'I was a guinea pig' by Roy Tanner

In my time I have been to lots of hospitals

The first thing the nurses did was to take my property

They took everything away until the day I went home

I was there like a guinea pig for them

So they could learn about epilepsy

I was used like a pin cushion

Stuck full with pins and needles

They got around me trying to take my sense away

They wanted to get inside my brain

To get out my thoughts

Because I was E.P. epileptic

They wanted to know more of me

They gave me tests to see how much sense I had in my head

Eighty-five per cent out of a hundred

So many tests it was like a clock ticking that wouldn’t stop

They put me on a trolley to the operating theatre

And all I could see was knives, scissors,

Sterile, long needles, silver hospital cutlery

Something was down in my head

The gas to put me to sleep:

You’ll be all right in a minute

The doctors said.

All the machines and wires

Wiring me up like someone going to the electric chair

A long needle fixed through my head

Down into one of my brains

Frightening me.

Was I going to get out alive?

Would I ever wake up?

When I did wake up

There were so many doctors there

Asking questions about me

One wanted to know this

One wanted to know that

They wouldn’t stop until they had the right answers

I was like a questionnaire

And they wouldn’t stop until they had filled me in

I was used to help them win; to help them become top dogs

To make them specialists in epilepsy.

I was there like a guinea pig for them.