Today I took care of my first cleft palate/cleft lips patients. They were great.
Anissa is 1 1/2 and was terrified of me. I think it was my white skin. She had a fuzzy little afro, delicately formed ears, and porcelain lips which curled in horror when I move to close in her general direction. I went though my entire bag of tricks to make kids like me, and they were, one by one, shot down.
But I persevered. I gave her space but I was determined that we became friends by the end of my shift. After lunch, I sat on the end of the bed, not holding a stethoscope or thermometer, and let her small, dark hands examine the contours of my face. I gradually moved closer until I was sitting right next to her and she was smiling. I made funny noises at her and tapped her nose and she smiled. I think were friends now. Maybe tomorrow she will even let me hold her.
Bendu went home today. Bendu was a beautiful, tiny two year old girl who whore little gold stud earrings. She had a skin graft placed on her nose.
Bendu was very outgoing. I had taken for several trips down the hallway to visit the other patients without any signs on separation anxiety. Her small head would nuzzle under my chin and she would melt into me. It's so wonderful to snuggle with babies.
Bendu had been very vocal all morning. When kids start to talk and be mildly cranky, it's time to go home. You know they are feeling better. Today her mama strapped her on her back with a large towel and they were gone.