Owen needs to wear a helmet.
I took the boys to their 3 month check-up from their time in the NICU last week and it turns out that the flat spot on the back side of Owen's head is more than a cosmetic problem. It turns out that he has Plagiocephaly, which is caused by five factors, all of which affect Owen. He was a multiple, a premie, he has torticollis, he sleeps on his back and he spends a lot of time in things like bouncy chairs and swings. Because the flat spot in on the side instead of directly on the back of his head, it is causing his ears to misalign, which could cause hearing problems in the future if it puts too much pressure on his eardrums. Vision and jaw problems could also result if we don't get it taken care of soon.
All that to be said, we have our first appointment tomorrow. The office will take images of his head and they will hopefully make a mold so they can begin to create the helmet. Because they caught the problem early, he'll hopefully be on the shorter end of the spectrum for how long he has to wear it. Their website says that it's pretty common to wear it for 10-12 weeks for 23 hours a day.
God's provision is amazing though. This helmet company is only in about 12 locations nationwide, Dallas being one of them! The appointment we have tomorrow is 1.5 hours away, and if we were staying in CT, I'd have to make that drive once a week with both boys alone so he could get the helmet adjusted. But in Dallas, the office is only a 15 minute drive from where we'll probably live, which is an amazing blessing.
I'm trying hard to look on the bright side of things...
- The problem was caught early
- He can start treatment while his head is still very soft and malleable, which means that he should wear it for less time
- He's in a rapid growth stage, which also leads to a shorter time to wear it
- This is a very fixable problem to have - it won't leave scars and after it's fixed, he won't have to deal with it again
- He's young enough that he'll never remember having to go through this
I know this will be harder on me than it is on him. It's hard seeing your baby go through this. I just pray that it doesn't bother him that much, that he'll be able to sleep well while wearing it and that we will notice a change quickly. Oh yeah, and that it's covered by insurance. It'll cost a pretty penny if it isn't.
I'll update more after the appointment, but please keep us in your prayers around 8am tomorrow.