about a dream: a helmet?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

a helmet?

today, maggie's physical therapist said we might want to consider a helmet to help reshape her head. i was a bit blindsided by the suggestion because i didn't think her plagiocephaly (you can click on that word) was that bad, but apparently it's borderline. the physical therapist (aida) gave me a pamphlet about the helmet and said to think about whether we wanted it. (the kid in the picture above is wearing one of the helmets. it would have to be worn 23 hours a day for probably 3 months and is for purely cosmetic reasons).

one of nina's classmates dad, khan, is a physical therapist, so i asked the mom if he would give an opinion on the head. she said sure, and to call right away because he was answering the phone and not with patients today. i called and he said to bring her right by and he'd take a look (this is zohaib's dad. this is the family that we went to chuck e. cheese with back in september so nina and zohaib could play).

well, he agreed that the plagoicephaly is borderline, but he said if maggie were his patient, he'd want her to see a pediatric neurologist to decide whether the helmet is in order. i guess that's what we'll do next. he also said that if it were zohaib, he wouldn't be going with the helmet because zohaib would really hate it, and the correction wouldn't be worth it. if it was his daughter, he said he'd think about it.

the issue is that the flattening on the back, right side of her skull causes a slight misalignment in her ears, a slight bulge in her forehead, and can cause some asymmetry in the face. if you look at this chart(you can click that too), maggie is a 1 in all of the categories. she used to be a 2 in neck involvement, but we've corrected that to a 1 with the PT. khan said she'd probably improve about 50% without a helmet, close to 100% with. i think the 50% might be optimistic--she spends almost no time on the flat part anymore, even at night, since she nurses almost all night long and that puts her on the left side. i was expecting that it would be much better by now, since we started PT 2 months ago, but it's only slightly better.

so, that's that. i guess we'll see the neurologist and find out whether the asymmetry in her face will become more pronounced as she grows, less, or stays the same. the only way i could see us going for the helmet would be if the asymmetry is going to become more pronounced. right now, the only thing i really notice is that her ears are ever so slightly misaligned, but i don't think anyone else would notice.

also, i asked aida how much longer we'd be in PT, and she said she'll want to eventually be seeing us every once in a great while to make sure the torticollis doesn't return, but for now it's next week, and if maggie's rolling well then, we go again in a month. i also asked if maggie's torticollis was mild (like i've been telling people), but she said no, moderate.

so, big update there, but i think that's everything.


Vanessa said...

Wow- that is interesting. I looked at your links, and the plagiocephaly one certainly seems to say that helmet is usually for extreme cases, which Maggie isn't. The second link was helpful to see the kinds of things they look for. I think you are on the right track...see the neurologist, will the asymmetry get worse without a helmet? Poor baby!

nick and des said...

i liked that second link too. it is interesting to see hoe the face is affected, because i don't care if the back of her skull is somewhat flat, or even if her ears are ever so slightly misaligned. i hope they'll be able to give me some idea of how her looks could be affected as an adult, when the chubbyness is gone from her face... if it's like, she could be a 9.5 with the helmet and a 9.4 without, then no big deal. but what if no helmet could affect the symmetry such that she would only be a 9.1? (i saw a special on human beauty that talked about how symmetrical faces are see as more beautiful). but you know, so are big breasts and i'm not gonna go get her implants on her 18th birthday. not unless i get some first. ha!