Lisa and Jack’s Story
Lisa is a busy mom to 10-month old twins, Jack and Nellie. While Lisa was pregnant, Jack was positioned low in her pelvis, so she was not surprised to notice that his head was slightly misshapen after he was born. The doctor assured her that over time, he would likely get better, but at four months of age, the shape still had not corrected itself. Lisa noticed that he had developed a flat spot on the back of his head and the part of his brow on that side seemed to be pushed forward.
A Mother’s Concerns
“We learned that he had torticollis, which he probably developed from being in one position for so long in utero. We saw a neurosurgeon just to be sure that there wasn’t something more serious related to his head shape. The neurosurgeon suggested a couple of places to get a cranial band, but I ended up choosing Hanger Clinic because it’s an older company with a good reputation.”
On the day of Jack’s evaluation, Lisa broke down crying in the office. “I was so nervous and overwhelmed. I thought, how can I put my baby in a helmet? Will this treatment hinder his development? Are people going to think there’s something wrong with him? Will they think that I’m shallow and only concerned about his looks?”
Fortunately, those fears started to dissipate when she met with Jack’s orthotist. “She understood my fears and she was really comforting. She had an amazing way with Jack right off the bat and I immediately started to feel like everything was going to be OK. The staff was always so great and accommodating. It’s not easy bringing two babies into Manhattan. They did everything they could to make the process as simple as possible. The best thing they did for me, though, was help me see the process in a different light. The band didn’t bother Jack at all. Since he wasn’t bothered by it, I decided that we would just embrace it. We ended up painting it ourselves to look like a New York Giants helmet – my husband loves the Giants. By doing that, when you looked at him, you didn’t think, ‘Oh, he has a medical condition.’ Instead you thought, ‘How fun!’ We look at it as the first art project we got to do with our babies. His sister and other kids at playgroup would tap it and were curious about it. It got to a point where it was fun and funny and not a big deal.”
Jack wore the cranial band for four months and today, Lisa looks back on the experience with fond memories. When asked what advice she’d give to a mom considering treatment she says, “Relax into it. It might seem like a huge issue at first, but once you start, it becomes part of your life. Time goes by fast, so own it and decorate the band and make it fun. Talk about it! Don’t feel ashamed! Realize that sometimes, things just happen. And keep it in perspective. If this is the worst thing that you’ve got to deal with then it’s going to be OK. If you have a healthy baby with a funny shaped head, be grateful!”
Letter to Jack’s Orthotist
Lisa was so pleased with the outcome that she sent this letter to Jack’s orthotist:
I've been meaning to email you, but between the holidays and the two monkeys, it's been hard to get even a few minutes on the computer. I wanted to thank you for being so great to work with at Hanger Clinic. We started the process skeptical and extremely nervous, but as soon as we met you, we could see that we had nothing to worry about. You made my whole family so comfortable at every visit - even when Jack was going through his "not a fan of strangers" phase, he LOVED seeing you.
We are so pleased with the results of the helmet. I still can't believe how different he looks! I would definitely recommend Hanger Clinic to any parent looking into a helmet. I was happy with the entire experience - from your expertise to Monica's smiling face behind the reception desk to the feeling that if I had any questions, you were always just a quick phone call away.
I've attached a compilation of pics I took of Jack this morning - he turned 10 months on the 6th and he's standing on his own and even took a little half step forward before falling on his bum. Proof that the helmet does not deter from accomplishing major milestones (Jack learned how to sit, crawl, pull-to-stand, and cruise while wearing it!!).
Thanks for everything! And Happy New Year!!