This has been a good weekend. Fun times with the kids (probably some of the last pool weather we’ll have), and we also made progress on a number of house projects we wanted to get to before our attention shifts to LA. Trish is displaying her usual organizational flair, trying to address details that may not get attention between now and January 1st. I’ve been humming Christmas carols today—probably because of the notes I had to write so that she could mail all of the family Christmas packages. Rudy isn’t the only sick person in our family.
I bought a kayak last week so I could sleep better. A few dear friends have been concerned about my restless nights and suggest exercise. Going to the gym or riding my bike in traffic are not peaceful environments, so I figured getting out on the water would be more tranquil. So Saturday morning I tooled around the waters of Isla Vista with the sea lions until I couldn’t resist the call of the oil platform “Holly”. Made it all the way out and got to scrub off crude from bow to stern as my reward. Still slept lousy by the way, but nice to have some time for personal therapy, prayer and reflection.
”Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome” is a mouthful. Whether I’m typing it or saying it, it’s cumbersome; if not for reasons of syntax then for the weight the words have come to carry. Understandably, it is more efficient to reduce them to an acronym but it seems that the medical community doesn’t have consensus on this. “HLHS” is simple enough, but I’ve seen variants of “HPLHS” (long, but since the first word has five syllables, maybe it deserves two letters) and “HPHS” (as hypoplasts can only occur on left side, perhaps the “L” would be redundant).
HLHS. The first thing I think of are the gray t-shirts of apathetic teenagers chugging out laps in a high school gym class somewhere (“Highland Lake High School”? “Heartland Lutheran High School”?).
HLHS. A good acronym is one that requires no explanation (when did you ever have to explain ASAP, UCLA or IRS?). This is where HLHS really bogs down. Other than specialized realms of the medical community, I’ve never tossed out Rudy’s acronym in conversation without having to spell out the whole term to the puzzled looks I get. Not like “Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome” does that much for anyone; I usually need to include one of my layman’s definitions (my baby has half a heart) to see an expression of understanding that quickly changes to a look of compassionate concern.
HLHS. For some reason the whole acronym is taking some getting used to for me. Rudy isn’t born yet. I don’t know if his hair is straight or curly, I don’t know if his eyes will be the same piercing blue of his brothers and sister, yet I feel like he’s been branded with an ominous moniker—HLHS. These letters will be a big part of his life and a large part of our focus, but I pray they define him only in part and not in totality.