The last two weeks have been a blur. We just had our second Anatomy test and it feels like all the fluids have been sucked out of my eyeballs from staring at texts, diagrams, and dissection videos. It's no longer in my hands, and what a relief it is to be able to sit back and take a break, as brief as it might be.
As far as dissection is concerned, I have made my way into the abdomen, rooting around through greasy loops of bowel and slick cubes of fat. I'm more knowledgeable about hernias than I ever anticipated (in the case of our cadaver - double!). If I have not said it before, let this be a warning: any fat one acquires on the outside is equally matched on the inside. The chore of cleaning the skin and fat off of our cadaver's abdomen wasn't *so* bad, considering we have had so much experience shedding pounds with each new dissection. However, we were instructed to "circumvent" his umbilicus/bellybutton/sinkhole and leave it intact as we cleared away any and all extraneous material. What we were left with was an amber pillar of fetal remnant, standing two inches above the rectus sheath and proudly making its presence known. Two inches of fat, equally matched on the inside of the abdomen, cradling each and every centimeter of duodenum, jejunum, and ileum, gently swaddling each inch of colon...creating a lovely little nest for that
adorable li'l outrageously large appendix...
All is well and good in the land of dissection, and seeing the students at ease in their new habitat is a wondrous thing. As we go deeper and deeper into the abdomen, from every corner of the room, different tables full of excited dentists and PTs exclaim with joy the discoveries they've made about their cadavers. The word "megacolon" is playfully tossed about, while other students carefully inspect the dentures that have been removed from their previous owners, said toothy appliances becoming yet another addition to the table's "toolbox" for safe keeping, amongst the various scalpels, hemostats, probes, etc. Life in the cadaver lab is good, and the large quote emblazoned on the doorway couldn't be more apt: "Where the Living Learn From the Dead."