Maysa's Blog

Our journey through plagiocephaly and brachycephaly

Posts Tagged ‘Annandale’

DOC Band Babies Calendar 2010

Posted by mymaysa on December 1, 2009

Guess what?  I got a message yesterday from Sheryl at Cranial Technologies in Annandale, VA:  “Congratulations, Maysa has made it into our DOC Band Babies Calendar 2010!”.  I couldn’t believe it.  I have been wondering when we would find out but didn’t think they would call.  Yet they did.  So, of course, while cheering for her I went to the computer and searched for the calendar.  She didn’t make it to one of the big pages but she is there in the second page of the calendar at the bottom right corner.  So many pictures have been submitted and to see there, among the few that were selected, makes it very special.  Above is the picture they chose…

Way to go, Maysa and all other DOC Band babies, you are all so beautiful!

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DSi 1,2 and 4 side by side

Posted by mymaysa on June 3, 2009

 I went back to Cranial Technologies to take the side by side pictures of Maysa’s first, second and fourth DSi side by side. 

dsi124 back

In this first set of pictures, notice how the light reflecting on the back of her head has gotten bigger.  The bottom back of her head looks a little bumpy but that’s because of her curls.  We couldn’t tame them very much.

dsi124 front

In this second set of pictures, notice how her head got longer, eliminating the wide aspect of it. 

dsi124 top

The last DSi is a little bumpy again, because of the curls, but notice how much longer and rounder it is in the bottom back.

dsi124 left profile 

 Compare the first and the last DSi…

dsi124 right profile

Here too, notice how much rounder her head is in the back now.

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Exit Photo Study!

Posted by mymaysa on May 27, 2009

Alright, I just received Maysa’s last Photo Study from Cranial Tech.  Besides the fact that she cried her lungs out, she looks fabulous to us!  My favorite shots are the top view and her right profile.  The pictures on the left go back to 10/20/08 prior to her first DOC band.  The ones on the right were taken yesterday on 5/26/09.

Here they are: 

CT photo study front view 10-20-08 to 05-26-09

CT photo study back view 10-20-08 to 05-26-09

CT photo study left profile 10-20-08 to 05-26-09

ct photo study left profile no pony tail 10-20-08 to 05-26-09

Left Profile - No Pony Tail

 

CT photo study right profile 10-20-08 to 05-26-09

Right Profile - No Pony Tail

Right Profile - No Pony Tail

 

CT photo study top view 10-20-08 to 05-26-09

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Maysa graduates, at last!

Posted by mymaysa on May 26, 2009

It was rainy, traffic was awful, we got there late and while Maysa was all smiles when we got in, she ended up throwing one of her biggest tantrums by the time she sat for the final DSi.  She was still crying and annoyed when they took her pictures and didn’t stop until her clothes were back on.  Then, she didn’t want to leave…

maysa playing examination room

maysa playing toys

maysa doc band graduate

maysa crying

maysa playing with flip

maysa car ride

Amber, our orthotist, and Cynthia, who took Maysa’s pictures, were great, as usual!  They took us right in despite our tardiness.  From the clinical anthropometric measurements that were taken 10/20/08 to 5/26/09, here are Maysa’s numbers from start to finish:

anthropometric measurements

We are absolutely positively extremely happy with the results, the service, the people and their professionalism and everything that is somehow connected to the beautiful round head of our little girl.  We can’t thank you enough.  Even my husband who at first was skeptical is now amazed at the results.  Again, thank you!

Maysa has graduated but I am not quite done posting.  There is more to come.  I am heading back to CT to take some of the side by side pictures of her three DSi.  I will be posting those in time.  I also have other things to share but I need time to put it all together so patience!

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Top View Comparison

Posted by mymaysa on May 11, 2009

Here comes another post about Maysa’s progress thanks to the DOC bands she wore for the past few months.  Pictures like these were a challenge to take each time.  Being able to take a top view picture showing both ears was hard at first but is even harder now that her ears don’t stick out as much.  However, they have helped me keep my sanity and they’ve all been worth it.

top_view_7-27-08_and_5-11-09

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Week 15 in DOC band 2

Posted by mymaysa on May 11, 2009

After a beautiful weekend, we woke up to rain this morning.  I thought that traffic was going to be bad but we actually got to our appointment with Amber at Cranial Technologies right on time.  We are always seen right away and I’ve loved that about them right from the start. 

