Saturday, September 24, 2016

3rd Annual Cleft Clinic

Wyatt had Cleft Clinic this week and everything is going really well! We just have a few things to work on this year. His repair is looking good and unless you look closely you might not even notice. It is also working really well (not causing any problems with speech etc.) so there is no need for any surgery for that. Dr. Lacey showed Wyatt how to operate the dental chair this year and Wyatt thought that was awesome!

Speech is also going great! There are just a couple of things he needs to work on and again most people probably wouldn't even notice any issues. He might even be able to graduate from speech therapy soon.

There is some hearing loss in one of his ears but replacing the tube in that ear should take care of that.

His teeth are looking good too. There will be more work to do in this area but not for a few years.

Wyatt still has huge tonsils and due to some of the negative side effects that come with those his cleft team is recommending they come out. We did everything we could to avoid another surgery but the benefits now outweigh everything else. He will just have the tonsils out and not the adenoids so we can try to limit any impact this might have on his speech. His tonsils could be helping him get the closure he needs and that was one of the reservations we had with taking the tonsils out.

Cleft Clinic is a busy day visiting with a lot of specialists but has become a fun annual tradition. We enjoy traveling to the University of Minnesota, seeing our friends at the clinic and spending some quality time Mommy and Daddy time with Wyatt.

Here are a few more pictures from our day:

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Amazing Gift

This past October we received an amazing gift from our photographer. We had scheduled to have our family pictures taken with Sunlit Photography in Stillwater. It was raining but because we drove so far to get there we decided to make the most of it and try to get some pictures anyway. We had a great time and stopped at a malt shop for dinner on our way home. I knew this would be a special memory for our family. I was surprised to wake up the next morning to an email from Abbey letting me know she wasn't going to charge us for the session and was turning it into a Project Molly's Eyes session. Here is a little more about Project Molly's Eyes and a link to Our Session.

Not only is Abbey an amazing photographer but her kindness and generosity are overwhelming. I can't thank her enough for this gift.

Michael and the kids trying to stay dry under the trees while we waited for our session to start.

A few pics from our session.

The after party at the malt shop!


Speech Cont. - Wyatt goes to school!

Wyatt's speech is pretty good but he qualified for another year of speech services through the district and we are happy to take advantage of any extra help. At three years old the kids in our district transition from in-home services to speech group at the local community center. Here we are going to open house to see his classroom and meet his teacher.

Here's Wyatt on his first day of school! It was 4 weeks shy of his 3rd birthday and I couldn't believe we were sending him off on his own.

This is Sue! She is his awesome driver.

Wyatt was really excited to be starting school but a little unsure when he realized we weren't going with him. He was looking to Mom and Dad for encouragement. We reassured him even though we were a little sad and holding back our own tears.

He even gets to ride the bus home!

He loves his speech group and has a lot to say about his days.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Pediatric Dentist Appt & First Visit From The Tooth Fairy

Wyatt had an appointment with the pediatric dentist this week. The great news is he has all his teeth! His "lucky tooth" that is coming in his cleft is actually a tooth. They got some blurry x-rays even though the poor little guy kept gagging and threw up. He is going to need some dental work down the road for his teeth and jaw but we already knew about all that.

He had something coming through his palate and we were never really sure what it was. (Clefts can cause all kinds of weird things to happen... extra teeth, missing teeth, backwards teeth, etc. You never know what you are going to get!) The guess was a bone spur or small tooth. It didn't show up on the x-ray and the dentist was able to make it move so they decided to pull it out. A little topical and one good pull and that was that. We wondered if the Tooth Fairy would be interested. She was.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

2nd Annual Cleft Clinic

Cleft Clinic was last week! Wyatt goes to clinic once a year to meet with a variety of specialists who help to coordinate his care. We are set up in a room and the cleft team comes by one by one to meet with Wyatt.

Audiologist & ENT

Hearing problems can occur more frequently in children born with clefts so we meet with an ENT and audiologists. We see them both at cleft clinic and follow up with visits to an ENT every six months or so as needed.

Wyatt had tubes put in when he was 6 months old to help with fluid buildup and infections. When they checked his ears and hearing at clinic his hearing in his right ear was perfect but his tube in his left ear was falling out. He does have mild hearing loss in that ear due to fluid buildup. We are going to have his ears checked again in six weeks and if it isn't cleared up by then he will probably need his tubes replaced.

One of the questions we had going into the day was whether or not we should have Wyatt's tonsils taken out. He had a severe case of tonsillitis this year and his tonsils have always been huge. The ENT advised against rushing into having his tonsils out. Even though they are huge they haven't cause persistent issues so we will just keep an eye on it. The fact that they are so big could also be helping him get closure for speech. If he needs them out in the future we would have to meet with speech and do scoping (put a camera down his nose) first so they can get a picture of how everything is working in there.


They take pictures while we are there for his records. 

Pediatric  Dentist

When we met with the pediatric dentist we learned Wyatt has a cross bite and his upper jaw is smaller on the left side. With his surprise tooth (or "something") that came in in his cleft he has all his teeth!! Yay!

To help shape his upper jaw we found out he will need an expander around 5 or 6 years old when his permanent teeth come in. It is a device that goes in the roof of his mouth and is attached to the teeth. Some come with a key and for about 2 months we would turn it every few days. It will stay in for approximately 3 to 6 months after that to hold the shape. Expanders look something like this:


Funny story - Mike went with Wyatt and the Audiologists to the room where they do the hearing testing. On the way back they saw a poster on the wall of an expander and Mike was like, "Wow. What is that?" Little did he know the next doctor we saw would tell us Wyatt would need one! :)


The orthodontist said everything looks really great. His teeth and the enamel look really good. He has a positive overbite and crowding. They may remove baby teeth early to help his permanent teeth come in straighter. They may also have to remove permanent teeth due to the crowding but that isn't for sure. 

The orthodontist would be the one to put in the expander. It will help to form his upper jaw to match the lower. He said they would probably use the Quad Helix Expander which is the one on the left above. Around expander and bone grafting time they will do a CT scan to get the whole picture. It will allow them to see bone structure, missing teeth, etc. The expander and bone grafting would happen around the same time and everything would be coordinated with speech, etc.

The orthodontist commented on his monster tonsils. Pretty much everyone does.

Speech & Language Pathologist

Wyatt has been receiving speech services through our school district for the past year. The cleft team also keeps a close eye on his speech development. From the speech evaluation we learned his speech issues are developmental and not cleft related. He does not need private speech therapy at this time. He is making good progress so we will continue what we are doing.

Plastic Surgeon

Wyatt's plastic surgeon wasn't at clinic this time so we saw someone else. It worked out okay because he won't need any surgeries for a while that we know of. The surgeon we saw commented on how great his lip looks. He said he wouldn't consider any surgery until Wyatt is a teenager if that is something he wants. The more surgery you do the more scarring can build up.

Oral Surgeon

The oral surgeon said they don't come into the picture until much later but said Wyatt's facial growth looks normal. The oral surgeon was our last visitor.

All done! We took a break while they met as a team to discuss Wyatt's case.

The day ended with us going back for a brief report and any follow up instructions.

We also got to see Anna before we left!

All in all it was a good day. We learn something new every time we go. Wyatt did AWESOME! He is getting over a cold and wasn't feeling the best. Even though he would ask if we could go home after every specialist he still did a great job listening and following instructions. We are so proud of him!