I didn’t realize how attached I was becoming to my cadaver until today. We had a long dissection of the upper limb scheduled for today, and I was eager to start cutting. I was the first person in the cadaver lab today. I opened up the bag to start getting our cadaver ready, and the first thing I saw was mold. Dozens…no, hundreds…of green and white spores. The rest of my group members and I just stared blankly at the sad state of our beloved cadaver. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I was really disgusted. Now, you might think that cadavers are fairly disgusting in and of themselves, which is a fair point, but there was something about seeing our cadaver covered in mold that was really disturbing.
I think in some ways, my group members and I are fairly protective of our cadaver. He is ours. Not somebody else’s, but ours. We are the ones who cut him open. We’re the ones who named him. Walter (our cadaver) donated his body to us. At first I think we felt somewhat responsible. As soon as news spread of our cadaver’s misfortune, other students started to come to get a glimpse. Usually students flock to our cadaver to admire his huge muscles or prominent veins, so it was kind of disappointing to have the cadaver that nobody wants. “What did you guys do!?” they would all say. Our professors assured us that this is “just something that happens sometimes,” and that it wasn’t our doing. Sure it happens…but not to OUR cadaver. Not to Walter.
After we realized that it wasn’t our fault and we didn’t have to feel guilty, I really just felt mad. I kept thinking, Walter didn’t donate his body to end up like this. It’s funny how it isn’t strange at all for us to skin him, cut out his muscles, or chop off his limbs, but somehow mold was just too much.
In the end, we were able to clean the old man off. He got a bleach and peroxide bath, a new bag, and a new set of cloths. In my opinion, he looks even better than before. We proceeded with our dissection, and by the end of the lab we had our usual crowd of admirers hoping to catch a glimpse of Walter’s ginormous cephalic vein and pectoralis muscles. It’s amazing how much we’ve bonded with Walter in such a short time. He is very much our cadaver, and we wouldn’t want it any other way…even if he is a little moldy.