LOL, acronyms huh? DYKWIM?
I’m really bad at them, even after many a bored Sunday flicking through the personals and wondering whether GSOH was a typo. Now I wonder the same about GOSH. I tend to have to sound them out, and frequently make errors. Like LOL- is it Laugh Out Loud or Lots Of Love? And I liked ROFL because I decided it meant Right Old Fucking Laugh. After that, anything is a disappointment.
But then I’m a liar. And Wolf has just brought me the 2011 word of the year through, whether pointedly or not. I tergiversate- “to change repeatedly one’s attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc.” I love a long word you see, something that seems to require an exhausting amount of syllables. It’s so anti-acronym. But yet, when it comes to the boy, they trip off the tongue seamlessly and easily. Let me share a typical A & E visit (we’re usually less of an A given that he’s non mobile)
“So Mum, who have we got here. Rufus. Right. Can you give me a bit of history?”
Ahh the delicious irony, a) that they call me Mum whilst I look at the junior in charge taking initial notes and simultaneously thinking that I look old enough to be their mother and yet young enough to be getting pissed in the pub with them. And b) a ‘bit’ of history. Ha. Ready?
“Rufus has CNS. He has GDD, GORD, Ex Prem, FTT, PEG fed.” Quick as you like.
CNS- Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome
GDD- Global Development Delay
GORD- Gastro Oesophageal Reflux
Ex Prem- Arrived ahead of schedule
FTT- Failure To Thrive
PEG fed- could lie and tell you what PEG stands for by looking it up. Not important, we’ve gone from NG (nasogastric) to PEG. A step up in the world of tubes.
At this point after some nodding and note taking (and possibly what I assume is a quick calculation as to how close the nearest computer system is to Look All This Up), I move from acronyms into some specific terminology.
“He’s Hypothyroidal secondary to his CNS. Hypo, not Hyper.”
Start of obs. You know, listening to bits, checking him over.
“He’s Hypertensive. Hyper, not Hypo this time. He’s Tachycardic normally, he has a heart murmur from a PDA.”
It’s generally at this point my job comes into question. Whether I have any medical experience. Nope, just frontline training and enough talent to copy things so that I hope you take me more seriously, faster. And it’s not like this doesn’t come up in conversation a bit. Not over coffee you understand, but with every professional involved, every service I try to access. I’ve tried to make it fit into boxes too small to put this ‘bit’ of history in, and that’s before the medicine roll call.
I have to remember it like the game we used to play as children, ‘Today I went to the shop and I bought’…
‘Today I went to the pharmacy and the NHS provided’…
And then I’m expected to list off all the dosages, some being TTD. Remember where it’s milligrams or micrograms. Those little squiggles I was supposed to pay attention to in physics suddenly flood my brain. Hope I haven’t offended any Greeks there… And there’s a bit of this picture you might not be able to imagine. I’m doing this as my child screams in pain, or lies listless and pale. I am BI. Bricking It.
Words suddenly have new gravitas. Tolerance. Seems all too appropriate considering the reserves of patience I have to drain. But no, does Rufus tolerate things? His feed? Being touched? Being held? Base line. Not ‘normal’ you see. What’s his base line readings? These are things I have accepted. Which occasionally is BullShit but my veneer is one of togetherness.
Ever heard of PMLD? Or SLD with CMN? MLD? Apparently getting my boy to school requires someone to come and capture him in another acronym. Is it because if they say it fast enough they don’t have to linger over words like ‘profound’, ‘severe’ and ‘complex’. Make it into a neat and tidy package? But here in lies the rub. Rufus is like so many children requiring SEN- can’t help myself now- he’s a mixed bag. An overflowing plastic bag containing a pineapple and a baguette, something containing bleach and some easily bruised vegetables. He shouldn’t be able to do what he does in some respects. And yet frustratingly it won’t sit in the trolley.