29 September 2010

Night before working on the Dead

Femoral Artery

Linear Guide:
An imaginary line extending from the center of the inguinal ligament to the medial margin of the condyle of the femur.

Place of incision:
The parallel incision is made along the linear guide about one third the distance from the pubis symphysis to the anterior superior spine of the iliac crest, a few inches below the inguinal ligament.

Anatomical Guide:
The artery courses through the center of the femoral triangle. The artery is located medial to the sartorius muscle and lateral to the adductor longus muscle.

Ugh. This is my memorization for the evening, for my oral recitation of the Vascular Guide for the Femoral Artery. The guide(s) are supposed to help us locate where to make the incision and where to look for the artery so we can "raise" & ligate them. I should have memorized it this weekend. Nope. I totally forgot - it slipped my mind to study for Emb Lab :/ but at least I studied for the other exams. (This week: 4 down, 2 more to go).

Anyhow, thought I'd share what I've been so worried and why I complain about reciting these guides to my professor. I totally clam up. I can recite it to my friends, but once I'm there, in my full gear of PPE's (Personal Protective Equipment), working (hard!) on raising the week's assigned vessels and then to be pulled to the side to recite the guides.....AAAAHHHHHHHHH!!! I get so flustered and nervous!!! Terrible! And, this week is an "easier" week, since we only need to recite ONE guide; we normally to 2.

I'm tired. I'm hungry....no bueno. We'll see how I do manana- back on Position #1: Rt & Lft Common Carotid Artery. Hopefully I will be able to raise the Facial Artery as well :D

25 September 2010

2nd Semester Mort Sci: Strikes Back

*Be Advised* Star Wars references are littered throughout ;)
And Embalming is the topic, fyi.

Oh where, oh where do I even begin......

It was A Long Time Ago... since I've updated any info. I totally blame 1st semester finals, excitement for overcoming the 1st semester, moving, and my summer school days(8am-8pm; NEVER again, I say) for the lack of entries!

Let me bring you up to light speed....

...fast forward thru summer school (traumatizing, really. this is when living in the Norco area totally sucked- the 91 FWY. need i say more?) and here we are at the end of WEEK 5 of Fall 2010. Where did the time go by? 1st semester went by sooooooo slow. But now, I've really got to get working on fine tuning my non-existent time management skills because we are about to break the Millenium Falcon's Kessel Run of 12 Parsecs! (can't say i didn't warn you about the SW's references!)

So - 2nd Semester....
Embalming I (with Lab)
Restorative Art I (with Lab)
Embalming Anatomy & Pathology II
Management II (1st 9weeks)
Mortuary Law I (2nd 9weeks)
Thanatology II (2nd 9 weeks)
For a grand total of 18 units.

This is what I have been waiting for. Restorative Art & Embalming I.
I am being totally honest when I say that words escape me when describing how wonderous and amazed I am to be working on cases this semester. I thought we were going to arterial embalm cases this semester- don't really know why I was led to believe that- but in actuality we are *preparing the remains for the 3rd semester students, who will be doing the arterial injection & cavity embalming.

*Preparation includes: thorough disinfection, washing & bathing of the remains; "raising" & ligating the vessels for arterial injection, minor aspiration and setting the features.

["Raising" the vessels: making methodical & precise incisions according to linear and anatomical guides to locate, carefully bring up/raise & expose arteries through the incision; securing raised vessels with twine/string for easier access when the vessel is needed for injection.
Aspiration: removing fluid and gases from select regions of the body. For us 2nd semesterites, that would mean using the Nasal Aspirator to remove excess fluid & semi-solids from the nasal/mouth/throat cavities.
Setting or posing the features: restoring the facial features to represent a natural but NOT a "life-like" state.]

Oh, where we get our cases from. You cannot "donate" your body to the program like you can for medical use as a cadaver (and even then most of those programs are full - or so i've been told). We get our cases from L.A. county. They are people who have been I.D.'d but not claimed by family or friends or maybe they don't have either. The county does everything they can to locate all possible avenues to give any surviving kin their rights to grieve and bury their loved one. But if the next of kin is not found, the state disposes of the deceased remains by means of cremation and buries the cremated remains in a designated, marked grave. For example, for all the cases cremated this month, all the cremated remains will go into a grave and marked SEPTEMBER 2010. So, why not allow us Mortuary Science students work on these indigent cases and learn a thing or two?
And my goodness.....how much I've learned in the past few weeks in Lab have been great!
Such as: it all comes back down to food. almost everything has some sort of reference to food!!! It makes sense, really. How do you learn something that you have never done and how do you relate that something so you can have some sort of expectation? With food references, of course!

What else have I learned? To take a break.  I've decided to take ONE whole day out of the weekend to not look at anything school related (study-wise). I love school and I totally realize the importance of being focused and the sacrifices one makes for their career. It is totally worth it.

Okay. I think that is enough for now. If you want to know anything, just ask. Sometimes - most of the time actually - I forget that just because I'm interested in ALL the gorey details and I am immersed in this for most of my week/life, does not mean that YOU ALL are interested in it as much as I am. Surely, you are curious- you are reading this blog. But to the extent that I am? Perhaps not.