Mike Bell

Why I promise to make poetry, not Parkinson’s disease, my daily challenge

Perspectives

Author: Mike Bell Published: 21 March 2016

Mike Bell poet leadOn World Poetry Day, we hear from the designer-turned-poet who, after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, pledged to write a poem a day for a whole year.


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Hallucinating Parky

Medications are not working
Time to increase the dopamine agonist
Hoping to stop the jerking
Now I need to be a pragmatist

Then comes the side effects
You see things that are not there
They seem like real objects
Your mind wanders and you stare

The hallucinations are real
They strike early morning
The imagery is surreal
I am lucky they are not calling

I see a woman with a key
And a man in a chair
The woman tries to flee
The man spins around in mid-air

Two girls are playing
Then they start swaying
They try on some clothes
It is time to compose

Why is my mind wandering
I just want to sleep
My brain is just squandering
My body needs upkeep

They only last for several minutes
At least they are not spirits
Then comes the bars of light
And everything becomes all right

Stephen Duffield


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Sleep tight Parky

Off to bed the parky goes
Looking forward for a sleepy doze

Via the benchtop for the nightly med
Then slip, slide on the silky sheet bed

The parky brain is not wired for sleep
When all you want to do is fall in a heap

For me a good night is three hours of sleep
Coupled with three hours of restless leaps

This is the best I can do
No wonder the parky is tired and blue

Time to get up parky
A new day is about to be sparky

Stephen Duffield


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A Parky visits hospital

Hospital here I come
To get my parky treatments plumb

I meet and greet the Parkinson’s nurse
Who over the next few days will be my universe

Along came the speech therapist
Who talked about being a vocalist

Then came the physiotherapist
Who helped me climb Mt Everest

Followed by the occupational therapist
Who applied her skills like a specialist

That night I met the neurologist
Who took plenty of notes like a journalist

The movement disorder neurologist starts some tests
Then makes a request to increase the meds

We do some more testing
Time for some resting

We do some more scans
Time for some more med milligrams

The timing of my meds is important to highlight
To align with the meals helps to stay upright

Spent some time with the Psychiatrist
Now I think I am a pharmacist

So now we have a new baseline
That becomes my new parky lifeline

So long hospital, I have enjoyed my stay
Looking forward to more positive days…

Stephen Duffield


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Good Morning Parky

As I lie in bed
My body jerks
My legs cramp
Stiffness lurks

My left hand is numb
With pins and needles
Both legs are aching
And the pain dwindles

As it is time to get up
The lower back is being a pain
I go to lift my arm
It takes a while before it starts again

I exercise in bed
To get ready for the day
Time to move the legs and arms
Just hope they want to play

Getting out of bed is a challenge
When the sheets are wrapped around you
Thanks to the silky sheets
You can slide and get through

Now I am up and about
It is time for the daily drugs
As they help us with our morning challenges
Along with our daily hugs

Stephen Duffield


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A parky and a lupie

We sit and ponder the future
what will it be…
as a parky and a lupie we laugh and cry
as our future is not what we thought it would be

We know we need to exercise
and the lupie is good at that
while the parky would just like the arm to swing
rather than acting like a brat

We both struggle with fatigue and get tired
the parky has a nanna-nap
the lupie crashes early in the night
while the parky moves all night like a flap

The pain we have is different
sometimes we feel like two stones
the parky has stiffness and freezing
the lupie just wishes the body joints don’t moan

There is no cure the doctors state
but together we will cope
as the parky and the lupie
now have a shared single vision to elope

Stress is not good for us
so we are lucky to be together
to help us through the challenges
that we will face every day forever

Stephen Duffield


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Enter Parky

My fingers would tingle
My stiff arm felt like a nerve funnel
Went to the Doctor to fix my left hand
The Doc thought I had carpal tunnel

All day pain across the shoulders
Stiffness while in my chair
Shuffling between meetings and not swinging the arms in the air
My body suffering wear and tear

Went to the Chiro
Spent three months having adjustments
Not much happened
So time for a new judgement

Found it odd at midday
When I could not smell the lunchroom aroma
And during the day
I exceeded my bladder quota

When driving the car
Thumping cat eyes became the norm
All over the road said the police
Time to stop driving before I cause a massive storm

Time to visit the Doctor again
Doc says I think you have Parkinson’s – Hoping to be proven wrong
Unfortunately the Neuro said Parkinson’s
So now it is time to be strong!

Stephen Duffield


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