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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

To Helmet or Not To Helmet. That IS the Question!

Well, we've decided.... NOT to helmet, after much deliberation. God, this was such a hard decision. Here's why. As I'm sure you remember around 2 months old, I noticed her head shape was pretty messed up. I mean, it was bad. At that time, I wouldn't have hesitated in getting her that helmet. Problem is, at that time she was too little for one. We went to Cranial Technologies and they took the measurements. Gave me homework - neck stretches and lots of tummy time. Come back in 4-6 weeks if you feel she still needs it. She looked like this at that time:   

We followed the doctor's instructions, got her to stop favoring the one side, etc. And by four months old I really noticed a significant improvement. I wanted to know what her pediatrician thought before returning to Cranial Tech. At her 4 month well visit, her pedi said that although she can see the improvement, she thinks she might still benefit from the helmet. She told me to go back to Cranial Tech and have them retake the measurements and see what they have to say. That she may not even qualify for one now, but to go see. So I did. She was 5 months by the time I got in, and by 5 months her head looked like this:
As you can see, a HUGE improvement. The back of her head didn't even bother me at all. At this point the only thing I'm personally worried about is that little tiny bit of flattening on her forehead (as you can see in the picture on the right there). What did the head doctor have to say? Not much! She was just like, "Hmmm...Eh, well it's up to you. It's mild at this point, so she could go either way." Techinically she was within the measurements of qualifying for a helment if we chose to do so, but she made it seem like no big deal, and gave me absolutely NO direction at all. She would only have to wear it for a short period. About 7 weeks. There is NO medical need for it. It's completely cosmetic. She does NOT have Torticollis, nor will not getting the helmet affect her health in any way. Like I said, completely cosmetic. So what do I do? Do I go ahead and pay $3800 for something she may or may not need? My insurance covers it, but they reimburse us. So either way we'd have to come up with that money up front, then it's covered 90% after our $500 deductible. Where are we going to get that? Pull it out of our asses? Off our money tree? Probably not. Unfortunately we don't have that type of money laying around. We had  savings at one point, but me being a "Carpenter's Wife" and the economy being as shitty as it is, means my Husband has been in and out of work (mostly out), for almost 2 years now. Our savings is gone. I mean, if it were absolutely necessary we'd find a way to make it work. But it's not. What do we do? If money were not an issue we wouldn't hesistate. Or if the insurance company covered it up front as well.

Husband of course thinks she's perfect. I'm thinking of little things, like knowing she's a girl, and what it's like being a girl. I know no one has a completely symmetrical face but if hers is completely off, it's going to suck when she's older and all the issues girls have with themselves and self esteem already. How much would it suck for your makeup to never be just right on each side. For her hair to be a little fuller on one side. Ugh! What do I do?!

Last week at her 6 month doctor visit the doc asked me what we were planning on doing. At this point, by just looking straight at her she even asked if we've already done it! I explained to her my feelings, and she took a closer look. She actually specializes in this type of thing. She agreed with me. She probably wouldn't pay the $3800 either at this point. It's very mild now, and her head will continue to get better and better. She still has some time before her soft spot closes, and her skull is completely solidified. She offered for us to come in once a week for the next 4 weeks for her to manually manipulate her head shape. Basically she will reshape her head with her hands. It won't hurt Cailin. She explained it to be like a massage. The worst part is keeping her still for 20 minutes! She didn't offer it before, because she can only do it with mild cases. She said she's certain she can get it perfectly round in the front, but the back may not end up completely round. I'm SO okay with that! Of course I'll have to pay a copay for each visit, $120 total sounds much better than $3800. So with that, and the fact that she's only on her back for bottle feedings at this point, I know she will be pretty darn close to perfect! Thank God!

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