Awake

I don’t want to close my eyes and fall asleep tonight.

Nightmares come; I spend those hours prepared for fight or flight.

I can’t wake or take control, a victim through and through.

Fear and I match step in our horrendous pas de deux.

As I lay there, poised to dream, I try to focus thoughts.

I think of people I adore, and happy, pleasant plots.

Lately, it won’t work. I dream of danger, always scared,

fighting off some beast with which I’m violently ensnared.

It takes so damned long to shake the feelings nightmares leave.

Knowing they’re not real has always failed to bring reprieve.

So I stay up far too late, avoiding what I need.

Sleep comes with a price which I won’t easily concede.

Then I spend my days much more exhausted than I should,

straining my poor sanity and all that it’s withstood.

I perpetuate the cycle I’d most like to break.

And since it’s all the same, I think, tonight, I’ll stay awake.

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I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major Side Effect

I am the very model of a modern major side effect.

I bring you many problems that could give your children birth defects.

I interfere with how the neural pathways in your brain connect.

I pile on top of other nasty health issues you now collect.

You don’t know if I’m symptoms of your illness or I’m indirect.

You’re worse than any time in recent history you recollect,

but need to take your medicine or your new organ you’ll reject …

so suffer through the problems that it’s caused that you cannot deflect.

If you don’t take meds everyday you’ll find you can’t get out of bed,

or possibly one day you’ll wake to find out you’re already dead!

In short, you’re feeling much worse than the last time that your doctor checked.

I am the very model of a modern major side effect.

There’s aches and pains, a bleeding stomach, restless legs that make you cry,

edema, headaches, rashes, weird behavior, or your eyes are dry,

strong allergies that make the muscles quiver in your upper thigh.

If you don’t swallow quickly it tastes like you have ingested lye.

You know if you don’t take it you have health on which you can’t rely.

Sometimes it’s so bad you decide today you will not even try.

You take the drugs but often when it’s bad, you cannot figure why …

with all these side effects, to medicine you’d like to say goodbye.

You hope that someday you’ll be well so you no longer feel this sick.

But once you discontinue your bad health returns so lightening quick!

In short, you’re feeling much worse than the last time that your doctor checked.

I am the very model of a modern major side effect.

Sometimes I cancel out the benefits, but you’ll put up with me.

You hear a buzzing in your ears that sounds just like a bumblebee.

To keep from falling down you’ll tolerate the shaking of your knee.

You’ll live with some results that mimic thrush or hepatitis B.

You pay a lot to feel this way. Your medicine is never free.

You’re real depressed ’cause this might be the healthiest you’ll ever be.

Your doctor says you’re doing well, though sometimes you may disagree …

and anyone who had these side effects would, but of course, agree.

I give you hunger so you’ll break your diet and gain lots of weight.

Your mirror shows you images you look at and then start to hate.

In short, you are much fatter than last time that your doctor checked.

I am the very model of a modern major side effect.

 By now you have diseases that were caused by taking medicine.

It makes you feel just like you fight a battle you can never win.

You want to heal, but with your problems you don’t know where to begin.

You wonder why you’ve been struck down, like you’ve been punished for a sin.

The time rolls on. These days you’re not sure how long it has really been.

You curse the situations that your illnesses have put you in.

It never ends, the cycle goes on, stealing every urge to grin …

the smile you try to fake in public each day’s wearing very thin.

You wish you had a choice but you can’t stop your meds or you’ll expire.

You need these stupid chemicals. Your situation’s rather dire.

But still, you’re feeling much worse than the last time that your doctor checked.

I am the very model of a modern major side effect.

Lyrics ©2014 Bridget Ayres

Set to Gilbert & Sullivan’s “I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major General”

–Public Domain–

Prednisone and I Have a Hate-Love Relationship

Infections, too much acid in your stomach and your throat,

oh yes, those steroids offer something for us all…

whether you are in the market for some nerve disease,

or you just want some bones to break with every fall.

Sleeplessness comes right away to those who have to swallow

lots of prednisone to keep themselves alive.

Your appetite is screaming and you want to eat up everything,

and then another two…or four…or five….

You will have some family members question why it is

you’ve turned yourself into a raving lunatic.

Scream out that you’re ragin’ ’cause you’re on the ‘roids you hate

and that you only do it ’cause you’re really sick.

Oops, you’re stomach’s bleeding, and you’re diabetic now…

so…those are just a few more bonuses you’ll get….

The person in the mirror’s face, enlarged and puffed and red:

she looks just like someone you never, ever met.

You could have some cataracts or dabble in glaucoma

and you may not have an age past twenty-two.

You really didn’t have a choice; you had to take this drug

because your doctor says that’s all that you can do.

So, a hump is living on your back and neck all day

and now you feel just like a camel or a freak.

Your distended abdomen has bloated up your trunk.

You watch your muscles become atrophied and weak.

And you may get hypertension or anemia,

random muscle problems or a slow heart beat.

You will build intolerances to all temperatures

until you cannot take the cold, nor take the heat.

Then there’s this annoying thing that happens where the

side effects can mirror all the symptoms that they “cure.”

So you keep on taking them ’cause you and doc lose track:

it’s disease, or side effects? None can be sure.

Sitting here today I know without the steroid doses

I have had to take to stay here on this Earth,

I’d have been a goner when I’d no more years than nineteen

from the day mine was a celebrated birth.

I could never list them all, the damages this drug can cause

while using it to maintain life and heal.

All that I can do as I throw back my daily dose

is move my fingers and write out the way I feel.

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