Today was our last “shaving” appointment with Amber.  Maysa was extremely playful in the examination room, dancing and all.  The rocking dog and the musical flowers kept her entertained.  When Amber walked in to remove her band and take her circumference measurement, she kept shaking her head “no”.  She always does.  Then, when Amber took the band to go shave off some foam for the last time, Maysa wasn’t too happy.  It’s the first time that she’s gotten upset at her taking it away from her…

Amber came back and had shaved off the foam all the way to the plastic shell.  I truly didn’t think that we were going to get all the way down to the plastic shell before the end of the 16 weeks.  I am extremely happy with the results we got, with the fact that Maysa’s head will be free again after almost 11 months, with the fact that no one will ever be able to tell that there was ever anything wrong with her head shape.  I am so glad we were able to treat her with the DOC band.

Her next and last appointment is scheduled for May 26th.  They will again take pictures of her, do another DSi and hand measurements of her head.  I will be posting about that for sure!

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Looking back…

Posted by mymaysa on May 2, 2009

Here is another comparison picture of Maysa.  On the left, she was 9 months old, awaiting her first DOC band.  On the right, she is 15.5 months old, six months into her DOC band treatment.  I couldn’t be happier that we switched to the DOC band after the failed passive helmet she wore for 3.5 months.  Now, her head doesn’t look so wide above her ears anymore and her ears have straightened up a tiny bit more.

head-width-comparision-3-six-months-in-doc-bands1

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Week 13 in DOC band 2

Posted by mymaysa on April 27, 2009

Maysa went in for another adjustment today.  Amber saw us and was accompanied by a colleague from the Connecticut Office.  Of course, I can’t remember her name.  I am so bad with names…  We briefly talked about Tim’s report and how neat it was looking at things from a different perspective.  She asked me how happy I was about Maysa’s progress.  I told her that I WAS happy.  After the disappointing results we got from Eastern Cranial Affiliates, and the actual improvement in Maysa’s headshape since the DOC bands, I HAVE to be happy.

I thought long and hard about asking Amber once again about shaving the band on the back right side, but after looking at Maysa’s head from every possible angle I truly can’t see the “5mm” plagio that’s still left.  If I can’t see it while knowing what I am looking for, then nobody else out there will either, unless it’s an extremely observant plagio parent or a orthotist.  I think that a lot of it has to do with the fact that her head is no longer flat in the back.  It is now round.  It has a curve that hasn’t been there since she was about 6 weeks old.  Amber gave Maysa a little more room in the band by shaving a little more off of it.  I believe that she only shaved the middle back right side of it but I am not sure.

Also, looking at one of the top view pictures on Tim’s report, I was able to overlay it on the scan from Orthomerica and draw the two diagonal lines.  I came up with the same 5mm diagonal difference, however, her Cephalic Index was much lower.  There were two top view pictures of Maysa’s head on the report.  One was similar to a top view picture I would take of her in the tub with her hair all wet, and the other one was a slice top view of it similar to the one that I obtained from Orthomerica.  In the first top view picture, the worse Cephalic Index I could come up with after several measurements was 87.5%.  In the slice view, the worse Cephalic Index I came up with was 91.25%.  This is much lower that the 93% I was given in April.  So I went back to the graphs from Orthomerica, took a cm ruler and measured the CI of the last three reports I got from them.  Here are their measurements and mine:

October 2008 CI:
– Orthomerica -> 98.3%
– My measurements -> 98%

January 2009 CI:
– Orthomerica -> 93.3%
– My measurements -> 92.5%

April 2009 CI:
– Orthomerica -> 93%
– My measurements -> 91.7%

Really, all I did was take a cm ruler and measure the length and width lines on the graph from Orthomerica to obtain the CI.  Have you STARband people tried that before?  I know that it’s completely silly to be competing with computer technology, but I felt so good being able to measure her CI at 91.7% by measuring her graph.  It is also closer to the 91.25% I measured on the picture from Tim’s report from Cranial Tech.  I’ll add to that that this is really what I feel her CI is at this point: around the 91% mark.

Also, we have one more adjustment left scheduled for May 11th.  In four weeks we have our exit appointment.  It will be right around Memorial day weekend, a day to remember.

