I Have Tetanus: Prose on Anxiety

I have tetanus.
I stepped on a tack on Sunday, and according to my
Medical records
I have not had a TD booster since 1997.
I am certain I have tetanus.
On Sunday, I remember that tetanus lives in soil
and manure.
(And that only about 50 cases occur in the United States every year.)
I live on a sheep farm.
I don’t wear shoes often.
I know that the bacteria that causes tetanus (Clostridium tetani)
Is proliferating
In my body

On Monday, I call the doctor.
They give me a tetanus booster
(But no TIG, isn’t that what they’re supposed to do?)
The NP examines my foot
Where I stepped on the fatal tack.
She says, “Keep an eye out for…”
You don’t need to tell me the symptoms;
I’ve already looked them up
(A dozen times)
Not to mention I already know enough to make myself
Dizzy from anxiety.
(Was that a spasm in my neck I just felt?)
Because tetanus, you know, it causes
Lock jaw,
Muscle spasms,
Nerve damage,
(And death from inability to breathe properly.)
I’ve seen the videos.

It is Tuesday.
A tingly sensation in my hand and near my foot
Remind me of my disease.
No doubt, it’s tetanus.
Pretty soon my neck will cramp up,
And my jaw too,
And when I get to the ER and they
Admit me to the ICU,
I will say, “I told you so.”
They will intubate me,
Treat the symptoms but not the disease because
My pathophysiology book kindly reminds me
There is no “cure,” for tetanus,
So good luck, bucko.
Symptoms take, on average, between
3 – 21 days to emerge.
For the next three weeks
I will be a neurotic mess
Because every muscle twinge,
Every single time my body
Speaks to me
I will remind myself that
I stepped on a tack,
And didn’t have a current tetanus vaccine,
And that most likely
I will be hospitalized for tetanus.
It’s just a matter of when.

Once those 21 days are up
My heart will lift,
And I will move on to some other form of
Very serious (and probably life-threatening)
Condition which I definitely,
Most certainly,

But for right now,
I’m really concerned about the possibility
Of tetanus spores proliferating in my
Left heel.
For now, someone needs to tell me that
Only 50 people in the United States get this disease
And that odds
Are absolutely


2 thoughts on “I Have Tetanus: Prose on Anxiety

  1. To console and make okay
    the advise here in UK
    is if you’ve ever had the jabs,
    all three and perhaps one booster
    according to the labs
    your covered for life — that should boost you
    …have you considered orf!

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