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This one is about: Special Doctors by Kellie

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Special Doctors
     by Kellie Ault

For all of you who are cleft affected, whether it be because of having a cleft yourself or having a cleft affected child, you know that there are a lot of doctors involved. Doctor visits sometimes seem to get to be too much. You have your nice down to earth doctors. These doctors treat you like a real person, make you feel as if they care and that you are not an outcast or a $ (dollar sign) in their eyes. Then you have those doctors who don't seem as caring, they don't make you feel that you are a regular human being and maybe even that you are just another patient to them or should I say another $ (dollar sign).

I, myself was born with a midline cleft palate. I had two surgeries before the age of two. These two operations were not successful. Later, when I was almost 9 years old, I had a third and final surgery, pharyngeal flap. This operation was very successful and my speech has been perfect ever since. It changed my whole life.

I owe this change to a very special doctor. This a doctor who was one of those caring and special doctors. He was and still is a wonderful man. He treated me as a regular kid. That was something that the kids my age rarely did. He always took time to talk to me and just treat me like I was just like everyone else. He was also great to my parents, as well.

Now, 18 years later, I have gotten back in touch with him because after 18 years and finally for the most part blocking out my past nightmares that happened due to my cleft, I have been so quickly reminded of them again. On April 6, l997, I gave birth to a son who has a cleft palate as well. Nicholas also has Pierre Robin, too. I took him to see the same doctor that did my surgeries and still after all this time he is still the same wonderful doctor, both to me and towards my son. Unfortunately, he has since stopped doing cleft surgeries but he still looked at my son and explained things about it to me. Since Nicholas's birth I have had this strange need to know more about my cleft and the procedures that were done on myself. He has seen me twice and explained things to me and also has gotten old pictures of my cleft off of microfilm and made copies for me. He has definitely gone above and beyond his duties as a doctor and most importantly to me, he has always made me feel as if I was just like everyone else.

The moral to my story is that even though you may have had it with doctor appt. after appt. and if you run across those not so caring doctors, just remember that there are very special doctors out there who will help you get through this, even if it is 18 years later.

Kellie Ault

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