7.20.2011

A Curve Ball

I'm glad y'all enjoyed the pics of our girl!  She's growing and changing so quickly I can hardly stand it.  Of course, as she grows, she's also started with the curve balls...

The other day we had to take Jenny Kate in to see Dr. B for her reflux.  She was still screaming right before she'd throw up what appeared to be about half of her bottle every time she ate, and she was just plain miserable.  He increased her Axid and she's been a much happier little girl ever since. 

(Derrick likes to lie on the table with Jenny Kate at the doctor's office.  I think now he thinks that we only go to Dr. B for Jenny Kate.  Uh oh! :)

While we were there (this visit was only supposed to be a weight check b/c of the reflux), Dr. B checked her over quickly and then asked me if I'd noticed anything about her head.  I told him that I noticed that she always sleeps with her head turned to the right and that I thought her head seemed a little flat on that side.  I started to get a little nervous when he got quiet and was studying her as he moved her head from side to side. 

"She has torticollis," he told me.

Torta what?!  I was thinking to myself.  He went on to explain that it's a condition where the child has limited neck motion because of shortening of the neck (sternocleidomastoid) muscle.  Ugh.  He said it was probably caused by the way she was positioned in utero and was totally treatable with therapy. He said hopefully as she grows and gains more movement in her neck that her head shape would self correct.  He told me a therapist would contact us and we would go from there.  


Two days later we were at the pediatric orthopedic clinic for therapy.  The therapist evaluated her and gave us a lot of exercises to do at home.  She asked us if Dr. B had talked to us about banding to help correct her head shape and I told her that he said hopefully it would self correct.  I didn't like the way she said, "Oh, ok."  


During the evaluation the therapist said Jenny Kate had some asymetrical movements, that it appeared that the left side of her torso was shorter than the right, and that one leg (can't remember which one) turned out instead of lying like it was supposed to.  She said that torticollis can be the reason her eyes are still crossing sometimes.  She said she's a little behind on head control and that she wasn't tracking as well as she should.  (I asked Dr. B about all of the issues mentioned while we were at her well visit and he was not concerned with any of them, which made me feel better.)   

On the bright side, Jenny Kate had a massage during therapy to help loosen up her neck muscles so we could work on getting her to turn her had all the way to the left.

It was crazy to see how her neck responded and her head turned so much easier while she was being massaged. ( I got a little jealous that she got a massage and I had to watch. Ha!)  We left the clinic with a plan of coming to therapy twice a week. 


I am going to be completely honest here.  When we were at the desk checking out it hit me.  I don't know if it was knowing we were going to have to have therapy twice a week, if it was the price that this therapy was going to cost, if it was the fact that there was no way we could do therapy on the days Justin works because Derrick would NOT be able to control himself around all of the "fun" therapy contraptions that were hanging from the ceiling, if it was the realization that again, our child is not "normal" or if it was the postpartum hormones that are still hanging around, but I stood at that checkout window and cried.  

Ridiculous, I know.

Poor Justin.  He probably wanted to pretend that he didn't know me.

I really wanted to throw a pity party for a minute.  I wanted to ask why in the world we couldn't have a child that only needed to go to the doctor for well visits and an occasional ear infection, why our schedule had to again revolve around therapy appointments instead of play dates, and why Justin and I couldn't just make a whole, perfectly normal baby.  And then it was over.

I know this is not a big deal.  I know in a few months this will be just one of those things that we had to do.  I know this is not life threatening and will not cause us to wait in a waiting room on pins and needles because we don't know if our child will live.  I know this is physical therapy, not chemotherapy.  I know.  This is NOT a big deal and it's nothing to get upset about.  

When we were in Tuesday Dr. B decided to go ahead and refer her to the banding people.  I guess her head is bad enough that the yucky feeling about the "Oh, ok" from the therapist was correct.  We're waiting on a call from them to schedule her appointment.  They'll probably do measurements the first visit and see her back in a month to see if there's been any change.  I guess we'll see what happens from there.  Most likely she'll be in a helmet within the next few months.  I'm going to pray that her head fixes itself though.  It's too H~O~T to have to wear a helmet 23 hours a day!

So there you have it.  Our first curve ball thrown by Miss Jenny Kate.  That's ok, because we may swing, but we will NOT strike out.

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