We found the big activity room on the pediatric floor…the one we had seen in Manoj’s photos back when the team scoped out Ica last year. It was perfect for us: kid sized chairs, adult sized chairs, a white board, and plenty of room. First things first, we saw all the patients who had surgery yesterday. It is standard policy on these trips to do complicated cases first, so that the surgeons are still in town if any complications arise. Thus, the majority of the Monday patients had palate surgery. We worked with the parents on how to best establish oral resonance and airflow using their new palates, and we did therapy with the kids directly. Soon after, the kids were discharged, taking home speech practice materials and, for those who have access to the internet, my business card. Kisses and photos all around, and we bid the first “batch” good bye.
No sooner did we send the post-surgical patients off, than we were swamped with new clients. We were hopping all day! For each child and parent, we did a quick evaluation on the fly, developed a home program, and made sure the parent understood our recommendations. Some of the families had heard about us on the radio, some on TV; some had been told by friends or family members who work at the hospital to bring their kids while we were in town. We saw everyone…it was a very full day.
Late in the afternoon, we closed the speech office and headed to surgery, to see a double z plasty, commonly called a Furlow, after the surgeon who first wrote about it. I’ll let Jessie tell you about that in a separate post.
We are all fine, teaching, learning, sharing and enjoying…enjoying the people of Peru, our beautiful hospital, the welcome we are receiving and the collegiality we are building.