(A dizzy slightly out of focus hand on the wall,
is all that keeps me upright some days)
First up for Exploring Dysautonomia Through the Arts is Suzanne. Suzanne uses poetry to examine her experience and it is on a topic to which I can particularly relate. Furniture and wall surfing is how I roll these days.
My name is Suzanne Hemond. I'm 46 years old and have had NCS* since I was 15 years old although I wasn't diagnosed until I was almost 31. In the past year or so I have also developed POTS*. Clearly, my autonomic nervous system hates me.
The following poem describes a highly symptomatic day of trying to navigate my apartment. If I'm not actually holding on to things, I'm at least touching them in case I need to steady myself. The word 'touch down' is playing on an American football term for scoring a goal. In American football, a touchdown garners the highest points in a game. However, in dysautonomia, touchdown is more of a defeat than a victory because it means we're on the floor or on the bed or laid out in some way.
I used a pattern of two word quatrains followed by three word quatrains to show how my equilibrium is impacted when I'm dizzy. I wanted the evenness and the unevenness represented because people who don't have autonomic issues often tell those of us who do that we don't look sick. When I'm caroming through my apartment, it doesn't matter how good I look. I still feel dizzy.
not for luck
but to get
me where I
need to go
one hand holding
one hand free
to feel my
way around home
but score no
points for this
game not a
game my life
*(NCS: Neurocardiogenic Syncope; POTS: Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)
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