My youngest son Jack was born with a partial cleft palate. This isn’t something noticeable from his outside appearance and you probably wouldn’t have noticed when he was a baby unless you were looking into his throat and realized something didn’t look right. In his case his uvula hadn’t fused together leaving an opening between his throat and nose.
He use to blow baby food through his nose, poor kid. When he was a year old it was corrected by surgery. He also had the additional surgery of tubes in the ears. We’ve been very blessed that he’s never had a problem with ear infections. In fact, I can only remember him having one infection ever in his life and it was a double ear infection. I guess if you’re going to get something once, go big, right?
So, every year (as a rule) as he grows through childhood he is monitored by the Craniofacial team at Akron Children’s Hospital. We see up to eight specialists as needed and they range from a caseworker (if needed, we didn’t need to see one at this visit) to those who watch for orthodontist issues, speech, hearing, cleft, a nurse and whoever else I’m forgetting.
Its a long long appointment. I believe we have to keep this appointment to stay current with BCMH which is a secondary insurance for Ohio children with medical handicaps. And we’re not the only family there. Every Friday, if I’m not mistaken, Akron Children’s Craniofacial Clinic runs this clinic to do yearly checkups. We got there yesterday about 9:00am and didn’t finish till about 12:50pm. They actually tell you to pack snacks and whatever else you need to make it through the day.
And so I make a “day” out of it. After the clinic visit we walk down the long cat-walk over the city street that bridges the offices to the hospital and see the “big ball thing”. I don’t know what its called. The boys enjoy it and I have to pull them away from it. Then we walk to the cafeteria for lunch.
And then its back home.