Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Torticollis

It sounds like a disease. An ugly word...

Torticollis is a twisted neck in which the head is tipped to one side, while the chin is turned to the other.

My baby has it.

Yup. My baby has it... I never imagined when I was pregnant with her that 6 months after I delivered her I would be going through MONTHS of physical therapy... But I am.

Here is a picture of her when it was bad:


 It took her awhile to figure out how to hold her head up because of this. Zack and I were really weirded out that she would always tip her head to the side. So we would constantly go over to fix it.

At her 2 week appointment after she was born the doctor was worried about plagiocephaly. In which the side or back of the head gets flat. So we were constantly moving her head to the right side to avoid getting a helmet on her. Which I think is the reason why it's not so bad.

At her last 5 month appointment (we were a little behind) the doctor recommended we go see someone about it. (plagiocephaly) I thought it was just an examination of her head to see if she needed a helmet. Little did I know when I got there we were starting physical therapy for something entirely different.

torticollis.

The physical therapist did all sorts of examinations with her head and tried testing her neck strength. Because Zack and I were so on top of making sure her head wasn't always crooked like that it made it so everything was very very mild.

Her head was only 5 mm off of symmetrical. For babies to have helmets they have to be at least 10 mm. For normal babies it's usually 0-3 mm off. So we were closer to normal. Because Zack and I tried our hardest to keep her away from the left side.

But once she got her neck muscles strong and could hold her head up I stopped worrying so much about her neck issues. And I really never noticed that her head was always tilted to one side.


So the physical therapist came out when it was our turn just to look at Madeline. And then he started showing me how her head is constantly turning to one side. very mild. But still a problem which could cause scoliosis in the future if we don't get it taken care of now. It could make so she can't crawl as fast as she normally would. As I started listening my heart broke a little for my baby. Because she wasn't the perfect baby I thought she was. So we started physical therapy immediately. Maddie hates strangers now so the moment he started holding her she started bawling. The only way we could calm her down was to feed her. Turns out that is the easiest way to do the physical therapy for a few exercises.

We were suppose to do these exercises twice a day for 2 minutes a piece. And I made sure I made each of those seconds count.



We went to the 2nd appointment on Monday. Not even a week later. And her head improved my 2 mm! She is now normal for her head!! Her head rotation improved by 20 degrees! He kept saying I worked her hard the last few weeks and then I reminded him that we were there less than a week ago! That made him more impressed! So since she made such big improvements we moved on to some new exercises. We can't use a bottle for these ones this time.

Clearly Madeline hates him...


But if you turn on Frozen during this... she stops screaming when he's holding her and she is more complacent.



While we were at the appointment and he was showing me the new exercises she improved a whole bunch while we were there! So we might not have to go to physical therapy as long as we initially thought. To which I am grateful for!

It's been a hard week for us. But we considered ourselves extremely blessed that things are progressing quickly and she's very mild. I was a little upset when I first learned about this. But I've accepted this and moved on. I make sure I do exactly what the physical therapist says so that way I can give my baby the best. So many people have been asking how I'm doing and my reaction. But my thinking is, that were blessed to be so fortunate and that this is just another trial we have to face. And since we have to face it might as well do it with a smile on our face and not wallow in despair.

I didn't want to talk about this because I didn't want people worrying about us more than they have to. Constantly checking on us, calling us, and freaking out about it. But I wanted to document the progress we are making. So that's why I waited until our second appointment to see how much we progressed. It's a sad thing Madeline has to go through. But it's not the end of the world. She is still the happy baby she has always been. And she is still growing and learning more than ever! I want us to focus on the positive instead of the negative! Life is to be enjoyed not just endured! So that's what we are going to do. We are going to enjoy the journey that we are on now! And celebrate the little accomplishments she makes each time!


Together we can do hard things!!

3 comments:

  1. What a strong family!! Way to go Madeline!! I still think she is adorable!

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  2. I didn't even know that was something that could happen! She is so adorable and I know you guys can do it! That is awesome that she has had made such great progress! Xo

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