Anatomy Day One
2 hours of suspending three out of five senses to the best of my ability,
Watching and listening, as though observing myself from afar.
2 hours of suspending the ability or desire to analyze or feel,
Cutting, pulling, removing; fleshy machine meeting fleshy machine.
2 hours of suspending the temptation to unravel or invent a lifetime of stories,
Or overlaying stories of my own to this life.
A story did manage to creep its way in, though.
The story of my mother getting the tumors removed from her neck.
The procedure was more complicated than expected,
Due to a lack of clarity provided by the fancy imaging device.
Where the machine failed, direct observation triumphed.
The case was unique enough to merit use as a teaching tool.
This made her very proud, that she was able to give back.
I imagined that this “former” person now before me felt the same,
Before they died.
When they were a person.
That desire and delight to give back.
Teaching in ways that the device can’t…
the books can’t…
the lectures can’t…
and the words can’t.
Allowing future doctors to be trained in order that they may save future lives.
A living legacy by touching the eyes and ears and nose and skin and mind of the five individuals huddled with me around this “former” person.
A gift of the greatest order.
A gift for which personal acknowledgement is never received.
Nor could it be.
As it would need to come from the hundreds, the thousands of patients
who will be benefitted as our eyes and ears and nose and skin and mind touch them in return.
From them, I presumptuously offer thanks to the person that was, the body that is.
From me, I humbly offer my deepest gratitude.
The respect I have for the charity you have bestowed will provide me the courage to pull the covers off in the morning and get back in that room.
Unwrap this gift another time
And learn what must be learned
In order to honor what was given.
Day one, Anatomy Lab.