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 AtlasĀ 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.]


TMI: Open Letter to My Uterus

Dear Uterus,

Why do you hate me so? You’ve never hated me this badly before. I could handle the occasional migraine (with extra strength drugs), the back pain, the swollen and sensitive boobs, the mild cramps, and the hunger cravings. No problem. Now you’re waging an entire internal war against me and I’m suffering horribly. I can’t focus on school as well, I’m exhausted and my heating pad is getting a workout. Is it because you don’t have a baby inside you that you’re punishing me? If so, that’s not fair. I’m not even close to ready for that right now. I’m too busy with grad school and even then, I’m too busy for that.

Or is it because I’ve learned more about you with all the cycles: ovarian, uterine and menstrual that you’re hating on me. It’s not my fault, I had to learn it for Embryology. Or maybe it’s because now I know exactly what you are doing to me that it’s intensified. I liked being slightly ignorant.

I also liked it when your little temper tantrums behaved better. If I could send you to the corner and put you on time out, I would. In fact, that’s what I’m commanding you to do. Calm down so I can do my effing Embryology and Med Term homework. I’m woefully behind and unprepared for tomorrow. So please, in the name of reproductive glory, please stop hating on me and calm down.

With no love at the moment,

The Anatomy Nerd

Open Letter to Teachers

Dear Past and Present Teachers of Mine,

I would not be anywhere, much less in grad school, without you. Many of you helped me and pushed me and challenged me when I needed it.

In elementary school, I had many loving and caring teachers that were always so kind and patient. Other than learning a lot from you, with drilling the multiplication tables into my brain or teaching me how to write the dreaded cursive or do long division, what I appreciated the most was how accepting you all were. You let me stay after school and help out with menial projects and get some free labor in cleaning up the classroom. I actually enjoyed that as a kid because hanging out by yourself until 6pm every day waiting for my parents to come pick me up wasn’t fun. It was lonely, it was boring and sometimes it was really cold outside. So, to all of you who let me stay warm and busy in your classrooms after school even for just an hour, thank you. You probably saved my life.

In high school, some of you let me stay afterwards too. You let me bug you about random crap, or just let me stay in and do homework. You let me argue about grades sometimes. You kept me away from what we students affectionately called The Cage aka after school care. (We were literally locked into the lunch pavilion with someone watching us. We couldn’t leave unless going to the bathroom or our parents were coming to get us. It was ridiculous, were were in high school!) Of course once I got my license, I didn’t stay after school anymore, but I did appreciate it for the first two years.

In college, it was different. I never saw any of you during your office hours really. But I did learn a lot. My grades didn’t show it, but I did. Mt. SAC was where I rebounded, motivated to get As to get into grad school. To those that taught me there, a great big thank you. You pushed me, you challenged me, you wrote freaking letters of rec for me. Even when I didn’t believe in myself, you did. You all did. You all saw the potential in me and made me realize it too. You all let me be myself, freely express myself, my passion, my frustration. So thank you to all the teachers who have shaped my education and shaped who I’ve become today. You were the ones that had one of the biggest hands in getting me this far, and I will do my absolute best to make you all proud of me.

I just wish there was more I could do for you. I wish I could increase all your paychecks to be as high as doctors. You guys lay the foundation for us and invest in our future. You’re the ones that toil and labor all night to grade our papers/exams/homework as we students do over our assignments (or at least you’re led to believe we do this anyway. :P) You answer all our questions to the best of your ability whether that’s in person or over email. Many of you have creative ways to teach new concepts to us lowly students who know nothing and we remember them for being crazy and fond memories. Most of you freely admit when you’re wrong, and that I truly do admire.

I wish I had more than this letter that you’ll never see to express how much you’ve done for me. How much you’re doing for every student that walks through your door. I’ve seen you get frustrated, but I’ve also seen you exercise a great deal of patience when dealing with unruly students or downright rude ones. And deal with my annoying tendencies to bug people with everything or my sarcastic responses. It takes special people to become teachers, to do what you guys do day in and day out. To deal with kids all the time, every single day. And to do this while dealing with your own struggles in life — simply incredible. To me, that is heroic. I hope all your future students see what you’ve done for them and thank you one day. I haven’t given you enough gratitude or credit during my time as your student, but maybe by completing this program I can show you.


With all the gratitude in the world,

The Anatomy Nerd

The Open Letters

I’ve been reading about suggestions on posts and how to blog stuff on WordPress for some ideas and whatnot. I’ve actually found quite a few good tidbits here and there. One of them are Open Letters. I’ve done them before back when I was on LiveJournal (LJ) and it was a fun exercise. I always enjoy reading these open letters to random objects/things/people mostly because they’re entertaining. They can be quite raw and open as well, but most of the ones I’ve seen are pretty humorous. (The anatomy nerd in me almost spelled that ‘humerus’ aka the upper arm bone in layman’s terms.) So, I’ve decided that I’m going to start my own Open Letter campaign. I’ll start with trying to do it weekly, maybe on weekends or something. I don’t want to put it into stone because life aka school gets in the way of everything fun. But I’ll aim for weekly Open Letters, something like Jimmy Fallon’s Thank You Notes on Friday nights. That sound fair? It may range from humorous to ranting to serious, but most likely more of the first two.

I’m really excited to do this, so I hope you decide to stick around for the ride. I’m going to get started right away, on a separate post. I feel like these letters should stand alone.

(Now I’m also thinking about starting a story written exclusively as Open Letters or starting a different blog of just Open Letters, or maybe I should just rename this blog as the Open Letters haha)