Two months ago we had Kazuo fitted for a Plagiocephaly Helmet to help correct the flat spot that had developed as a result of a neck condition called Congenital Muscular Torticollis. On the first day of the helmet, he was a bit bemused by the whole experience:
…but he adjusted really quickly and soon the helmet – that he wears 23 hours a day – just seemed to become part of him. He even seemed to find being rocked to sleep (which was wearing us both out a bit) a much less relaxing proposition, and soon made the transition to being able to roll about in the cot a little and then fall asleep more or less on his own (though I still have to sing to him now and then to get him to nap calmly). Here he is helmet-clad in his sleeping bag after a nap and looking quite cheery:
Up until now Kazuo has not been a boy who plucked at things on his head, and it is only relatively recently that he seems to notice that the helmet is there. So – as promised – the wearing of the helmet did not really pose to many practical impediments to our wee lad. Even in the worst of the summer heat – 100+F days (~40degC ) and 90% humidity – he coped remarkably well, though we did make sure we gave him some extra breaks on extremely hot days.
On another note, we did have some early pressure sores as his head grew rapidly at the outset. It was nearly impossible to capture a picture of the worst one, but here is the image I had to send to the Orthotist when asking advice on treatment. It took a couple of weeks of helmet readjustments and regular application of hydrocortisone cream to make this spot go away and thankfully there has not been any real scarring from the rubbing.
Towards the end of last month we had a visit to the Nurse Practitioner in the plastic surgery department who initiated the helmet process. She reviewed Kazuo’s changing head shape and took some more amazing 3-D photos of his head (hoping to collect these on disc when the treatment is up, their cameras were seriously cool!). It seems that our lad is right on track and is making good progress. We have become quite accustomed to seeing him in the helmet, it will be another adjustment to see his new/normal headshape once he is freed from the confines of the helmet.
But here he is at 8mths looking almost ready to be free! He is making tentative explorations in the crawling department, and the helmet does save him from some nasty bumps on the hardwood floor, so it will probably take him time to realise that his head is really just this soft little thing… But as he also becomes more snuggly and affectionate, it will be wonderful not to be dodging fat lips from the helmet as he comes in for a hug.
We hope to be reporting the end of the helmet in about three weeks time – amazing! Fingers crossed…