Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It's in the works ...

It's official. Levi is having a helmet made for him this week!

Here's the back story...

At Levi's two month check up, his pediatrician noticed the lack of rotation in his neck muscles and the prominent head tilt. Both of these movements were causing a flattening to one side of his head, which raised concern.

We decided along with Dr. Nold, to take Levi to a specialist so that measurements could be done and from those we could take any advice into consideration for the next step.

The specialist also had the same concerns that Dr. Nold had shared with us before. Although we aren't completely sure, we believe that Levi probably spent the last month or so in a "locked" position in utero. He could have been cramped for space, leaving his head tilted to the side that was more comfortable for him. After birth, it was quite evident that he was favoring the one side and wouldn't even look the other direction. Hence the diagnosis of torticollis. With his limited range of motion, it was recommended that we begin eight weeks of physical therapy.

We started physical therapy right away at the children's center at Johns Hopkins. PT has been great, Julie (our PT) has been amazing with Levi, and we have definitely noticed improvements. His rotation is much, much better and his neck muscles have strengthened a great deal for that to happen. Unfortunately, the tilt has not improved, which is still allowing him to favor one position only. Julie has helped me realize the other parts to torticollis that one may not think about. Because of his head positioning he seems to kind of "forget" that there is more to see to his left! Because of that, there was a chance that his motor skills could be delayed or even non existent on that side. Thankfully, he is using both hands equally and rolling over on both sides. There is no doubt that our little man is quite strong!

So here we are after months of therapy and the cranial specialist sees improvement and is overall happy with the results. Physical therapy has played a huge part and also the fact that Levi is now a belly sleeper and spending tons of time on his tummy strengthening those muscles!  But... with the help from a helmet, Levi could have a much rounder head shape in such a short amount of time. Since he is only four months old (five next week!) his head is still very pliable and would be quick at correcting any of the flattening concerns. :)

The big day will be September 11th. Levi will be fitted for his helmet and the specialist will make sure it's just the right fit. The appointment may take up to two hours to ensure that the helmet isn't too tight and is super comfy. After all, Levi will be wearing this thing 23 hours a day!

I'll keep y'all updated on the helmet... What it looks like, how it's going, how his heads doing... All that stuff! I had mixed emotions at first... Most of all, it was Levi's comfort that worried me. Also what other people may think... But now I am so happy to be moving forward with our decision!

And just so you know... His helmet will be baby blue with decals of some sort.  The hubs votes for decals that look like a hockey helmet. I am favoring sayings like "just fixin' my melon" or my most recent favorite, "I do my own stunts." We shall see ...

Stay tuned..... :)



Sue said...

Although I'm not surprised with Jim's idea for Levi's helmet, I really like yours ;) Glad you're addressing this early so the resolution will be quick. Love you guys! Xo

Lindsay said...

So glad you guys have a positive outlook on this, you are certainly a great Mommy and Daddy! :)

WeeMason's Mom said...

My son Mason went through the helmet journey too. As scary as it can be, it is so so so worth it. It will bother you a million times more than it does him and it will be over with before you know it!! Glad you guys have such a positive outlook!