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All I Ever Needed

So, I was pondering my way of dealing with the news of the death of someone I knew. I think I have a skewed view of death, because of being a physician. I mean, I learned a lot about diagnosis and treatment of disease in medical school, but I also learned how to give people really bad news without bursting into tears. My advisor back then told me that it is unfair to emotionally unload on a patient. We doctors do mourn our patients, we just do it on our own time. (It's all about repression, baby.) So, when I hear about a death, or tragedy, there is this delayed reaction. I always think, I'll deal with this later. And I do. It's weird.

Anyway, I learned a bunch of other things in medical school, that weren't nearly so depressing. And there is no reason why I shouldn't share. I mean, now you don't have to bother shelling out $80,000 to learn this stuff. It is all here for free. I present to you:
All I ever needed to know, I learned in Medical School:

1. Nudity is not all it is cracked up to be.

2. There is nothing more slippery than a newborn baby.

3. There is nothing more disturbing than a giant plastic garbage can labeled “Heads”.

4. Death isn't scary, but suffering is.

5. Kids will put anything up their noses.

6. CPR is hard work. Also, if you are already in the hospital when you need it, it probably won't save you.

7. Motorcycle riders don't look nearly as cool when they are bloated to twice their normal size in an intensive care unit.

8. People's insides are squishy.

9. All bleeding stops eventually. (Yikes.)

10.  You should always tie off a newborn baby's umbilical cord in two places before you cut it.

11.  Eyeballs don't bounce if you drop them on the floor.

12. Although "Death hath a thousand doors to let out life", it is remarkably difficult to kill someone, even if it is yourself.

13. Men between 16 and 25 have the least tolerance for pain.

14. Despite what men say, they all pretty much look alike in the private parts department.

15. Drugs really do ruin people's lives.

16. Dead people don't look like they do in the movies. And if you are looking right into their eyes when they die, it totally freaks you out.

17. Despite what you see on hospital TV shows, medical interns are too tired to have sex.

18. A terrifyingly large number of people have venereal diseases.

19. People can't remember more than three things you tell them in any one sitting. Also, if you use the word cancer, they stop listening altogether.

20. People usually won't do exactly what you tell them to do, even if it is reasonable, scientifically valid, and will save their lives.

21. I bet you only will remember the first three things on this list. Also, you stopped paying attention since I typed the word cancer.

There you go. Now you know why people in the health professions act like we do. You try acting like everyone else after you've had your arm inside a garbage can filled with body parts. Or freakier yet, had your hand inside another person's parts, a person you just met five minutes ago.

Now, begin repressing.

-Linnea AKA Elnea 
July 13, 2005