Did you know that the expression “tongue-tied” actually refers to a medical condition?
I didn’t until someone told me that Charlie had it about four and a half years ago. At the time, the news didn’t seem that important, but now I’m questioning that. I guess it’s important to note that we moved after Charlie was about two months old and then bumped around from one pediatrician to another until we found someone that was comfortable working with a child whose medical record is thicker than your average dictionary.
So. . . some things got a little lost. By the time our pediatrician actually looked at Charlie’s tongue he said, “well, since it isn’t affecting his eating, we probably don’t need to do anything about it.” Meanwhile, Charlie didn’t learn to eat by mouth until he was two and a half months old. At the time, the delay was attributed to stroke recovery or cerebral palsy, and I didn’t think one thing about it. Let’s face it, when you’re dealing with potential hydrocephalus and suspected epilepsy, possible blindness, and lining up five new specialists, a funny-looking tongue is pretty much the last thing on your mind. Also, I was traumatized by g-tube surgery, so I’m certain I would have rejected the idea of anyone getting near my baby with a scalpel.
But now it’s been pointed out to me that Louie has that same heart-shaped tongue.
So off I went to the Internet (natch. . . I have an PhD. in Google Research at this point).
Tongue tie is a tad controversial–many doctors believe it doesn’t cause that many issues, but a much larger percentage of occupational and speech therapists, and lactation consultants believe it’s a problem. I also read a study where people self-reported about their tongue-tie, and a large percentage believed that it made speech more difficult.
Turns out that funny-shaped tongue can cause issues in:
So far, Charlie has had issues with feeding, and has no speech whatsoever. I’m less sure about oral hygiene, but that’s because he’s scary defensive of his mouth. We have attributed all of that to cerebral palsy. Louie? Well, Louie was really lousy with the bottle for someone his size, and he’s had a lot more tongue thrust when eating solid food, and the OT who visits from Early Intervention noticed that he’s not as sophisticated when he mouths things. When his bottom two teeth came in, they are rotated inward. My Dr. Google research reveals that yes, this can be a result of tongue tie. Makes me think that his tongue also needs some inspection.
I don’t think I’m going to snip Charlie’s frenulum and he’s magically going to start talking, but if there’s something making speech harder? I’m going to take care of that! Charlie faces enough obstacles with his brain injury–no way I’m going to let some little piece of tissue add to the problem. And with Louie? Well, frankly, we have enough doctors and therapists in our life. If there’s a way I can avoid having to add some for Louis, then that’s the route I’d like to take.
Appointments are made–by the end of June tongue tie will have been addressed with the pediatrician. In the mean time, I just have to have a baby and recover from my c-section. Should be easy, right?