Today we took Maxim for a hearing test. It was slightly delayed by our pediatrician due to a bit of water in Maxim’s right ear, but since that was confirmed gone during the last check it was about time to proceed with the test.
Our appointment was for 14:15 in the “Center for preventive pediatrics”. We found the building pretty easy following dr.Simos’ instructions. The first letter of the sign outside was gone and the sign read as “enter for preventive pediatrics”. It struck me that the meaning didn’t change.
Anyway, stepping inside the office we got into a very comfortable atmosphere. There were no people except for about five members of the staff. Office looked very clean and fresh. One of the ladies there politely invited us in exactly the minute we entered the office, although we came about 15 minutes earlier.
We were told that the test will take just a few minutes and that it won’t cause any discomfort to the baby. Now that’s always nice to here, isn’t it? We were also given the explanation of the testing procedure. It is rather simple I must say. There is a normal laptop computer with a tiny microphone attached to it via a long wire. The microphone is not only a microphone, but a tiny speaker also. A sterile tissue is covering it, in case you’re worrying. Now, the nurse is putting the micrphone in baby’s ear and presses a button on the computer. Sounds are sent to the ear and the returned noises measured. All is done very fast and automatically. There are some wave graphs on the screen, but they don’t hold any meaning for the uneducated like yours truly. It is mandatory that the baby is totally quiet during the test. Luckily Maxim was sleeping through most of it, so we didn’t have any problem.
While Maxim was being tested, I was filling in the form (hard copy unfortunately) with the standard set of information about the baby and his mother – names, addresses, dates of birth for both of them, caretaker and pediatrician names, clinic, etc. There were a few fields about hearing disorders in the family, but I clicked “No” on all of them. I am not aware of any.
The form also had a clearly marked paragraph that explained that data from this hearing test might be accessed by a number of medical bodies. I had to put my name and sign for that I read that. Alternatively I could mark a field saying that I object against such sharing. I am not against it, so I didn’t.
Anyway, three minutes after we started the test, it was done. We could pick up Maxim and leave. By this time I was slightly worried about the bill. See, we don’t yet have the insurance for the kid and all cleaningness and technology in the place were suggesting that the place isn’t cheap. To my relief, I was informed that the test is free of charge for everyone. This center is probably making a huge amount of money by testing other things and taking care of rare hearing disorders. Or they just sell the information as expensive as they can. I don’t care actually. Free, fast, and with good quality of service – what else can I ask for?
Before we left, we were given the certificate confirmed Maxim passing the test. Also we’ve got a paper explaining the procedure and information sharing bit. And if that all wasn’t enough, they gave us a piece of paper with all words a baby is supposed to say before the age of 3. That last paper was all in Greek, so I didn’t pay much attention to it. I am sure we’ll hear all the needed words and sounds just in time…