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Author Topic: Wonder if I can handle this one ...  (Read 3437 times)

Rita

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Wonder if I can handle this one ...
« on: February 04, 2014, 02:45:22 PM »
I have a 3-hour cadaver lab in about 3 weeks.


Yikes!   ( I think I've seen 2 dead people my entire life at open casket funerals.   Luckily most people don't do open casket )




Loanne

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Re: Wonder if I can handle this one ...
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2014, 05:10:32 PM »
Rita, it's always very hard to go to funerals, but what you're having to do...I'm not sure.  Can you look at the body OJBECTIVELY?  See it from the prospective of standing outside yourself.  I do that sometimes when I'm in uncomfortable situations...I imagine I'm outside myself looking in and it helps to just see the situation for what it is.  I've been to lots of funerals...not sure how I'd handle a situation like this one.  My best!

Rita

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Re: Wonder if I can handle this one ...
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2014, 06:19:48 AM »
That's what I'm going to have to do.   But I keep wondering if my mind will start thinking about their lives, and the people they left behind, etc.

HungryinTN

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Re: Wonder if I can handle this one ...
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2014, 07:45:46 AM »
As a life-long vegetarian, learning to eat meat for me was much like staring at a cadaver.  I just learned to be thankful for the animal in front of me.  I can't think about the animals' lives - only be grateful to know that they had relatively good ones that afford me the ability to regain my health. 

VibeRadiant

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Re: Wonder if I can handle this one ...
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2014, 08:02:15 AM »
That's what I'm going to have to do.   But I keep wondering if my mind will start thinking about their lives, and the people they left behind, etc.

Seeing them as people who were once living beings would honor them, I believe . My humble opinion.

Bea

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Re: Wonder if I can handle this one ...
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2014, 11:48:32 PM »
Rita, Your question has taken me back nearly 60 years ago to when I was a young medical student. We attended a lecture before we went into the anatomy room. One of the important things to remember is that you are there to learn valuable lessons which can't be fully achieved through books or video etc. These days many bodies are donated to "science" - the person or their family has chosen to do this. For some it seems to make more sense  - and help them cope with death.

It is a tremendous privilege to undertake or attend an autopsy or dissection. It's many years since I have attended an autopsy as a neuropsychologist. It was always very difficult - partly because I had known the patient previously. The reason for being there was to try to learn more about the particular brain disease. The thing that stands out in my mind is that each time I felt more committed than ever to work in my chosen field - and find answers. Hopefully, you will feel the same by your experience.

Bea   
 

Jan in Key West

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Re: Wonder if I can handle this one ...
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2014, 03:42:54 AM »
Bea.....What a beautifully stated response....both inspirational and sacred.

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Wonder if I can handle this one ...
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2014, 06:08:46 AM »
Rita,


I've found that it is easier to deal with any formerly alive person or animal by remembering the words in the Bible (Ecclesiastes 3.1):

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven,
A time to be born,
A time to die,
A time to plant,
A time to uproot,
A time to laugh,
A time to cry.. too long for this blog, so google it.  Very touching and will help you to understand the cycles of life we all are given.


I look at the dead body or animal and think of them and wonder how they had used the time given them?  If human, how did they live?  How did they contribute to our world?  Were they self-serving or generous souls?  And so on.
Like Bea, I think of the dead as a lifetime that is over and wonder if I can still learn something from our meeting when I am alive and they are not. 

Whatever life they chose to live, they matter, even in death.  My thoughts are to appreciate their humanity.  The essence of this person is not really what I am looking at.

Hope these thoughts make it easier for you.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2014, 07:37:42 AM by Barbara from New Jersey »

Rita

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Re: Wonder if I can handle this one ...
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2014, 06:45:33 AM »
You guys are great!  Absolutely love the thoughtful responses.   It really helps.    I've been very nervous about it.


I'm on the list to donate my body to science when the time comes, so I'm sure I'll eventually be the cadaver in a lab too.

deanna in AR

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Re: Wonder if I can handle this one ...
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2014, 02:45:49 PM »
Rita, especially as you're on the list to donate, treat them as you hope to be treated.

Lynda (Fl)

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Re: Wonder if I can handle this one ...
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2014, 02:37:21 PM »
My Mother donated her body to Loma Linda Medical School because she wanted to help young doctors learn.  My Father did also.  So, just remember, these people are there because they wanted to help you learn.  You are showing respect for them this way.  Doesn't make it more comfortable, though.

Rita

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Re: Wonder if I can handle this one ...
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2014, 03:32:09 PM »
That's how I'm going to look at it. 


My lab is this Saturday.

Lynda (Fl)

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Re: Wonder if I can handle this one ...
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2014, 11:03:52 AM »
I'm impressed with your course, Rita.  I know you'll do well.

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Wonder if I can handle this one ...
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2014, 06:52:40 AM »
Rita,


How did the lab go?  Was it better or worse than you expected?

Rita

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Re: Wonder if I can handle this one ...
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2014, 11:01:56 AM »
It was really interesting.  The formaldehyde smell was a little overwhelming for me but I've always had a strong sense of smell.   As for the 'human' side, it was shocking the first couple of minutes, but then we really were into the body.   And you really didn't get a sense of the person per se.

I'll explain how it went ( and for those of you squeamish probably best not to read.   I'm a little squeamish too )

So when you donate your body to science, the body is donated for 18 months.  After the donation period, the ashes go back to the family.

These have been people who have donated their body, and the gentleman who runs the lab, has had the bodies for a while.  Every 18 months he gets a new body.
Only people that are enrolled in a program where you either get a degree or certification in an anatomy type of program, or if you have already graduated from such a program, are legally allowed to attend such a class.   So he works with a lot of med students, chiropractic, nutrition, occupational therapy students, etc.

There were about 25 people that came.   He had 3 bodies there, that were already pre-disected.   I think it takes him months to fully dissect a body, since he does it via different layers, so that you can see if from different perspectives.

So the bodies do have their skin already mostly removed, and he's cut in places where you can really see different muscle tissues and organs, and how they are connected.   He would remove sections at a time and explain the various sections.   Everyone was able to explore and handle the various body parts.   ( I really didn't have a deep desire to do a lot of touching and feeling, so I just chose to get a good look at everything ).   

What were my big ahas?

1)  The liver was huge!   I guess I never realized how big the liver was, as it goes deep too.
2)  The gall bladder was pretty green from the bile
3)  The hypothalamus is truly little.   It's amazing that this little pea size ( actually smaller than a pea ), is responsible for so much of our physiology
4)  It was really interesting to see the rugae in the stomach.

As for my most important aha -

It was the gut-brain connection.

In pictures you see the small intestine just clumped up together, but you don't see how the small intestine is connected to tissues, blood vessels and nerves.    It's hard to explain, but the small intestine is sort of like a fan, with the out edge being the intestine itself, and the the inside of the fan being tissue where the ridges of the fan ( but it's smooth in this cases) are  nerves and blood vessels that go from the  intestine to a central area ( the core of the fan ).   You can really see where the nerves then connect to the spinal cord.  Here's a drawing that sort of shows you what I mean.

I'm thankful to the people who did donate their body, as it was very helpful to get a sense of things.  For me, it made me realize even more that I'm glad that I've decided to donate my body.   ( And just FYI, you do the paperwork for this when you renew a drivers license).


« Last Edit: February 23, 2014, 11:10:26 AM by Rita »

Jan in Key West

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Re: Wonder if I can handle this one ...
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2014, 06:11:22 AM »
Rita,
Kudos to you.......what a great experience....thanks for sharing.

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Re: Wonder if I can handle this one ...
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2014, 06:11:22 AM »

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