Tuesday, January 27, 2009

God Answered Our Prayer for Jackson

It has been a crazy last couple of days. Thursday night Charlie and I prayed that God would show us what is specifically wrong with Jackson. I was at my breaking point, tears and all. It is really hard when he is sick and cannot tell me what hurts or what he needs and he just cries and cries. Friday morning, Charlie was playing with Jackson and noticed that his top frenulum was attached through his front teeth to the back of his roof of his mouth. We thought this might be God answering our prayers because I have known that is there is something wrong medically with Jackson, we just have not been able to discover what exactly is wrong with him. We were so excited that we wanted to talk to the doctor, but talked to the nurse instead and she said that it was his top frenulum that was hurt. I did some research online on what a frenulum was and discovered that you also have a bottom frenulum under your tongue and if that is short you are classified as “tongue tied.” If your frenulum is short then you have limited tongue movement, cannot say certain words, and usually cannot breastfeed. I have never seen Jackson stick his tongue out past his lips and was really thinking that this could be his problem. He could not breastfeed and still cannot suck a drink out of a straw.

So, Monday we went to the doctor and she confirmed my suspicion…her words were “he has a short bottom frenulum.” Tears almost came flying. Why did they not check this when I tried to breastfeed for 7 weeks and could not ever figure it out (I was not in Columbia then)? No, I am not going to play the “what if” game. This is God’s timing for Jackson and He gets all the glory for answering our prayers the next day and showing us what has been going on with Jackson. This explains why everything is “gaga.” This explains a lot for us. You have to wrap your tongue around a straw to get liquid up the straw. The only issue is that he does have some movement in his tongue (he can move his tongue side to side when he eats) and it is not a very obvious issue when you examine him. We are being referred to an Ears Nose and Throat doctor and they are going to check out everything. They will test if there is fluid back behind his ears. I read online that many doctors do not want to do anything to the frenulum, but if they do not want to I will be getting a second opinion. I just do not know how it could hurt him having this procedure done since he does not have that much movement wit his tongue. I have read of amazing stories online about children being able to speak prettty quickly after this procedure was done. Additionally, the doctor does not think the top frenulum is a big problem, but she wants it all checked out. His case is not as bad as the ones I have seen online, but I really do believe it is hindering his speech. He cannot even pucker his lips up to kiss me, lick on ice cream cone, etc.

What is tongue-tie?

Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a birth defect in which the tissue that attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth (lingual frenulum) is abnormally short. Movements of the tongue may be restricted, depending on the degree of attachment to the mouth. It is more common in boys than girls.

I am a hopeful realist. I know getting his frenulum fixed may not solve all Jackson’s speech problems and he will probably have to be in speech therapy for a good while. And this might not be the entire problem, but God is starting to show is what the issues are. I cannot wait to see what God is going to do through my baby boy! Jackson not being able to communicate with me has probably been one of the hardest things I have ever had to go through. I have felt so helpless, and clueless on what to do for him. I want to have all the information possible to understand what is going on with Jackson.

If your child has speech delay, get his mouth examined by a doctor and I would recommend demanding that your child go to an ENT doctor. It will not hurt anything to have everything checked out, especially if he as had ear infections.

Have any of you ever heard of this problem?

I am trusting Him with everything. God is so good and working out everything for our good and for His glory. Thank you for your prayers!


Jaime said...

I have never heard of it causing speech problems but I have heard of it causing significant breastfeeding problems. Most babies can get it clipped (if it is discovered) and breastfeeding can "work" very easily after that.

I hope and pray that this is the answer or a partial-answer to your prayers.

Melinda said...

Emily! Micah had his frenelum clipped when he was 8-9 mo old. I had to bring it to my docs attention since it isn't a routine check and only did so because my parents nagged me. Apparently males born into my family are born tongue-tied. We were referred to an ENT and got it clipped at the hospital in a 5 minute procedure. I'll be happy to chat with you, if you' like. :)

amjackson said...

Yay for answered prayers. Praise the Lord!!!

Lauren Spears said...

my brother had a short frenulum when he was little and the doctors clipped it when he was about 4 years old. Before that he could not say the letters "s", "p" (so Spears was especially hard!), "t" or "th" sounds at all. Many other sounds were limited. However, after that, his speech greatly improved. He had this done at the same time his tonsils were removed and he never complained at all about the tongue thing, only the tonsils. I think if you end up doing this, you (and Jackson!) will be very happy. :-)

Michelle said...

Praise God! Emily, I really hope that this discovery plays a big part in helping Jackson with his speech!

Misty said...

Emily it was Dr. Brill( @ Richland) who clipped my client's frenulum. Please do not expect a quick fix. It will greatly help but he wil still have to strengthen the lingual muscles. Feel free to call me with any questions.

Emily Wallace said...

Thank yall so much for your encouragement. Jackson did really well in therapy this week and said almost 20 words! He might not need surgery but we will see what doctors said. Misty, thank you for all your practical advice in the other post. I know some people who read my blog children have speech issues and you are obviously a great speech therapist! Thanks again everyone for your prayers. God's timing for Jackson is perfect.

珊珊李 said...


小小彬 said...

I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.