Thursday, September 17, 2009

Anatomy Update

As you can infer from my previous posts, I really enjoyed the first few anatomy labs. Then came our past lab on Tuesday. In this lab, we needed to turn the cadaver over so we could access the back, and investigate the trapezius and latissimus dorsi muscles and various other things. I was very disturbed by the act of turning over our cadaver. For some reason, seeing the legs, seeing the body so lifeless, and needing to put so much force into moving it, made me acutely aware of what we were doing, that this was a real person. A person who walked, talked, maybe ran, told jokes, worked, had a family. Up until this point I have been able to trick myself into thinking of the corpse as a "cadaver", as "it", as a thing to be investigated and explored. At lab on Tuesday, the last thing in the world I wanted to do was explore. I think another part of it is the fact that we had to cut through so much skin. The last few labs we have been deep in the thorax, its much easier to dissociate from the humanness of the cadaver when you're holding their insides, and seeing organs in ways you never saw before. Skin is something very human and real, and I think I struggle most when I have to cut through the skin. I'm very grateful to have this opportunity, and today I was fine during anatomy. But I think I like working with living people a whole lot more than I like working with dead people.

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