Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Corrective Helmet Update

So when the Boy started with the helmet I had great hopes of frequently blogging updates and bringing awareness to them as they aren't just something they wear for fun.  But life happens and the blogging takes a back seat {see also my struggle with balance}.

So here we are nearly one month into the helmet and what an adventure it has been. In a perfect world, the helmet would fit wonderfully, your child would adjust well and before you know if the three to four months of wear would be over. In a perfect world.

In my world..the helmet was too tight from day one. He HATED it. As in tears and red {burn looking} marks all over his head. It was adjusted - a spacer was added and it fit much better. For a week. Now we at the point where it fits ok, not too tight, not too loose. It just fits. Some days he hates it. Other days he doesn't mind it. It all depends on the day really. Last night he was trying to push it off.

Overall we notice a difference in his head shape.  It is still flat in some spots but we knew going into this that his head would never be perfectly round. So it may just be that he can never shave his head when he is older.

The instructions with the helmet are 23 hours a day. One hour off for bathing/eating/whatever he needs. But lets be realistic...23 hours?  The helmet isn't light. It's not super heavy but it is big.  His head is big already so when you add the helmet to it, it is extra large. In the car he can't put his head back so it falls forward and stays there. I worry about additional neck issues so we have eliminated helmet wear in the car. The risk of further neck issues out weight the short time he is the car seat without the helmet. Call me crazy...

Developmentally, he is moving forward.  He has started rolling over.  Not as often as he could but he does it. Without the helmet. With the helmet, he really has no interest in rolling. The Boy has mastered sitting on his own.  He can sit for extended periods of time playing with toys in front of him and reaching for others. Without the helmet. With the helmet, he sits just not as well and not for long. The weight of the helmet makes his head fall forward and he has trouble holding it up. Tummy time is getting better.  He has started pushing himself up on his hands and knees which is awesome. Without the helmet.

This is where we struggle.  Do you push the helmet for a somewhat round head with the understanding that it will never be perfect and potentially delay him developmentally?  Or do you not push the helmet and let him develop naturally?  We struggle with this everyday. And we understand that as his parents we need to decide what is best for him.  But I can't help but think that if what we think is best now will really not be best years down the road?  Will he be mad that he can never shave his head?! Or if he does, that his head will be misshapen.  I am sure that shaving his head will be the least of his or our worries when he is older.

Day 1 of helmet wear
Day 19 of helmet wear

Today we go for a helmet adjustment.  The Boy is having redness around his right ear which is making the helmet uncomfortable for him.  At his last adjustment we were informed that another spacer can not be added as this will defeat the purpose of the helmet as the inside shape will be lost. Concern was expressed as it his highly unlikely that he will last the three to four months that the helmet was prescribed for.  I have to say that while I think that overall the helmet is a good thing, I find this process very frustrating. Very. 


Tess Moody said...

I imagine it would be frustrating!

Sadie Ussery said...

You are doing a great job. Try not to worry too much about doing the wrong thing. In the moment you know what is best for that time. I think in the end you will be ok with what you did. My husband shaves his head everyday because he is bald. It's not perfectly round...but that doesn't bother him...and he's not mad at his parents! :)

Kelli Belli Jelli said...

Thanks Sadie. It seems like what we are doing is working so we'll just go with that for now. Good to know there is hope ;)

Kelli Belli Jelli said...

It is! But I try to remember that it could be worse.