This poem is part of the Poems for doctors project. You can find out more about the project here.
Season 2 : poem 3
Consultant Neurologist Prof John Zajicek reads Multiple Sclerosis by Cynthia Huntington
For ten years I would not say the name.
I said: episode. Said: setback, incident,
exacerbation—anything but be specific
in the way this is specific, not a theory
or description, but a diagnosis.
I said: muscle, weakness, numbness, fatigue.
I said vertigo, neuritis, lesion, spasm.
Remission. Progression. Recurrence. Deficit.
But the name, the ugly sound of it, I refused.
There are two words. The last one means: scarring.
It means what grows hard, and cannot be repaired.
The first one means: repeating, or myriad,
consisting of many parts, increasing in number,
happening over and over, without end.
Rights: by permission of Four Way Books
A moderated Facebook group hosts discussion for medics and others who would like to follow up on ideas arising from ‘Poems for Doctors’.
To ask to join, or add to the discussion if you are already a member, please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/poemsfordoctors/