Speech and Language Therapy Team inspire poetry from patient

A patient who uses the NHS Speech and Language Therapy service has written a poem to describe both her struggle with her condition and her experience with her therapist.

The patient Lynne W explained why she wrote the poem: “People react to stress differently and if I’m stressed it seems to go to my vocal cords, hence the need for therapy. Strangely, another way I respond to stress is to lapse into rhyme!”

Caroline Threlfall is the patient’s Speech and Language Therapist for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in South Cumbria. She said: “As a Speech and Language Therapist I work with adults with acquired communication and swallowing difficulties as well as with those who have voice problems. People are surprised that stress can adversely affect the voice & therapy can be very beneficial. This is the first time that a poem has been produced alongside an improved voice!”

You open your mouth to begin to talk

But all that comes out is a rusty croak:

You get in a stress

‘Coz your voice is a mess

And you didn’t intend to squawk.

You open your mouth to begin to talk

But your vocals have gone for a walk;

You feel all alone

‘Coz you’ve lost your tone

And have need of a tuning fork.

You open your mouth to begin to speak

But all you can manage is a feeble squeak:

You sound like a gerbil

‘Coz there’s only a burble.

What havoc this ailment might wreak

You open your mouth to begin to speak

But the sound that comes out is all weak.

You’re feeling quite glum

‘Cause you’re being struck dumb

And your voice is in need of a tweak.

You open your mouth to begin to utter

But all you can manage is a weary mutter:

You’re feeling all worn

‘Coz your voice is all torn,

You’re beginning to stammer and stutter.

You open your mouth to begin to utter

But it sounds like a mouth full of butter;

You fear you’re much worse

‘Cause you’re sounding quite terse

And your tonsils are all of a flutter.

You open your mouth and begin to aim loud

But your words are all wrapped in a shroud;

It all sounds like Welsh

‘Cozyou speak with a squelch

And you cannot be heard in a crowd.

You open your mouth and begin to aim loud

But the sound that comes out is quite cowed.

You give out a sigh

And ask yourself why,

When your voice would have once made you proud.

So you beg for some help for you really do need it,

And if given advice you determine to heed it.

The therapist’s kind

She explores your mind

And your speech and what’s there to impede it.

You beg her for help, you really do need it

There’s a problem you know, you concede it.

When you turn up all blue

She is gentle with you

And just when you really do need it.

You sit up straight to begin your story,

But the sound that comes out is really quite gory.

She gets you to pause

While she works out the cause

And how to return to full glory.

You sit up straight while she thinks what the matter

And soon it turns into a friendly natter;

You apprectiate dearly

Her explaining so clearly

Why your words all come out in a splatter

You sit up straight to hear your fate

Will your voice mend or is it too late?

She helps you say ah

And then hum and go baaaa

But no scales such as ray, me, soh, fa

You sit up straight and hands you clasp,

While she tells you why you’ve started to rasp:

It might be your brain that’s taking the strain –

A most difficult concept to grasp.

You sit up straight (for you’ve started to slouch

On the comfortable therapist’s couch).

While you pop a pill

When feeling ill,

For your vocals a tablet won’t vouch.

You sit more relaxed; you’ve developed a bond

As if she had waved a very large wand

Obey her to the letter

And you’ll start to feel better

She assures you it’s bound to respond.

You’re floating on air with a spring in your stride

As you leave her room and step outside

One so forlorn

You now feel reborn

With an expert to advise and guide.

You’re walking on air with a spring in your stride:

You celebrate this by “opening wide”

The air feels good –

As so it should;

Your voice is still there, it’s not died!