Sunday, November 8, 2015

Something I Never Discussed (a bit gross)

This is the place. (I actually borrowed that quote from Brigham Young, though he was speaking of something very different than anatomy lab. Or was he?)

I read an old blog allegedly written by me (in the interval in which it was written, only I had the password to this account, and I gravely doubt that a hacker would go to the trouble of gaining access to my leg just to make a single rather benign post) in which  I mentioned that I would share how it is to cut through human flesh, albeit dead human flesh.  I can see now that I never addressed that topic.

It's pretty gruesome, actually. The closest I'd ever come to it would have been cutting beef or chicken prior to cooking. Chickens are not all that similar to humans in an anatomical sense, however, so one could work as a KFC prepper (as in cutting the meat up long before it gets to the local stores) for many years and still have no clue as to what it is like to cut into a human. And one would be, if one is anything like me, perfectly happy to keep it that way. Cutting beef is a bit more similar except that the skin of a cow was removed long before it reached anyone's cutting board. If the hide were in place, it would be of a much tougher consistency than would human flesh be. Any attached vital organs would have long since disappeared as well.

I'm far from the reincarnation of Jeffrey Dahmer. The idea of controlling a knife as it descends through layers of human tissue in no way appeals to me. I refuse to allow my distaste for all things gory, however, stand in the way of attaining my career objectives. so I always used a scalpel as efficiently as possible in order to minimize my time spent in the anatomy lab.

One of my cohort mates suggested that people who have been involved in hunting mammals are slightly desensitized to the grossness of the whole process of cutting into tissue. This is likely true. It's not so true, however,  that I would necessarily recommend that anyone who is much like me go out and buy a certified Dick Cheney hunting rifle and commence with shooting away at anything on four legs that walks by. If hunting is something that a prospective medical school candidate likes to do or does of necessity, more power to that person, and the person may have a slight edge on the rest of us when it comes to not hurling during one's initial stint in the anatomy lab. 

In terms of the tactile-kinesthetic principles of functioning in an anatomy lab, however, there's as much dissimilarity between the mammals typically hunted and the ones one will dissect in anatomy lab as there is similarity. Think about it. Or don't, if you're squeamish and don't have to think about it.


  1. I will never forget visiting a gross anatomy lab at a medical school when I was 17. It was life changing.

  2. I guess you are referring to Dick Cheney shooting his friend. If someone cuts into human flesh a lot, I guess the perception of it changes. Also it must be different cutting into flesh for practice or cutting into it to perform a specific procedure and if you do it right, saving someone's life.

    I am in the process of writing that article on the M.D. She is very much into using alternative medicine since it is something that is good for people. But she points out there is no alternative way to help her husband who cut off 2 of his fingers then the conventional way. The surgeons spent 8 hours sewing those fingers back on.

    So you can always write an article what it is like to sew human flesh together and how it is not like sewing together cloth. One principle of holistic medicine is that what is good for the sick person is good for the well person and what is bad for the well person is bad for the sick person. For example drinking pomegranate juice can dissolve plaque in the arteries but is good for anyone to drink.

    One surgeon tried to cut plaque out of an artery and he could not because it was too hard. So he closed the guy up, but he did not want to tell the couple (he and his wife) that there is no hope for the guy. So instead he gave him instructions on eating a good diet and exercise. He did not expect it to work but it did.

    I just read that out of the drugs that were approved of to treat cancer in 2012, 90% of them cost over $100,000 a year to use. It is strange that this M.D. that I am writing about is not in Wikipedia but Huffington Post lists her as one of 16 health experts in the U.S.

  3. Even though the MD that I am writing about, wrote 3 books, she is not listed in Wikipedia. Yet the story of Dick Cheney's hunting accident has its own page in Wikipedia. He shot a lawyer. I have some advice for you, Alexis. Don't go hunting with Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney was drinking alcohol before he shot the guy but there is no law against drinking and shooting.

    1. I'm probably safe on the "no hunting with Dick Cheney" front.

      A) I never plan on hunting anywhere or with anyone. Even if President Obama called me personally and invited me to go hunting with him, as much as I would be honored, I'd have to politely decline.

      B) I don't plan on doing anything with Dick Cheney EVER. In all honesty, I assume the feeling would be mutual if the man had ever as much as heard of me. If he were in my area and called me up to invite me to have a drink with him at a local tavern, I'd probably show up just out of curiosity, but how likely is that to happen? Ever? Not very likely, I can tell you.

      Regardless, i would no go hunting with the man. If I wouldn't even hunt with President Obama, I certainly would not do so with Dick cheney.

  4. I am glad that I don't have to worry about that. You are so adorable, Alexis and don't forget that! Note that Gourmet Girls Bakery online paper mentioned this post.

    1. That's totally awesome about Gourmet Girls' Bakery.

  5. Too squeamish to do anything but skim this post! I'm doubly grateful to my healthcare providers who can handle this kind of reality and save lives in the process.

  6. Hunted mammals in my younger days and am familiar with the feel of filleting my own food. Also in comparative anatomy classes. I have no desire to fillet a human.