If you have never been in a timed practical laboratory exam, let me tell you, it is a nerve wracking experience. But exhilarating. Well, at least to freaks like me who get off on test adrenaline.
I spent most of last semester hating anatomy, but ended up loving it. I am happy that we ended with neuroanatomy. It was really fascinating. It helped that we had a great professor. She handed out the best notes and present the best powerpoints of any professor we have had. She made references to the movie Young Frankenstein (Abby Normal, anyone?) and had Alfred E. Neuman (from Mad magazine) in our notes.
She is also funny, raunchy and lewd. See the picture? (If it’s too small, you can click on it.) She always referred to those little round things at the base of the brain, the mammillary bodies, as the “tits” of the brain. When I was at a neuroanatomy review, one of the tutors asked if anyone knew what disease primarily affects the mammillary bodies, I blurted out “breast cancer.” It’s hard to get a laugh with cancer, but in medical school, no disease is sacred.
Neuroanatomy also encompasses some really fascinating syndromes. I now understand a lot more about my father’s stroke. I am pretty sure that I know where it occurred in the brain. He had a strange manifestation of his brain loss called hemineglect. He would only put his robe on half of his body. He would walk into doorways, hitting the door jamb with his apparently nonexistant other half. It didn’t just apply to his body. He was so angry when he was recovering in the hospital because someone had messed with all of the clocks, only putting the numbers on one side. Who would do that to sick people? He would ignore people on the left side of a room. He was a retired engineer who studied at MIT.
Anyway, the last test is over. last time huffing the formaldehyde fumes, unless I tutor next year. We’ll see!