What would it feel like?

What would it feel like to see yourself for the first time after having your severe cleft lip repaired? Do you feel excited? How would you even recognize yourself? Do these children and adults have an identity crisis or is their self-confidence boosted immediately? Do they cry tears of joy or tears of loss of self? I personally have never experienced such a physical change in my life and I have to imagine that no amount of preparation can prepare you for the experience of looking in a mirror for the first time. How strange it must feel to open in close your mouth and have your lips close completely against one another. Do you feel a sense of relief? Is it overwhelming? Is it everything you had hoped for? Did we hold our promise to you? Is your smile all fixed?

Today Lokhi's severe bilateral cleft lip was repaired. He is fifteen years old and tears streamed down his face as he looked in the mirror for the first time. I cried right along with him as I held his hand and those questions raced through my mind. I asked him if he was paining to which he said no. I told him he was beautiful to which he nodded and it is true. Inside and out. He is a beautiful child whom I am so blessed to care for.

I worked for 16 hours today. Holding the hand of one patient, seeing the thankfulness in their eyes makes every last minute worth it. From the 10 year old who gave me the thumbs up as he was wheeled in to the OR for the second time to control the bleeding to Lokhi and his dad who couldn't stop thanking the team; I am made full and of course, here come the tears again.


  1. This is beautiful!!! You are doing a great job to mankind!

  2. This post is amazing. I love the photo of the father, you can just see the love and gratitude in his eyes. Keep up the great work!

  3. I thought about this before I went to bed last night. It's wonderful and such a difference has been made physically and mentally.

    Lovely thoughts sent to you too, that boy must have been very scared and you helped to soothe his nerves.

  4. It's so refreshing to see a fellow nurse blogger here in the interwebz! :) Awesome blog!