Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Being Human

So obviously my big thing this summer is anatomy. It's pretty much consuming my every waking thought (and many of my sleeping ones too), just like it is for everyone else in my class. It's a 5 credit class with 2 different lab components and a lecture component. The more fun lab is surface palpation. Basically, we all show up in shorts and bikini tops and touch each other. Not awkward at all.

It's actually not. It took all of like 2 minutes for everyone to realize no one was looking at them as anything more than a warm body with a scapula. (Scapula, not scalpel. Very important distinction.) It's actually pretty fun. 

The other lab is, obviously, cadaver lab. 

I'll be honest...it's not been as traumatic as I'd anticipated. Maybe it's because I haven't seen her face yet, or maybe I'm just heartless...I don't know. But the only time I've really had any kind of response to the whole thing has been in the last couple of days when we've been working on her hands. 

Her fingernails are painted. Doesn't bother me. Her hands in general - don't bother me. What bothers me is when I'm trying to work on something and need to hold her fingers back...the rigor makes it feel like she's pushing back against me. It feels like her fingers are wrapping around mine and pushing back. 

It freaks me out every time. 

That's the only time I get flashes of her as someone with a story, and it always makes me think of my grandmother's hands, for obvious reasons. I've alternated between wanting to call my grandmother every day and not being able to call her at all.

That said, there's this sort of block that prevents it from straying too far from clinical. I recognize that this is a fellow human being who decided to give her body so that I could learn medicine. I get that, and I fully appreciate the significance. I appreciate that it was 100% her choice to give her body for this, and I fully intend to do the same someday...assuming I don't die in some epic and bizarre way, that is. And assuming I live past 65. Before 65, I'd rather be an organ donor. I guess I should write a will about this...are blogs legal documents? (Note to self, check with lawyer on this.)

Anyway, like I was saying. I don't know if it's all just gone too fast for me to process and it'll surface at some horrible time later or if this is really just how I'm "handling" things. Right at this moment, I don't have the down time to spare for a total meltdown, so I'm just going to keep putting it on the back burner until it either boils over or fizzles out. For now, I'm doing fine.

On a related note, I've opted for the "take a deep breath and keep moving forward" approach for studying. I won't pretend that the sheer volume of information we're responsible for in the short time we're given isn't overwhelming - it is. But in the end, panic is only going to hurt. So instead of panicking, I'm making flash cards, flow charts (literally, they're about blood flow to the upper extremities), and diagrams.

I'm taking it one day at a time and trying not to feel frustrated or guilty when I get to class and realize that I've read the wrong thing or didn't read anything at all for what I needed. Tomorrow, next week, the week after, are all chances to recalibrate and regroup, and that's where I'm at.

I've also, in true compulsive spin instructor form, thrown together a playlist for the occasion. The first two songs have gotten a LOT of play lately. Anna Sun makes me a little homesick (no, the house hasn't sold yet...sigh), but it also makes me feel light and in touch with my deeper mind, which is helping keep me focused and calm.

Little Talks - Of Monsters And Men
Anna Sun  -  Walk the Moon
We Are Young (feat. Janelle MonĂ¡e)  -  fun.
Young Blood  -  The Naked And Famous
Shake It Out  -  Florence + The Machine
Hello Hurricane  -  Switchfoot
Souvenirs  -  Switchfoot
Dark Horses  -  Switchfoot
Snowflakes  -  White Apple Tree
Send Me On My Way  -  Rusted Roots
Safe & Sound  -  Taylor Swift

And youtube also reminds me that we're not alone.

 Hope everyone's having a good week

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