"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Monday, August 25, 2014

Until Death ~ Or Nearly

“It's like a storm that cuts a path
It's breaks your will, it feels like that
You think you're lost, but you're not lost
On your own, you're not alone" *

My love watched me
be overtaken by pain
that had no cause,
no relief, no cure.

The agony of my bones
turned on its match
to burn my flesh,
and death wooed me
with its painless sleep.

When I was too weak to speak,
he was my voice…
When I couldn’t stand,
he was my legs…
When I couldn’t hope,
he was my prayer.

Why hung itself like
a black wreath on my spirit.
I was an enigma passed
from physician to physician.

While I was holding on to thin air
midnight lit a lamp to expose
death had planted its seed
in a prescription bottle.

Though I had an answer, it wasn’t a rainbow’s
ride out of hell…My mind medicated
into despair was a tough jumpstart
into believing life was better than death.

When I was too weak to speak,
my husband was my voice…
When I couldn’t stand,
my husband was my legs…
When I couldn’t hope,
my husband was my prayer.

©Susie Clevenger 2014

The beginning quote is from the song, I Will Stand By You, written by Jason Sellers, and Steve Robson; performed by Rascal Flatts.

In 2012 I was prescribed the prescription drug, Cozar. What began with a high fever and pain progressed to agonizing pain, only being able to feed myself, and the darkest depression I have ever experienced. I have been warned by a cardiologist I am never to take that class of drugs again because there is every likelihood next time it would kill me. The list of side effects can be found here.

During this hell few people knew what was really happening to me. I asked Charlie to only post on my Facebook page that I wasn't feeling well. I was dependent on Charlie to bathe me, dress me and assist me in going to the bathroom.The only thing I could do was feed myself which took extreme effort because I had to wear neoprene gloves to try and stabilize the joints in my hands to reduce pain. 

I was bounced between doctors who didn't have a clue as to what was happening to me. My primary doctor was going to send me to a infectious disease specialist because he thought I had contracted a virus that was attacking the bones. Somehow through the physical pain and my mind surrendering to death a light bulb flashed and I realized I had began taking Cozar the month before. Charlie and I started digging deeper into the drug's side effects and found it was the demon killing me. I stopped taking it and physically I began to rebound, but mentally I was still shrouded in the belief I would die. Charlie had to tell me every day I was getting better. I had the song, I Will Stand By You, on my iPod and I listened to it over and over, clung to the words because I knew Charlie was there for me and many friends who didn't know the real extent of my illness were praying and speaking positive words on my behalf. 


Len said...

I remember your time with Cozar , I am so glad you and Charlie were able to figure out that it was poison to you. Shortly after I was prescribed Cozar, I refused to accept it and told my pcm why she assured me not all have that happen, I did not care I was not going to take it. Thank you for being so open about it so that we all knew and could make informed decision for our own health and well being. Your Charlie is an amazing man as are you, a wonderful loving couple and proud to call you friends.

Kerry O'Connor said...

What a terrible ordeal to go through, Susie. I believe that we too often take whatever a doctor prescribes without really considering the consequences or side effects. You show just how dire those consequences can be in this very moving piece.

georgeplaceblog said...

That so scary. A horrible thing to go through - what a blessing you have the man you do to stand by and be such a help. Hope you are physically and psychologically healed now.

Björn Rudberg said...

Those drugs that we are prescribed.. how often there's is no checkup if it works as it should.. and all of the sudden we have to research by ourselves.. This is chilling and having someone being your extension was of course what saved you.. I just hope if anything happens to my wife I can manage to be that supportive.

Kim Nelson said...

Your poem conveys the emotion of the situation and the relationship you share. The text below offers a nice addendum of explanation.

Arushi Ahuja said...

susie.. this is so sad!! i couldnt imagine a drug could bring one down to that state... i hope alls better now... and what a loving husband you have... God bless Charlie...

Susan said...

Oh, horrors. This is not the first time you've spoken of this, but here you capture such a dark night of the soul that your love was the only Light. An amazing man.

Kathryn Dyche Dechairo said...

This reminded me of my suffering with facial nerve pain when it was at its worst. I spent a year rolling around on the sofa trying one medication after another with no relief. My husband sounds a lot like yours. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him. So sorry you had to endure this and for the courage to speak openly about it. Hugs xoxo

manicddaily said...

Thank goodness you have such a living husband and I'm sure you have been loving in return. Your gratitude is palpable here and inspiring. K.

awakenedwords said...

love in its purest form...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Thank God for Charlie. Susie, somehow I didnt know you were going through this. How horrible. I love that you write when you couldnt hope, he was your prayer. Wonderful to have a love like that. My youngest just got married, and she does. I am so happy for her.

blueoran said...

What a poem, what a tale ... and somehow telling it I think provides the firmest spiritual foundation one can walk forward on. Rilke once wrote, "how we squander our hours of pain," and I think he meant that without this writing, the suffering is moot. There are many drugs out there now which are so poisonous in so many ways ... my younger brother died of a heart attack induced by taking Ritalin ... We don't have shamans any more to assist us when we take our cures, and find our way alone if at all. Great work here, and glad you came out on this side.

Marian said...

gosh, Susie! so much love for you and Charlie. i remember when you were sick, and when he was so sweetly keeping us updated... but i had no idea what you were actually experiencing. i'm so sorry... and so grateful, too, that you were able to identify it. and for Charlie. i love this sweet poem of love and gratitude. xoxo

Grace said...

What a terrible ordeal ~ Good for you and Charlie to be able to figure it out and support each other ~ I am not big on drugs and prescriptions Susie ~ I know the pharma industry & would prefer to eat healthy and fresh food ~ Thanks for the personal share ~

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