Maysa's Blog

Our journey through plagiocephaly and brachycephaly

Posts Tagged ‘comparison’

A Year Ago Today…

Posted by mymaysa on May 26, 2010

So a year ago today, Maysa graduated from her 2nd DOC band and we were once and for all done with bands.  She had to wear four bands total: two kidcaps from ECA, which we believe failed her big time, and two DOC bands from Cranial Technologies which is what we should have picked to begin with.  She wore them from July 2, 2008 till May 26, 2009, almost 11 months…

Well, 12 months later, here is the progress she’s made:
Left Profile:  Here are some comparison pictures where I cropped her pony tail and the background to help focus on the actual shape of her head.  In this one, I feel like the base of the back of her head is where her head has rounded out the most lately.  It has gotten deeper too, there is no doubt.

Top View:  In the following, I am comparing her head from July 2008, when she was in the Kidcap to now and from this past January when she got her last starscan to now.  She’s improved dramatically from July 08 till now, but look, it seems that she’s also improved in the past 4 months!  Click on the pictures to zoom into them and look at the measurements on the rulers.

Front View:  I couldn’t get a good shot of her front view but I found these two pictures pretty comparable.  Her face has gotten longer and as a result, it doesn’ t look as wide.  Also, the reverse pear shape is less noticeable to me.

I couldn’t get a good right profile shot but even from that angle, things look pretty good.  What I was able to get instead is a back right side picture that shows how nice and round her head is there.

I hope that this post gives hope to all parents out there wondering if things can actually get better post banding.  It has for my Maysa.  Thank you Amber and the team at Cranial Tech for helping reshape my little girl’s head.  I will always owe you!

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Posted in doc band, eastern cranial affiliates, Pictures, post DOC band | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Baby Miguel Part 2…

Posted by mymaysa on May 13, 2010

I just want to share with the world what a well fitting clear helmet should look like.  If you look at some of my earlier posts, and compare it to this one, you’ll notice that I am not only comparing apples to oranges.  I am comparing apples to bananas…

Baby Miguel was back here last week.  His daddy and mommy brought him.  I didn’t know they were coming again and I didn’t have my camera, but we figured out something else using a Flip camera.  So, here is how his helmet looks like on him.  Now, look further down and see how Maysa’s helmet from ECA looked like on her.  Apples and bananas, I tell you!

I enjoyed seeing Baby Miguel again and cannot get over his composure.  He has it all together, it is amazing!  Oh! and yes, his head is reshaping beautifully.  So happy for mom and dad, and Baby Miguel of course…

On a somewhat similar note, a co-worker’s daughter brought in her son yesterday.  They have been suspecting that he has a “flat head” as well but weren’t sure.  I actually got to meet the other little guy and fair enough, he showed textbook characteristics of brachycephaly to me.  I gave mom lots of advice and recommendations as the ped she saw said that it will round out eventually…  I know the story too well, I told her.

Posted in eastern cranial affiliates, Orthomerica, Pictures, Star Cranial Center of Excellence | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Baby Miguel…

Posted by mymaysa on April 12, 2010

I saw Baby Miguel on Friday.  His daddy brought him to work.  Miguel is 6 months old and has/had craniosynostosis.  Despite his parents concerns, he went undiagnosed by his pediatricians for a long time.  When his daddy first told me that he was going to have to wear a helmet, the clear type, I got worried.  Then he explained to me that he didn’t have plagio or brachy and that post operation, he would have to wear one of the clear ones from Starcranial in Columbia, MD.  I felt much better then.  I have nothing but good things to say about that place and the people who work there.  I knew that as long as everything went well with the operation, he would be in good hands with Laura Plank and Orthomerica.

So, it’s been just about a month since Miguel got his helmet.  When I saw him on Friday (unexpectedly), I had to hold him and give him an extra special hug.  Of course, after drooling over his cute little face and chubby puffy cheeks, I checked out his helmet.  It was a beautiful helmet.  The shape of that helmet was flawless.  It camed down just barely above his eyebrows.  The contour around his ears WAS traced right around his ears.  It came ALL THE WAY down to the base of his neck.  It was beautifully and perfectly ROUND in the back and just the right width and length.  A perfect ratio!  It also had a few holes and the pads (two at the sideburns and two in the back were extremely soft and clean).

Really, I almost cried I was so happy to see him wearing such a well-fitted helmet.  I haven’t seen Miguel’s latest scan.  Daddy keeps forgetting to swing it by, but from what he told me, he’s made great progress already.  To tell you the truth, when daddy took off the helmet for me to look at, Baby Miguel’s head looked pretty darn good to me!  He needs to grow in width a little more, but considering his age, I have absolutely no doubt that nobody will ever be able to tell that he’s ever had surgery or that he had to wear a helmet (for a year, they are saying).

