Keith, Hillari, Sareny, Isaac, Finley, and baby Keeley
Monday, January 21, 2013
Keeley's DOC band
From the time that Keeley was quite small, I noticed that her head was shaped pretty strangely. In the lower back quadrant, her head narrowed to a weird hump. Since we knew all about the miracle of doc bands, having gone through one with Isaac when he was a baby, we took Keeley in to see if she would benefit from a band. (Or let's face it, we all just called it a helmet, despite it's official name, which means dynamic orthopedic cranioplasty.) I tried to take some before photos that showed the unusual shape of her head, but it was pretty difficult with her squirming and trying to see what I was doing.
But I think you can see what I am talking about a little bit.
Fortunately, the office determined that she was an excellent candidate for treatment. Less fortunately, the numbers they took from measuring her head did not support the need. The reason was that the problem area of her head was so low, it was below the point where they take measurements. For insurance and quality control reasons, they have specific points where they are required to take the measurements from. I took Keeley in to our pediatrician, and he looked at her head and wrote to the insurance company why she really did need one, and how it interrupted her ability to lay flat on her back. Then we had to wait for their answer.
About a week later, we found out that they were going to cover the treatment! I was so happy.
I know that nobody has a perfect head, but I wanted my little girl to have the best head she possibly could.
We went in and they took 3d images of her head and turned them into a model of her head, which they used to cast the helmet.
Her helmet covered a lot more of her head than Isaac's did, because of the areas they were trying to hold in place. I had to take Keeley to the Phoenix Children't Hospital every week for an appointment. They would bring out the mold of her head and compare it to her current head to see any improvement. Then they took the band and shaved out areas where they wanted to encourage growth.
Within just a few weeks, we could tell a difference. Her doc band came plain white, but I found out about a place in Phoenix called The Wrap Shoppe that wraps doc bands for free, so I met with a designer there, told her what I wanted, and then they designed it and applied it for us. It made her helmet so much cuter!
Finally, on December 10th and after 10 weeks of wearing the helmet for 23 hours a day, she was ready to get it off. I picked up Keith at work on my way so he could be there for her last appointment.
Here is a profile of her head right after the helmet came off for the last time.
Then they put a stocking on her head so they could do a 3d image again.
Silly little face!
Here she is getting ready to have her picture taken.
Then they took us in a room and showed us the before and after images, and there was a pretty remarkable difference.
Finally able to wear cute little bows again!
We were so used to that helmet, that it was kind of weird to see her cute little head again!
Sadly for her, she was used to having that helmet on her head as well, and there was a lot of unfortunate head bashing that took place over the next week as she figured out that things that didn't used to hurt, hurt like heck now.
I was so happy with the more normal shape of my little girl's head.
And then they presented her with a doc band graduation certificate--doesn't she look so proud as she reaches out for it? And that was the end of our doc band journey.
I stay at home with 4 beautiful children--3 girls and 1 boy. Sareny is 9, Isaac is 6, Finley is 4, and baby Keeley is one! I've been married to my best friend for 15 years now, and we're still happy. Life is beautiful!