Tag Archive | cleft palate

What is a Cleft?

To kick off Craniofacial Acceptance Week I thought why not start at the base. To accept something one must first know what it is they are accepting. So what is a cleft? 

Webster’s dictionary defines a cleft as “1: a space or opening made by or as if by splitting. or 2: a usually V-shaped indented formation : a hollow between ridges or protuberances”.
 
Now reading this, it makes since as to what a cleft lip/palate is because when you see a child born with a cleft there is an opening in either the lip, palate, or both.
 
However, to be more specific a cleft lip is “a birth defect characterized by one or more clefts in the upper lip resulting from failure of the embryonic parts of the lip to unite” (Webster’s Dictionary). A cleft palate is “a congenital fissure of the roof of the mouth produced by failure of the two maxillae to unite during embryonic development and often associated with cleft lip” (Webster’s Dictionary). http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cleft+lip?show=0&t=1368498853 
 
I know some of you might have gotten to this point and thought to yourself “I’m sorry, what? That’s a mouthful”. I would say that you aren’t crazy for thinking such things. I like to give the ABC version of in my instance what a bilateral cleft-lip and palate is. 
 
You see, when I was in high school I spoke to an elementary school about my cleft and overcoming obstacles. So how do you explain being born with a cleft to second graders, to kindergartners? My explanation to kiddos or anyone who might not have a clue of what a cleft is fairly simple. When I was in my mother’s belly being formed, a piece didn’t come together, like a missing piece of a puzzle. I had an opening where my mouth was and at the roof (top) of my mouth. Doctors fixed me to make me complete/whole.  Pretty basic huh? 🙂 at least I think so.
 
Although I think my description is a good one (tooting my own horn here) it is always good to see a visual. Am I right? The picture below is so informative when showing children or even adults. 
 Image
P.S. I got the picture from the following website, it is a very informative website in general. http://nursingcrib.com/nursing-notes-reviewer/maternal-child-health/cleft-lip-and-palate/ 
 
~ Becca

Voices

You know everyone regardless of their age or gender all has a distinct voice. Some voices are raspy, some voices are high pitched or low like Josh Turner 😉

My voice has its own distinct feature that stems from my cleft-lip and palate. You see, until I was 24 I had a hole in the roof of my mouth. There is a proper term for this “hole” but I don’t want to bore you with all of the specifics.

When I was a little girl I used to sit in front of the tv and watch CMT, when they ONLY played music lol. I would sing along to every song, especially Reba! My dream was to be a singer, however I soon realized that I could barely carry a musical tune. 😦 Who knew! Now my musical talents are left for a small audience of me, myself, and I when I sing at the top of the lungs in the shower. 😉

My voice has “matured” over the years though, at least in my opinion. I used to be shy so I was quiet, and then I became a girl with a loud mouth that wouldn’t shut up, perhaps that’s why I made a great high school cheerleader! Haha.

However, I’ve never really known how my voice sounded to other people, I mean after all I can’t necessarily hear what they hear. That being said, I’ve had a few instances where I have gotten some idea of how some people think I sound.

I work as an HR Specialist and therefore I’m on the phone I would say at least half of my workday. To get an idea of how I “sound” let me give you an example of a conversation. “____ Office this is Rebecca.” “Oh you poor thing you must have a cold, you sound awful” or “Oh no, your allergies are getting to you too huh? Sounds like it.”

Now the first time or two you shrug it off, but after the one hundred and fifty-fifth time (number exaggerated obviously), it’s like “REALLY?” Lol I mean some days I feel A-mazing and then I get that and it’s like “Crap, do I sound like I’m sick?” Most of the time I truly do shrug it off and just say “Yea it’s my allergies” and quite honestly I do have those lovely seasonal allergies. However, more often times than not I just don’t have the heart to tell the person “No, I’m not sick at all!” Lol, there have been a couple of instances where I just laugh and say “No, I’m not sick, I just have a raspy voice.”

My main point with this rant is that we are all unique in our own way maybe by shape, size, facial appearance, or even voice. It’s better to not assume you know what’s going on with a person than to say something that if corrected you might regret, at least that’s my opinion. However, if you do happen to get those instances like mine or similar just shake it off, smile, and remember the person doesn’t know and more than likely they don’t mean to be hurtful.

~Becca~