Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Curse and the Stuff of Nightmares

So I'm cursed, and the curse continues. It seems that every person I find attractive - without fail - is either in a long-term relationship or is married. I never noticed how many guys (and girls) in my class are married before now. It's like, Hey you're attractive and nice. *Looks to ring finger, finds a ring, damn*

Sigh. Why do I even bother?
Anyway, last Wednesday we scooped out the brain of our cadaver. It was kind of tough because after cutting around the calvaria (skullcap), our brain was kind of stuck to the skull. We had to really pry it off. No one else's brains were stuck to their skulls. -_- An M4 helped us do the remaining scooping out, but he did a kind of shoddy job cutting the membrane that separate the cerebellum and cerebrum, so our brain kind of broke into two pieces. The brain is surprisingly heavy and squishy, but I expected this. So now our guy is missing the top half of his skull and his brain. Oh, and the brain's in a bucket next to our cadaver.

On Friday we dissected the eyes. That was actually really cool because the structures around the eyes are so easy to see (small as they are). Unfortunately, our cadaver had fat eyes. There was a lot of fat cushioning behind his eyes, so we just kept picking pieces of fat out from behind his eyes. Gross. We (and by "we" I mean the other guy in my group) dissected one of the eyes from the front so now it looks like it's popping out of the socket. And he bisected the eye so we could look inside.

Yesterday the professors and the M4s helping out in the lab bisected all the cadaver's heads. So now, not only are the cadavers without skullcaps, without brains, have their eyes dissected out, but their faces are also split in half all the way down to the mandible (lower jaw). It's pretty freaky. It's also freaky that the scalp is just hanging to the side, so sometimes we put it over the face and it just covers the entire face.

I'm still glad to have our guy though. The cadaver next to us is a creepy old lady. She had dentures, so she had this creepy-ass smile in death. They removed her dentures and put it on her chest. But still creepy - seriously, she could be in a horror movie. This is the stuff nightmares are made of . . . Good thing we all have a healthy sense of humor, especially with bone dust and cadaver bits going everywhere.

Oh, we also saw preserved deformed babies, it was sooo sad. By deformed I mean babies born without a brain (anencephaly), with their spinal cords open (spina bifida), with a huge head (hydrocephalus). For this reason I don't want to be an ob/gyn (there are other reasons too) or a neonatalogist.


Anonymous said...

Curious your reaction. Ob/gyns and neonatologists will be the ones to intervene and keep such things from happening. That's a pretty fulfilling accomplishment.

We never got to the eyes, other than the cataracts. When the other group with the lady gets to the cranial nerves, they'll be challenged in the dissection, so enjoy the fact that your cadaver has some muscle mass.

The thorax and abdomen should be coming soon. They're pretty interesting. Focus on the blood vessels--everything else flows with them in those cavities--oh, and really learn the embryology. It will help alot in understand why what is where in those cavities.

Anonymous said...

Are all these people you know all in medicine, because medical students (and the rest of the medical community) tends to find support structures (read relationships) junior/senior year of undergrad at the latest.

I suggest you branch out and go to some museums or some other cultural events to meet others. Yes, I know the workload interferes with so doing, but you've got to develop a support structure. 3rd year can be brutal with one. Especially when that first patients dies as you're pumping away at their chest and you are the ONLY thing keeping them from being declared dead. It is an incredibly lonely feeling, one that's hard to describe until you've gone through it the first or second times.

Aek said...

Anonymous: Well, I did that's only one of the reasons. It's not actually a main reason at all. It's great to be able to intervene and prevent such abnormalities from happening, but I'm not sure I can handle the ones I either missed or was unable to help.

I think everyone had trouble finding the cranial nerves. The ones around the eyes are super easy to find though. Our cadaver has quite a bit of muscle mass for an old guy, we were impressed. We're all looking forward to the thorax and abdomen - a large field to work with as opposed to the head and neck.

Yes, all these people are fellow med students. It's quite difficult to branch out. And honestly, my curse existed in undergrad too. I'm not holding my breath on this one. If I'm lucky someone will find me; I'm tired of wanting to try and failing before even getting started. I'm already lonely, but too busy to care most of the time.

Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting. The only thing I really think that would bother me about all of that, though, is the smell. >_<

Anonymous said...

amazing... one minute lamenting wedding rings and the next scooping out a brain ... love it!

charlie said...

You're so courageous... I would feel so bad around a cut in part dead body :S

mstpbound said...

haha yea at the end of anatomy your cadaver will be all in little pieces.......and who said i broke up with him this time?

Anonymous said...

i cant read all this stuff about cutting bodies open.

bring back the days when you told us in detail about getting off with guys and your foreskin!

Aek said...

James: The smell is pretty gross, yes. Bone dust smells pretty bad.

goleftatthefork: Lol, I'm glad you enjoyed this.

Charlie: You kind of get used to it. Though sometimes the smell still overwhelms you.

Mstpbound: My mistake. I was a bit tipsy when I wrote that comment. So what exactly happened between you two?

Anonymous 2: Awww. For the record, I only got off with one guy with my foreskin. I don't share my foreskin (or the rest of me) with just anyone. :P

Mike said...

Details!!! Eeee!!!

Anonymous said...

You know what they say, all the good ones are either gay/straight or taken. =(

lol. Once again I am reading theses posts as I am eating (Pumpkin cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory).

What do you do with the bodies and buckets in between cutting?

Aek said...

S: Actually, we have a separate bucket for the parts of the body we cut off and discard. At the end of the semester, we cremate the body and all the parts we cut off (minus the brain, because we're using them next semester).