I’ll admit it, I’ve been a brat about this head re-shaping ordeal.
Gone was my baby’s snuggly, sweet-smelling noggin… replaced with hard and painful plastic, stink beyond belief, nightly cleaning tasks, developmental delays, and MORE appointments to attend.
I’ve done a lot of complaining about this helmet thing, and for that I apologize.
Boy, does it feel good to have it all behind us now! :)
Anxious anticipation. – April 26, 2010
Because other people contemplating a helmet for their child might find their way to this post, to review:
Connor was diagnosed with moderate to severe brachycephaly with plagiocephaly. (Torticollis was never a factor.) We believe this occurred as a result of his prematurity and time spent in the NICU. Due to his surgeries, he spent a significant amount of time intubated, and repositioning was not as feasible. When you have to lay in an isolette and hospital crib for 4 months, flattening is bound to happen.
Connor had 2 DOC Bands from Cranial Technologies, resulting in 26 weeks of treatment.
To decorate both bands, I used vinyl decals from Bling Your Band. I sealed his first band with DecoArt Sealer and then Mod Podge. The second band was not sealed at all, and I’m so glad I never did – due to the shape of the decals, everything stayed on his band just fine.
Nightly, Connor’s band was scrubbed with a soft-bristled toothbrush and 90-proof rubbing alcohol. Several times per week, we had to wash his hair with kids’ shampoo, just to help cover up the stink. Occasionally, I left his band in the sun, to help manage the odor. Connor also developed a few calluses on the top of his head due to band-wearing.
Connor did not wear his band the 23-hours/day as recommended by CT. He averaged 20-22 hours/day. To wear any longer than that felt like cruel and unusual punishment. In no way do I feel the slightly shortened wear time contributed to his need for a second band.
If we did it all over again, I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have gone with a second band… we would have quit with the first band (stupid mommy guilt!). I’m not convinced that the minor changes we saw during the second course of treatment were a direct result of the band-wearing, but rather expected growth and maturation. During the second band, Connor was able to sit and roll around, thus spending less time on his back, compressing his skull to flatness. Plus, his current head shape looks much like his father’s and great-grandfather’s, so this is as likely as far as he’ll go in head shape-changing.
Getting giddy! – April 26, 2010
Connor graduated from his DOC Band treatment on Monday, April 26, 2010. Daddy was able to attend the big event at Cranial Tech with us… and we were glad… because they needed to perform another DSi Scan and Connor enjoyed it even less than last time! A final photo study was also done. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves (click on them to blow-up)…
They actually adjusted his second band for us to get 2 more weeks of wear out of it… but we pretty much took it off Connor for good as soon as we got to the car (and then it had to go back on when they phoned a few minutes later after the photo study session had been accidentally deleted… poor Connor was so confused when we headed back in to do it all over again, especially after we’d been singing all the way down the elevator to the car the first time, '”WE’RE DONE, ALL DONE!!”)… 2 more weeks, no thank you. 26 weeks was more than plenty!
So, now I’m not quite sure what to do with all this paraphernalia. We’ve got both his bands, plus the heavy plaster head molds from which his bands were made. I suppose at some point, years in the future, we’ll pull out these torture devices for Connor to see… and then I think I’ll throw them away!
All in all, we’re PLEASED with his current head shape. We’re happy we did the first band, slightly annoyed that we did the second band, and ECSTATIC that it’s all over. :)