You may have noticed that things have been quiet around here. This is due, in part, to several rounds of sickness that have descended on our home. The first was manageable enough–a head cold that we passed around for several days–but this week, I unexpectedly came down with a severe case of strep throat. (The verdict is still out on the possibility of mono.) Either way, the doctor decided to treat it aggressively once it failed to respond to the first round of antibiotics. I am now awake at 4:21 AM after having received my very first dose of steroids. I believe I will never do this again. Still, several good things have happened as a result. My pain level dropped within hours, I gained a new empathy for those who take steroids on a regular basis, and I wrote a poem.
The follow is dedicated to all us who never saw it coming.
When a Writer Gets a Cortisone Shot
Today I went to see my doctor
Who shot me full of cortisone;
Now I’m fast awake remembering
All the words I’ve ever known.
I climbed into my bed tonight
Desperate for some rest,
But spent the next three hours
Finding words that work together best.
I wonder if this is how it must have been
For Dickinson & Eliot & Poe;
I used to think them rested geniuses
But clearly that’s not so:
They simply could not help themselves
From thinking all they had to think.
Their last and only consolation
A pile of paper, pen, and bottled ink.
I’m sure I used to envy them,
Before the cortisone;
Now, I’d rather fall sleep than
Remember all the words I’ve ever known.
Seriously, friends, I had no idea. The internet tells me these side effects could last a full 48 hours. Who knows? Perhaps tomorrow night I’ll write a novel.