Sunday, February 27, 2011

Brain Changes

I've written before about how medical school changes your thought process. I've noticed lately that those rapid associations which we are supposed to make have started to infiltrate my thoughts more and more reflexively. And of course at the strangest times.

Last night while relaxing with a gin and tonic, in the company of my friend Emma and her daughter Rosie, I was talking about how a burned-milk-during-rice-pudding smell had instantly reminded me of cooking marshmallows. That association planted me back in my 7 year old self at summer camp and the wonder of staring into a fire while telling ghost stories. Emma remarked on the power of smells and memory associations, then laughed as she added "amygdala" and I, "hippocampus". We shook our heads and took a healthy slug of gin.  It all happened so fast. This strange wiring.

I absolutely love the escape of admiring photojournalism and portrait photography, but even that hobby has been terrorized by the medical mindset lately. Admiring the NY Times Pictures of the Year I came across this one below.

Before I could react to the gore (in all senses of the word), the disturbing nature of the image, and the brilliant composition and colors, I was mentally ticking through the blood supply and nerves in the submental region. I was thinking about how an airway could be secured, and wondering about the patient's prognosis. Then I went "oh GOD! LOOK at THAT AMAZING PHOTO!"

Warped I tell you, warped.


Cartoon Characters said...

...he definitely will need a tetanus shot.

whoa. ick.

Albinoblackbear said...

ACK! Of course, I didn't even *think* of tetanus! =)

Grumpy, M.D. said...

My dog was lying next to me in bed the other night. I absently ran a hand over his lower spine and the thought "it would be easy to do an LP on him at this level" suddenly jumped into my mind.

OMDG said...

Tell me, did the horn pierce the matador's head? I hope so.

Anonymous said...

"About how long have you had that hold in your cranium for? Does it radiate anywhere else?"

Absentbabinski said...

You must be further along than me, 'cause my first thought was just "Does any know the bleep for Max-Fax?" and then "I think we might more than just soluable paracetamol for this one".

Albinoblackbear said...

Grump: I always do that concerning IV's and Tobie's hand. It completely creeps him out as he can tell when I am absentmindedly palpating his veins.

OMDG--No. He was back in the ring 2 weeks later. The article said that he'd killed over 200 bulls in his career. Surprised his karma hadn't caught up to him sooner.

IANH--hahah "Is there anything you do that makes the pain better or worse?"

AB--Hah! Two UK/Irishisms that I wouldn't have appreciated until living here: bleeps (we call them 'pagers' though I like the subtle onomatopoeia on this side of the Atlantic) and soluble paracetamol (have never seen it in Canada, a wonder!)