And just like that we are 4 weeks into our third semester. As always, I put off writing in exchange for catching up on sleep and doing nothing to let my brain reboot. The day after finals, I all but walked to a trashcan and dumped my brain from my head.
This is a fun semester. February is a busy month. We’re at the point in our program now that we’re feeling like we’ve made a solid dent in our education. We finally got to dig in to fresh new cadavers. We started with the back, pulling back the traps, lats, rhomboids and levator scapula, getting all the way down to the deep, deep muscles (the true back muscles).
We wasted no time and flipped the bodies over to excavate the chest. We uncovered the pec major and pec minor, then watched a bone saw cut a window in the chest so we could access the heart and lungs. Y’all, the aorta is huge. Seriously, it’s like a water hose. From there we flipped the bodies back over to access the gluteal region #hetouchedthebutt. As a frame of reference to anyone who has never had the experience of seeing the butt muscles in the flesh, put one finger on the bony part of your low back, right above your coin slot, the take your other hand and find the knobby/bony part of the outside of your thigh, then move just slightly below and behind it. Hand-to-hand, that is the expanse of your glute max.
Going even deeper, we found the sciatic nerve. It’s massive, about the width of your thumb. It runs all the way from the low back, splits above the knee into tibial and common fibular nerves, and continues down the leg, branching further at the ankle. Easy to compress, easy to irritate. I wish I had photos to show, but department rules forbid us from any form of photography.
Anatomy dissection aside, we’ve finallly gotten into the fun stuff…”party tricks,” as one of our professors calls them. The first semester of our 3-part ortho series is spine. By the start of week two we were doing manipulations. What happens often, due in large part to posture, is that the joints of the vertebral column often get a litty wonky or irriated, giving you that tight feeling in your back (this happens to everyone, it’s not anything special, just uncomfortable). Basically all we are doing is relieving the pressure on the joints. It also feels really good.
Funny thing about PT school. Really except for grades, at least in our class, anything becomes a competition in some form or fashion. We recently went through the standard fitness testing in our Cardiopulmonary class, and the second people hit the ground for push-ups the game begun. Even one of our professors couldn’t resist.
Outside of class we had the opportunity to give back a little. We all were able to help out for a morning at Special Olympics. As PT students we were placed in a room where we were conducting basic examination tests (awesome opportunity to dust off some cobwebs and get some practice) such as flexibility, strength, and balance. And omg, I have never seen a group of people so proud of their medals 🙂 For me, it was my first time helping out with Special Olympics. It looked like everyone was having a good time.
We have a huge conference in San Antonio coming up this week, the Combined Sections Meeting. It’s going to be an amazing networking opportunity, and our class is going to have an awesome turnout. PT’s from all around the country travel to learn and present at this conference each year, and we are incredibly fortunate to have it in our own backyard this time.
As always I’ll say that I will try to post more, but sleep will probably win out in the end when there’s ever time. Until then, share the love this week – tell your crush you like them, give someone a compliment, give your friends a hug, buy a stranger a cup of coffee, smile at someone.