Oh, you want the bad news first so that you can get it over with and then focus on the good news?
That's what I thought you would say. See, this is why we are friends. I like your optimism. We'll start with the bad news...
BAD: Rhett has to get a THIRD helmet.
GOOD: His head shape has changed so much over the past several months. Here are some comparison photos. (I couldn't get the PDF to upload, so I took a screen shot with my phone...not the best pics, but at least you can see the changes)
The percentage of kids with plagiocephaly and torticollis who have to get a second helmet is less than 20%. The percentage of kids that get a third helmet is so low that they don't even have a count. It is probably less than 1%. I have to remind myself often that Rhett's head shape was in the "severe" category when we started this journey and it is now in the "moderate" category. He will more than likely never get out of the moderate category, but the third helmet will continue (hopefully) to help shape that little noggin.
BAD: I have to drive to Austin every other week for 3-4 more months. Not just drive to Austin, but drive home too. With twins. In car seats. All day. Not fun at all!
GOOD: I have a new, reliable, safe, nice vehicle to travel in.
BONUS GOOD: I get to see my sweet sister and have lunch with her most trips....a breath of fresh air!
BAD: Rhett's head stinks so bad at the end of the day.
GOOD: I am mostly used to it since it smells just like Tim's dirty socks that I launder weekly. Oh, and I discovered that setting it out in the sun for a few minutes each day really helps with the smell.
BAD: We have to leave the helmet on 23 hours a day.
GOOD: I don't worry so much about him bumping into things around the house.
BAD: Rhett's head will never be perfectly round.
GOOD: We don't care! We love that boy and his crazy head!
BAD: We get all kinds of looks when we are out in public.
GOOD: We can decorate Rhett's helmet (and decorate it CUTE) and help educate the nosey public about plagiocephaly. :)
Speaking of decorating....I never did post the pics from Rhett's 2nd band. He got this band right before Thanksgiving, and we waited until after Christmas to decorate it. Tim designed Rhett's new look, and our friend Coree at www.blingyourband.com created the stickers for us. We love how it turned out!
BAD: I sometimes forget he is wearing his helmet and go to kiss his sweet little head....and get a mouth full of plastic instead.
GOOD: I am thankful that I have that little head to kiss. Plastic and all.
Yes, we are choosing to focus on the positive. But I will admit that this journey has not been easy. Honestly, I was really bummed out when we found out that we were going to have to continue with treatment. I had been counting down the weeks and trips to Austin since I thought we were almost finished. Since Rhett is older, his growth has slowed down, and there is no guarantee that we will see any more change in his head shape. We struggled with the decision on whether or not to continue on. Should we pay for another helmet, make the long trips to Austin, worry with the cleaning and care, etc. with the chance that it might not work? Being a parent is hard sometimes, isn't it? We did decide that we don't want to have any regrets, and of course want to do what is best for Rhett. I know this is harder on us than it is on him.
Our visit with the neurologist this past month also confirmed that Rhett's torticollis, and consequently the plagiocephaly, was caused by his position in the womb. The neurologist discussed with us that Rhett was basically stuck in one position and did not do a lot of moving around like Rhys was able to do. Because of this, his neck muscles are still tight and will require therapy for many months to come. A helmet protects the shape of his head while we continue to work on the torticollis.
So that is where we are right now. Still in the helmet. Still in therapy. And still blessed.