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 objective of 1,000 miles for the driving 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 fast, she used to be paralyzed.
In A physique, Undone, Crosby places into phrases a damaged physique that turns out past the succeed in of language and realizing. She writes a couple of physique shot via with neurological discomfort, disoriented in time and house, incapacitated through paralysis and deadened sensation. to deal with this international physique, she calls upon the readerly pleasures of narrative, severe feminist and queer considering, and the focused language of lyric poetry. operating with those assets, she remembers her Nineteen Fifties tomboy methods in small-town, rural Pennsylvania, and documents turning out to be into the Seventies via radical feminism and the affirmations of homosexual liberation.
Deeply unsentimental, Crosby communicates in unflinching prose the event of "diving into the ruin" of her physique to recognize grief, and loss, but additionally 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 residing 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
She would fill the cup and give me the icy, wet sponge, again, yet again, yes, please, yes. Finally, smiling kindly, she would turn the small paper cup upside down. ), but will be forever grateful for her compassion. More dreadful than the gas or the gel, even more terrible than the terrible thirst, were the painful currents running through my body. I’d never felt anything remotely like it. My drugged sleep yielded up a vivid nightmare—my skeleton was burning, every bone outlined in red. Pain felt like electricity somehow let loose on me, a statement that is both figurative and not, because the signal that passes biochemically from one neuron to another, lighting up neural networks, is, in fact, electrical—the passage of ions down the axon of a neuron Falling into Hell | 27 and across the synapse to another neuron, continually, instantly accomplished trillions of times in complex networks all through your body.
That phrase, “slow death,” captures the 40 | Caring at the Cash Nexus endless process of wearing down, the enervating demand of small yet consequential decisions (Can I bring takeout home for the kids tonight? ), and the quiet despair that can suffuse everyday life. Wellness programs, like the one directed at CNAs at the Hospital for Special Care, are just another reason to feel bad about yourself—why aren’t you going to the gym, with weight machines and elliptical machines and a heated pool, just waiting for you?
My mouth was full of metal, arch bars that ran from side to side to keep the roof of my mouth from caving in—somehow the bits of bone that had been my chin were pinned together, as were other bones in my face—and I wore a very high, tight, and rigid cervical collar around my neck. I could not turn my body or sit up. I could not move my legs or feet. I could not lift my arms or use my hands, which were uselessly curled up into loose fists by atrophying muscles and tightening ligaments. Right before I was to be discharged to the rehab hospital, orderlies appeared to wheel me away through the corridors, and I watched the labyrinthine greenish ceilings and walls pass by.
A Body, Undone: Living On After Great Pain by Christina Crosby