My First Operations
I don't know what was repaired first, but both my lip and palate was fixed around the same time, when I was a few months old. And I don't really know what I looked like before the operations either. I do remember seeing a picture of mom giving me a bath in the kitchen sink and my lip was open, but it wasn't a very close-up picture and hard to see the cleft.
Finding a plastic surgeon to get my lip and palate fixed wasn't that difficult. My grandmother had a friend who knew a plastic surgeon that had worked with cleft kids and recommended him.
The only trouble was that the operations had to be done in Gainesville, 2 hours away. But it somehow worked out with just one car, driving and dropping Dad off at work and then off Mom and I went to Gainesville.
And I don't remember mom saying I had splints on my arms like I've heard from other parents. According to the theory behind using splints, it's to prevent the baby from touching his/her face right shortly after surgery. With the way I was/am, I don't think I would have fooled with it.
What I do remember Mom talking about was how I got along with our dog, Oscar. He was a smaller size dog and a little older than I was and we got along great together. He would play with my toys and I would play with his :). And if I wanted whatever it was he had, he wouldn't bite me if I grabbed for it. One time I think he chewed on a plate that I had to wear in my mouth that covered the roof to the mouth.
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The last time I got around to updating this page was Friday, October 20, 2000