Finn has passed all of his well child visits to date with flying colors. He’s hit every milestone; he’s growing beautifully, almost walking, and certainly developing his little personality. The one area that the pediatrician has been most watchful of is his head size. He’s always been on the higher percentile for head circumference. More recently, at his twelve-month visit, they’ve noticed that in comparison to the curve/chart that gets followed when they plot growth is that his head is still going up, instead of leveling off on the curve. That said, they referred us to a neurologist.
Slightly terrified and reading entirely too much information online about kids with “big heads”, otherwise known as Macrocephaly, we saw Dr. Varma. He asked us all sorts of questions about his eye movements, developmental milestones, and even tapped on his head to listen for who knows what. He felt his soft spot and said it’s a little more open that it should be at this point. Ultimately, he sent us to Children’s Hospital for a CT scan. I read way to much online about CT scans in children and nearly scared myself to death. I was thinking of everything from will the radiation give him learning disabilities later in life, will he freak out and need sedation (or will I) or what if they find out something is terribly wrong… how will I handle it?
The actual CT scan went super quickly – we were in and out in less than a half an hour. The nurses at Children’s were very nice and eased all of my concerns regarding the amount of radiation. The room itself is decorated like a pirate ship, with lights and pictures, a TV playing a movie (for Finn, it was Dora). They swaddled him tightly in a sheet; Velcro strapped him to the table and held his head down with another strap across his forehead. He looked so tiny on that table and had a moment where he looked like he might panic, but he just looked, wide-eyed at what was going on. He did great; it was over before we knew it. I, on the other hand, had tears rolling down my cheeks. The nurse was handing me tissues when it was over.
The following day, after waiting and waiting and waiting, I got the results. They confirmed that he has macrocephaly. There is more cerebrospinal fluid than normally found within the spaces and around his brain. However, it’s not causing any pressure, so that’s a good thing. It is something that they want to monitor closely with monthly or bi-monthly head size checks, and then a six month follow-up at the neurologist. I asked the question “Does he have a big head BECAUSE of the fluid?” or “Does he have the fluid because he has a big head?”… they said that his head size is because of the fluid, but ultimately he should grow out of this and the fluid would then be a normal amount. That’s what we are hoping for anyways.
Eion, our almost five-year old, also always had a big noggin, but they never went this far to check it out. So, I’m hoping that Finn will grow into his head too. He is such a great little guy, always pleasant, super loveable and very curious.
So far, we’ve been very lucky – with both of our boys – but this was/is pretty scary. I’ll just keep saying my prayers that they both continue to be healthy happy little boys.