Tulips and roses

My back’s a bit stiff
cos I slept funny.
Spent half the night
worrying ’bout money,
I overcooked my eggs
and I like ’em runny

but you ain’t bothering me today.
No, you ain’t bothering me today.

My razor’s blunt
and it made me late.
I can’t seem to get
my sideburns straight.
Now every single traffic light
wants me to wait

but you ain’t bothering me today.
No, you ain’t bothering me today.

I have a day full of meetings
when I get to work.
An inbox full of emails
and the office berk. *
Sharing jokes with colleagues
is my only perk.

You ain’t bothering me, it’s safe to say.
No, you ain’t bothering me today.

Though I nearly fall asleep
in front of the telly
and it’s time to push a needle
into my belly,
you won’t get me down today.
Not on your nelly.

You still ain’t bothering me in any way.
No, you ain’t bothering me today.

Though I feel wobbly
and my vision’s screwed.
Though my legs hurt like crazy,
like they’re being chewed
and my nerves, stripped of myelin
are buzzing

…her smile sets me free
from any bad mood.

So there you go,
now you know,
you ain’t bothering me today.
No way.
Tulips and roses.
Multiple sclerosis.
You ain’t bothering me today

(* non UK: subst berk for jerk)

One year on…

I finally made it to my local MS Group’s social evening and AGM the other night. Great to meet people and compare notes.

Funny to be in a room full of people who, for the most part, look like they would rather be at home taking it easy.

Also funny to hold a conversation about concentration problems and really having to concentrate. I forgot the name of the person I was talking to and had to look it up later.

Found my usual inhibitions difficult to overcome. Someone asked me if I was “feeling wobbly” as I stood with a cup and saucer and I found myself breezily saying “No… er, yeah!” as the realisation dawned that the questioner was empathetic rather than making mockery. I have been wobbly all my life – always had a tremor, so I get all defensive when it is noticed.

Had an interesting chat about poetry and creative writing.

A couple of people remarked that I was brave attending (I turned up late, halfway through the Chair’s address). I didn’t particularly think so as I have always remained positive and have never been in denial. I am a bit shy socially, and I was one of the youngest there but was made to feel welcome. One person recognised me from work.

There was a first birthday cake for the branch. Coincidentally, today is the first anniversary of my initial GP visit. See my MS History – Part One.

A number of thoughts and ideas came to me as a result of attending the meeting. I will blog about these later.

MS Awareness week – Limboland haiku sequence

Hello all

It is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Week across the globe. To mark this, I have written the following haiku sequence.

Regular readers will know that I was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting MS in 2008. Limboland was inspired by the journey to diagnosis.


no hint of a smile –
for once my doctor says
“take it easy”

on the scan room ceiling
cherry blossom –
the staff retreat behind glass

not crying yet …
your chin dimples
as you talk

I salute the magpie

on the news a terror attack …
my leg
numb again

from a packed lift
a man on crutches
follows me to clinic

new year’s eve
the bowl slips from my fingers…

Just a note on the cherry blossom haiku. Diagnosis of MS requires an MRI scan, but to eliminate other possible ailments including brain tumours an initial CT Scan is performed. This was described to me as being like sticking your head in a giant washing machine and I reckon that’s a pretty good description.

I don’t know if there is anything similar in other hospitals but at the Royal Hallamshire in Sheffield they have a light box on the ceiling of the scan room with an image of cherry blossom on it. I presume this is to calm the nerves while your head is x-rayed. Cherry blossom is an image often used in haiku, it normally signifies spring which in turn can also imply beginnings.

Limboland is also appearing somewhere on the MS Society website http://www.mssociety.org.uk/ and on my personal haiku blog: http://distantlightning.blogspot.com/