So I realize that I said I was probably going to be filling the blog with holiday pictures all week long, but that’s not going to happen, at least not today.
Tomorrow we’re making the three hour drive to our clinic system’s “home base” and meeting with orthodists and neurologists and hopefully getting Mason fitted for a helmet.
For those who haven’t been following along, way back when Mason was 3 months old, he was diagnosed with torticollis (stiff neck muscle) and plagiocephaly (mis-shaped head beyond the normal “babies heads aren’t perfectly round”) and we went through 6 months of physical therapy. Physically forcing his head to the left 8 times a day (stretching the neck muscle), forcing him to sleep facing the left, always keeping him off the right side of his head (the flat side) etc etc etc. The torticollis has cleared up – he now has a great range of motion and turns his head to the right and left like a totally normal person, but we’ve seen no improvement in his head shape in the last 8 weeks.
A perfectly normal head has a zero mm difference in measurements. A “we really believe you should do a helmet RIGHT NOW” head has a 10 mm (or higher) difference. Helmets seem to do the most good (in the shortest amount of time) on babies 4-6 months old. Mason is 9 months old and his head has a 9 mm mis-shapen-ness (for anyone reading this who is familiar with plagiocephaly, I apologize for not knowing proper terminology yet LOL) He’s at the age where he’s NOT going to grow out of his head being funky shaped, but he’s also at the age where the helmet may not do as much good as it would have had we done it 3 months ago. But three months ago, we were still making progress with physical therapy, so we didn’t know. We didn’t know.
Part of me says that this seems so vain. Months of a baby in a helmet to correct something that is not hurting him, not ailing him in any way. But then there is the other part of me that comes out when people who hear that we’re considering this go “But his head looks fine!” It really doesn’t. You don’t see him from behind. You don’t see when his duck fluff is wet in the bathtub. You don’t feel the “edge” where the flat part meets the round part of his head. And he’s a boy. Down the road, he’s going to want to shave his head. He’s going to want short hair. What if the difference is big enough that his glasses don’t sit right? (because his ears don’t line up perfectly) What if he wants to play ball and his football or baseball helmet hurts to wear?
The original person I talked to on the phone after we got the referral from our pediatrician tried to tell me that they don’t do helmets for babies over 6 months. Considering there are just two companies that make baby helmets and they both say “Up to 18 months” I plan on fighting that line of thought if it’s brought up again. I would hate it we went all the way down there only to have them say “Oh, he’s too old, it’s too late!” because that’s not true – I’ve surrounded myself with positive stories of 10 and 11 month olds who have went from a 12 mm difference to a 3 mm difference in just a few months. Of 18 month olds who have seen improvement. I really hope this isn’t an issue because we don’t really have many other places to chose from and all of them are even further away.
Anyway, think good thoughts for us tomorrow. This is by far the longest car ride he’s ever been on and we have nearly 2 hours between appointments with nothing to do, so it should be an interesting day, to say the least. It seems so wrong that I’m hoping to hear “Yes, this is medically necessary, we’ll get it ordered tomorrow!” The way I look at it, the sooner we get the ball rolling, the sooner it will be over. A few months will fly by and at his age, he’ll never notice the difference. Who knows, it may even prevent a few cuts and bruises as he learns to walk. Right??? *trying to be positive*