Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Torticollis, Scoliosis, Plagiocephaly, Oh My!

He's not looking at you askance; he was born that way!
My little Maxy-moo went to the pediatric physical therapist today.  Thank God, they had a location in Oregon City...his pediatrician was prognosticating that the only location that would take Max's insurance would be out in Gresham, and I wasn't looking forward to an hour commute each way.  Also I'm thanking God because they scheduled it on a day when Allen was off of work, so he was able to come with me and hear what the PT had to say.  
Her name was Rachel, and she was very nice.  She did an evaluation of Max and determined right away that he did indeed have torticollis which was causing him to hold his head tilted and rotated.  As a result, he also has plagiocephaly (the fancy term for having flat spots on his head) and she wants him to wear a brace (you know, those funky helmet things that you sometimes see babies wearing) to help with that.  Thank God she's addressing it now, when he still has several months of prime head growing time, and the brace will encourage his skull to get nice and round.  She also noticed (and this we hadn't heard about from his pediatrician) that he has a bit of C-curve scoliosis in his back which is pushing his rib cage out towards his back on one side.  She wasn't sure if it was "functional" or not: that is, a function of his head being all whack from the torticollis rather than something he was born with.  But seeing as this crazy little monkey spent a few weeks squished sideways in my uterus, I think it probably messed up all sorts of things.  Sigh.  
She taught us some stretches to do and gave us advice on ways to help, but she wants to start seeing him once a week at least to do PT with him.  
The part that worries me is that Max's insurance, which is usually amazing, doesn't cover torticollis treatment.  We simply can't afford to take him to see the PT with anything less than full coverage.  PT is pretty spendy, as it turns out, and we're pretty broke.  We explained this to her and she said that she would do what she could in his write up to get insurance approval.  So, now we're just waiting on seeing if the state (through which he has his insurance) will approve.  
It's a horrible feeling to think that you won't be able to afford to give your child everything he needs to succeed.  I'm thankful that we live in a progressive state that believes in providing quality health care for all children.  Yes, we have high income taxes (because of no sales tax here) and it initally stung to be sending off a check to Salem in January, until I thought about how much we have benefitted from the social "safety net" spread wide for us here in Oregon. 
As I write this, he's happily looking at the mobile in his crib and being a happy little guy.  On Friday we take Ruby to the eye doctor to find out what's going on with her after 6 weeks of patching.  Hoping there is good news in that quarter.  
"Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You.  Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul." (Ps. 143:8)

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