Sierra Levin: What Does it Mean to Become “Sick”?


Photography and Poetry by Sierra Levin


What does it mean to become “sick”?

Am I another diagnosis you can fix real quick?

Do you even know what is really wrong?

Because this pain I’m in has been felt for too long.


It’s beyond the labs and tests that you run,

Something wrong with my brain that seems to have won.

When my panic gets triggered I feel I’m stuck under water

And the hell comes ablaze making this hospital room hotter


What does it mean to become “sick”?

This pain in my chest feels heavy as a brick.

I’ve tried to escape this body for good

I’m helpless here and feel so misunderstood


I don’t want to cause others to suffer

But these meds aren’t helping me get any tougher

I don’t have the energy to want to live,

I feel wasted and have nothing left to give.


What does it mean to become “sick”?

As they listen to my heart race so quick

I want to be happy but I can’t get help in this place

I’m in and out so much these nurses remember my face

Like an endless hall with a revolving door that never ends

And all the medications that the doctor recommends


Please let me go I can’t bare it anymore

It’s suffocating and I feel like such a chore

I’ve tried to be strong but I can’t forget the pain

It’s always there like an irremovable stain


What does it mean to really become “sick”?

I am not a diagnosis you can fix real quick.

I don’t understand what in my brain went so wrong.

And this pain I’m in has been felt for too long.

Photography and Poetry by Sierra Levin, Copyright 2015

About The Author: Sierra Levin is a senior enrolled in the School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2016. To read more articles by Sierra Levin, type in author’s name at the search bar located at the bottom of the page, click the search icon.

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