I’ve never given a really good review about passive helmets, namely Maysa’s passive helmets (kidcaps) from ECA.  However, thumbs up for the one from Starcranial in Columbia, MD.  I wish I could put the two side by side.  It’s like night and day.  Maybe I’ll ask daddy to let me have it for a photo shoot once he’s done with it…

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The latest report(s)…

Posted by mymaysa on January 28, 2010

There are a few things you all need to know before you look at the reports: 

  • First of all, we didn’t see Laura Plank so the reports that I have do not reflect a comparison between now and her April scan.
  • The orthotist we saw was really nice and compationate and we actually didn’t have to pay a penny for the time he spent with us or the reports he handed us.
  • Right before he scanned her (and Maysa was screaming her lungs out and mad at the world) he told us that because of the thickness of her hair we were most likely to see a flat area on the scan.  To tell you the truth, I thought he was going to say that he wouldn’t be able to scan her BECAUSE of her hair.
  • To reassure me that her head wasn’t flat at level 3, he also gave me a level 2 report that shows how round it is right below level 3.  As you can see below, there is no way (anymore) that her head could be that flat at level 3 to then be round again at level 2
  • Also, remember that Maysa’s flat spot was never on the back left side but rather on the back right side.  So, in other words, ignore the flatness you see in the level 3 report.
  • At home, when I overlaid the scans (January and April), I found that the January scan was a little bit off-center, a little too much to the right and that is probably why her right side looks fuller than her left in that one.

Now, here are the reports:

Level 3 Report:

So, first of all, I removed some info at the top and added in the “Shape 2” column her numbers from the April scan.  Again, as you can see, she grew over 2cm in circumference.  She only grew about 1mm in width and almost 10mm in length.  Her plagio also got slighty better, although in real life it looks even better, and most importantly her cephalic index is down to 88.4% at this level (Level 3).

Now, in the Level 2 report below, you’ll notice how much rounder her head is in the back.  Non of that  non-sense flatness that you can see in level 3:

You might also be wondering why her ears look funny.  That is because her hair was sticking out a little on the right hand side.  The cranial breadth changes at that level but the orthotist told me that it was mainly because of the ears that show at that level.

One thing I am still not sure of is where her head actually grew in length.  When I overlay the April and the January scan, most of the growth seems to have happened in the front and a little bit in the back.  I never thought that her head would grow that much up front.  It is hard to say because the center point of the two scans are a bit off center.  That is really matter: No.  What matters is that we have an oval looking head that is not flat anymore with such little asymmetry.

Can you believe that the report below belongs to Maysa?

Posted in Maysa, Orthomerica, Pictures, post DOC band | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

For Petra

Posted by mymaysa on January 23, 2010

Petra asked me some really good questions on Babycenter and the best way for me to answer them is by creating another post.    Here is what she said in her post:

“Leila, Maysa’s head seems to be doing better and better. I am curious as to how you feel about the growth after the helmet came off. Do you feel that her head has grown equally all around or more to the back than her sides? And if so how has she been sleeping since the helmet, sides, stomach or on her back?”

In my previous post, the ruler, I posted a comparison picture of Maysa’s head from the time her plagio/brachy looked at its worse to the way it looks now.  In the one below, the comparison is between the way her head looked two weeks prior to graduating from her 2nd DOC band and now.  Notice that the horizontal rulers on both pictures indicate the same width.  However the vertical rulers indicate that her head has gotten a tidbit longer since May.  Overall, it also has taken on a slightly different shape.  Her ears have moved back.

So in the picture taken in May 09, I come up with a cephalic index of 92%.  In April, her report from STARcranial showed a cephalic index of 93%, so pretty close…

These are my own pictures and my own calculations and might be totally wrong for all I know, but I truly believe that things have slightly improved since the band came off.  I do have to say that she always sleeps with a pony tail right in the back to make it uncomfortable for her to sleep on her back.  So to answer the rest of your question, Maysa, who used to be a back sleeper even while in her DOC bands, only sleeps on her tummy now or on her sides, hardly ever on her back.

Also, while her head is still wider than that of her 4 year old sister, it doesn’t jump at you anymore, nor does the fact that her head is not as round as most little girls her age.

Posted in Maysa, Pictures, post DOC band | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

The ruler

Posted by mymaysa on January 23, 2010

Like I mentioned before, I don’t take that many CT style pictures of Maysa’s head anymore.  We’ve been done with treatment for months now and honestly, her head looks so good, I don’t think about taking that kind of shots anymore.  Yet, I can’t help but wonder what her measurements would be today.  So, I pulled out one of her worse top view picture from July 08 and compared it to one taken three days ago (January 10).  I then overlayed a ruler on top of each picture (vertical and horizontal) and did some math.  Here are the pictures I’ve been comparing:

So, just so you know, the measurements on those rulers are not accurate.  In other words, in the July picture, her head is really not 92 mm wide, nor is it 104 mm long in the January picture.  What I actually did was try to use those numbers on the rulers to get an approximate calculation of what her cephalic index was back in July 08 and what it is now a year and a half later.

