Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu
I always experienced that kind of question when going out with Muja. Usually children are more curious and honest so they ask me directly.
Like any other child Muja is different but special. She had brain injuries at birth time. That left her muscles unable to control voluntarily. Just a simple muscle movements like smiling is difficult for Muja but not impossible. At one stage I was so sad that my poor child could never smile. It was so devastating to have a child that could not communicate with you. All she could do is high pitch of crying.
With the help from speech therapist, I do massage or stroke around her mouth. By the will of Allah, at the age of around two Muja began to smile. Masha Allah, the world is mine. The long wait is rewarded. Since that day I am so positive. Insha Allah everything is possible with Allah permission. In Muja case, it is only the matter of time. It could take longer time for her to do any task but it could happen. She is 4 now. At this time normal children would already talk fluently, I am working on to help her to call me, Mama. This would be my dream come through, Insha Allah.
Well, now I am coming to the answer of my question on the title of this post which is what's on her cheek? It is call nasogastric tube in the medical world. Basically is is just a tiny tube that goes through her nose, throat and ended in her stomach. It is for feeding purposes. She has that on since she was 6 months old. When she was about 12 months her developmental pediatrician suggested placing tube feeding in her stomach, but her father show unwillingness towards the surgery. Anyway, I believed she just needs more time to practice like more time to start smile.
You see as I explained before Muja has no control of her own muscles, so even the acts of eating like chewing and swallowing is hard for her to do. Any small lump in her food could only choke her. The food can also goes to the lungs instead of stomach which can create problems.
Although most of her nutrition come from a formula called PediaSure through tube feeding, I keep on practice feeding her orally. She would takes very smooth food without any lumps but must be thick consistence. Every time I put food in her mouth she is panicing because she has no idea what it is. Alhamdulillah she takes about 5 - 10 teaspoons now, but not enough for nutrition. It is to taste only. Insha Allah, one day she will be feeding orally without the nasogastric tube. I ask Allah to make this possible, Ameen.
By the way if you look at the picture of Muja above, she has her hearing aids on. There are previous post on the hearing aids here and here.
Insha Allah, next time I will post about how Muja indicates yes or no.