Sunday, October 20, 2013

Loss for Words

According to Wikipedia, the English language is spoken in about 88 countries and territories worldwide. You would think we (English speakers) would have all our necessary words covered with popularity like that… but no. There are many situations that lack a word to describe them.
 For instance, we need a word for the phenomena of how a mild injury or illness that appears on Thursday evening or Friday morning…something like a cough, an upset stomach, or I don’t know, a bug bite… goes from “annoying” to “still tolerable” on Saturday, when you still have the option of After Hours Care at the local clinic ... until Sunday afternoon. It may have even improved on Saturday, but guess what? It’s Sunday now, so BOOM!!!! It’s worse and boy are you stupid for not doing anything on Friday!!!The mild cough is now most definitely the flu. The upset stomach, that was only bothering you occasionally, now has you spending a vast amount of your waking hours sitting on or clutching the toilet and praying for God to take you home NOW. Or maybe, what appeared to be a small, red, bug bite on your leg is now a reddish purple lump, swollen to 3 times its size, and tender and warm to the touch. Your only option is the dreaded trip to the ER. And you don’t have insurance. And I even if you did, what are going to do? Go to the hospital because your cold got worse? Or you have diarrhea? Or you have an ugly bug bite. We all know there are extreme situations that call for a trip to the emergency room, but surely not this situation.
 Oh, and WAIT! It’s not you, it’s your kid. Because it’s super fun and easy to figure out just how much pain or discomfort they are in. Yeah, we need a word for that, too. “Guessing” or “assessing” doesn’t cut it because those are practical words that ignore the emotions (Your baby is HURTING!!!) involved in the situation, not to mention the irrational fear that the cold with develop into triple pneumonia even though she only has 2 lungs. Those little bug bites? They are so swollen and infected, you know those legs are gonna have to come off.

  “Sorry, lady…we could have saved his legs if you had brought him in the hospital sooner… for a bug bite. Sheesh!! What kind of mother are you, slacker?”

I need a word for each of those situations because I find myself in them ALL. THE. TIME. It would make talking about these things so much easier. You might normally have conversation like this :
 “ How are you, Rhonda?”
 “ Oh, well. I guess I’m ok. But I’m worried about Ben’s legs. Well, not worried, really. That’s probably too strong of a word…I’m more concerned than worried. They are really bad. But not hospital bad, just doctor bad. I think. I’m not sure. I mean, I KNOW his legs aren’t gonna like, FALL OFF, but they are…you know…bad. Worse than bad actually, but he can still walk.”
 “ Oh my goodness, Is he ok?”
 “ What? Oh yeah, he’s fine. Or he will be… Wow, I guess that did sound terrible, of course he can walk. I mean they don’t hurt THAT bad. I don’t think so, anyway. I mean, he’s not CRYING. So you know…can’t be that bad. Although, those bites are pretty swollen. And purple. And warm. Looks painful….but I don’t know. I would take him to the doctor, but you know…it’s Sunday, so nothing is open. Except the Emergency Room which is not an option because we don’t have insurance. Not like that would stop us it WAS an emergency….”
 “Oh good! So it’s not bad?”
 “Oh, it’s bad. Gross, actually. But not BAD, bad, you know? It’s like…

” UGH!!!! Exhausting!!! Now, if we had a WORD for that situation… like say, “ Floofenhyme” the whole conversation would be different:

 “How are you, Rhonda?”
 “Well, I’m not too good, I have floofenhyme…. over Ben’s bug bites.”
 “Oh girl, I HATE that.”

See? Easy peasy. But Floofenhyme won’t work because it’s too silly for what may (or may not) be a serious situation. But not THAT serious. So, yeah…gotta work on that word.