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Protected: The Mid Treatment DSi Report from Tim

Posted by mymaysa on April 24, 2009

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Week 11 in DOC band 2

Posted by mymaysa on April 13, 2009

Maysa went for another scheduled adjustment this morning.  We were seen by Sheryl and not Amber today, she was tied up with a consultation.  Sheryl looked at Maysa, felt her head, commented on how nice and round her head looked.  She put the band back on to see if it needed to be shaved again.  I asked her if it could be shaved on the back right side a little.  She said that until “Tim” reviewed her mid DSi she wasn’t allowed to shave the band there.  She said that it was a brachy band and that the protocol of those was different.  She did shave some more off of the middle back though…

She also told me that “Tim” hadn’t had a chance yet to review the mid DSi but that, as soon as he did, Amber would give me a call.  Maybe today, maybe tomorrow.  I just want some foam to be shaved off that back right side to bring down her plagio numbers.  We are starting week 11.  We have 5 weeks left in the band.

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Mid DSi

Posted by mymaysa on April 8, 2009

8:00 AM this morning, Maysa and I go in to see Amber.  She (and the whole world) knows that I regularly take Maysa to Orthomerica for scans and I’ve showed her previous ones before.  I briefly explain to her what Laura Plank showed me on the graphs yesterday and I express my concerns to her as to the fact that the numbers seem to say that her plagio has regressed by 3mm while in fact I was hoping they would be at 0mm.  We also talk about her Cephalic Index (CI) although that one didn’t get worse.  She honestly says that she is not apt or qualified to read the scans but that “Tim” (I forgot his last name) who is their tech guy in Arizona has asked her to go ahead and do a mid DSi of Maysa’s head so he can analyze the data better and comment or act upon it.  This is the first time they do a mid DSi so I do feel a little weird about it, but at the same time I appreciate how they are listening to my concerns and going the extra step to help address them.

I need to know that I (and everyone else involved) is doing everything possible to help my little Maysa.  Am I a mother or what???  Talking about being a mother, Amber’s daughter also wore a DOC band for a little while so we had a little chat about the fact that she still sees the imperfections in her head shape and that I will always see them in Maysa and others as well.  She just wishes that her daughter had as much hair as Maysa.  I totally understand that at this point, they can only help and not fix and that sooner or later, I’ll have to come to terms with it all.  I know that, but we have 5.5 weeks left in the band.  Let’s make the best of it! 

I probably won’t hear from Amber or Tim until early next week.  How many more gray hair do you think before then?  Of course, I will keep you posted!

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Week 9 in DOC band 2

Posted by mymaysa on March 30, 2009

We are starting our 9th week in our second band.  Once again, Amber shaved off a little more foam off of Maysa’s helmet.  You go girl!!!  She is growing like a weed and walking so fast now, I think she’ll start running tomorrow.  It’s like Spring has sprung.  I am so happy for her.  Her head is really looking round now and she has been such a trooper through it all, even when things looked glum. 

7 weeks left in the band…  We see Amber in another two weeks.  I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Maysa 14.5 months - week 9 in DOC band 2

Maysa 14.5 months - week 9 in DOC band 2

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Week 7 in DOC band 2

Posted by mymaysa on March 16, 2009

Today, Maysa is starting her 7th week in her second DOC band. Considering that the band is good for a maximum of 16 weeks, she is pretty much half way done with it. Only 8 weeks left. Wow, she’s been in a helmet/band for 8 months and she now has 8 weeks left… It’s almost unreal but for some strange reason, 8 weeks seems like an eternity.

I am ready for the Spring, for cute dresses, sandals, shorts and tank tops, and for curly hair in the sun and butterfly bows. I am ready for her to enjoy being a little girl like all other little girls. I am ready for her head to not feel so itchy or sweaty when the band is off. I am ready to let her have as long of a bath as she wants to have. I am ready to not watch when the hour is up. I am ready to let her hair dry at its own leisure. I am ready to see her eyes and not the band cover them when she looks up. I am ready to run my hand through her beautiful hair and kiss her head without fear of being bruised. I am ready to start taking pictures of her and not her in her band. I am ready to put it all behind us and spring ahead.

Can’t you tell I am ready!

