Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bring on the Ologists

Last week, after the danger of the Station Fire had passed and we had managed to have our living room repaired and painted, while spending the day locked in the cabana with the AC on, while also managing not to kill each other, we took Caleb to see another "-ologist."

Lucy, let me 'splain. After Caleb's 10-day stint in the hospital in June, we left Huntington with "-ologists." It started innocently enough when we picked up the first one, the pediatric ur-OLOGIST to keep an eye on his big-boy kidney condition. A few weeks later, when his regular pediatrician Dr. P thought he heard a murmur in his heart, we went to pick up our second, which was now our pediatric cardi-OLOGIST. Around this time, we began to collect ultrasounds too. He had the kidney ultrasound from the hospital in the bag, and then came his first heart sonogram, to locate the murmur. Which turned out not to be an actual murmur, but like bunnies, they seem to just multiply, as we will have to repeat both the kidney and heart ultrasound in December.

At his 3 month appointment last week, in addition to the indignity of having his thighs wrapped in Saran Wrap like picnic chicken (to hold the topical lidocaine in place for his shots), we talked to Dr P about the flat spot on the back of his head. My kid likes to sleep on his back, in full on naked-sunbather-froggy-position, and truth be known, it's not a flat spot. Its a flat head. And just because, as Dr P put it, "this kid has already had everything" he wanted us to go see Sean S, the head-OLOGIST.

Okay, that's not really his title, but that's what I'm calling him, because Prosthetics and Orthotics sounds so.... boring. Sean S made my son a do-rag and then put him in what I like to call the "magic box." The Magic Box is a black box with purple and gold writing on the outside, like you see when magicians cut people in half and then roll the two pieces of box away.

The magic box took a scan of his noggin, and surprise, he does indeed have a flat head (brachycephaly)! For those of you without children in this generation, incidents of flat heads are a recent phenomenon, largely due to the current medical advice that your child sleep on his back and not his stomach, to reduce the chance of SIDS. So more kids live, but more of them have flat heads. The head-ologist has kindly suggested a helmet to help re-contour his head, but we have chosen to pass and attempt other methods before subjecting our little Bug to a head helmet. Did you know that children who have to wear helmets usually have to wear them for 3 months? And that they need to wear them 23 hours a day?!?! And along with the fact that your little one is trying to figure out why he's wearing a plastic helmet all the time and it's harder for mommy to snuggle and kiss his fat cheeks, will come the oh-so pleasant SMELL of a sweaty head, trapped in a plastic hot box, not to mention the probability of rashes and blisters! Oh, and Blue Shield will likely not cover this because they don't deem it "medically necessary" (brachycephaly does not affect brain development or CNS function- its a looks thing), so you get to pay $3300 to torture yourself and your child for 3 months! YEA HELMET! No, we don't think so.

So this is the end of Bug's back sleeping. We have probably increased his chance of SIDS, since we now put him on his side to sleep. In order to keep him there, we have to wedge him in on all sides, so he sleeps with a bolster in front of him, and 2 rolled up towels behind him, to try to keep him from rolling onto his back. I personally think the back of his head feels rounder already, but that could be wishful thinking. All I know is we can't subject our son to a helmet unless it is absolutely necessary. After everything he has already been through, I can't have the helmet head kid with the big-boy kidneys and the big-boy ureters, who will probably need glasses on top of it all. I just can't do that to him. Bring on the ologists - this kid is staying helmet and smelly head free.

1 comment:

  1. ahh, what a frustrating time! jeez.

    if you're at all worried about having him sleeping on his side, check out THIS INCREDIBLE BABY MONITOR:

    and if he keeps flipping over onto his back, he'll still be cute as a bug ... (m had a flat head for a while, and we love her anyway.)

    anyway, what happened with his kidneys?