Channeling my Anatomy Class Cadaver

This is a poignant interview with my cadaver, fondly named Lucy, from my medical school anatomy class. Here’s the backstory: My fellow med school students and I were waiting outside the massive double doors leading into the anatomy lab, which contained dozens of vats that housed our cadavers. I was so nervous about the possibility to fainting and therefore embarrassing myself. What would my fellow peers and the anatomy professor think? “Jesus, and YOU think you have the stomach it takes to become a doctor?”

This fear is rooted in an experience I had when I was 13 years old. My father wanted to groom me as a future physician and had me come with him to watch several of his surgeries. I was pretty short, so I had to stand on a stool by the operating room table directly over where the incision was to be made.

I think the first was a gall bladder surgery or cholecystectomy. Classical music was playing through the speakers, and my father and his assistants were singing some operatic tune. I was in full mask, gown and gloves and the mask felt oppressive. So, my dad made the incision and when he started lifting the patient’s intestines out of the abdominal cavity, everything turned black.

I woke up to the faces of  masked people, clearly amused, and they propped me back up on the stool. Second surgery, same thing. Out like a light. Third and final surgery, I felt the tunnel vision slowly creeping in. So instead of waiting to pass out, I got off the stool and stumbled towards the doors. By the time I got to the exit, my vision went black. SMACK, I careened into the post between the double doors and woke up on a stretcher in the hallway. 

So, the last thing I wanted to do was faint in this same way in front of my med school class. I clenched my fists as they were opening to doors to let us into the lab and, as if believing this would keep me upright, I locked my knees as tightly as I could. We filed in and the professor pointed to our assigned cadavers.

When I saw mine, my fear of fainting vanished. She was so small and sweet looking. I felt sad for her but also honored that she donated her body to science. Such a selfless act. Tears welled up in my eyes, but since my three lab partners were too busy gawking at her remains, they didn’t notice. Since then, I always lamented not being able to have met her and thank her for her sacrifice. But now, I had that chance and took it. 

But first, a couple of things: I plan to do Facebook Live sessions several times a week (at least that’s my evil plan) as well as more postings on Instagram, so please put your notifications button to on for Facebook and be sure to follow me on Instagram (channeling_erik) , follow me on Twitter (@channelingerik) and while you’re at it, please click the Like button on the Channeling Erik Facebook Page.

Also, if you missed our radio show last Tuesday, please take the time to listen to it. It was perhaps the most powerful one we’ve had, thanks to Veronica Drake, her cohort in crime, Erik, and the profound questions from listeners. 

And now, let me introduce the lovely “Lucy” expertly channeled by our own, Raylene Nuañes. Check Raylene’s site out HERE.

Be sure to share this post and the YouTube within it! I wish you were all at the Tammy De Mirza event which has just begun. I eventually would love to meet each and every one of you and give you a big Mama Elisa hug. Thanks and have an awesome weekend. You all deserve it!


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Elisa Medhus

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