Friday, August 26, 2011

Flat Head Fred No More

Only a day or two after Jackson came home from the hospital I noticed he had a flat spot on the back right side of his head. At that point the doctor was not concerned but we continued to watch as progressively got worse. We then affectionately developed the nickname Flat Head Fred for him.

At about 2.5 months Jackson was diagnosed with Torticollis which is a weakness or tightness in the neck muscle which makes a baby favor turning their head to one side. When laying down, unless forced, he only turns his head to the right. We joke that he has almost an owl-like range of motion that direction. From what we have been told and the research we have done this is very common for multiples and preemies. At that point we started PT to help strengthen his neck and Jackson has done amazing. He goes every Thursday, they always talk about how strong he is and are very pleased with his progress. However as he has grown so has his flatness. The PT says that he is fighting an uphill battle-when you lay him down he is going against gravity-his head automatically rolls to the right direction.
You can see in this picture from the day he came home he was already turning his head far right.
One Monday we went for a consultation with an Orthotis (I think that is what they are called) to have his head measured and see if his differences in symmetry where sever enough to pursue a cranial helmet. The procedure was very simple-they have machine that he lays in and in a few seconds his entire head is scanned with lasers-this is completely safe they said it was like the scanners at the grocery store. In order to get an accurate reading they place a white stocking cap over his head. I thought he looked so stinking adorable!
Ready for his scan or a swim
 Jackson's differentials measured from 18-22 mm putting him in the sever category, anything over 10 they recommend helmeting. Aaron asked on a scale of 1-10 where this put him and they said a 9. So with that information we have decided to get a cranial helmet for our sweet boy and hopefully in 3-5 months he will be Flat Head Fred No More!

One last hurdle we had to make it over was the insurance pre-approval. This is considered a durable medical device that some insurance companies don't pay for. The total cost is around $2,500-$3,000. Needless to say we have spent quite a bit on medical bills this year with their birth and stay in the NICU so swinging this would be quite tough in 2011. However with all of these bills we have met all of our out of pocket costs this year, so if insurance would cover we would not have to pay a dime. I got a call on Wednesday to inform me that he had been pre-approved! That was such a heavy burden lifted. Tuesday night I had been at my Moms of Multiples club and two moms told me that their claims were denied by insurance, so I was not confident ours would be either.

So next Wednesday our cute little boy will be getting his light blue helmet-I am so glad we were able to catch this early and have it fixed. Aaron really wants to decorate it like a Clemson Football helmet, but I am not so sure about that yet. Oh and his latest idea is to sell advertising space on his helmet. 

Next week I will have to post a picture of our little helmet head!

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