We made another trip to Calgary for an appointment with the Cranio-Facial Specialist at Alberta Children's Hospital again yesterday for a follow up to our visit in July in regards to Palmer's Positional Plagiocephaly. I was hopeful and optimistic heading up there. In my mind, as long as she was off the back of her head and it wasn't getting worse, we were in good shape.
The doctor told us both our options: get the helmet or not.
Obviously, there are pros and cons to both.
If we choose not to get the helmet, Palmer could have a significant flat spot on the back of her head forever, which could cause her to be self-conscious later in life.
Getting the helmet is a huge time and financial commitment. Palmer would likely have to wear the helmet for 4-6 months, 23 hours a day, and even after all that, her head would still likely have a minor flat spot.
There were a lot of things to think about, but, when it comes down to it, as parents, you want to do what's best for your child, and if getting a helmet, no matter the cost and time commitment, or how
ugly unique it may look, then thats what we need to do.
So, next week, we are meeting with the Helmet technician in Lethbridge to get scans of Palmer's head. They do some laser 3D scans with their machine here then send them off to Florida to get the helmet made. 2 weeks later, the helmet arrives and we go for a fitting, then get started. The helmet requires adjusting every 2-4 weeks, which luckily can be done in Lethbridge.
Contrary to what some people may believe, the helmet doesn't reshape the mis-shapen part of the head. It works by allowing pressure (no more than laying on the mattress would apply) to be put on the "protruding" parts of the skull while leaving space around the flat parts, so that when the skull grows, it cannot grow in the direction of the protruding parts and only grows to fill in the empty space between the helmet and the flat part of the head. (Clear as mud???).
We are lucky in that Palmer was 5 weeks early so we have the extra 5 weeks to allow for the rapid head growth, which will hopefully occur sooner than later to correct the plagiocephaly.
So, stay tuned for Positional Plagiocephaly: Part IV to read more...