So after our last physical therapy appointment, I was excited for this one. (Mason is in physical therapy for an abnormally tight neck muscle that has caused him to favor his right side and mis-shape his head, for those new around here!) Unlike last time, we had nothing to be ashamed of – Mason has been getting his neck stretches in every day and for the past three weeks, he’s not laid on the right side of his head basically EVER unless he managed to flop over that way between 4 and 6 am, which was very rare. The prop up blanket has become his best friend (much to his dismay) and he’s always forced to stay off of the right side of his head. Just looking at his head, you could see that the shape was not so… off.
Well, the appointment went poorly from the get go. When Dr. Amy tried to do his neck stretches, he screamed and fought like it was the most painful thing on earth and he put on such a show that it looked like the muscle hadn’t been stretched in weeks! When she tried to get him to look to the left (at her, at toys, etc) he simply refused. My utterance of “He has no problem looking to the left on his own at home!” seemed weak as he seemed to want none of it there. No matter how bright and musical the toys she brought out, he didn’t even consider looking at them. Unless she put them on his right side, then, of course, he was entranced.
He was obsessed with looking at me and his Daddy (to his right, of course). Even when I went and sat on the other side, then he decided he’d just stare at Daddy instead. Dr Amy eventually had to hold a sheet up to block his view to get him to cooperate at all to get his measurements.
And… there was no change. Not even a millimeter. Nothing. Notta. Zippo. Considering the appointment before he’d changed 2 millimeters to the worse, this isn’t a good sign. Even the doctor said “Wow, I was really hoping for at least 1 millimeter of change.” I made her measure a second time because I just couldn’t believe it. We’d done SO good with making sure he’d kept off his right side!! And his head looked less mis-shaped!
Before the appointment was over, Mason decided to show off his looking to the left skills and did it freely on his own multiple times, to which Dr. Amy said “Well, I’m really happy to see that because I was starting to not believe things were going nearly as well at home as you were portraying.” Normally, that would have made me mad, but I totally saw her point. Zero progress in three weeks. Ugh.
This appointment actually took place LAST Friday. I wanted to write about it that night, but I was too upset and angry then. Angry because I concluded the daycare must be dropping the ball. I was convinced that if we’re keeping him off of his right side 15 hours a day, they must really be dropping the ball the other 9 hours of the day for him to not have any progress at all. Dr. Amy is having his pediatrician write the daycare a letter and I spent several days just fuming.
But as the week went on, I learned several things that dimmed my anger – first of all, not all babies respond to positional therapy. We could try and try and try and he might still end up needing a helmet. And every time I’ve went into the daycare, they’ve either been holding him upright OR he’s been propped properly. Last night, the new girl there told me about how one of the first things they told her about was how to prop him up and how it’s kinda crazy that every where he goes, his rolled up blanket goes too – kind of like the boy off the Peanuts. She brought the subject up on her own, so it wasn’t a forced or “I’m saying this because I think it’s what you want to hear” type of conversation.
So this past week, we’ve ramped up his stretches and he’s getting them at nearly every diaper change and now he hates his changing table, which sucks. His changing table used to be his “happy place” where you could set him when he was fussy and he’d calm right down. Now, being laid on it makes him cry. That’s so sad. But, being that he seems to be deep in the throws of the growth spurt from hell, it’s been really hard to force him to stay on his left side when I’ve been spending hours and hours every night just trying to convince him to stop screaming when left in any position other than my arms.
Please cross your fingers that when he goes back to Dr. Amy in two more weeks that there is at least a TINY change for the better. This is all so discouraging – the stretches make him so unhappy and forcing to make him lay to the left is a huge neverending “move him back on the rolled up blanket AGAIN” hassle and I’m okay with making in unhappy and doing the same thing 30,000 times an hour if it’s for his own good. But if it does nothing for him? Then not so much….