Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Battling Brachycephaly- The Update (First 6 Weeks)

My husband and I just got home from Children's Hospital of Atlanta where Waylon had his second scan on the StarBand machine to see where he stands so far with helmet therapy. For those of you curious, the StarBand scanner doesn't transmit and radiation, unlike Xrays, and looks like this:

Waylon didn't need a fancy lead apron and they didn't ask us to de-robe him either. You simply lay your child on the glass and hold their arms down (trying to get them to lie extremely still). It literally takes 3 seconds and BAM, you're done. Waylon likes to move his mouth so they had to two take shots in order to get the picture they needed to read the numbers accurately. Our orthotist recommend giving him a pacifier but we forgot to bring one with us. 

We waited for maybe 3 minutes for the results but it felt like eternity. The whole time I was trying to get a read on the orthotist's face to see if she had a positive or negative reaction but she was really not giving me anything. To us, his head was much different after 6 weeks of treatment but I didn't want to get my hopes up.

As a reminder, the last visit Waylon's ratio was at 102%, meaning his head was wider than it was long. When we asked the orthotist in the beginning of therapy what number she'd ideally like to get to, she really couldn't answer it. As super optimistic parents we said "Well, like 80%?"  She said, "Oh gosh, no." And that after 4.5 months of wearing the helmet she didn't even know if he would get down to 95%. 

Well folks. After 6 weeks of helmet therapy our little man is already down to 95% ratio. That's right. The number that the orthotist didn't even think he would reach after 4.5 months, he's reached it now at 6 weeks. I can't even tell you the relief we had of him even dropping under 100%, let alone 95%. She said she has never seen this before, and to not expect such drastic results the next time. He's obviously been going through a growth spurt since his head grew 18mm, and that's where you see the results. If they head isn't growing, you won't see the numbers change because the helmet is simply guiding the growth of the head, not applying pressure and changing it. For Waylon, the helmet holds the side of the head and limits it from growing outwards so that his skull can start to form back. 

My Thoughts
For those of you reading this and have hesitation one way or the other, I feel you. I was super paranoid that the helmet could hinder Waylon's cognitive development and I even had a conspiring thought that perhaps the rise in Autism had something to do with the rise in Plagiocephaly cases and helmet therapy (I know, I'm absolutely insane). My thoughts? Go with your gut. But choose quickly because every day that you drag your feet could make a huge impact. Waylon went through a huge growth spurt which we were lucky to catch while he was in a helmet. I can't imagine what would have happened if we would have waited until he was 7 or 8 months to decide (which was definitely on the table of our decision making process)- we could have missed out! Hindsight, we are really glad we did the helmet therapy. Even at 6 weeks, seeing this big of a difference already makes it so worth it.

Here's the progress. Thanks so much to everyone that's reached out with positive words and experiences. You keep us sane, my friends. 

1 comment:

  1. How long was he in the helmet for from start to finish? And what was the end result/percentage?