So:
For the July picture, 92 mm / 95 mm = 96.5%
For the January picture, 92 mm / 104 mm = 88.4%

I also want to add that while I came up with a CI of 96.5% for the July picture, it was most likely worse (around 98%)since the middle and bottom back part of her head at that time were further in compared of the top back part of her head.  I also think that the CI I came up with for the January picture is probably closer to 90%.

Either way, look how much longer her head has gotten, thank God and the people at Cranial Tech for making this happen.

Posted in Pictures | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Mirrored Looks

Posted by mymaysa on January 20, 2010

It’s been almost 8 months since Maysa graduated from her 2nd DOC band.  She’s basically been out of it for as long as she has been in it.  She also turned two recently and I keep thinking that things are getting better and better post band…  I don’t take as many pictures as I used to of her head (top view, profile, front…) but I was comparing the two pictures from her 1st and 2nd birthdays, the other day .  She has changed a lot, I think, but while I know she has, it is not until I mirrored the two pictures that it became very obvious to the naked eye. 

So, here are the two pictures I kept staring at.  In the one on the left, she is one and under treatment with the 1st DOC band.  On the left, she is two and done with treatment.  Do you notice the differences?  If you are somewhat like me, you probably do, but if you can’t quite put your finger on it, take a look at the set below this one:

Do you now see what I see?  Look at her ears in the mirror picture when she was one and the right side of her face.  It’s almost like somebody had come and grabbed that part of her face and pulled at it.  That right ear in the mirror picture is higher, her cheek is higher, the bulge over that right ear is also more pronounced.  I never thought back then that she had much facial asymmetry but boy was I wrong…  In the recent picture, her ears are aligned, her head doesn’t seem so wide, and except for one eye looking a tidbit smaller than the other, I would say that her asymmetry is close to zero, at this point.  I also have to say that her face has gotten longer and this has helped with the overall aspect of her head not looking so brachycephalic (wide).

I’ll have to try my best to take more comparable pictures of her head from different angles, but by posting this entry, I just wanted to kind of give an update as to what things look like now in retrospect to a year ago, back when I thought things would never really look normal again.  I do think and know that the DOC band helped fix several things a great deal.  She’s also been improving on her own since…

Posted in Birthday, doc band, Maysa, Pictures, post DOC band | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

ECA Vs. Cranial Tech

Posted by mymaysa on October 7, 2009

So, what happens when you get a cranial helmet meant to correct plagiocephaly and the helmet is not symmetrical.  Well, in our case, we ended up with even more asymmetry after 3.5 months of treatment and over 3.5 cm of growth in head circumference.  Look at the picture below.  On the left is a top view picture of Maysa’s second helmet from ECA.  On the right is a mirror image of that picture.  Do you see the asymmetry?

Maysa's 2nd Helmet ECA

Maysa mainly had brachycephaly but the helmets she wore from ECA were never really that much longer in the back nor were they rounder at the base.  As a matter of fact, they always looked kind of “short” in the back, like they were not covering her head all the way to the bottom.  Look at a comparison between her 2nd helmet from ECA on the left and her 2nd DOC band from Cranial Tech on the right.

ECA Vs DOC Band

Now why didn’t I do something about this from the start?  Well, I trusted too much, had too much faith in the expertise of our orthotist and kept quieting my mommy instincts.  I am still so glad that while Maysa regressed in the helmets from ECA, we were still able to get great correction from the two DOC bands she wore after that.

Posted in Cranial Technologies, doc band, eastern cranial affiliates, Maysa, Pictures | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Flat to Squarish to Roundovalish, WOW!

Posted by mymaysa on August 18, 2009

Ok, so while I haven’t taken pictures of Maysa’s head in a while I did take some this weekend and have been comparing them to some older ones.  Here is this set below:

Maysa_left_profile_7-27-08_5-09-09_8-15-09 

 

I outlined her head and trimmed her hair in all three pictures so the focus in on her head shape only and not her hair.  In July 2008, her head is obviously really flat and she has a little bit of a conehead.  In May 2009, she is about to graduate from her DOC band and while it is much much improved, it is kind of squarish overall.  This past weekend, August 2009, her head is round.  WOW!  I am amazed!  She is improving on her own.  What a relief!

Posted in doc band, Maysa, Pictures, post DOC band | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

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

Posted in Cranial Technologies, doc band, Maysa, Pictures | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

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

Posted in Cranial Technologies, doc band, Maysa, Pictures | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Left Profile Comparison

Posted by mymaysa on May 9, 2009

Too often people will ask questions as these: Do plagiocephaly helmets really work?  Do they really help a baby’s head round out?  Are they really worth the price?  We know too well that many pediatricians will tell you they don’t.  Many will tell you that babies head round out on their own, that they are a waste of time and money.  Well, unless you want to gamble it, wait and see and then possibly regret not doing anything about it later, here are two pictures for you that speak for themselves:

maysa_left_profile_7-27-08_5-9-09 

 

I do want to add that I outlined both pictures and trimmed them (including Maysa’s pony tail in the 5-09-09 picture) so no one would be distracted by the background.  The DOC band rocks!

Posted in Cranial Technologies, doc band, Maysa, Pictures | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »