A Body, Undone: Living On After Great Pain by Christina Crosby

By Christina Crosby

Within the early night on October 1, 2003, Christina Crosby was once 3 miles right into a seventeen mile bicycle experience, purpose on achieving her target of 1,000 miles for the using season. She was once a revered senior professor of English who had celebrated her 50th birthday a month prior to. As she crested a hill, she stuck a department within the spokes of her bicycle, which immediately pitched her to the pavement. Her chin took the entire strength of the blow, and her head snapped again. In that rapid, she was once paralyzed.

In A physique, Undone, Crosby places into phrases a damaged physique that turns out past the achieve of language and realizing. She writes a couple of physique shot via with neurological ache, disoriented in time and area, incapacitated by way of paralysis and deadened sensation. to handle this international physique, she calls upon the readerly pleasures of narrative, serious feminist and queer considering, and the centred language of lyric poetry. operating with those assets, she remembers her Nineteen Fifties tomboy methods in small-town, rural Pennsylvania, and files becoming into the Nineteen Seventies via radical feminism and the affirmations of homosexual liberation.

Deeply unsentimental, Crosby communicates in unflinching prose the event of "diving into the break" of her physique to recognize grief, and loss, but in addition to acknowledge the sweetness, fragility, and dependencies of all human our bodies. A memoir that may be a meditation on incapacity, metaphor, gender, intercourse, and love, A physique, Undone is a compelling account of dwelling on, as Crosby rebuilds her physique and models a existence via writing, reminiscence, and wish.

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Extra info for A Body, Undone: Living On After Great Pain

Sample text

If only I could take my OxyContin that way always! My mind was relieved from the fear that I would always be in pain, and when I’m buzzing, cold, or burning, I sometimes remember the sensation of being warmed through and suspended in no-pain, weightless. Then I long to be taken out of myself and the pain that plagues me, as I was that one time. If I were to crush and Falling into Hell | 31 swallow my OxyContin tablets, pain would give way to a surplus of pleasure, sweetly running all through my body toward oblivion.

I wanted to know about it all, but I struggled, frustrated and helpless, against a kind of narcotic narcolepsy. Yet I wanted those drugs. My bowels, already a great trouble to me since they’re slowed by paralysis, had an even harder time moving—but that didn’t matter. When electricity stormed through my body, I just wanted relief. The hardest part was waiting in pain after I pushed the button on my call bell. A CNA would eventually show up to ask what I needed, and then she had to find a nurse with access to the locked-down drugs.

I “knew,” of course, from bedside conversations with my physicians and with Janet all that was known about the injury I had sustained. My mind was intact, but how could I understand a body so fundamentally transformed? I had no real idea until then of the scope of my injury, how far up on my body it came. And what a horror that the drugs I was being given didn’t make it stop! It called to mind another hospital. I was seven years old and having a tonsillectomy. On my back in the operating room, I looked up at the gowned and gloved adults who were looking down at me.

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