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Old 03-28-2009, 09:46 PM
Black Mamba
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Default Dead Bodies, Skulls, and Bones Oh My! Pt. 1

WARNING: The following story will entail gross detail of decease individuals and their anatomy. I will not be holding back, so if you are the type that gets queasy then this story is not for you.

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A few weeks ago I signed for a cadaver based head and neck seminar. I was going to be learning about all the nerves, muscles, skeletal, vascular, respiratory, and digestive things in this particular area. When I saw the words "cadaver based," I knew I had to sign up for it. There are two things in life that have always fascinated me: nuclear weapons and the dead. I haven't seen a dead body and was eagerly awaiting my first time.

So today I awoke at brisk 5:30 since the class started at 8 and I lived 40 miles away from the school. Although I'm not much of a morning person, today I instantly became one. After arriving at the campus 30 mintues early, and soaking in the California sun I was ready to become one with the human body.

For the first 3 hours of the class, it was spent learning about the skeletal, nerves, and muscles (respiratory, digestive, and vascular are next week). I will never look at our head and neck the same way! My oh my there are so many different nerves, bones, and muscles just in our head and neck that it is mind blowing. I could spend easily an hour just talking to you guys about our cranial bones alone. Now during the bone segment of the class we got to work with actual human skulls. That was no biggy, but there was one skull in particular which pulled a heart string: a little baby's. Its skull was no bigger than the palm of my hand and so fragile too. I was afraid my grip was going to break it so I didn't it hold it that long.

The muscle segment was pretty neat. I knew we had a fair share of muscles in our face but I didn't know that many. It really put into perspective what plastic surgeons have to go through. And it also put into perspective what people do to themselves when they get botex.

My second favorite part of this entire seminar was the nervous structure. I love the brain and I never knew we have a total of 12 different nerves it in. Some I was familiar with such as the optic nerve, but others such as hypoglossal (controls the tongue {tongue musculature}) I didn't know. In addition I learned in more detail about the eyes and how its nerves work with the brain. That was awesome.

Ok, here comes the best part of this entire seminar: the cadavers and body parts. I was excited and alittle nervous, but mostly excited. This was the reason why I spent $95 for this. Now before we all walked back to the bodies room, we got a chance to check out an actual brain (chopped) and the brain attachted with a spinal cord. The brain with the spinal cord was interesting. It was a 5 years old and still in pretty good shape. I was surprised to see what was inside the spinal cord was still preserved. I forgot the scientific name for it, but it means "horses tail" and the stuff inside our spinal cord really does look like it.

Now time for the dead bodies. Now matter what you do to prepare yourself for the shock of it, well it doesn't work, especially for the smell. When he unzipped the body, took off the plastic, and uncovered the sheet...the smell of formeldahyde was oober strong. For the first 2 minutes I got a buzz, and then I got used to it. The longer we were working on the body, it began to feel and smell like chicken. I never would have thought our body would have the consistency of chicken or beef, and some areas reminded me of pulled pork.

We have three cadavers: a 80 year old male who died 5 years ago from heart failure; a 60 year old woman who died from sepis (sp?) complications; and a 60 year old woman who died from lymphioma (sp?). The women are being saved for next week because they have a better neck and head cavity than the male.

So today my instructor decided to give us a full rundown of the decease's body (the male one). I got to hold and see his skin, his foot, his heart (which was enlarged), his lung, his arm, his stomach, liver, kidney, brain, femor, intestines, gall bladder, appendix (never knew it that small), rib cage, the top of skull....you name it I either saw or held.

The lung was pretty big, and it felt like a sponge. I never knew our aorta (sp?) was so big. The heart really surprised me, I got to my finger up this guy's ventricle and down where he had some leftover heartpacer wire. I would have loved to dissected his heart, but that's for another class. Holding this indidivual's foot and part of his leg was in some way, kinda cool. I got to see all his muscles, tendons, and those little small bones. I held part of the femur, a knee, and I forgot the name of the other bone attachted to it. Even cooler, it still moved. I also got the chance to put my hand in his chest cavity and examined some of stuff in there.
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:51 PM
Black Mamba
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Default Conclusion

4 hours went by fast, and I stayed after class alittle bit to help the teacher clean up. I assisted him with putting the cadavers away and tucking in the one we were working on.

I found out he teaches a dissection class on human cadavers, so after I take human anatomy I'll definitely be looking into it. I'm also interested in prepping up the bodies too, so I'm going to see if I can a lab position for that. There is something really peaceful about working with the dead, so that will be a nice stress reliever from my other classes.

This isn't the end of my tale because next week Saturaday I will another. So stay tuned.
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:15 PM
mscomc
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Originally Posted by Black Mamba
4 hours went by fast, and I stayed after class alittle bit to help the teacher clean up. I assisted him with putting the cadavers away and tucking in the one we were working on.

I found out he teaches a dissection class on human cadavers, so after I take human anatomy I'll definitely be looking into it. I'm also interested in prepping up the bodies too, so I'm going to see if I can a lab position for that. There is something really peaceful about working with the dead, so that will be a nice stress reliever from my other classes.

This isn't the end of my tale because next week Saturaday I will another. So stay tuned.


