It’s funny you can spend every moment with your child and still not notice she isn’t turning her head to the left.
When our pediatrician diagnosed our daughter Holly’s torticollis at her two month visit, I learned the flattening on the right side of her head wasn’t normal, and needed correcting. We began physical therapy immediately. Holly’s progress was encouraging, so we were fixing the cause, but not yet the effect.
My physical therapist classified Holly as having a moderate case of plagiocephaly. At first I was very optimistic that towels and repositioning would fix the issue, and I was going to avoid these “helmets” I had little understanding of. After a month, I started to be more objective. Research revealed the helmet process could start at three months, and I didn’t want to miss any more growth spurts. I remember the night I came to the realization, and then acceptance, that Holly was helmet bound. Once you get it through your own head your child needs a helmet, you can’t get one on her head fast enough.
I was able to make an appointment that week with MedEast Post-Op and Surgical, Inc. I was happy there was a facility in Blue Bell, a reasonable drive from my home. I met with Allison, who diagnosed my daughter as an extreme case. In a way, it validated my sense of mother’s intuition. I felt better knowing I may have missed the warning signs of torticollis, but at least I was being as proactive as possible in correcting the resulting problem. I had walked in with fears of traumatic plaster molds on unhappy campers. Allison put a little stocking on my daughter’s head and laid her on the STARscanner™. I thought this was just to perform an assessment, but when I learned this created the mold as well, I was amazed… and relieved.
The next week, I kissed Holly’s head often. I was mourning the loss of snuggle time with my baby in anticipation of the helmet. We went in for our first fitting, and there it was, this pink round shell. Holly did not even fuss when Allison put it on. Her little smiles hadn’t gone anywhere. I had read blogs from other parents who said the babies really didn’t mind, and they were right. When it comes to cranial orthotics, it’s the parents that have the hardest time adjusting.
Allison has been so kind and accessible throughout this ordeal. Her office is child friendly for my older daughter, making bi-weekly adjustments less of a hassle. When I was looking at Holly in the mirror one day, I had a minor freak out where I noticed her facial asymmetry for the first time. I emailed Allison and she responded promptly, and talked me down from the ledge with the objectivity and knowledge of an expert in her field. I am always amazed with her artisanship, knowing where and when to adjust the helmet. She is not just a provider of durable medical equipment, she is a coach and a craftsman.
The improvements thus far have been wonderful, and I know they will only get better with time. To those parents nervously researching their options, please know your little one is in good hands, and you are making the right decision.