I had forgotten that I whined about our visit to the specialist this morning until I got Mandy's comment. Oops.
It was what I expected. Perhaps I should back up for those new to the party. At Meg's two month well-visit she was diagnosed with Muscular Tortcollis (which I apparently misspelled way back when as Torcollis. I should just stick to wry neck and be safe. ha!) Basically it just meant that the muscles on the left side of her neck were tighter and shorter than those on her right. It caused her to tip her head to the left like this:
Not only did she tip left, if she wanted to look to the right, she did so with her left ear down to a shoulder. If she wanted to look right, she tended to have to turn more of her upper body.
The first visit with the specialist (pediatric orthopedics) was scary. He uttered the "s" word, as in "If this does not correct itself through harmless stretching she may need surgery to remove scar tissue." Yes, I was a bit unnerved.
Each visit since, however, makes me wonder why I bother going back. She showed improvement each month with the stretching we did - mild stretching. I'm talking about kissing her chin on the right side with enough pressure to make her look to the left by turning her head. The idea has been to stretch the muscle by making her tip her right ear down to her right shoulder. We also had to make minor modifications to the way she ate and slept. All of it had her holding her head higher and straighter.
The visit prior to this one was three months ago. I saw no evidence of tippy head, yet the doctor did. At least she thought he saw enough to have her go through an Xray. Ever try to hold an eight month old perfectly still? Let's just say it was the first visit Logan had accompanied us on and he cried thinking his sister was in pain.
The xray showed nothing skeletal was contributing to her condition so we were back to neck stretches. The doctor looked sternly at Megan and nodded his head saying he could see that she had to turn her upper body when she wanted to look left and not just her head. That was about the point when I thought about asking him if he just liked me for my co-pay. Trust me on this one - 8-month old Megan was not turning her upper body to look left. I know this because after he said it, I watched her like a hawk to find out what I had been missing. Mommy missed nothing.
Anyway, we went back up today - the three of us. We played for roughly 10 minutes in the lobby and another 4 or 5 in the exam room. Then the doctor arrived, med student in tow. This merely meant that we had one older man showing off his medical prowness and a younger goofy man nodding as if he knew what the old guy was saying.
But, I have little reason to complain other than having to drive up there with both kids for a 5 minute visit that told me what I knew -- she's fine. Actually what he said was, "Keep what you're doing. She's got a slight favor to the left but she's much, much, much better. Come back in three months." And then he said something about how she could relapse if we stopped stretching her at this point.
I nodded and made my appointment for November, although I guess we'll wait and see if its worth keeping. He again instructed me to do everything he had been instructing me to do for 9 months. And I nodded as if I followed his advice word for word since she stopped tipping.
1. Feed her with her chair turned away from you and the spoon coming down from above her so that she has to turn and look up and to the left to eat. -- Ok, folks, Meg thinks anything that requires a spoon is good for one thing and one thing only - spitting out all over me. If she can't pick it up herself and "chew" it (the girl STILL only has two teeth!) she won't eat it. Its a good thing she can gum up small bits of just about anything!
2. Gently force her head to turn to up and to the left. - Ok, so I do that with the kiss thingy.
3. Sit to her left and talk to her so she has to turn and look. - Ahh, we do this sometimes. Other times I'm lucky I'm still speaking in complete sentences and not babbling incoherently. Three is fun. Three is fun. three is fun. Remember that. When Logan turns four do I really need a new chant?
4. Make sure she sleeps so that her neck is stretching the proper direction. -- Ok, buddy, look. We bit the bullet and got her out of her car seat 9 months ago. Fine. Done. But buddy, I like my sleep. I am not messing with a sleeping child. If she's asleep, she's staying that way. I'll just kiss her chin some more in the morning. Honestly, we put Megan down the right way. She just tends to migrate all over the place during the night. She's even known to sleep on her side, on her back, and on her stomach with her face buried into her hands straight down.
I don't worry to much about it though. Here's what she looks like today at a day shy of 11 months: