Cleft Palate you say!

For those of you who don’t know me personally, I was born with a cleft palate and lip. This is a medical condition where your upper lip and roof of your mouth does not fully come together before you are born, thus leaving a gap from your lip thru the roof of your mouth. It’s not pretty, but fortunately it’s repairable.

It has caused me numerous problems over the years, from difficulty eating as a baby, to reconstructive surgery, a misaligned bite, teeth that were crooked, one of which even came in sideways! Let’s just say the social hurdles were just as difficult, if not more so!

Recently one of my upper teeth became infected which resulted in an emergency visit to my dentist. We had talked two years earlier that this tooth was probably going to be a problem for me in the not too distant future, and he reminded me of that conversation. My quick reply was to ask him to cut to the chase and tell me what is involved in fixing my current situation.

He proceeded to tell me that the particular tooth in question is located right where the cleft was in my mouth, and with the reconstructive surgery that I had, there appeared to be a gap in my upper jaw line where there should be bone, which means there may be no way to install an implant to replace the damaged tooth. So, that means either leaving a gaping hole in my already lacking smile, or have a bridge made that would connect to the existing teeth.

My dentist made an appointment with an oral surgeon who will be taking 3D x-rays in order to properly assess the situation, after which I will be meeting with my dentist to see what they think the proper course of action should be.

What is leading me to write this blog is that for the first time in my life I actively sought out a support group for cleft palate patients, and though I found some, I didn’t see a lot out there that I would consider. What I did find was a young man with a cleft that was wondering about God, and how a kind & merciful God could allow someone to be born with such an affliction. He went on to complain about the hand he was dealt, and wondered if anyone else out there felt like he did about God and religion due to their medical condition.

Now, as a man of faith, and no stranger to heartache & tragedy, I can only offer my simple understanding of such matters. As part of the human experience, not only do we know great joy, love & happiness, but we also must endure great pain and sadness. And for someone with a birth defect, many times that pain and sadness must be endured on a daily basis. Trust me, there is no shortage of callus people in the world who are more than happy to comment on or question you about your obvious differences.

God knows & understands the human condition far better than we can comprehend, and God does not promise us that we will not experience pain & sorrow in our lifetime. It is however, during times such as this, if you’re willing & open to accept it, that a kind, loving, & merciful God offers & promises His love, His mercy, and His strength so that we can endure such trials and tribulations. God is our bridge over troubled waters, our calm amidst the storm.

Trust me, there were times when I asked God, “Why me God, why must I suffer from such an affliction?” But eventually you realize, if not you, then who? Would you wish this on someone else, anyone else? I think not. When I was born, my parents did not have all of the emotional & financial support that’s available today, but somehow they managed. And in the process, they wouldn’t allow me to feel sorry for myself. This was the hand I was dealt, and I would have to learn to live with it to the best of my abilities. And thankfully, with their firm guidance, and God’s grace, the necessary abilities were instilled within me and I managed to live a pretty successful and full life.

Every night when I lay my head down to sleep I thank God for that day of my life and for all of the blessings that He has bestowed on me, including my beautiful wife. As I see it, you can either blame God for all that is not right with your life, or you can ask God for His help to make your life right. For me, I chose the latter, and it truly has made all the difference for me, and for what I have been able to accomplish.

Hopefully when all of the tests are finished for my latest oral challenge and my medical team reviews the options with me, the fix will be simple. If that happens to not be the case, then I will ask God for his guidance, strength and mercy to be able to endure however this may go. And to all of my cleft palate brothers and sisters out there who are enduring the heartache of living with such an affliction, I ask that you turn to God and ask for His help with all of your struggles and pain, for He is kind, He is merciful, and He will listen.

And to all of you who take time out of your daily life to read my blogs I offer a simple “Thank you.”

Author: commonmanthoughts57

Living a common life with my exceptionally uncommon wife, who was the girl next door, and is the love of my life.

9 thoughts on “Cleft Palate you say!”

  1. Super, super inspirational! I admire your courage. I also greatly admire your gratitude towards the Lord! 🙏 ✝️ Wonderful blog.

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  2. Michael, We are so blessed to have you as our nephew. You are a wonderful man and are blessed to have your beautiful wife Katie. We pray that all goes well for you with your dental procedure. We love & miss you!

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  3. I needed to hear this this message Michael. Thanks for your insights, as always they are spot on.
    Sending hugs and prayers your way.

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  4. I needed to hear this message today Michael. Thank you. As always, you are spot on.
    Sending hugs and prayers your way.

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    1. Hi Kathlee – I hope all is well with you and your family. Thank you not only for your kind words but also for always being willing to review and critique my posts. Sending hugs and prayers right back at ‘ya!

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