Story Corner|| My First Time Seeing A Cadaver

Welcome back to my blog 🙋 🙋

I’m in my very comfortable room thinking about how I’m so not missing school and i remembered when I newly started medical courses and practicals. So my first year in medical school was basically O level courses and they were quite easy.

From second year, we were bombarded immediately with medical courses. There was no ease into the new courses and it was overwhelming at first but I scaled through.

So I had heard very thrilling stories about cadavers from so many people(I heard that someone even dropped out of medical school because of the sight of the cadaver) and I was very anxious prior to the day. One of my roommates then was an anatomy final year student so she had gone through the same thing and she could relate with my worries and anxiousness.

One of the things I had heard about seeing a cadaver for the first time was not to eat that morning so that in case you have the urge to throw up the food won’t facilitate the urge (I don’t even know how true this is) but on the set day of the practical, I woke up with a mild fever and I had to eat in order to take some medicine for the fever and I was already panicking with the thought that I would have to eat. I was already panicking about not eating because if you know me, you’ll know I never miss my breakfast for anything, especially when I’m in school. I’ll rather go late to class than not eat but since it was supposed to be necessary not to eat, I had made peace with the fact that I was going to miss breakfast.

So I told my roommate the problem I had and she suggested I just stay back in the room because of the smell of formalin used to preserve the bodies which might affect me. Long story short, I ate indomie that morning and I took the drugs then went for the practical. It turned out that we had an anatomy class before the practical so the food I ate was already digested and I was sort of hungry before the practical started.

It was finally time for the practical and when we entered the dissecting room and the cadavers were uncovered. I was very dissapointed with what I saw. The cadavers were very dryyy. It was like seeing skeleton with skin on it. And the bodies we were given were already dissected by other students so we didn’t get the thrill of seeing actual or rather fresh cadavers for the first time. We were divided into groups and we were meant to dissect the breast first but my group was given a male cadaver so we had to join another group that had a female cadaver and it was very stressful to see what was going on because we ended up being so much in one group.

I ended up not throwing up because it wasn’t even an irritating sight per say(I was already planning on having a dramatic story to tell my children😂😂) but the smell of the formalin was what I had problems with. My eyes sting and tear up when they’re exposed to the formalin smell and sometimes it comes with catarrh and I also find it difficult to sleep after I’ve inhaled formalin for a while; the practical period is usually for 3 hours and it’s a very looong 3 hours for me because of all these adverse effects of the formalin but we move. I’ve somehow gotten used to the smell but it’s still not bearable for me.

With time though, we got to use fresh cadavers and they were better for dissecting and they looked much more presentable.

There was a faithful day when we had anatomy practical for 5 hours and it wasn’t funny. I had never valued fresh air the way I valued it that day because I felt suffocated when we were done.

I don’t think I have any dramatic story I’ll tell my children but we’ll have to make do with this one.

Did you enjoy my little story?

Have you ever seen or wondered what it’s like to see a dead body?

Thanks for reading.

Stay safe ☺️

22 thoughts on “Story Corner|| My First Time Seeing A Cadaver

  1. I have seen a dead body before and I was this close working with medical students concerning the body. I’m a biochemist tho and I snuck into their class😂😂, but I have no interest in medicine anymore


  2. 😂, the beginning was kinda dramatic. I thought you were going to throw up or something but it’s kinda cool you weren’t impressed😂. Were any of your coursemates scared by the dry cadaver?
    I’d love to see one but the way my friends in the medical department described them, it made me so anxious before but not anymore, after reading your post.


    • Hey Ada! I just saw this comment in my spam section now. I read your post about spam comments and I said I’ll check mine but never got around to do it. I’m just checking it now and thank God I don’t have older ones.

      Looking back, I was pretty dramatic😂😂 we all wanted a story to tell but I don’t think anybody was scared that day. We don’t even have any dramatic story to tell from our coursemates too.

      Yeah, it’s not so scary.


  3. I can’t make this up! I thought Cadaver was a fruit until I read more and checked my dictionary. 😂😂😂

    I think the first time I saw a dead body, it was still fresh and it looked like the man was sleeping, no dryness, no smells. More grace to your elbow on this medicine journey.

    I’d like to see more medical posts from you Wendy! 😏😏😏

    Liked by 1 person

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