2/21/2012

Can You Hear Me Now?

This morning, I packed up the kiddos, dropped the elder off at a friend's for the morning where he could play with her 3 (6, 4, and 3 - so all right in his "gosh, you're fun to play with" age bracket) and then trucked out to the other side of nowhere for the younger kiddo's hearing re-test. (Really, it's not the other side of nowhere, it just feels like it. It's only 14 miles away, but the most direct route takes just about 40 minutes with no traffic. Most days I think the people who passed themselves off as "city planners" around here need to be lined up against the wall and shot.)

I gave myself just under an hour to get over there, thinking that it was probably a good plan to have some extra time in case they had additional paperwork or what have you. As it turns out, it was simply good that I had extra time because all I had was a business card with their address on it. I dutifully plugged the address into my GPS, even though I had a pretty good idea of where I was going, and cruised on down. As I got nearer, I began scanning for addresses. I was looking for 8650. I found 8579, 8651, and 8620 but no 8650. I probably made eight U-turns trying to figure out what I was missing. Finally, with about eight minutes until the appointment, I pulled into a parking lot and called them up. The admin was very gracious about informing me that they're located *in* the hospital. The hospital whose sign out front very clearly states the address as 8700.

So I turned around yet again and, happily, found a good parking spot near the main entrance where I did spy, in itty bitty numbers, 8650. Then I made my way up and checked in just in time. (Though I don't think they would have cared overly if I were a few minutes late, they were very nice.) Then I proceeded to sit in the waiting area for just over 35 minutes as the younger kiddo slept (they made it very clear that he needed to sleep through the whole appointment for best results) and rapidly approached when I figured he'd be waking up demanding food and a new diaper. As I sat, starting to fret slightly about the whole sleeping thing, I watched their cyclical ad on the latest and greatest hearing aid system (and really, they're tiny these days!) SEVEN times.

When it was finally the kiddo's turn, we wandered back and they re-did the same test they did at the hospital, wherein they stick a little earbud in each ear (one at a time) and test echo responses. He passed both. But, since this was a retest, they had further testing that needed to be done. They hooked up four electrodes (two on the forehead, one behind each ear) and put an earbud in the ears (one at a time again) to test brain stem activity to various sounds at varying volumes. It was kind of fun to watch the graph on the monitor as the test progressed, though seeing your infant with electrodes on his head is a bit disconcerting. He passed that with flying colors as well. I was simply grateful that he managed to sleep through the whole thing!

The last test measured how well the ear drum constricts and it didn't matter if he was awake for that, which was good, because he was definitely on his way back to consciousness at this point. Another bit of flying colors.

And so we left with a clean bill of health for the youngest kiddo, instructions to please not need to come back, but if we do, to come as soon as we think there's a problem, and a rather interesting bit of new knowledge about audiology. If I was in the market for a new career, that might be something to look into - it's really fascinating.

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