It’s amazing how much you are introduced to through the process of having a Cleft lip and palate. Honestly, surgery isn’t a very scary thing to me anymore because I know and understand the process. If you do something over and over, the fear disappears and you get used to it. Of course the thought of surgery and not knowing how you will look when it is over is all very scary, but there are ways to decrease that fear. First, it helps if you trust your surgeon and understand what she/he is doing. Take your time in choosing who will do your surgery. Get a second and third opinion. There is more than one way to get to the finish line so be sure that you feel good about the surgeon you choose and the route they are going to take. It’s important that you feel like you have a voice in the direction being taken because it is your face and you’re the one who actually goes through the surgery. Second, I would highly recommend seeking out some kind of support system to have with you during surgery and/or recovery, whether that is family like it was for me, friends or now, the CleftProud Community on our website, it just makes the whole process easier. That is what got me through it all. My amazing family being by my side every step of the way, always. Lastly, make a solid plan about how to get back on your feet after recovery. If it’s creating a timeline and setting goals about getting back to your hobbies or school, or just making sure you have a steady flow of visitors coming to see you – it’s good to have a plan to keep yourself focused on getting back into life but also remember to set aside time to do the healing you need to do and surround yourself with people who help you take care of you.
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