Susan Jarvis: Kill Or Cure?

‘The art of medicine consists of amusing
the patient while nature cures the disease.’
                                                 
                                              -  Voltaire

I developed a sniffle and tickly cough,
a sore throat and a poor appetite.
I was aching and sweating and felt pretty rough
with a fever that blazed through the night.
So I drove to my doctor to get diagnosed
and, as I had guessed, I was ill.                             
He thought it unlikely I would be indisposed                    
for more than a day with this pill –

 a medical marvel, the grail that I sought
to cure wheezes and sneezes with speed,
though it came with a warning – Doc said that I ought       
to read the enclosed and to heed
the side effects linked with this this wonderful drug        
which could pose a slight risk to my health . . .
and those possible perils put paid to my bug                   
as they rolled past my eyes in their wealth:

May cause inflammation to lobes of the brain,
abrasions to skin that could itch;
neuritis, cystitis, abdominal pain,
explosive diarrhoea or a twitch.
Stop taking if aching and waking at night,
plagued with hives or acute double vision.                    
Any sign of decline or diminishing sight
seek swift advice from physician.

Oh, what a dilemma when you’re feeling sick;
it's a pharmacological curse
when the curative lure of the chemist’s new trick          
could conceivably leave you much worse.
The remedy? Glance at the dangers you face            
before getting your purse out to pay.
The alarm at the harm that each pill could encase
may chase all your ailments away!