My Pain

by Annabel Kemp

The painkillers are pointless.
They make me feel sick,
And drowsy.
The doctor can't understand.

No one else can feel it,
It is mine, my pain.
It throbs quietly,
And lies in wait.

I can feel it expanding,
In a wave that moves upwards,
To my throat
Until I can't breathe.

I fall to the floor,
But don't notice the crash,
Drop the plate,
But don't notice the shards.

It passes slowly,
Grip lessening slightly
Until I can see again
Past the darkness.

I stand up again,
Brush up the broken plate,
Throw away the pieces
And sit down.

Wait for the next wave to crash over me.
No one can help me.

Annabel Kemp


I based this poem on one that I wrote during the third session of the course. I found it quite enjoyable to do a creative piece, I think that it is a fairly common problem for patients to believe that a doctor cannot help them - either they don't trust them or they don't even think to open up to the doctor about how serious their symptoms are to them. For example, as in this poem, a woman going to a doctor to complain of period pains may receive some painkillers. But if she was to go and complain about how serious it was, the inability to carry out activities as normal for one week out of four, then the doctor may be able to offer further help. This requires a very trusting relationship between patient and doctor and for the doctor to encourage the patient to be open about his or her symptoms. Thinking about this has made me realise the importance of this trust.

Whole Person Care