Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Every Body is Different

Dissecting a cadaver is an experience unlike any I've had before.  Academically, it has pushed me harder than any other class, but beyond that it's a lesson in humility and life.  Pulling apart a body in the name of science takes some of the emotional sting out of it, but there is no stopping wondering who this person once was.  I respect my model immensely.  To give that kind of gift is near miraculous.

Seeing what a human is comprised of, it takes some of the mystery out of being human.  We are made of plain stuff all the way through.  Yes, it's complicated, but there are no rainbows and magical unicorns.  Having so many emotions, so much creativity, control of our bodies for dancing, for writing, for painting, every memory we have, contained in something so unmagical.  It's messy and slimy and I swear our muscles are held together by spiderwebs at times.  But there's got to be something else inside there when we are living.  To see everything pulsing and in vivid color, to see life like that, it'd be amazing.  I look forward to surgical orientation, to see that color and life.

Being exposed to 16 dead bodies daily makes you really see the differences and similarities in humanity.  Naked and exposed to scrutiny from the outside in, there are no secrets.  Sizes, shapes, skin tone, muscle tone, they all change, but inside we are the same.  Or are we?  In reality we are as different inside physically as out.  Not every artery and vein chooses the path the anatomy book says it should.  Not every muscle is as it supposedly should.  Inside you can see what surgical changes have happened.  It's not just a scar, it's a change.

This idea that our insides are just as different as our outsides needs to be reflected in our knowledge of health.  More thought needs to be put into seeing the unique characteristics within us than fitting us in groups to try to treat in mass.  One-size-fits-all does not work in pharmaceuticals, nutrition, surgery, and exercise.  I think that integrative medicine (alternative medicine) is the start of person-by-person care that will result in better health literacy.  When people know more about their own health, the less often they get sick, the less often they need healthcare, the less strain there is on the healthcare system.  People believe in their medical care, practitioners need to begin to believe in their patients.

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