Tag Archives: gall bladder

Belly-ache

cheese platter.jpg

Rigid in bed, glaring at ceiling,
belly-ache imparting ghastly feeling.
Hurt so bad, didn’t sleep all night
belly-ache brought on quite a fright.
Veggie bake was big mistake;
too much cheese brings belly ache.

Can’t pretend I didn’t know –
belly-ache gripped me weeks ago
from baking up delicious meal:
belly-ache made me squirm and squeal.
Swore back then that I’d forsake
cheese that served up belly-ache.

Once again I failed to resist
lovely cheesy belly-achy dish.
Guessed the cause; it’s not too sad
belly-ache’s inspired by rocky gall-blad.
Rich cheese sauce gave personal proof
when belly-ache shot through the roof.

Knew right then what I had to do –
take belly-ache to medical zoo.
Personable doctor prodded me,
gave me more belly-ache for free.
Nodding heads, we both agreed
ultra-sound scan was what I’d need.

Waited weeks in sober mood,
eating belly-ache reducing food.
cutting lovely cheeses out –
Don’t want another belly-ache bout.
Letter came giving me a date
for looking deep into belly-ache.

Crawled to bus-stop in heat of sun,
went to hospital, belly-ache gone.
Lay on the bed for friendly technician –
pleased with belly-ache’s brief remission.
She greased my belly and used her skill
to find the secret of belly-aching ill.

Technician told me her name was Nelli,
she made a movie of ache-free belly.
She was sweet and funny and quite kind-hearted –
this was the belly-aching news she imparted;
Belly filled with truckload of rocks,
Tying me in belly-aching knots.

Now I have to wait and see,
when belly-ache will be cut out of me.
looking forward to the glorious day;
I’ll throw my belly-ache diet sheet away.
Here is the reason that I’m so pleased;
Won’t get belly-ache when I eat cheese.

The technician really was called Nelli…

©Jane Paterson Basil

The Demon’s Mentor

enslavement4

Waking up the wrong shape.
Unable to locate this searing pain. Limbs feel unfamiliar,
organs out of place.

Bit of me hurt, but which bits? My mind
collects the scattered bones and flesh. Recalls the correct
positions. Locates the pain. Why
do I recognise it? The reply;
like a coiled up adder in the gut, my gall bladder
has struck again.

A faded envelope rises to the roof of my brain,
its bilious pages spilling out before I can contain them.
Agony that stretched out – weeks and maybe more.
No relief.
Him lying on the bed, flippantly diagnosing
muscular strain; no need
for a GP or a visit to A&E.
No sympathy. No feeling for my helpless sobs.
Exhaustion and apathy, the brief relief of knackered sleep,
the sickness, the ache, the fire between shoulder blades
waking me time after time.
The night I lay on the stairs, clutching
at bannisters, finally unable to rise,
the whimpers which woke the kids. No phone. They don’t remember
how they alerted emergency services and neither do I.

His indifference.

Medication, scattered time. A ragged thing writhing in bed,
sweating in smelly sheets, fevered and disconnected,
my children controlled by that twisted protector, his agenda
furthered by my convenient illness. Though his method was different
for each of the siblings, as father and stepfather,
the demon’s mentor left no child unscathed.

My calendar ripped and stained, dates mislaid
in the debris of sickness. Trailing to the surgery,
saying I still felt ill.
A raging doctor holding me in blame
for leaving it so late before calling for help.
Those words writ indelibly on my mind;
Think yourself lucky you’re not dead.

Another septic layer of shame, while my silence
yet again replaced
what I dared not try to explain.

You talk of blame? Go on, Mr Medical Man, beat me, beat me with your words. Beat me, you narrow GP. I’ve had specialists attacking my case – you can’t do worse. If I tell you, an image will rise in your brain; a picture of a kind man who couldn’t be guilty of such subtly iniquitous sins. You won’t be the first. He even charmed the simpering marriage guidance counsellor, who  ridiculed me, thereby becoming compliant in my isolation. Nobody but my two oldest children know. I won’t give you an excuse to say I’m delusional as well as stupid. You’ll get no added ammunition from me. All you have is a voluble little twig. My secrets stand between you and the stinging willow cane.

When told of the news that my life
had been endangered by his obstruction,
my partner displayed no shame.

Three decades later, my symptoms are similar,
but there is no ogre holding me down.
Determined to work, I make it to Oxfam, but after an hour
the pain knows no bounds.
My manager points to the office phone.
She leaves me alone to call my doctor and I get an appointment
to see her at one.
Before I go home
I make a wry face and stick up my finger
at the ghost of the ogre.

His spirit baulks at the scar on my digit;
just one more wound that didn’t get stitched..
I know he regrets it, but my anger has flared.
Gritting my teeth I smile at the spectre;
I should show good grace, since his wicked ways
were placed on display by others long ago. Also,
I am still kicking
and he is dead.

I rest for an hour
before taking a shower to make me fresh
for the medical centre, where I will get help
and all will be well.

.

©Jane Paterson Basil