Dissection / Swimming

Have a heart, man!

We’re starting to settle down and get into a routine. Dissecting is becoming more… “normal.” We spent about six hours dissecting today. We have another three hours tomorrow afternoon, and then we’re done with the thorax! Finished! It’s quite surreal.

We’ll start with the abdomen on Friday.

Yesterday was lung day, today was heart day. (Yes, we also dissected the structures in the superior mediastinum and some of the posterior mediastinum, but the overwhelming theme for the day was the heart.)

I guess that at this point I should probably write something along the lines of how overwhelming it was to hold a human heart in my own two hands… etc. etc.

Honestly, though, I didn’t really feel that way. In the moment, I was concentrating on the anatomy and on not dropping the slippery heart onto the floor, rather than philosophising about the humanity of this particular heart. Maybe it’s a pity. Perhaps I should have remembered that the human body is about more than anatomy. I don’t know.

What I was suprised about, though, was the size of the heart! I hadn’t expected it to be quite as big as it was. We had to hold it with two hands. It was, as far as I can remember, slightly bigger than two fists placed together. Did you know that you can fit three fingers into the opening between the right atrium and ventricle of the heart? The aorta was big enough to remind me of a hosepipe! When I think of how much blood the heart has to pump over the course of a lifetime, I am astounded! God really created an amzing structure here!

At one point during the day, a lady from the department of anatomy was going through the dissection halls and collecting one rib from each of the female cadavers. Research on Adam and Eve maybe?

My back is killing me, though! Long hours of bending over a dissection table and then more long hours bending over textbooks are not the best back tonic. I’m trying to fit some swimming in somewhere, but it keep raining in the evenings!

Dissection definitely garners some interesting reactions on Facebook.

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