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Friday, November 13, 2009

UNDER CONSTRUCTION - Band Fitting... and Re-Fitting... and Re-Fitting

Two weeks ago, we received Connor's band/helmet.  Everything was all scheduled for Thursday, but we got a call on Wednesday afternoon saying it was in and would we want to come down.  We went ahead, to go get it over with.  Since I had been emotionally and mentally preparing myself (and probably psyching myself out) for this to happen on Thursday, it was probably good in the long run that I had less time to obsess about it. 

First few seconds with his helmet - October 28, 2009

The initial fitting took over an hour.  They placed it on his head, left it for awhile, then came back to check pressure points.  They marked up his head with lipstick, and re-placed the helmet, then removed it to shave down the problem areas (as indicated by the lipstick marks on the inner foam).

 October 28, 2009

We had never really noticed Connor touching his head or ears before... but, now with the helmet, he's very aware of that part of his body.

 Not happy at all - October 28, 2009

Being distracted by Daddy - October 28, 2009

It was really hard for me to see him in the helmet for the first time.  I'm sure I'm not the first parent who's cried in their office.  By the time we were finally able to leave, I was ready to leave his helmet behind.

View from the top - October 28, 2009

View from the back - October 28, 2009

View from the front - October 28, 2009

To say it's been a difficult two weeks, would be an understatement.  I don't really want to moan and complain much more than I already have, but it's been hard on the whole family.  The helmet has been an adjustment for everybody - when Connor's uncomfortable, then he doesn't sleep or he's fussy... which means Mommy and Daddy are fussy, too.  Being so little, Connor has no idea that thrashing his head around when he's upset causes bruises and fat lips. 

To be quite honest, after all that he's endured, this is just one big, fat annoyance.  One we're anxious to put behind us in a few months time.

 Red spots - October 29, 2009

So, we've had the helmet for two weeks now, and we've been to Cranial Tech in Oak Brook 4 times for adjustments and fittings.  Connor lucked out with my sensitive skin, so we've dealt with a lot of pressure points and red spots that don't fade after an hour's time.  When they don't subside, we have to continue to watch them with the helmet off, and then usually travel to CT for an adjustment.

More red spots - October 29, 2009

The helmet keeps him really warm, sweaty-warm, so we have to watch how we dress him.  Sooooo glad we're not doing this in July!  Because he sweats, combined with the materials that make up his helmet, it doesn't take long for him to lose that sweet baby smell.  :(

However, with all pains and discomfort these past two weeks, we're already seeing an improvement in his head shape.  The clinicians at CT can see it as well.  Which is amazing, because we know how relatively little he's worn the helmet, compared to their stringent 23-hour/day rule.  (While we've dealt with all of the pressure point issues, Connor's been unable to wear the helmet for long stretches at a time.)

Back for an adjustment - October 30, 2009

Seeing progress in such a short time, gives us the motivation to push forward.  After all, if we could survive the NICU experience, I KNOW we can do this!


Anonymous said...

He's adorable! I am the mom of a 24 weeker...214 days in the NICU. I'm sure it is hard to see you little guy in the band. I cried when I found out that my 10 month had to wear glasses. I cried when my son was fit for orthodic braces. It was awful at the time, but now it is okay. After time spent in the NICU, everything else is a piece of cake, right? Glad you are seeing improvements already.

Megan B ♥ said...

So glad you are seeing improvements already!! That sensitive skin thing is really stinky. Those little spots don't look like any fun for him :(

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