Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30

It was a big day for Isla today. She had an appointment at Hanger for her second head scan. Finally time to see if that helmet has been doing its job!

It was good news...the helmet is most definitely working!
When we started with the helmet, her CPI (cranial proportion index) was 95%. Normal is between 83-85%. Today, the scan measured her at 89%! That is really, really good for being in the helmet only 6 weeks. Mary (our orthotist and the one who is in charge of all this) seemed very impressed by that.

You can defintiely see a big difference in her head shape. It is more oval shaped and less triangular. Her forhead is not as pointed, the sides are not as wide, and it is definitely rounder in the back. And it has only been 6 weeks!

So now, we will go back for another scan in 5 weeks (January 4). At that point, there is a good chance we could be done with the helmet after only 11 weeks. My goal was to have it off by the time we leave for our Florida vacation in mid-February. To be done with the helmet the first week of January would be so exciting!!!

But, there are a few things that may stop that. One thing Mary suggested to consider was whether Isla is rolling over in her crib at night. Without the helmet, she wants her to be moving off her back at night so that her head will not flatten again. After doing all this with the helmet, regression would be horrible! The problem is: she is still not rolling. She is so very close, but not doing it yet. She's still not a big fan of being on her tummy either. I think it might be a while before she gets to the point where she will roll over and sleep on her tummy.

So, she might still need to keep wearing the helmet past January...not necessarily to reshape her head but to prevent it from getting flat again. Then we run into another problem. She is growing a ton right now (which is why we are getting such good results so quickly). But by January, she will most likely be too big for this helmet. So if we want to continue with a helmet after that, then we will have to get another helmet. I really don't want to pay for another helmet at this point. So we will have some decisions to make in January about what to do next.

And one more concern today: the helmet is causing Isla to have bulges over her ears and what looks like an indentation on her face. It worries me that the helmet is causing these abnormalities because the whole purpose of the helmet is to get rid of any head/facial abnormalities!
Mary told us that the bulges are normal. It is called window edema, and it is caused by fluids that are being pushed around and cause swelling. It should go away after we have had the helmet off for a few weeks. She did do some adjusting of the helmet today, and hopefully that will help the bulges to not get any bigger.

As far as the indent on her face, Mary didn't thing it was anything permanent either. Most likely it is a combination of the way her face was before we started this and the fluids that are swelling in some places and leaving indents in other places. She also did some adjusting of the helmet on that side of her face to hopefully alleviate a little of the pressure there and prevent it from getting worse. The indent looks really obvious in this picture, but in real life I have a hard time seeing it.

Long story short...we are seeing really good results with the helmet. Aside from a few concerns, we are super pleased about the way her head is looking and really happy that we decided to go the helmet route!


Shannon said...

Hi, I just stubled across your blog when researching plagio and helmets. Today is my little girl's first day in her helmet. I feel like I have made the right decision, but it doesn't make it completely easy. Are you still happy you chose the helmet route? Any tips or advice? If so, please email me at



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