Chronic Disease

My family went to the doctor
One by one by one by one
First my mother
Then my father
Next my sister
I last.

The idea:  to get to the bottom
Of the disease
That had hit all of us to varying degrees
My mom the hardest.

My mom visited her physician, got dosed
With something
and came around slowly, it appeared.

Once my uncle Bob, my dad’s doctor
Had prescribed medication for him
And once his burning fever subsided
Then each of us in turn, our symptoms continuing
Went to our pediatrician
And were prescribed something as well.

Sadly, although our situation seemed to improve
I am pretty sure my sister and I didn’t receive
A proper diagnosis at the time.

Whatever it was that struck my family
In August 1967
The effects, though superficially mitigated at the time
Lingered with us
All four of us
Recurred in both my parents lives with a severe regularity
Up until the time of their deaths
And have affected both my sister and I
Sometimes critically as well
Up until this day.

I’m not sure she and I would have been
Any better off had we taken any kind of medication
But for me, and for my sister as well, I’m sure
I wish I could have had this problem knocked out
Way back then.

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