You get a look of sad looks from the other patients. Nobody wants to see a little baby needing physical therapy. Yet Little Man is so cheerful (as long as he's fed) and alert that one would never know there was a problem. That is unless they looked at his photos and noticed that his head was tilted to the right in each one of them. The Torticollis is obvious to me NOW, but I never noticed a thing before my son's two month pediatrician visit.
Little Man's physical therapist, Mary, said to me that she doesn't usually get the babies with Torticollis at two months and the fact that I'm bringing him now bodes well for his response to the therapy. It's basically stretches—some that I have to do at every diaper change, which is not easy but I'm committed to my son's health—and muscle massage and manipulation. He also needs a LOT more tummy time, but he still isn't a "fan" of it.
The therapy to stretch and strengthen his neck muscle will also help with his flat head. And Mary said that even though the flat spot looks awful to me, it's not the worst she's seen that has corrected itself. So she feels pretty confident that Little Man's flat head will correct itself and that he should not need a helmet. Her analogy was that of a water balloon. She said that if you lay one down, it will flatten on the spot that's on the ground. But if you turn it, it pops back out. So I hope that Little Man's head "pops back out".
We're going to PT twice a week for the first few weeks. Last week was week one and we're going next week, too. Then Mary is on vacation for a week. The Monday before he goes back, November 9th, he finally will go for his ultrasounds. I hope that his hip is fine and that I'll get good news re: his Hydrocele. But somehow I have a feeling Little Man will need to see a pediatric urologist to take care of the latter. The swelling hasn't gone down in two months and I don't see another few months making much of a difference.
All of this weighs on me. When you have a baby, you want him or her to be perfect. You pray for health and you want your child to survive. I had a crisis the first few days after Dude and I brought Little Man home from the hospital. I wanted to breastfeed but found it too frustrating to continue (and Little Man was Jaundiced and dehydrated, so I quickly moved to formula) and felt horrible guilt about giving up without truly trying. Dude says that if I HAD breastfed, I would have been a wreck due to how much Little Man eats and he says that I shouldn't feel guilty. I don't anymore, but I did for a while. And I guess I'm feeling somewhat the same way about the Torticollis and flat head (not sure what "type" he has). I need to get past that, but I haven't yet.
Though I AM grateful that Little Man's health issues are treatable and, relatively, minor. I hear stories of babies with heart problems. Premature babies who are in NICUs for months and months. Children with Cerebral Palsy or other health issues. And what we're dealing with, in the grand scheme of things, is just a glitch. But it weighs on me—and not the finances, though it IS a struggle—and I do wish that this hadn't happened.