Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Little Man's Check-Up

On Monday we had another appointment with the physical therapist for Cruz's Torticollis. I had to work so Nick swung by and picked little man up from day care and we met at the Omaha Physical Therapy Institute's office. Our PT Katie brought us in and did some checks on how Cruz has been responding to the exercises we've been trying to do as often as possible. Over the past couple of weeks, we have definitely seen some improvement in how he keeps his head toward the left when we position it that way and seems to be getting used to his exercises. On Saturday, he had even started moving his head from side to side - which I had never seen before. He still obviously prefers his right, but we are seeing improvement.

To help get him where he needs to be we have a list of exercises & positioning -
  • Holding him against our chest and using one hand to move his head so it's looking left. On this one we have to keep our hand there or else he will try to rustle away and move his head back toward the right. This exercise is even more effective when you can bounce him to sleep and then lay back on the couch letting him sleep with his head to the left on your chest.
  • The "Football Hold" is when we hold little man horizontally with our right arm between his legs and our hand craddling his body. The left hand is placed on the side of his head  that faces downward (above the ear) and you gently pull up on his head to stretch out the muscle on the left side of his neck.
  • Sidelying is where you lay him on a blanket or mat and roll him onto his side. You then prop a blanket or pillow behind him so he doesn't roll backwards - and we generally have to put his mirror or something in front of him so he doesn't get bored. This weekend, he was so comfortable in this pose that he fell asleep for about 20 minutes!

Taking a nap during his exercises

  • We also have changed the arm in which we feed him. Prior to meeting with the PT, we both craddled Cruz in our left arm and held the bottle with our right. This caused him to look at us toward the right, so we've flipped that position where his head is cradled in our right arm and we are feeding with our left.
  • When he's in his car seat we have started using rolled up washcloths. One goes on the left side of his head keeping it from falling to the side {ear to shoulder}. Another is placed on his right side by hislower back and the other is placed on his left side by his thigh. This is to make sure that when we have the brace by his head, it doesn't cause his body to shift into an uncomfortable position.

During our appointment, Tim our Orthotist came in and took some measurements of Cruz's head. He determined that it's 9mm of variance from where it should be {which explains that when you look down on his head why you can see that his right ear is farther forward than his left} and this puts him into the moderate to severe category. They do not recommend trying cranial remolding until he's four months old and until then we have to continue doing the exercies & positioning as much as possible. We go back to see Katie in three weeks and the following week will go into Tim's office to get a scan on little man's head. If all goes well, the exercises will have fixed it and he will be as good to go. On the other hand, if it's not better and the scan shows the need, we will get Cruz fitted for his cranial remolding helmet. On average he would wear this for four months, 23 hours a day. The only time we would take it off would be to give him a bath. They said the helmet wouldn't bother him at all and since he's so young he wouldn't remember it.

How it works is that it doesn't put any pressure on his head, instead they fit it around the sides of his head that are already where they should be and leave gaps where his head needs to grow into so that over the four months as his head grows, it has no alternative but to grow into the open space in the helmet.

Obviously we hope it doesn't go that route, but if it does you better believe we will get him what he needs. Our biggest concern is that there could be other damage to his sinus cavity, ears, nerves, etc because of this and we want to make sure that everything is righted as soon as possible. I just wish that we would've known to look for this earlier {before his two month check-up} so we could've prevented it from the start.

Just wish us luck and say a little prayer that we can kick this in the next month.

1 comment:

  1. Sending prayers your way! Sounds like you're doing everything you can to correct things now. And the doctor's right - the good thing is, he won't remember any of this. Glad he's making improvements too!


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