Sunday, July 17, 2011

Helmet Head


Cameron got his helmet last Wednesday.  He doesn’t seem to mind it, but has to wear it 23 hours a day.  I have a friend with a vinyl business, so we’re going to have to talk d├ęcor – it’s pretty plain and boring.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My little bank robber

About 2 months ago, I took Cameron in to get a physical therapy assessment and they decided that yes, he needed PT.  During the assessment, the physical therapist shared her concern about Cameron’s head shape.  Doug had been concerned about it before as well.  He has a flat spot on his back right section which is in turn pushing out the right front and back left section of his head also making the front left slightly flat.  This is also causing his ears to move with it and they are extremely uneven.  They referred us to a “helmet doctor” as I like to call him. 

Cameron’s head shape is either cause by a condition called torticollis or his torticollis was cause by his consistently turning his head to the right.  Either way, the muscle issue has been worked out.  He has balance issues and is still learning to support himself appropriately while sitting and reaching.  Those are the main reasons for PT.  He is developmentally behind in mobility, but so were the others, so I know it will come eventually.

The helmet doctor’s office called to set up the appointment for two weeks later.  The doctor is from Anchorage, but comes down to the peninsula every other week.  On the morning of the appointment, a Friday at the end of a long week of driving 45 minutes to Soldotna once, if not twice a day with 4 kids, I got all of the kids out of bed, dressed, fed, and out the door to Soldotna once again.  We arrived about 2 minutes late for the appointment.  When I walked in, there was the receptionist at the desk and a bald man sitting at the desk behind her.  I asked if I was in the right place for the helmet doctor and she told me I was.  We then talked for 10-15 minutes about the boys’ hair (they currently have mohawks), their outfits, life with 4 boys, blah blah blah until we ran out of things to say and were staring at each other.  Finally, I asked, “Is there some paperwork I need to fill out?”

She turned to the bald man and said, “I don’t know, Steve, is there some paperwork she needs to fill out?”  He replied, “For what?”  His office had failed to “save” the appointment in the computer after scheduling it.  He asked me if I had the referral and when I had called to make the appointment.  A) I NEVER had the referral, the PT faxed it to them and B) HIS office called ME to set up the appointment.  Anyway, he didn’t have the equipment he needed to scan Cameron’s head because he didn’t know Cameron was coming.  He saw us briefly (you know, cause then he can still bill me for my wasted 45 minute drive) and made another appointment for 2 weeks later when he would bring his scanner.

That appointment was Friday.  Guess what.  No scanner.  Apparently, it quit working sometime last week.  So, he said we would have to do this the old fashion way.  Apply a cast and cut it off.  He warned me, “Cameron won’t like it… and he’ll cry.”  He did WAY more than cry.  Cameron hates pretty much anything on his head.
Cameron fascinated by the doctor’s stuff
Layer 1: I don’t like you.
Layer 2: I hate you.
Marking the bank robber mask: Yep, still hate you.
Applying the cast: I couldn’t hate you more.
Cameron hates hats
Cast being cut off: I lied, now I hate you WAY more!
Removing Cameron’s cast
He came out of the whole thing very, very sweaty.  We will have the helmet fitted while we are in Anchorage in a week and a half for our 8 audiology appointments.  Also last week – Wednesday – Cameron failed his vision screening and is being referred to Anchorage for an optometrist.  I haven’t been contacted yet to set that up.

I went to the doctor for myself last week and my experience was just as bad.  I left there crying and in awe at the doctor and her attitude.  I will be filing a complaint with her office and the hospital they are associated with – and that’s really not like me.  I can’t even explain how she made me feel, but it was a very low, low feeling and I will never see her again.

I am to the point where I expect everything to go wrong and Friday, after Cameron’s casting experience, I called my mom laughing.  It can only happen so many times and make you cry before it gets really, really funny.  It seems we’re always forgotten or canceled or something fails.

Brenden went to drama camp for the last two weeks.  I wish I could post the video of his play, but it is too long.  It was hilarious and Brenden was amazing.  He played the part of the hero very well.

Brenden and Nolan are in soccer again this year and doing a great job.  They are having a great time.  Ethan is totally bummed ALL the time that he just missed the birthday cut off to play this year.  If he had been born 2 weeks earlier, he would have been on Nolan’s team.  He wore cleats 2.5 sizes too small to all of the boys’ soccer practices because he wanted to play so badly.

Nolan is still in gymnastics for the summer.  It seems he never quite got all of his skill back after the last leg break, but he is having a good time and getting better.  It is just taking longer this time.

Ethan’s highlight of the week is speech.  He loves his therapist and from what other people tell me, he has her wrapped around his little finger.  He is quite the charming, silly little man – when he is not being totally defiant.

Brenden and Nolan are obsessed with Pokemon lately.  They are training Ethan to feel the same way.  I really, really strongly dislike Pokemon and I have since about 1997 when I babysat a little Pokemon obsessed boy every day for an entire summer.

Cameron has physical therapy once a week and is being evaluated monthly for occupational therapy.  He is supposed to stay out of his car seat as much as possible (because of the head shape thing), but it just isn’t happening.  He likes to flip his hearing aids off his head and loves to eat them.  He can’t wear them unless he has my 100% full attention and, let’s be honest here, how often is that?  Not very. 

Cameron has the silliest personality.  Doug sees it more often than I do, but Cameron like to tease Doug.  Cameron loves to give his daddy kisses, but he only says mama.  Cameron lights up every time he sees Nolan.  He isn’t a busy boy.  He is laid back and happy.  He likes to show off his 4 teeth and is especially proud of his new top two.

In general, it is a busy, but good summer.  My mom comes tomorrow and Ethan asks daily (many, many times) how many days until “gwamma” and “Howie” (Halle, my niece) come.  Ethan says, “I wuv gwamma and gwamma wuvs me” in a very matter of fact way.  I have more to share, but for now, I must get ready for gwamma!