As Namine has grown, her doctor appointments have — for the most part — become less involved. Case in point: her most recent dental checkup. Not so long ago, every visit was a discussion about necessary surgeries and procedures. Some have come to pass, and some have not.
Before Namine’s tooth extractions and braces, which have both since been completed, the possibility of her needing a jaw expansion was discussed. This was, at the time, talked about by doctors as a certainty.
As with many things child-related, however, it was in actuality contingent upon her growth. She ended up not needing it, but rather only needing four teeth to be pulled.
Namine’s dental appointments are now events which require very little involvement on our part. We schedule them with the office, of course, and we take her to the appointment, but she goes back with the nurse by herself. She can transfer from her wheelchair to the dental chair by herself, so my help is not needed there.
Namine is also an excellent self-advocate. She has had words with the dental staff before on how far back she may be laid — so far, and no farther, for the sake of her heart’s health. They know now to listen to what she says.
When the appointment is done, she transfers back into her wheelchair on her own. Sometimes transferring in one direction is more difficult than another, but in this case she requires no help in either situation. The dentist relays his concerns, or lack thereof, to us afterward.
At this appointment, there was no bad news. Namine’s braces were removed just a year and a half ago, and she is required to wear her retainers only at night. Her jaw continues to grow along with her, setting aside the concerns of the cleft palate team that she would require another mandibular distraction.