Open Letter to the Mediastinum

Today’s challenge includes a book, page 29 of said book, and writing about the first thing that pops to you. And if you’d like, write a letter. Looks like I get to write another Open Letter! Woot. So, the first book I grabbed was Grant’s Atlas because I have to read/research stuff for my anatomy lab tomorrow. Lo and behold, the mediastinum popped up on page 29, and it just so happens that’s my assigned region for lab tomorrow (all by myself in three hours! I need a miracle).

Dear Mediastinum,

I know you have lots of important things within you. Like the heart, the pericardium that surrounds the heart, the esophagus, the trachea, a bunch of nerves and such, plus blood vessels. But you’re so confusing. The geniuses that decided to name EVERY LITTLE PART OF YOU is slowly killing me. Like what are these sinuses and angles and whatever. Why make it complicated? Why not just forget those weird things and stick to actual structures with weird names and spellings.

Like Vagus. When people hear vagus, they think Las Vegas and think of awesomely drunk times and parties and gambling or whatever people do over there. Because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? Not this Vagus. It’s all about wandering around the entire body and being all parasympathetic to the all the internal organs and help regulate them and whatnot. Maybe it is like Vegas after all. It’s promiscuous and hides behind lung roots and gets around to literally everything.

Let’s not forget about the originally named Thoracic Duct of the lymphatic system. This all important lymph vessel that drains 75% of the body apparently is also really easy to rip and it’s supposed to look like a vein without blood. So, um, does that mean it’s ridiculously hard to find? Because I haven’t seen you before and I really am not looking forward to finding you only to accidentally break you and ruin everything. I will try to be gentle, so please don’t break on me.

Also, these Splanchnic (which is kind of a fun name to say, until you say it three times fast and have to spell it correctly) nerves sound like a pain because they form another confusing plexus that I’m still not quite sure I understand. There are three of you: greater, lesser and least. I’m only supposed to locate greater, but it sounds like you like to hide in the back and be all mysterious and creepy. Plus you guys hang out with the Sympathetic trunk, which is also my enemy. Do I really want to expose you?

Actually, yes. I do. Just so you can stop hiding and being a wuss. I will conquer you.

At least the trachea and the esophagus are relatively easy, although the esophagus likes to play hide and seek behind the trachea. But you guys aren’t complicated. You give me the break that I need.

I won’t even get into the heart. You’re way too complicated for this letter. And for my brain right now. You’re important, yes, I get that, but all the confusing blood vessels and structures? Yeah, no. Okay, I lied, you’re not that confusing. You’re just complicated. You can chill inside your cool little fibrous pericardial sac, surrounded by your closest and squishiest friends called the lungs. But I’m not quite sure how much the diaphragm appreciates you slouching on top of it. What, you’re too cool to sit up properly? Psh. Or is it the great-blood-vessel-mohawk hairdo that’s doing it? Maybe complicated isn’t the right word — drama queen is.

Oh, Mediastinum. How important and confusing and complicated you are. I guess if you were that easy, I wouldn’t be interested. But it would definitely make my life so much easier. Please go easy on me tomorrow when I take you apart. You probably won’t like it, but I do want an A in Gross Anatomy and I do have to teach about you when I’m done. So, please, just be kind to me and in return, I’ll take good care of you. Promise.

Forever struggling to figure you out,

The Anatomy Nerd

[I know I’ve skipped the last couple days — I’ll get to that this weekend. It’s been kind of a crazy week.]


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