My first cadaver lab was over nine years ago. Some people get broken in with one or two bodies. Me, I had a roomful of bodies, all of them over a week old. I had to walk through the lab area to get to the locker room, and, just as I stepped into the lab, the techs were rolling them out of body bags and on to the tables. I saw faces and open blank eyes. And I moved as fast as I could (without running) to get out of there.
As soon as I reached the women's locker room, I curled up on a bench and started rocking back and forth, saying, "I can't do this." And after a few minutes of having a mini breakdown and pity party, I reminded myself that I chose this career and, if I couldn't suck it up, I had to get out.
I sucked it up. As a newbie, I had the pleasure of having to remove all of the implants that the training surgeon had put in during his demonstration. And when the cadaver I was working on that day lost her arm because, well, a week of being studied meant the body couldn't handle being manipulated, I just kept going without blinking.
I took a really, really long shower afterwards.
It's been almost ten years of labs and visiting tissue banks. I've seen things that bench-rocking me would never have wanted to see. I've learned so much, and I hope that some of my work that came from these educational (and validation) labs has made a difference in people's lives. I've also learned that I can handle a lot more than younger me thought I could. I had really underestimated myself.
|Oh, hai, night blooming waterlily! So pretty and unexpected!|
This is one of my stories of unexpected strength. Do any of you want to share yours? I'd love to read them!