Bali Wobblies by Don Matthews

The silhouette of a wobbly man on a tightrope between two cliffs
Image Source: Canva Pro
(my experience on return from a Bali holiday)

I went to see my doctor

My doctor said to me

What can I do for you good sir

You look so terribly

I then said to my doctor

He listened patiently

I’ve just come back from Bali

I’m suffering you see

I seem to be unable

To walk a nice straight line

I wobble here and wobble there

It happens all the time

I think you’ve got a problem sir

(To which I did agree)

We’ll have to rush you off right now

To the emergency

I check into the hospital

The nurse she says to me

It’s good you liked your Bali hop

A wobbly now I see

She takes me to the wobbly ward

And tucks me in just right

Then after mealtime dinner

Adjusts me for the night

Now nurses are the greatest thing

In hospital healthcare

They coddle you and pamper you

Forget why you are there

When surgeons came to visit me

They told me what they’d found

That all my wobbly problems came

From being Bali bound

They drained my blood for umpteen times

(Which still had them perplexed)

All my platelets were intact

(I asked please could I text?)

(text perplexity update to family)

They put me in big noisy things

That whizzed around my head

And all it really showed them was

My head it was not dead

(still perplexed they were)

The tropical medicine surgeon came

And said to me, we thinks

You have encephalitis

Which causes walkers kinks

I said is this contagious?

It sounds nasty to me

I wouldn’t want those ’round me

Becoming wobbly

The surgeon in charge of strokes then came

Said no to ‘cephalitis

We think a little mini-stroke

By gosh! next Dance St Vitus?

Then all three surgeons fronted up

They all had changed their mind

We think it’s dengue fever

An extremely wobbly kind

It’s nice to have a name at last

From medical textbook

No longer am I in the dark

I’m dengue fever, look!

I stayed in there for several days

In tender loving care

By all the lovely nurses

And hospitalic fare.

When leaving Flinders FMC

I walked a nice straight line

I put it down to loving care

By nursie Caroline

Endnote: Although the diagnosis was dengue fever, I think the doctors couldn’t really pin it down. My excuse is the good life in Bali and R&R with nurse Caroline.


Don is an Australian writer who focuses on humour.  He runs the ‘Flippant, Comic, and Serious’ website.

Don Matthews Author picture
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17 Comments Add yours

  1. Terveen Gill says:

    Don’s poems are bursts of fun often harboring serious experiences and deep meanings. Being unwell is troublesome enough, not knowing the reason and continuing to suffer can only multiply the aggravation. It seems that the doctors were hitting and missing, and they eventually settled on a condition that appeared more tropical in nature. I’m glad nurse Caroline was a kind soul during this harrowing time. Good health is the best blessing.
    Congratulations Don!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s, always, quite difficult, when we experience the symptoms of illness that we can’t, identify, and, until what we have gets, identified, correctly, we will, never, have the, correct, treatments we required, to, get ourselves better… sometimes, we just, need to, keep on, searching, for answers we need, until we finally, find it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was going to put this in as an endpoint but didn’t. As Terveen said, I think it was just hit and miss. Oh, you’ve been in Bali Don? Gotta be dengue boys. All nod heads. Just come back from Antarctica. Gotta be not-thawed-out-legs. Boys? All nod heads.

      This was 6 years ago. Since then it has occurred 3 times. So not dengue. Sorry boys. I have been on lithium for many years. GP said it can cause gait ataxia. So am off it and will see what happens. But nurse Caroline was nice. She even gave me massages. I liked her. Not like Gertrude. She was a ……….

      Liked by 1 person

  3. jonicaggiano says:

    Don I am so glad to know that you are alright. I did not know you were ill. It is very scared to have a diagnosis that keeps changing. This write is both entertaining in how you present what happened but a kind shout out to the nurses who took care of you. Bless you and everyone who took good care of you. I always enjoy your drawings too. Hugs, Joni

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Joni

      Look at my response to TAURUSINGEMINI . Explains everything.

      Terveen is responsible for the artwork. She be a good net drawer,…..😜

      Liked by 1 person

  4. haoyando says:

    Nice poem and love that picture of mosquito.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks HAOYANDO . Terveen is a mosquito fan. She even collects them as pets. Molly is her favourite……😛

      Liked by 2 people

      1. haoyando says:

        Thank you for sharing. Mosquito fan? Haha, that’s soooo quirky and interesting and exotic and …I once watched a documentary about mosquitos and there’s a scientist there who’s obsessed with her favorite creature–mosquitos…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Thankyou for presenting a rare long poem of mine with such breakups for relief. Well done……

    ‘Don’s poems are bursts of fun often harboring serious experiences and deep meanings’ …….thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cassa Bassa says:

    Whoa what a story Don! It’s good to hear the health care experienced was top quality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Cassa. Thanks to Nurse Caroline I’m back in top form…..


  7. I loved this poem! It’s so terribly funny! I thought you were just joking, but apparently, you really were ill. I hope you’re fully recovered now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One thing about me Dawn is always the question is he real or just joking? Yes, this was real gait ataxia needing hospital. I always seem to make light of serious situations. They say Australians are known for making fun of themselves. I seem to be in that mold. Yep, fully recovered now thanks…..

      Liked by 2 people

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