I would consider this (the DocBAnd) the first big "Hill" we have had since Nathan was born. I was told and knew to expect alot of things when he was born. Sleepless nights, a whole new kind of love, a lifestyle change, ect. but I never knew how much guilt came with a baby. (more on that to come)
This past week Nathan received his DocBAnd. It is a helmet he has to wear for 3 months for his misshaped head (plagiocephaly). We struggled as to what the right decision was for him. He was diagnosed with moderate form of plagiocephaly and we had the option of doing nothing, it would not get better on it's own, his head would just remain the same shape, or place him in a helmet. Of course we had to weight the PRO's and CON's and prayed about it.
THE CONS: COST (insurance would not cover it b/c they consider it cosmetic), having to wear it for 3 months 23 hours a day, people staring, not knowing if it would produce much result since he is a little older, I was worried about personality changes and a fussy baby.
THE PROS: His head would be more symmetrical. It would help correct the flatness to the left side. It would get more length in his head, as it is very wide compared to long. We also do not want him to be teased when he is older about the shape of his head.
What sold us was 2 things. 1st,We had friend at work who's daughter wore one and she showed us before and after pictures and you could tell a big difference AND 2nd, they told us he may not ever be able to wear a bike helmet properly because of the shape of his head (that sold Dan right then and there!!!)
So the journey begins. Usually they are fitted and placed on babies as young as 3 months and they like to have it placed by the time the baby is 6 months old but they will treat with a helmet up to 18 months old. By the time we made the decision, had him fitted, a 2 week wait for the helmet to be constructed, Nathan is well into his 7th month by the time he officially received his helmet.
Here was picture of him the day he received his helmet. He looks so happy and totally oblivious to what is about to happen. Yes, I cried, I just felt so guilty about putting something unnatural on his head that I assumed he was going to hate.
I forgot (maybe I was in denial) to take pictures of his helmet when he first got it. This picture was on day 4. When they first put it on he did not seem to mind it so much. By he second night he was much fussier. Day 3 was pretty rough. HE was just fussy and pulling at hte helmet (yes, I was crying alot) Poor thing. Here he was suffering and I could easily stop the suffering. Tha is why I feel so guilty. This was a choice we made for him. It is not medically necessary or required. I think it would be a lot different if he was in a spica cast (when a baby breaks a femur they have to put a cast on both legs with a bar going between the legs, it is very cumbersome to deal with) or something because that would be medically required and needed.
On the 4th night we took the helmet off for his 1 hour break, to bathe him and to clean it and below is a picture of what we saw.
A horrible blister that was oozing. Talk about more guilt, we basically had caused this to happen to him.(lots of tears from mom). No wonder he was fussy and pulling at the helmet. We thought it was a pressure sore. We left the helmet off that night. the next morning we went into the clinic and they told us it was heat rash. I was told when we first got it that he would sweat a lot more because it was like he was wearing a giant sweater on his head.
We were told to leave the helmet off of him until it healed.
Well, yesterday, day 7, I put it back on him in the morning, b/c the spot appeared healed. When I took it off that night, he had a new spot on his check. So, we had to leave it off last night.
I am beginning to wonder if he is ever going to get to wear it or if we just donated $3000 to Cranial Technologies. I am getting a little frustrated, especially since he is already almost 8 months old.
Apparently Nathan has very light, sensitive skin, just like me.
On a different note, Dan has been working on painting the helmet. Apparently you can't just paint it because of the type of material it is, so he had to kind of scoff the outside to get the paint to stick, He then painted it and put a clear coat on it. Needless to say, this is a lot more work than most. the majority of the patients put stickers or wrap the helmet in vinyl. Of course, Dan had to do it professional style!!
Here are a few picture when it was just plain white. IT was very medical looking.
AND, HERE IS THE FINISHED PRODUCT!!!
WE (umm...mostly Dan) chose the red bull theme, as it is associated with his favorite Formula One car racing team with the glorious Sebastian Vettel!Also, Red Bull sponsors the Red Bull Air Races. It is were planes have to go compete for time through an obstacle course over water and through pylons. I have to admit, it is pretty cool to watch. We have Nathan doing Red Bull air training in his swing!
Anyways, that is were the theme came from.
I think it turned out really well. It does not look medical anymore and it adds personality.
Here is a side shot.
They also shaved more of the helmet from his eyes. Before, he could barely see, because it dipped down into his sight of vision.
He really has been overall happy in his helmet (notice the happy slobber), since the blister has healed. There are times when he still pulls at it, but mostly it does not seem to bother him.
The bad thing is I have to keep him cool until his body adjusts to the heat from the helmet. OS, n cute clothes for a while, onesie's only and we have to keep it cooler in the house (YEAH!!! for me, Poor Dan!)
I know some people may think we are being to vain, but if you know us you know that is not true. We just want what is best for our son.
I will keep you updated as we go throughout this journey. Hopefully we will stop having skin issues and he can just wear it and get it over with. (yes, Rachel, I know I ended my sentence in a preposition!)