Ongoing drama: In August I start feeling a deep ache in both thumbs, then intense burning pain in my palms and soreness, burning, tingling, and aching from the elbows down, though the pain in my palms distracts me from everything else and interrupts my sleep. I see my doctor, she says "it's carpal tunnel; here are splints," and before I quite know what I'm doing, I file a worker's compensation claim. (I type a lot at work. And otherwise literally do the same thing over and over.) The first claims worker from the worker's comp insurance company never speaks to me, doesn't return calls, and my company's HR folks ask that he go away and someone else take over. Someone else does; she calls me and is helpful, if a bit brisk and odd--a strange interaction not entirely unexpected, given the situation. There are literally thousands of dollars at stake. Meanwhile I wear one set of splints, I see another doctor, and I undergo a nerve conduction test and have no nerve damage or compression to be found, nixing the carpal tunnel diagnosis and leaving me with "lots of tendinitis." I take a prescription pain reliever twice, react to it with chest tightness and throat tightness, go to the ER and OccMed and the ER again, only for it all to pass with the six hours I spend waiting at the hospital, no epi pens at all. I see a new doctor, I start going to occupational therapy, I get new splints, and these kind folks say, oh my, your elbows are awful too, and your shoulders and neck, and did you know you're hypermobile? (I'm hypermobile. It's like double-jointedness but not; for me, it's more like my ligaments don't know how to hold my joints in place, and it makes stretching difficult because I can stretch forever and then I hurt myself.) Now I do lots of stretches and they are all awesome. I am showing my joints and soft tissue what is what. I am wearing splits for wrists and elbows every night, I am on lots of ibuprofen all the time, and the worker's compensation claim is still not finalized. They send me off for a second opinion, an IME. That doctor says, it's work-related, but I don't know what it is; have another nerve conduction test. The claims worker says, I'm not approving any more occupational therapy until we're sure of what it is. I say, folks, it's been three months, I'm getting better, and of course my symptoms are weirder now--half of them are gone. But if this is what it takes, I will do it. Meanwhile I am still working, at first still full days and full computer use, now six-hour days and one hour of computer use a day, now "advancing as tolerated" though I am bad at anticipating what I can't tolerate.
And grad school apps, and freelance clients, and work, and now probably a new computer and voice recognition software at home, and a couple really great flax-filled heating packs. The llama drama is from someone else's child, I don't remember whose, who was apparently involved with drama and llamas. The high today was 27.
Why trauma theory? It's incredibly complex, and I like complex things. "To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric" (Adorno, Cultural Criticism and Society). "Perennial suffering has as much right to expression as a tortured man has to scream; hence it may have been wrong to say that after Auschwitz you could no longer write poems. But it is not wrong to raise the less cultural question whether after Auschwitz you can go on living ..." (Adorno, Meditations on Metaphysics). "Learn to think with pain. ... Where is there the least power? In speech, or in writing? When I live, or when I die? Or again, when dying doesn't let me die?" (Blanchot).
I feel like I read someone saying "death is no longer sacred," but maybe it was just something Cary repeated in Holocaust Poetry often.
And I like things to be as complex as possible, or else there are no stakes, and why do anything with no stakes.