Guest Blogger: Jim Healey

RLS: A Real Lousy Syndrome A Poem by Jim Healey If you're a victim of RLS I know you'll connect with this rhyme. Some sa...

RLS: A Real Lousy Syndrome

A Poem by Jim Healey

If you're a victim of RLS

I know you'll connect with this rhyme.

Some say the darn thing's a bother

I say the darn thing's a crime.

My mother had legs that misbehaved

She never knew what was wrong.

“It's like little men with knives,” she said

“Tormenting me all night long.”

At age 32, my little men moved in

And started taking their licks.

They had to be awfully small little men

My legs are the size of toothpicks.

The doctor said it's arthritis

That stuff can really be cruel.

I'm guessing he missed the RLS lecture

That day he played hookey from school.

I tried to fight it with aspirin

Even tried some DMSO.*

But over the years I've lost lots of sleep

I just couldn't conquer my foe.

In theaters I grab the aisle seat

In case I get an attack.

And when I do, I swear it's true

I'm the only one standing in back.

One day my wife, Brainy Lainey

Said, “Put this at the top of your list.

Your problem's not bones or muscles or joints,

You need a neurologist.”

The new doctor I saw

Said I don't have to guess.

You're in pretty good shape

But you've got RLS.

He prescribed some new meds,

I sleep better at night.

I’m a long way from cured

But I'm winning the fight.

I've been standing up for hours most of my life,

I'm always on my feet.

I stand a lot to watch TV

Or read or even eat.

My shoes that once were single A

Are now a wider C.

My height is only six feet now

Down from six feet three.

My wife won't let me drive too far,

She hates when my leg starts to flop.

She pictures me hitting the gas too hard

Or making us skid to a stop.

When my leg acts up, she'll pull off and park

Then I walk, but not very far.

I'll stroll a strip mall and window shop

While she sits locked in the car.

A doctor friend once wrote me a note

Telling the airlines my affliction.

We figured they'd give me the exit row

But it failed to win their conviction.

They decided I must be unfit

To handle the exit row work.

So now I try hard to get on board early

To capture that exit row perk.

If only I could walk around

But that seat belt sign is lit.

I'm a prisoner on this plane right now,

My cell is where I sit.

So I writhe and twist

And take off my shoe.

The pill isn't working

Now what do I do?

If I go back to the john, where I've been a few times

I could stand for a while in there.

But darn the luck, the guy on the aisle

Is now fast asleep in his chair.

In a perfect world, if I wanted to travel

I'd be rarin' to get up and go.

Because now there would be a new federal law

That permits me to fly SRO!

*Dimethyl sulfoxide

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