Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A headbanger in a rockband!

Why does Natalie wear a helmet?
Our little Natalie has been diagnosed with positional plagiocephaly. A big fancy word for ... her head is flat on the back. I noticed her head was a little misshapen at 6weeks old. I told the pediatrician. She sent us to physical therapy for torticollis (stiff neck muscles) which was supposed to fix the probelm. We then saw a neurosurgeon here in BR who told us to have her sleep on her side and it would go away, which we thought was rediculous. Her head was getting worse so I continued to mention it to the pediatrician who finally got us in touch with Dr. Nadell a neurosurgeon at Children Hospital in New Orleans. He has reccomended that she wear a helmet to help her head grow properly. Many doctors visits later and many trips to New Orleans later Natalie now wears her pretty pink helmet 23 hours a day. She has a 1 hour break after bathtime. It was a major adjustment at first ... emotionally for me because I couldn't kiss her beautiful little forehead anymore and physically for Natalie because it was a little uncomfortable. We have worked through all the initial challenges at this point. She is such a brave little trooper. We are hoping that she will only wear it for a few more months. I would love for her to have it off by her first birthday ... but we will see. I had a mealtdown our first time in public because a stranger in a store asked me "how did you get one normal one and one not" - referring to the girls. Her comment assumed that Natalie was not normal. I cried, she didn't apologize and continued by asking if Natalie had Down-Syndrome. I cried some more!! Our second day out in public a lady asked me if Natalie had epilipesy. I did a bit better than the day before by faking a smile and simply responding "No." My dad suggested that when questioned about the helmet I should say "She is a headbanger in a rockband!" I love my dad!!!

Natalie's head being scanned. The sock on her head has wires that attach to the camera and computer to make a 4D image of her face and cranium. The images are sent to Arizona where the helmet is manufactured.

Natalie's first time with the helmet on ... she was thinking what is this thing on my head??

The orthotic technician is custom fitting the helmet to Natalies head. She has a machine that trims ear holes, trims it above the eyebrows and will shave out the inside of the helmet each time we visit to direct the growth of Natalies head.


Kristi said...

I can't believe someone would be so rude to say something like that about your baby!!!

Both your girls are so cute!!!! I love reading your notes about them.

Lori O said...

Rude people suck! I think your little girls are great. And special needs kids are great too. Rude people just suck!!

Amanda said...

holy cow! someone said that to you? well... gotta love your Dad for coming up with the "Headbanger in a Rock Band". Priceless! ;)

Lisa & Aaron said...

Aww she's beautiful! I love the pink helmet! It'll really come in handy when she starts pulling up and trying to walk it'll protect her little head from all the future falls lol. and don't let rude people get to you! We love ya!

Jill Britt said...

People never cease to amaze me with their stupidness!