Stress

William Goldsmith, MD

Fall 2001 - Volume 5 Number 4

 

A definition, friends, of stress:
Your own reaction to a mess
Stresses may be large or small
Sometimes they’re not perceived at all
Examples: Say a lack of cash;
A just-avoided freeway crash;
An allergen that’s in the air;
The barber says you’re losing hair;
Fifty on a spavined horse;
Attorney’s letter re divorce;
Wetness, dryness, heat or cold;
Callow youth or getting old
Stress from pains to pleasures range
The common element is change
Adapt or die, and that’s a fact
And so our bodies must react:
The heart speeds up, the gut slows down
Facial muscles snarl or frown
Bronchial tubes expand and then
The blood absorbs more oxygen
Widened pupils search the void
Adrenal glands secrete steroid
Serum glucose starts to climb
More insulin works overtime
Stressed physically or mentally
Muscles tense to fight or flee
The midbrain boils with rage and fear
While cortex plans to save your rear
The point is, stress is not unique
It doesn’t mean you’re dumb or weak
A part of mankind’s constitution
Bequeathed to us by evolution
Common both to man and beast
It proves you’re still alive, at least.

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