Wednesday, March 2, 2011


i really like medical-based classes.  i've taken biology, anatomy, physiology, neuro, and currently, dysphagia.
learning about the body and how the body works and why certain things are the way they are astonish me. there's so much crazy stuff about how we work.

just learning about different systems, different organs, and different ways the body #1. protects us and #2. creates optimum conditions for survival is crazy.

in neuro, we learned about all the parts of the brain and how little we actually know... we don't know why tylanol works, we don't know why some people get dementia, we don't always know how the brain recovers or makes new systems of organization; it's crazy cool.

currently in dysphagia (swallowing disorders), we're learning about the neuro control of swallowing.  it's super hard and i should be studying for my exam tonight, but everything about swallowing is sweet.

so much happens to swallow and you almost never have to think about taking a drink or eating.

you chew your food in a way that it forms a ball, you have to push the food over the back of your tongue, then your body takes over.  everything widens, shortens, opens, things come down to protect your airway, and before you know it, your food's in your stomach and you're already on the next bite.  you didn't choke, you didn't have liquid go straight to your lungs... you didn't even think about it.

here's the crazy thing.  we have this thing called the central pattern generator (it's crazy... google doesn't even have decent info on it).  it controls things we do in patterns- breathing, eating, walking... how often do you think about breathing?
you can even do a lot of that in a coma.  you need almost zero neural support.  (to change it you do, so swallowing differently with liquid and food is different, but the physical act of swallowing, you can do in a coma)

basically, while studying is not the most fun thing in the world, and i'm only slightly procrastinating by writing this post, i'm amazed by how cool our bodies are.  basically, God made us in so many crazy, intricate ways.  people study their entire lives to figure out our bodies, and we just can't.  there will always be parts we don't know how they work, or why they work.  it's so cool that our bodies are set up exactly to do what we need to support life, and most of it, we don't even have to think about or try to control- it all just works how it needs to.

if only that was enough to pass my test... back to studying cranial nerves, areas of the brain, and nuclei i can't even pronounce :)

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