Layer by layer we retract (Draw back, while keeping one aspect attached) the muscles of the torso to reveal the internal organs. At the abdomen we have to be careful with the opening soas not to puncture the bladder or rectum. The organs of elimination are soft and fluid. We have to glide the masses off to the side to search for the organs beneath When we began the initial dissection on Day 2 our cadaver (Eve) had a scar on her abdomen an we discovered that her uterus had been removed. We had to go to another model to see the organ. The uterus is so much smaller than int appears in textbooks. It is simply amazing that this small organ hosts the development of a future human. It is so small I chuckled to myself thinking this little thing is what all the fuss is about. The magic and chaos of femininity packaged in a few inches.
To get into the chest we have to cut through the ribs while keeping the lower border intact so we do not disturb the diaphragm. The lungs and heart are beyond amazing. I notice a few tears welling at the tables surrounding me. We pull the lungs laterally and make an incision in the pericardial sac to access the heart. I slide my hands around the organ and hod it in my hands. Eve is so small and her organs are like miniature versions of everything. The heart rests in my palms with very little weight and I too feel the beauty of the world spread from my fingers to every fiber of my being. I look to the side and notice the frenetic nerve running down to the diaphragm. Returning the heart to its container I move to the other tables for some comparative study.
During the rest of the day we are working on differentiating some of the muscles of the thigh, leg and foot. This is particularly interesting in Eve as she has become so atrophied and her muscles so thin that they often look more like membranes than muscles. I keep having to go to another table to compare to make sure I am looking at what I thought should've been obvious structures. The lines blur and attachments are masses of bound fibers. Eve clearly had been non mobile for the later part of her life and the adhesions in her body are everywhere.
Some muscles have completely fused to work together and you can see how the body took shape to use what it needed. The Every part of the body supporting and compensating for the parts that were in struggle.
I think of the world around us and how if we could recognize that we are all apart of the same body we could be more like Eve. Merge the boundaries and deepen the attachments to make sure we all had what we needed to survive.