Note: do not read this whilst eating, thinking about eating, or just having eaten.
This was, by far, the most disgusting week of medical school, and Monday may just be the most disgusting day of my life. I’m not ready to proclaim this until I’ve been through the hell that is residency, but it’s gotta be top 5 at least.
Monday we started off with our intestinal tapeworms and nematodes (roundworms/helminths) GI lecture. This included whipworm, which causes, OHMYFREAKINGGOD, rectal prolapse (don’t click that!). We also learned about all the other fun ones, including ascaris (I wouldn’t click that one either), which can lay 200,000 eggs every day inside your stomach.
So that’s always a pleasant talk, I’m sure. Next, since I’m an anatomy TA, and we’re starting the pelvis, we have to pre-dissect the bodies for the students. This involves separating the abdomen from the pelvis and legs, and then hemi-section–separating each egg, by cutting down the middle. Along with vessels and nerves and muscles, you have to tie off the large intestine and cut it, so you can separate the top from the bottom. When you die, unfortunately your poop doesn’t magically disappear. It says right in the body. And, say, if you’ve never done this whole “hemi-secting” thing before, and you and your friend are sawing through a hip bone, you might just accidentally saw through a bit of bowel.
Yes, Monday not only did I see prolapsed rectums, but I got to clean a ton of shit out of a dead person’s rectum. This was, by far, the most traumatizing thing in medical school. We hit the bowel in two places, so we had to basically remove all the feces from the body and throw it away. No, they do not pay us enough.
And then, to wrap things up, for our GI test on Monday, I was studying Hirschsprung’s disease. This keeps you from pooping, because some of your nerve cells don’t make it down all the way to the end of your intestines, so feces can build up. I also learned, according to a review book, that the poop can build up so much… that you poop out your mouth. There’s a South Park episode where this happens, but it’s just that much grosser that it actually does.
And yes, I’m paying $50,000 a year for this wonderful life.