To Helmet or not to Helmet...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Update: We're doing it. Oh and tis is a pretty cute design too!

UPDATE as of we may not. we'll know more tomorrow.

Last week I mentioned that Brandon may get a helmet. He has moderate Plagiocephaly. Plagiocephaly (sounds like: playgioseffally) often results from external forces applied to the soft infant skull, or in his case, a baby that likes to lay on one side while sleeping or nursing. (he is not a motor boat like Nicky!)

I started noticing it when he was about 2 months old; that his head is sloped and flat on his right side. His pediatrician said not to worry, and to watch it. Well I don't think it has gotten worse, but its not getting better, so I asked for a referral. We took him to Cranial Technologies to get evaluated for a helmet or docBand.  Below are some images of the actual docBand and it weighs less than a box of tissues. It  is sculpted and shaped to custom fit his head. He will have to wear it for 23 hours for 8 - 10 weeks. A short period of time for a nice head for rest of his life.

 Here are his personal mugshots.You can see how he leans a little to the left and how his head is a bit flat in the back. You will also notice the sloping of his forehead. Normal heads should look like this.

Brandon's shape is not severe, its off about 13 millimeters...normal is about 2-4. Brandon is a good candidate because the helmet will re-shape his head and give it a more normal appearance. Can you tell how happy he is. Valerie was trying to entertain him, but he wasn't heaving any of it.

Dan and I have spent the last week talking to other families and dr's to make the best decision and here are some of our concerns:
  • As he grows in the next 6 months to a year will his head round out anyways?
  • Will hair come in and it won't be so noticeable?
  • what if we DONT do it and we miss the prime opportunity window?
  • are we being vain?
  • Will he have dental or ear problems due to the forced nonalignment of his bones and head?
  • Is it worth $3800 and does Insurance cover it?
  • Will it hurt?
  • Will he hate it? Will the dogs eat it? Will Nicky want one?
  • Can I decorate it (ok, kidding aside, i think an "under construction" picture would be so cute! You send away and this wonderful lady paints them for you. How awesome is that?)
 Today I made an appointment to move forward with the helmet. The downside is...well there is no downside. Except he will have a beautiful noggin before he turns 1! More about the helmet and progress to come when we get it. The next appointment he will have to have a 3D scan to get a perfect mold and then 2 weeks later, we will get the new bling bling. Stay tuned for the next adventure in Abelingland!


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