I grew up watching the TGIF show “Boy Meets World” with my brother and sister. A popular catch phrase from the show was established when Eric slapped Corey on the head and said “Life’s tough, get a helmet.” The three of us would routinely remind each other of this advice (head slap included) as we lived out our childhood days.
I never really took this advice from Eric Matthews literally, but lately it has taken on more of a direct meaning for me. Last week, Beau started wearing a corrective helmet.
It doesn’t take a trained eye to see that Beau’s head is a bit misshaped. The back of our poor little guy’s noggin is on the flatter side. This mostly resulted from him favoring certain sleeping positions early in his life. Just as concerning, his ears aren’t symmetrical with the rest of his head. We had known that a helmet for Beau was most likely inevitable and when Sid took him to the doctor upon arrival in Spokane, the medical professional confirmed it.
Thankfully, helmet therapy is extremely effective and risk-free. The technology is top of the line and the headgear is custom made to fit like a glove. Babies wear the helmet and their head is molded back to a normal shape.
Despite the positive outcomes, it is a little tough making Beau wear his helmet for 23 hours per day. He has adjusted really well but you can’t help but feel bad for him when he tries to scratch his head or struggles to keep balance with the newly added weight. As his physical therapist says, it is like a bowling ball (head) on a toothpick (neck).
Perhaps the length of time he must wear the helmet is the most discouraging. Beau will sport his new headgear for the next five months. The average duration is three months but our son’s condition is a bit more severe than your typical case. His helmet will be squarely on his head for many milestones and special moments over the upcoming 20+ weeks.
But with anything, you have to look at the silver lining and that is what we are doing. If all goes well, Beau will be able to shed his helmet by Christmas, a holiday gift that will no doubt bring joy to us all. Also, the possibilities to decorate his helmet are endless as my wife made sure to order him a plain white one so stickers and elements will pop. Best of all, you can’t discount the end product: a normal, symmetrical head.
The helmet journey has started and we are trying to make Beau feel as comfortable as possible. As long as we take it one day at a time and discourage Sloan from disforming the helmet by putting it on her own head, we all will be just fine. Don’t Blink.