Friday, October 8, 2010
Banished Gallbladder and a Surgeon's Dream
Today I kicked my gallbladder the to the curb. I said, "We've been great together, and all, but I think it was time I told you: All you do is make me cry and I don't think this is a healthy relationship. Goodbye."
Then I was wheeled into the surgery and I will never see it again.
I actually wanted to see it, though, like for real.
I wanted to poke it!
When I told the surgeon resident and her trusty med school side kick they both thought it was really funny and had a hard time pulling faces and I explained that I've seen tons of cadaver guts but it would be sweet to see my own organ outside my body. No promises were made, however, and somewhere in 90 minutes it took me to wake up after surgery m y gallbladder was sent to the pathology department for someone else to poke.
TMI WARNING: Don't tell me you haven't been warned because I just warned you. Plus, I choose not to be accountable for what I say whilst drugged up. This is total word vomity freedom, baby!
They wouldn't let me check out to go home until I could prove that tinkling would be no problem.
It took nearly four hours and almost two bags of saline solution.
I've gone five times since coming home.
I could have been not peeing in my own bed.
So, I used to TA for Human Anatomy. It was my dream job! I absolutely love teaching and the human body; so teaching the human body on dead human bodies to living human bodies was like gold!
The muscles in the forearm are sort of hard to see because a.) there are a million of them, and b.) not everyone has huge, burly forearms.
Tip to anyone taking anatomy at BYU: they always pin a couple forearm muscles on the midterm and final and they always choose to do so on the tiniest cadaver.
Luckily, there are stories and rhymes and other study tools to help remember those little, nestled muscles so it's not that hard once you are familiar with the actual names of said muscles.
Latin and Greek = Awesome
Anyway, on to my story.
Once upon a time I was a TA and we were fast approaching the midterm. I was worried about my class and really wanted them to succeed so I had opened my very limited schedule to do some extra study time in the open labs exclusively for my students (and whatever friends they decided to bring -- I'm an equal opportunity TA). So we go over everything from the first half of the class: axial skeleton and skull, appendicular skeleton, upper body muscles, lower body muscles, central nervous system, and peripheral nervous system.
We studied for a long time and didn't reach everything, but boy did we go over those forearm muscles!
That night I dreamed a dream.
I dreamed that I had been teaching my students the names of the forearm muscles and decided that cadavers were all fine and dandy, but the best way would be to actually show them! No one volunteered to be vivisected, so I cut open my own arm. In my dream I was surprised that it didn't hurt at all and there was no blood. The complete lack of fat and total definition of all the muscles, nerves, and vessels didn't make my bat an eyelash.
So I teach my students, craning my arm around so everyone gets a good view and so I could teach the whole thing while it was still attached to my body. It was hard to do so with only one hand to point to everything, but I managed. Plus, it was totally awesome to point to a muscle and then make it twitch or see how it worked to help move my fingers or wrist! Sweet!
Then it was time to go home and I really didn't want my skin hanging around and not protecting my exposed muscles from viruses floating on the breeze. So, I asked the surgeon in the next room to come close me up.
She told me that since I had done it myself against her adamant advice not to do so (I sort of remembered that but had been so jazzed at the thought of teaching on a real arm that I had ignored her) she was not going to help me close up my flopping skin.
I did it myself.
Boy is it difficult to stitch your arm skin together with only one hand!
But it was a really cool dream.