Last week, I was on the phone with our medical insurance company to ensure everything was good to go for next Monday, the date of Hope’s second surgery, to repair her cleft palate.
The insurance rep asked me what Hope would be undergoing, to which I replied “a palatoplasty.” “Ohhh, we don’t cover that,” she immediately shot back, “typically, we don’t cover elective cosmetic surgeries.”
It’s a good thing her computer quickly told her that a palatoplasty is a necessary procedure to give children born with cleft palates normal speech and eating functions, or else I would have unleashed a torrent of words unsuitable for a blog that my daughter may read one day.
Yes, Hope’s next surgery is scheduled for Monday, a day The Civee and I can’t wait for, yet at the same time, we wish we could push back. Last August, Dr. Pearson and his team did a great job with Hope’s first surgery. The Civee and I couldn’t be happier with Hope’s smile.
At the same time, it was rough. The first few post-surgery hours (days, actually) are unsettling- from the moment when she unhappily first wakes up from the surgery to the nights of restless sleep afterwards. Additionally, the surgery had other temporary, if negative side effects- Hope’s sleep was off for a while and other things were, well, let’s say backed up. And while Hope won’t have plugs in her nose for six weeks after the surgery, she’ll still have to wear arm restraints for three weeks, which she absolutely hated.
Considering the fact that she’s making all sorts of noises, walking around the house, sleeping and eating normally, not to mention just being a happy little person, The Civee and I are not anxious to see what effects the post-surgery period will have. Unlike the surgery to repair her cleft lip, there won’t be any visible signs of something good happening (take that, insurance rep!). And while the surgery will allow her to eventually speak and eat normally, Hope will still need speech therapy and will be back to soft, pureed foods for quite some time (although we are planning on letting her have as much ice cream as she wants).
The other thing (as I’ve mentioned) that we’re not looking forward to is the arm restraints. The doctor says she will need them to keep her from putting her hands in her mouth. But last time, she was very irritated at the fact that she couldn’t move her arms. I had an idea the other day for a way around this which I plan to ask the doctor before surgery- baby boxing gloves- big enough to keep her from putting her hands in her mouth, but covering just her hands, allowing her full motion with her arms.
Even though she’s facing surgery next week, Hope is a strong, lively little girl. The surgery will help her in the long run, and while she may be out of it for a few weeks, she’ll be back to walking, eating normally and being a happy little baby in no time.