Bell’s Palsy – A Poem

Hello all! You can all stop worrying that I’ve not blogged for a few weeks, my laptop has been unduly neglected whilst I have been assembling the marvel that is IKEA flat pack furniture – some with instructions and some without. Luckily, because of my FPBE (flat-pack-building-experience), I rarely need the instructions these days as I am well versed with their locking nuts, dowel placements and I can even pull the face of the confused, er, character in the start of the leaflet when something is amiss. However, I did need the sliding wardrobe door instructions. Like an exam question, I read that bad boy from start to finish before I began. My puzzled character face has improved greatly whilst fitting these too.

Anyway, I digress. Even though I have not been blogging I have still been poeting writing poetry. I have lots I want to share but I think if I put up too many at once, you might get overwhelmed and there won’t be any surprises for my chapbook that I’m working on, if anyone’s interested…

The poem I will share with you today is a true story and nearly 99% accurate. Years ago I came down with Bell’s Palsy; it’s a crappy disease that paralyses half your face. Thankfully I healed but that’s not always the case with some people. For some reason I thought it would be good material for a poem and pretty niche, but it turns out if you Google ‘Bell’s Palsy poetry’ loads come up – but I can’t imagine a lot of people do.

Bell’s Palsy, a poem by Liam Overend

 

Have you ever had Bell’s Palsy?

Has your face ever experienced lag?

Your CN VII* stops working

And causes one side to sag

 

When I got it, I was having a bad month

I’d just recovered from having swine flu

Coupled with a perforated ear drum

It ruined my time off in lieu

 

I noticed when I was down the pub

That something was wrong with me

My mouth was weaker than normal

And I was struggling with my spaghetti

 

I joked with my friends at the start

“I don’t know what’s wrong with my face!

“Maybe the wind changed direction!”

But something was sure out of place

 

Some friends thought it was funny

And of course, because we’re all blokes

Kept prodding my left side and asking

“Are you sure you’ve not had a stroke?”

 

It caused me to raise half a smile

And we pretended it wasn’t a big deal

But what if it did become permanent?

What if my face didn’t heal?

 

So I slept with one eye open

It certainly felt a bit strange

I hoped that my face would get better

I hoped my droopage would change

 

The next morning, we went for a brew

And I did something I’d never done before

I gave the waitress a wink

And casually asked for a straw

 

Because now I couldn’t use a mug

The left side of my face had a leak

None of my muscles were working

I looked like some lopsided freak!

 

But thankfully I finally got better

A full recovery, I’ll have you know

And although my face is fully repaired

It still only suits radio


*Seventh Cranial Nerve before you ask

Like I say, thankfully I got better and I can joke about it (although I did at the time anyway). For any doubters out there thinking I’m poking fun at a crappy disease, here’s a picture of me with  a lopsided face.

Me with Bells Palsy
Me with Bell’s Palsy – Photo by Abby

A face only a mother could love, eh?

Have you ever written poetry about Bell’s Palsy or some other obscure nerve infection? I’d love to read about it. Just drop me a line in the comments.

 

Thanks for reading

Liam

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