This said, I am so glad she is still wearing it. Maysa is starting to take a few steps on her own and I can’t tell you how good it is to know that her head is not just rounding out but also safe at the same time. Amber at Cranial Technologies and everybody who works there, we owe you!

Ok, back to the present time. Amber placed a little stocking on Maysa’s head and felt the back of it. She compared it the mold and once again she said that her head had rounded out even more. She left us for a little while and shaved it out a little more. When she came back she said that the texture of the foam felt different and that it took her longer to shave off the foam. I wash Maysa’s hair with DOVE and that’s the only way I can get it to smell good. Also, there are times that when the hour is up, Maysa’s hair is still kind of damp. I don’t know if that has anything to do with it. I asked if the band was OK and Amber said yes.

We have another appointment on the 30th.

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Week 5 in DOC band 2

Posted by mymaysa on March 3, 2009

We actually made it to our appointment half an hour early and were therefore seen about 20 mn early. Amber felt Maysa’s head and said that her head was rounding out really nicely. That only confirms what the way I’ve been feeling about the way she looks. She shaved off the foam a bit more and we are scheduled for another adjustment in two weeks.

Thanks, Amber.

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The Snow Storm

Posted by mymaysa on March 2, 2009

We were scheduled to see Amber this morning for another adjustment. Instead, we stayed home and Cranial Technologies called to say that they would be closed. That’s a good thing because the snow accumulation was really high and we also had gusty winds.

We are rescheduled for tomorrow 9:30 AM.

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Week 3 in DOC band 2

Posted by mymaysa on February 17, 2009

Maysa had an appointment yesterday with Amber at Cranial Technologies. She’s been in her new band for two weeks and is doing great. The first week following her initial fit, the band slipped down her eyebrows quite a lot. I constantly had to readjust it. The week after that, it just stopped. It only happens if she pulls at it.

Anyway, Amber drew a square on the foam in the middle back part of the band and said that from now on that was where they would shave off the band. Like I said in a prior post, the foam is really thick and this band is really curved out in the back compared to the first she wore so seeing her shave off some foam out of there is giving me hope that her head will keep rounding out even more.

I caught myself looking at her in the past 3 or 4 days during the hour that the band is off and telling myself how good her head looks to me now. Really. Before, I couldn’t help but notice the sides of her head sticking out and the flatness in the back, especially the back right side. Not anymore. She really looks good to me now and I don’t feel so self conscious for her anymore.

Is her brachy closer to 90% now? How I wish! And, how I wish I could just take her back to Orthomerica now for another scan…

Also, I admit doing something I am not supposed to do: I placed Maysa’s helmet on her 3 year old sister the other day, and guess what? It fit (almost) as well as it does on Maysa’s head. That tells me that if we hit some good growth spurts in the next couple of months, Maysa’s head will really look great once again.

We see Amber back again in two weeks.

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Second DSi, on our way to a second DOC band:

Posted by mymaysa on January 20, 2009

We had our appointment at Cranial Technologies today in Annandale, VA. Maysa has been in her DOC band for 11 weeks now.  A second one was approved by our insurance, Kaiser Permanente, and looking at the progress that she’s made thus far, why not go for a second one?  I had really wanted to videotape Maysa’s second DSi and brought my camcorder with me.  My husband had assured me that it was ready for filming.  Well, once I got there, I realized there was no disk inside!  Arrrgh…  I did feel a bit silly!

Maysa did cry during the DSi.  Having that little sock over her head wasn’t her thing, plus, she wouldn’t sit up which made things a little harder.  Her long hair was also hard to tuck in under the sock.  Her sister, Soraya, came with us today and was really good.  She did tell me that she felt sad, though, to see Maysa cry.  How sweet!  Amber and her team got it after a second try and the drama was all over. 

I really liked looking at the comparison between the two DSi.  Her head has rounded out quite a bit (ok, a lot) at the bottom.  The right profile shows it the most and I couldn’t be happier.  The top view also shows that she has gained some length.  Really, this whole experience with Cranial Technologies has been fantastic and so uplifting.

Our fit appointment is scheduled for February 2nd.  Amber suggested that I bring my camcorder (with a disk this time) and that I could record the difference between the two DSi on their computer screen.  I’d love to do that and share it here on her blog.  I’ll just have to make sure that the camcorder IS ready for filming this time.

Today was a good day…

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