Friday, September 12, 2008

Chest cavity

I'm back! I'm so sorry to all two of you (three? sure, I'll be optimistic) that check my blog daily for these little vacations that I keep taking. Silly med school. But the good news is that I did really well on my first exam! Biochem, baby. As always, I had psyched myself out way too much and did a lot better than I thought I would. Wait, as always? I never do better than I think I did! I usually do worse, which makes me think that I'm actually starting to get this med school thang! Go me.

(from here)

I had a traumatic gross anatomy experience yesterday. Traumatic might be a bit of an overstatement (I'll tell you a truly traumatic lab experience in a mo'), but it was certainly less than ideal. We were dissecting the chest cavity, and as always, Dr. Levy gave us some words of wisdom beforehand. His first and most ringing words were "Don't cut your phrenic nerve!", and he then went on to describe in detail how to avoid such a terrible, med-school-career-ending mistake. And what did my lab group do? Right after taking the lungs out, we just chopped right on through the nerve. And not just on one side--nope, both phrenic nerves! The worst part was that we didn't even know that we'd done it until Dr. Levy came over and KICKED OUR ASSES. I mean really, I wanted to climb into the humidor with out body just so that I could hide from him. Scary stuff. He had that "I'm so dissappointed in you" tone of voice, and I swear, I had to keep the tears in. Sniff. The only way I held them is was knowing that it was our last day with Constable Levy, and Tuesday we'll be switching lab directors. Dr. Levy would never let us live it down otherwise.

Other than that, the lab itself was just yucky (by the way, if you're not into cadaver descriptions and general ew-ness, read no further!). I mean, I'm basically over the yuck-factor of spending hours and hours with our less-than-properly-preserved body, which is looking and smelling worse and worse as the days go by. By now it's pretty routine. But as I was elbow-deep in that chest cavity, wrestling with the left lung (bitch didn't want to come out), I was experiencing new and truly awe-inspiring stenches that I had previously only imagined. And oh, the coagulated pulmonary fluid! Hand fulls of it that had to be removed, all of it a sickly redish-brownish-yuckyish color and the consistency of runny rice pudding.

So! That brings me to the truly traumatic lung dissection story that I mentioned earlier. A friend of one of my classmates was doing a lung dissection in gross anatomy at a med school somewhere (stories like this transcend space and time anyway), and while she was leaning over, she accidently pierced something that spurted directly upward. Into her mouth. Oh. My. God. Like any sane person with a normal sense of what should NOT be in your mouth, she vomited, into her cadaver. This started a chain reaction around her lab table, and they all ended up vomiting more or less into their humidor, all over their cadaver. I can't even imagine anything more disgusting than a vomit-covered cadaver, especially since it's not like they could just get a new one. Nope, they were probably stuck with it for the duration of the lab. And I thought I had problems.

Sorry about that folks. I promise, that's all of the gross for today. Other than that, there's just so freaking much to know about that general area (nerves and the like) that it was a bit stressful. Especially because this is block 2 material, and we're all frantically trying to study our block 1 stuff for our Monday exam without absorbing anything unnessesary. Arg!

It's going to be a long weekend folks, full of my good friends Rohen and Snell, plus a lovely Sunday trip to the lab (who needs church?). Hurricane Ike is brushing past us right now, so it's pretty windy out there. I feel awful for Galveston! They're getting the shit beat out of them at the moment, and it looks like it's only going to get worse. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you, Texas!

1 comment:

lydia said...

that was such an awesome cadaver story, i love you! Also, I miss labs with yoU! When I was packing i came across the o'l bio lab book, haha I was so proud of that thing :)