Isla's Medical Fund

Friday, January 16, 2015

Our First Cleft Team Meeting

It's definitely been a while since I've updated anyone on our journey with Isla's Cleft Lip and Palate, and that's because we've been living a "normal" life for the last five months! Ever since Isla's palate repair she's just been your everyday child; playing, laughing and enjoying life. It's still amazes how far she's already come from her birth, and even this time last year with the NAM battles and her first surgery looming over her. She is truly amazing and her strength, happiness and determination is what give me the courage and strength to get her through all this.

Yesterday we had our first "cleft team meeting". For those of you who don't know what this is, once a year we meet with her team which consist of:

  • Geneticist
  • Plastic Surgeon
  • Dentist
  • Orthodontist
  • ENT
  • Audiologist
  • Speech Therapist
All these doctors play a very important role in the journey that Isla is and will be taking through the rest of her life. Up until now, we've only had interaction with the plastic surgeon, orthodontist (yes, cleft children get to see an orthodontist before the average person...usually starting at 2 weeks old if using the NAM) and the ENT. But as of yesterday that changed. 

The appointment only took about 2.5 hours, which isn't bad given the amount of doctors that you have to see, and everyone of the doctors seemed extremely pleased with her progress and her results thus far...except the speech therapist. This wasn't a complete shock to me, since Isla doesn't make very many sounds. She has a lot of "words", just not sounds, so they all pretty much sound the same and only a mommy's ears can really tell the difference. 

As of right now, Isla is making all of her noises in her throat and not actually using her soft palate to block off her airway to create sound. She can only make a, h, e, i, l, m, n, o, u sounds, and from what the speech therapist told me...she would be able to make those sounds even if her soft palate was never repaired. Which of course is discerning to me, but Isla has amazed me through every step of our journey so far, so I have no doubt that she will continue to do so during this next road in our journey. 

So, here we go. Step one (the initial repairs) have been done, and we are about to embark on step two of our journey...speech. She starts February 29th and will be going two times a week for as long as it takes. We got this!