Love Song for My Organs by ire’ne lara silva details her organs one by one, their gifts, and their deficiencies. She struggles with diabetes and its effects on her body. It’s a beautiful poem that offers a glimpse into her struggles. Diabetes does not run in my family, so I can view the poem from a distance, until I encounter these lines on her pancreas:
you fought the rising glucose hordes fought
until you were spent until you could not go on
years now i have lived on foreign insulin
always approximate subject to wild swings
of not enough too much almost in time
i long for your fine tuned calibration
This is my situation with cortisol and my pituitary gland. The heavy steroids to control nausea during chemo convinced my body it didn’t need to produce its own. My pituitary has gone to sleep and I’ve been living on “foreign” cortisol for four years. With my endocrinologist’s help I am cutting back on the foreign cortisol hoping for the pituitary to wake up. It’s not an easy ride. The excess cortisol (a steroid) was keeping the arthritis inflammation under control. I have more arthritis than I knew. I doubly want my body to wake up and start producing its own steroids, cortisol and others.
Good poetry provides enough to pull the reader in without too much to keep them out.