A lab postion working on dead bodies? WOW!!! Geeze, i thought i was ambitious working in a lab as an undergrad that dealt with bacteria there were........AMPICILLIN RESISTANT...haha, oh geeze im a joke. Thats really cool man.

Have you ever seen the Body Worlds exhibit? it was huge here in canada. Its that exhibit where they have bodies that have been preserved using this special technology in a specific postion (all muscle showing), like how the biceps change in when flexing!! stuff like this http://thumbsnap.com/i/EoH0vW2w.jpg I saw this, and IT BLEW MY MIND. I think youd get a kick out of it.
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:27 PM
Bonnie Bonnie is offline
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Good for you, Danelle!

I'm sure I wouldn't be able to handle some of that stuff, but on the other hand, the brain is fascinating. Really the whole body and how everything works is really amazing.

When I think about it...the human body...I just think how God thought of everything in creating us, and then, wonder at how some believe we evolved from apes.

I can't wait 'til your next installment.

Last edited by Bonnie; 03-28-2009 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:31 PM
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TexasRN TexasRN is offline
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I told you that you'd love it!!! I am excited for you. Human anatomy is fascinating.



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Old 03-29-2009, 12:59 AM
mscomc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie
Good for you, Danelle!

I'm sure I wouldn't be able to handle some of that stuff, but on the other hand, the brain is fascinating. Really the whole body and how everything works is really amazing.

When I think about it...the human body...I just think how God thought of everything in creating us, and then, wonder at how some believe we evolved from apes.

I can't wait 'til your next installment.



Hey bonnie....First I would just like to say that personally, I also Do Not beleive that humans came from a single celled organism like some evolutionary biologists say.....However, if you would like too, maybe we can have some discussions, and I can give you some more depth as to where these guys are comming from (I had to take many evolutionary and organism biology classes as an undergrad)......Anyway, just let me know if you would like to...

Take care.

Regards, Malcom
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:48 AM
Bonnie Bonnie is offline
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Originally Posted by mscomc
Hey bonnie....First I would just like to say that personally, I also Do Not beleive that humans came from a single celled organism like some evolutionary biologists say.....However, if you would like too, maybe we can have some discussions, and I can give you some more depth as to where these guys are comming from (I had to take many evolutionary and organism biology classes as an undergrad)......Anyway, just let me know if you would like to...

Take care.

Regards, Malcom
Hey, that would be great. I'm always up for learning new things or hearing others viewpoints (even if I might not agree with them). Have you talked with Nate about a science/engineering/medical forum vs. thread yet? Or you can just go start a thread in the Woodshed about this particular topic. I'll watch for it.

Last edited by Bonnie; 03-29-2009 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 03-29-2009, 04:39 PM
Black Mamba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mscomc
A lab postion working on dead bodies? WOW!!! Geeze, i thought i was ambitious working in a lab as an undergrad that dealt with bacteria there were........AMPICILLIN RESISTANT...haha, oh geeze im a joke. Thats really cool man.

Have you ever seen the Body Worlds exhibit? it was huge here in canada. Its that exhibit where they have bodies that have been preserved using this special technology in a specific postion (all muscle showing), like how the biceps change in when flexing!! stuff like this http://thumbsnap.com/i/EoH0vW2w.jpg I saw this, and IT BLEW MY MIND. I think youd get a kick out of it.
I was initially thinking doing some research on bacteria. I'm taking an intro course right now on cellular molecular bio, and the first half of the course the instructor specialized in viruses. That stuff is really neat.

I've seen the Body Worlds exhibit in Vegas almost two years ago. There's another Bodies exhibit here in Cali that goes into more detail on the brain, so since I'm spring break I'm going to check that one out as well. It really blew my mind away, and one exhibit in particular was alittle hard for me to look at, the baby section. It was tough, but how else are you going to learn about the body and it's inner workings?
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Old 03-29-2009, 04:42 PM
Black Mamba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie

I'm sure I wouldn't be able to handle some of that stuff, but on the other hand, the brain is fascinating. Really the whole body and how everything works is really amazing.

When I think about it...the human body...I just think how God thought of everything in creating us, and then, wonder at how some believe we evolved from apes.

I can't wait 'til your next installment.
I agree, yesterday's class really put so much into perspective for me about our body. It really is amazing. I also think sometimes we take our bodies for granted.
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Old 03-29-2009, 04:59 PM
Bonnie Bonnie is offline
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Originally Posted by Black Mamba
I agree, yesterday's class really put so much into perspective for me about our body. It really is amazing. I also think sometimes we take our bodies for granted.
Definitely, we do!

I wish you could work on figuring out how to restore sense of smell and taste, Danelle. I lost mine two years ago due to head surgery. Apparently, because the olfactory nerves grow through the skull, when they are cut or torn or even stretched, it's a done deal. So I can't smell anything and all I can taste is sweet, salty, bitter and sour, but no actual flavors. So texture of food has become important.

They warned me before the surgery, but until you're actually living it, you don't fully comprehend the magnitude of how much this affects the quality of your life. Not to mention being around gas or some other dangerous substance and not realizing it or eating/drinking something that is spoiled.

So, anybody, fyi, your sense of taste is very much "married" with your sense of smell. So do go smell the roses and don't take it for granted!
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