Let’s have some fun this Fall! Maybe let loose some silly or drain off some sad? One time-proven method of dealing with excess stress, emotions, and tension is to get creative juices flowing through “expressive writing.” I recently sat down to review some poetry basics and added my own critical care flair. Now, I’m clearly no Shakespeare or Byron, so set expectations low, but maybe you or your friends/family can blow off some steam by creating your own versions of the following three types of poetry:

Haiku – This is a very simple form of poetry. No rhyming required! Just a five-syllable line, a five-syllable line, and another five-syllable line. I remember doing these for different seasons in elementary school and illustrating the poems, too – maybe breed-specific haikus? They’d go great on practice walls…

Pleural effusion
Tap me and see what I hold
Small needles succeed

Autotransfusion will do.
Eat cheeseburgers, friend.

Limerick – These are fun! They follow an AABBA format (i.e., lines one, two, and five rhyme, as do lines three and four, but with a different sound). The A lines are usually longer (7-10 syllables) and the B lines are shorter (5-7 syllables). Because of their rhythm, these are usually lighthearted poems, and the last line is often the “punchline.” I present a collection:

Delyteful Limericks

Electrolytes cause a great ruckus
When they shoot up and down among us.
Sodium has been climbing
Can’t remember the timing
Get down slow – just 12 points in a day!

There are more to lytes than just sodium,
Though it’s always first at the podium.
Potassium too,
Next up in the queue,
Insulin keeps this to a minimum.

Potassium becomes very scary;
When dealing with blocked cats, it gets hairy.
Calcium helps the heart,
Dextrose, too, you can start,
As with the urethral plugs you parry.

“High potassium, low sodium
You must be an Addisonian”
Singing this ditty
Makes me feel witty
But generates painful craniums.

Sometimes we must supplement phosphorous.
For this, DKAs are notorious.
Add KPhos to the bag
Then there’ll be no lag
And lytes the next day will be glorious.

Acrostics – No rhyming rules here, though you could add your own for a special challenge! The poems focus on a topic, highlighted by the first letter in each line:

Today a ditty about blood products!
Red cells are the oxygen ferries,
And without them, there’s no real substitute. 
Now plasma can be relatively replaced:
Start with fluids and a bit of healthy liver.
Factor deficiency, however, and
Under-recycling phytonadione 
Still do require some urgency.
In the cases of albumin and cryo,
Only specialists really mess around;
Not everyone has access to these goodies.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my very humble offerings – perhaps despite your initial head shaking at “expressive writing,” you find yourself a bit lighter in spirit just for having read them? I sure hope so!