Before I start this post I just want to reassure everyone that no, I did NOT take any pictures in the cadaver lab. That would be in poor taste. I simply added some illustrations to my important musings which you will be privy to in just a moment. First, let me tell you about the cadaver lab.
When the cadaver lab was first announced, I had no doubt in my mind that I wanted to go. I mean, looking at actual, realistically sized body parts? Coolio! I wasn't into it just because I could see dead people (although I guess that factor was cool.....?), I was genuinely interested in seeing our bodies stripped down to their most basic components.
When we got there, they briefed us on regular safety procedures, including the tidbit about passing out, that is: if you pass out in the lab, you are required to stay down until 911 is notified- how. Embarrassing. Can you imagine being that unlucky person? You'd just chill down on the ground while everyone else stared at you until the paramedics arrived to tell you what you already knew- you're perfectly okay, you're just a wimp who needs to not do anything fun ever. Personally, I'd either play it up, or try to jump up when people weren't looking and see how many jumping jacks I could crank out before someone pushed me back down. And what if I just tripped over my shoes? WHAT THEN?! Would I still have to stay down???
These thoughts in my head, I determined to not faint of even get dizzy inside the lab; however, right before we went in, I had a tiny moment of panic- I was actually going to see someone who had passed on. Someone who lived a full, and (hopefully) happy life... And they were going to be reduced to mere fragments in order to educate us. Wow.
When we went into the lab, it wasn't all that bad. We were able to look at individual organs, identify them, and describe their function. It was interesting to see the various sizes of each organ, and it was all fun and games until we reached one particular organ.... The uterus. It was pretty much the size of a quarter. Wut.
It simply baffled me. I mean, I knew it was small, but not THAT small. Babies grow in those things! It's so tiny!!! What the heck?! And don't even get me started on menstruation. A teeny, tiny, little organ causes THAT much pain? It causes your whole entire life to slow down for a week? It makes your stomach hurt like the dickens? I couldn't even understand how much blood could fit in that tiny pouch. If it's so tiny, how come periods take all week? How come it can't just all come out at once? Where is the justice in this system?!?!?!?! The lady said she didn't think uteruses even expanded during menses, which doesn't make sense. You lose about 6-9 tablespoons of menstrual fluid per period. TABLESPOONS. NOT TEASPOONS. WHAT IS LIFE. WHAT. That is a LOT. And it somehow is packaged in a small pouch. I just do not understand. Especially the pain associated with it. I was confused, but upon further reflection I came to the reason. Observe below:
*click to make pictures bigger*
For the record, this sad uterus just kills me every time. Poor uterus.
That. That is exactly what happened in the Great Organ Conference, and this is when periods were born. Because the uterus has something to prove. Because the uterus is independent, and doesn't need to be big to be important. Because the uterus GROWS BABIES. Do you see the heart doing that? Heck no. Do you ever happen upon a fertile stomach? Fat chance. Uteruses are where it's at- literally.
In other news, we also had a lockdown while in the cadaver lab, and stayed in there an additional, what, 30 minutes? It was crazy, man. I'm just glad we didn't have to turn out the lights, because eek. I'm also glad the zombie apocalypse didn't start right then, either. Aaaaawwwwkkwwaaaarrdddd...
But it was REALLY neat. I would totally go again, and if you aren't squeamish around those kind of things, and can handle the smell (I covered my nose the whole time, personally), DO IT. It's really eye-opening to see how the body fits together and works. So even if you aren't going into the medical field, it's a really, really wonderful experience. Bodies really are amazing, aren't they?