Thursday, July 30, 2009

Part of the Family

Working at a special needs children’s hospital brings with it a set of challenges most jobs don’t. I often work with children with very complicated medical conditions. And I often deal with parents at their most vulnerable, when they’ve just been through a huge life changing experience, good or bad.

What I never expected was that I would be a parent of one of our patients.

Let me start by saying Dominick is perfectly fine.

We had his four month check up last week and our pediatrician suggested we get Dominick evaluated by a physical therapist because he has some tight muscles in his neck. The tightness is minimally limiting his range of motion, but we caught this at the right time. The official “diagnosis” for this condition is called torticollis. There are varying degrees and some babies have it so bad they have tilted heads or can only look in one direction.

What causes this? Many things, but mainly it stems back from the baby’s position in-utero. I was assured it was nothing that I had done, or not done. I was worried that I had caused this in some way, but both my pediatrician and PT assured me that this is perfectly normal and can easily be fixed.

We had our physical therapy evaluation today with a very wonderful therapist. She was very sweet and explained everything as she would if I didn’t work there. Dominick was very cooperative as she measured and stretched and tried to get him to look each way. Our PT found his torticollis to be mild and had us practice a few special stretches. A little stretching twice a day should fix the problem. We will probably also come in for outpatient therapy once a week, to check his progress.

Frank was nice enough to bring him in and as we walked through the halls to our PT apt, you’d think we were walking through with a celebrity! Everyone wanted to hold him, touch him, oogle him. All the employees here are like family and are very welcoming to new additions!

We also had one of our car seat checks move my car seat base from the middle to the side. We chose a car seat that can hold a baby up until 32 pounds in a rear facing position. Rear facing is much safer and we only want the safest for little Dominick! Problem is this car seat is larger than most to accommodate the extra poundage and it doesn’t fit exactly right in my car. We were jockeying it from passenger side, to middle, to passenger side again. It’s staying put now. I’m so thank full that we have such experienced staff who are willing to help when ever we need them.

Just like family.

1 comment:

erin said...

Yikes! I'm glad you noticed it! Is it painful?