At least there was no zombie apocalypse…
I woke up at 6 AM on Friday morning like most kids wake up on Christmas. I had unnecessarily laid out my folded scrubs outside of my closet, because really what else can you do to prepare yourself for taking out a human brain? In my mind I kept repeating the line from Young Frankenstein, “Abby…something…normal,” and that Simpson’s Halloween special where Mr Burns steals Homer’s brain for his own copyright-infringed cyborg, plops it on top of his head and says “Look at me!!! I’m Davey Crockett!”
Prepping the cadavers when I got there was pretty routine: Roll out and unlock the gurneys, uncover Ken and Barbie, put blades on the scalpels, decide what music to listen to. Ken was laying on his back and we had to turn him over. Unexpectedly I hear a voice approaching the room. “Um…excuse me? I’m looking for…”
Oh crap it’s Sarah. Sarah is a fellow Chemistry TA who finds dissection of anything utterly repulsive. I’ve never seen her even walk though the Biology department.
“SARAH DON’T LOOK!” But it was too late. Sarah looked. I had forgotten to put up the hospital screens. Rhonda ran over to her (that’s who Sarah was looking for) and shut the door behind her. I only saw her long enough to see her face turn green.
Making incisions from the nape of the neck and going right behind the ears and across the temples to end of the eyebrows, we began scalping Ken. He has this really prominent bump on the lower back of his skull (which, in case you were wondering, is the Inion of your occipital bone where the ligamentum nuchae and trapezius muscle attach to). It was unusual in that instead of a bump it jutted out kind of like a shark’s tooth.
(That yellow region is the inion [source])
After peeling back the scalp we had to chisel off the pericranium, the periosteum enveloping the skull.
There I was ready to take an electric bone saw to Ken’s head (holy crap, it IS kind of like how Mr Burns did it!) When the big boss lady (my former physiology and current research professor) comes in and says I need to come in and watch a presentation (which was a few doors down). I can’t say no.
When it was over I ran back eager to get to the fun stuff and there’s Ken wrapped in a sheet again.
“Sorry…you just missed it.”
(“Sorry Billy…you missed Christmas.”)
I looked like someone told 6 year old me that my kitty just died, which is funny I guess because there were dead preserved cats back there. No it isn’t.
I was devastated.
I stumbled back to the research room and sat with my group.
“What are you doing back? I thought you were still dissecting.”
“I…I…missed it.” Oh fuck I’m about to cry aren’t I.
And I ran out of the room like a middle school girl dumped right before the dance to go cry it out in the bathroom like an idiot. I know it may be hard to understand, but this meant SO much to me. I had been looking forward to this all year. I worked so hard to get to this moment right here and-
Oh crap my professors coming, act like nothings wrong.
“So what proposals have you guys come up with?”
She pats me on the shoulders without missing a beat and says “There’ll be other brains.”
(“Don’t worry Billy, Christmas will come next year.”)
29 Notes/ Hide
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- noisychaos said: Wow, Noura, I’m so sad you had to miss the extraction! The one bright side is that it makes for a pretty good story, the way you tell it.
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- samaralex said: That suuuuuucks. I’m sorry dude.
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- nympheline said: i’m so sorry. i can’t even imagine how i’d react if something i’d so looked forward to, prepared for, waited for, was simply snatched away by circumstance. i hope something else makes up for it soon, but even if it does… poor you! ::hug::
- sirtoki said: It’s not hard to understand; although, I’ve never done a dissection, I’ve always been eager to do one or watch one, so I can seriously understand how disheartening and sad it is to miss it
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