Trying to become a public historian and freelance writer in grad school is requiring me to walk a difficult tightrope. I want to be as authentic as humanly possible, but I’m also a professor-in-training; I don’t want to put anything out into the world that I would have trouble explaining to a hiring committee, to my colleagues, or to my students. As a result, I often find myself debating the merits of a post. The problem with this particular brand of censorship is that it’s entirely too fuzzy. I haven’t articulated to myself what constitutes fair game. How personal do I want to get? How personal do I need to get?
That’s why, on August 28 — after much hemming and hawing — I ultimately decided to write about a medical procedure I was about to undergo. I want to live in a world where academics living with disabilities aren’t afraid to “come out” for fear of the cultural and institutional ableism to which it would expose them. Telling my own story is a risky, but necessary, step in that process.
Mine was a routine procedure, but as with most medical procedures, there also was nothing routine about it. The following is an excerpt from that post, a post that I knew needed to see the light of day in large part because the thought so petrified me. At the end is a brief summary of the procedure itself, and where I find myself today.
I had my MRI Arthrogram on August 29, and — thanks to an innovative radiologist — got through the procedure with much less pain than I have in times past. Unfortunately, the cortisone injection did not alleviate my pain. The MRA was very helpful in revealing what wasn’t wrong, but — much to the surprise of both myself and my surgeon — did not yield a diagnosis.
And so, the journey continues. I’m now in physical therapy, and making (very) slow but steady progress. I’m extremely optimistic that, while it will take a long time to recover, I will be able to do so without surgical intervention. Until then, my archive remains open, if only just a crack.
Haraway, Donna. “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective.” Feminist Studies 14:3 (October 1988): 575–599. doi:10.2307/3178066.
Scheper-Hughes, Nancy, and Margaret M. Lock. “The Mindful Body: A Prolegomenon to Future Work in Medical Anthropology.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly 1:1 (March 1987): 6–41. doi:10.2307/648769.
Donna Haraway, “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective,” Feminist Studies 14:3 (October 1988), 580. Return to text.