I feel like my crafting has been MIA of late, partially because of what’s happening in school right now. Normally I have a near-superhuman willpower to ignore the call to go do homework and work on my hobbies instead, but not with this unit, unfortunately. We’re working on the musculoskeletal unit. This means lots of memorization of things that have way too similar of names (there should not be a muscle in the leg also called the biceps, it is patently unfair) and also lots of time spent in anatomy lab. It also means lots of time for study-doodling (a practice in which I convince myself that spending an absurd amount of time drawing the muscles of the thigh is an efficient study technique)!
Anatomy lab is a strange part of medical school. When I’m amongst my classmates and teachers, dissecting a dead body, holding a human heart, etc. seem like totally normal things to do. Then, sometimes I realize (mostly with the help of my boyfriend) that what my classmates and I have been doing every day this week is totally bizarre. I’m still not so sure how I feel about anatomy lab. I kind of expected it to be a hugely transformative experience (a la Body of Work by Christine Montross) but really I just spend a lot of time stressed out that I can’t find the stupid nerve I’m looking for, or that one of the professors just tricked me into thinking a tendon was a nerve. But as foul and confusing as it can be, when I reflect back on the time spent in lab I do feel so grateful that Gerold (our cadaver – we are provided with their name, age and cause of death) donated his body to science and I get to see what everything is really like outside of a comparatively very dry (literally and figuratively) textbook.
Also – as gross as I realize it is, I think I have discovered my favorite part about dissection: separating large arteries and veins that are encased in sheaths of connective tissue. My lab partners quickly get very frustrated with the endeavor because the vessels are often very firmly stuck together in their protective covering, but I am happy to lean over the tank for half an hour at a time separating a stretch of femoral artery and vein. I blame this entirely on my freakish zen-like patience when it comes to untangling yarn. Thanks, knitting.