Out of my mind, back in 5 minutes (fifi225) wrote in med_school,
Out of my mind, back in 5 minutes

Tales from an M1

So today was my first day of anatomy lab. I'll be honest, i was a little freaked out about it.  I mean, I've seen a dead body, what? Two times in my life? Both times the bodies were fully clothed and made up to look presentable (funerals).  So today was a bit of a wild card...I'd already been feeling ill from being in so much freaking pain (oh. yeah. I get to go see a back specialist on Thursday after falling in my house on Monday) so I was very concerned about how I was going to handle lab...

So there's this smell...in an anatomy lab.   Those of you that have been to medical school know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. I found it didn't really stick to my clothes much, but oh...my hair. :( I think I'm going to start putting my hair up in a shower cap, or at least the part in the bun, as it seems to hold onto smells the most.  Lemme tell ya. It's a really attractive perfume too.

Anyway, enough about the smell (trust me). 

So I'm standing there in front of this blue bag...and there's a body in it...a big body. "Your bodies will be prone, so that you can have full access to the back" says the instructor....

Only, I look at my blue bag and I see knee caps sticking up. 

"um....little help?"

So I got to turn a body today. That was fun....only not so much with the fun.  but that wasn't as bad as later in lab when one of the people looking at our body dropped something into the tray and I got splashed with "cadaver juice" Face...arms...chest...ew. :(

So we're looking at this lady...she's face down, naked and there's a towel wrapped around her head.  Oh, did I mention her back was cut open in a manner not unreminiscent of a trout being de-boned? well, it was.

And I noticed something. 

Her finger nails were painted. A bright, peachy, summery color. 

I started thinking about what Dr. Wallace said in her talk on "observation" on Tuesday, about "the lipstick sign".  what that means is is that when a woman is in the hospital recovering from whatever, one of the first signs that they are feeling better is that they'll start putting on (in a lot of cases) lipstick.  This lady (er...cadaver) was wearing nail polish.

I really wonder who she was.  I wonder what made her do something so cool as to donate her body so *I* could learn anatomy, so I could be a better doctor.  I wonder if she knew she was going to die soon when she painted her nails that bright peachy color (must have really been no more then a few days before she died).  I wonder about her. And I'm grateful to her.

On a much less somber note: I now have a bag of bones living in my closet (it's name is Leo) and lab today (despite being VERY cool)..really made me lose my appitite. ( I mean, I couldn't even eat my spinach pie at dinner because the phyllo dough reminded me of...ok nevermind...next topic)


I like it here. I like what I'm learning. Thanks to Fred I now understand acid base chemistry (yes, that's right. I got through highschool, college, being a TA  AND the MCATS....*without* understanding Acid/Base)....I study about 3 hours a day right now, but I'm sure that's going to get ramped way up...i missed my first histology lab because I was having x-rays shot of my back because I fell flat on my face on monday. Pretty rad way to start the year, right?

Life's good. I dunno if I'll still feel that way in October...but right now I've got good friends, (mostly) good teachers and I'm doing the only thing that I've ever wanted to do. So...yeah, from where I'm sitting right now? Pretty worth it.
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