 4 surgeries already. Two of the surgeries were ear tubes which just seems like nothing to us now, but the other two surgeries were more extensive. She has only been 5 for two months and now we are facing surgery #5. I can't wait until her age far surpasses the number of surgeries she has had to endure. I am so tired of Dr. appointments! I am tired of wondering what is next! I am just plain tired!
In the appointment, Dr. Schuster said that he doesn't feel like her speech has made much progress this year. I agree. It isn't hard to understand her, but her speech definitely has the sound of someone with a cleft palate. We used to have private speech therapy as well as school therapy, but that all fell apart this year. His main concern is that as she continues to grow her speech will actually decline because her palate can barely close off the air flow needed for speech, and as she grows the area she will have to close off will grow, too. So, we are going to Cook's on June 29th for another speech evaluation. Unless, the speech therapist thinks that this problem can be corrected by more speech, we will be scheduling surgery for this summer. ( Our former speech therapist has already said that she doesn't believe that speech can help Carly with this problem.)
This surgery will be similar in severity to the first palate repair surgery Carly had when she was 10 months old. It will last for several hours and will include a hospital stay and a three week recovery. After the other surgery, Carly was silent for several months. We started speech when she was just 15 months old just to get her to make sounds again. She also freaked out if she was out of the room from me for about three months. Dr. Schuster told us last year that she will have to relearn some things with eating and talking because we will be changing the way things work in her mouth. Thankfully, this time she will not have to learn how to breath through her nose! Last time it was terrifying watching her trying to learn to breath while eating and hearing the oxygen monitor go off everytime we put liquid in her mouth or when she cried. I really didn't want to go through this again, but I know that in a few months we will be on the other side again and everything will be O.K.
Carly, on the other hand, is fine with it all. I asked her if she heard what the doctor said. She said, "Yes, of course, that is why God gave me ears!" I asked her if she understood. She said, "Yes. He said I will have another surgery. Not for sure, but probably." I asked what she thought about it, and she said, "It will all be O.K." Oh, to have the faith of a child...