We were given a number of exercises to do with him. Repositioning his head, stretching the stiff side of his neck, increased tummy time.
We faithfully did all these things with him for months. Finally, at a special appointment with his pediatrician to check on this progress, she referred us to a physical therapist. And also a helmet specialist to measure his distorted head.
|What Henry's helmet will look like to correct his misshapen head|
See, when a baby constantly lays on one side of his head due to a tight neck, the side that he's always laying on begins to flatten. Babies have soft heads, and when that weight is consistently on one part of the skull, it smushes it flat.
For the past two weeks, we've been having a number of appointments to get Henry assessed, measured, fitted and evaluated. It's been exhausting. The conclusion is that he'll need weekly physical therapy AND a helmet to help reshape his head.
|See how Henry's chin is off to one side? He can hold it at mid-line, but usually (and especially in a car seat and in his crib) it drifts off to his side, which is a key sign of torticollis. Also, FOX HAT.|
We have no idea how much of this is or isn't covered by insurance - my pedi did a really good job of closely documenting all the exercises and time I spent with him to document that the PT is a "medical necessity" to be covered. The helmet? Hit or miss. An $8,000 hit or miss. Some policies have clauses that exclude this type of "optional" treatment. Some cover it if the baby's measurements are off enough to justify a need.
But, don't get me started on a$$hole health insurance companies.
He'll need to wear the helmet for about two months, give or take a few weeks. I find it rather endearing, but the second some random asks me if my kid is special needs, I will cut that person down. I'm not kidding, y'all save up some bail money for me. I have no idea how long his physical therapy will run, but I do know that we have to drive 45 mins each way for his appointments because the Dallas location is on a three month waiting list. Torticollis is incredibly common, and misshapen heads are too, with all the back sleeping babies are doing these days.
We're thankful that I stay home with Lil' H and therefore have the capacity to deal with all this. I feel for anyone working outside the home who has to struggle to manage all this craziness.