Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Tilt

As most know Kid #2 is a special needs child.  She receives services from the local school district as well as physical and occupational therapy at a local hospital child rehab department.  On a recent visit, Kid #2's physical therapist mentioned to me that she had noticed Kid #4's head was always tilted in the same direction each time she had seen her.  "Does her head always tip that way?", she asked causally.  "Yes, why?" I questioned.

Truth is my husband had noticed the tip weeks before and questioned me about it.  I passed it off as our own over analyzing.  "You are just looking for something," I scolded him.  As parents of a profoundly impaired child, we watch our children in a way that is different than our friends with typically developing children.  We know that infant milestone chart by heart.  We are painfully aware of what kids are supposed to do when and that we have a child that will never catch up.

The therapist took a long look at Kid #4.  She said shyly, "I think she has torticollis."  Oh no, I felt an all too familiar wave of panic.  Stay calm.  Celiac disease, schizencephaly, now torticollis!  "Oh, what is that?"  I wanted to remain calm.  She went on to say it isn't serious but that I should talk to her pediatrician and see.  He could send her to physical therapy and they could probably see her when Kid #2 comes.  Great!  For those of you who like me would need to Google it, torticollis is a twisted neck in which the head is tipped to one side, while the chin is turned to the other. Maybe it happened in utero when she was so cramped?  I affectionately call the condition "Bent Neck".  It is easier to say and people know what I am talking about.

So, we are about 6 weeks into therapy and progressing nicely.  The truth is that it is painfully familiar with the second child.  I know all the therapists.  I know all the handouts.  I have the cause and effect toys to get her to reach for.  I know how to prop a kid that favors one side.  I have the big rubber ball to exercise her on.

They have warned me that it may "relapse" as she begins to get more mobile.  Okay, I get it.  We have 2 more months of therapy for sure.  I have toned out the surgery talk and the idea that this could be chronic.  This for me is somewhere between celiac disease and schizencephaly.  So I am stretching her just so, holding her just so, and encouraging her to reach, look and turn in a certain direction in hopes that I can make a difference. 

I am the Momma, it is what I do!


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