Part three of three...
Lately, I have noticed that Joaquin sticks his little tongue out a lot and wondered if it had anything to do with the tongue-tie. After doing a little bit of research I found that tongue thrust could definitely be caused by it and that it could also cause a number of other issues including speech problems. It was in the back of my mind for a while so I finally got a reference to a Pediatric Ear, Nose & Throat Dr that is well known for his work with tongue-tie. He was also out of my insurance medical group so I had to pay out of pocket. But at this point I didn’t care; I wanted some real answers.
I drove up to Encinitas to his office early Friday morning. He was very nice, listened and spent a whole half an hour with us. He took a look in Joaquin’s mouth and said that he has what is called Category One Ankyloglossia, which is tongue-tie with the heart shaped tongue. When he found out we were still nursing he was shocked. He said he had never met a mother who endured breastfeeding with this type of tongue-tie without getting it clipped. He asked me if we dealt with the bleeding, the pain, the crying while nursing? Yes, I did. He told me he was impressed by me and my dedication to breast-feeding. It was amazing. To hear this from someone, anyone, let alone a medical professional? Finally someone who “got” what I had gone through! And it only took a $100 out of pocket Dr visit!
Because of the fact that we did make it through breastfeeding, it had stretched, just enough. But not enough that he no longer had it. Because of his age, there was no way he was going to be able to clip it in his office. Had I brought him when we had initially gone through all of this he would have been able to do it then. So, now at 18 months we would have to take him to Children’s Hospital where he would undergo general anesthesia for 10 to 15 minutes. He said it would be a pretty quick and easy procedure, but the idea of putting him under really freaks me out.
He suggested we wait a couple of years and see if it in fact interferes with his speech and if it does we can then go through with the procedure. That made sense. But after talking and thinking it over a bit I’m not so sure. I’m not sure I want Joaquin to go through speech difficulties; to deal with the frustration of not being able to communicate and then have to deal with relearning speech with is new free tongue. But at the same time, what if there won’t be a speech problem and we go through the whole procedure for nothing? Not that we’ll ever know.
So Dan and I have decided we’ll go with something in the middle. We’re going to see how his speech progresses over the next 6 months to a year and go from there. I’m just so glad I followed through with my gut and saw a specialist. While it has brought us to have to deal with some decisions, it has validated that I knew something was wrong all along.