I know that for some people seeing a dead person for the first time can be a very traumatic event, but for me I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. I just figured that if I want to become a doctor I should get over this as soon as possible and stop whining like a little bitch. The fear of passing out from the embalming liquid and landing face first into the body and subsequently mounting it unconsciously was enough for me to try my hardest to keep my cool during the first cadaver viewing session. After getting over the initial indescribable peaceful feeling of seeing a dead person for the first time (the smell bothered me more than the actual body) I kept asking myself how did these people die and what brought them to want to volunteer their bodies to science. My guy looked sad, but then again he could’ve had a fulfilling life considering his old age. At one point I wished my cadaver woke up to tell me his life story. Well even if he had woken up he wouldn’t have been able to speak anyway. Why you ask? It’s because my guy was missing half his head. The upper years got to dissect the head and brain and left the rest of his body intact for us to explore. We are starting with the musculoskeletal system.
All throughout t he session I kept telling myself that this isn’t real. The bodies didn’t look real. They were cold to the touch, the skin was very leathery, and the body was super hard. Ours was wrapped up in cloth covered with “cadaver spray” to keep it moist which made him look like a mummy. Apparently you can’t dissect anything when the body dries out. Never once did I think any of it was gross. I have way too much respect for these people and their families to refer to them as “gross.” What’s gross however is last year a girl was chatting away, you know because that’s what girls do, while removing the superficial fascia and a chunk of fat entered her mouth. I guess she got a little careless. I almost died myself when I heard that… I think I also vomited a little in my mouth. She will now forever be remembered as “The girl who munched on cadaver fat.” Let’s see her find a date now! I don’t actually start dissecting anything until next week and I’m actually looking forward to it. I’ll let you know how it goes.