Category Archives: Dissection

Physiotherapy and my sore hip

The WPPC in Lower Grosvenor Place
The WPPC in Lower Grosvenor Place

Now that one of my grand-daughters is taking a degree in physiotherapy in 3 years I will have a personal physiotherapist but meanwhile my favourite physio works at the WPPC in Lower Grosvenor Place, Victoria.

After I broke my hip in San Sebastian and had an immediate full hip replacement, all was fine for 2 years and then something went wrong. Loads of treatment later including having it re-opened, injections in to the joint space and into the enthesis, acupuncture, massage, the lot – nothing helped and it still aches when I walk any distance and often when I get up or I am cooking. Luckily it does mean that I qualify for a Blue Disabled badge.  A session with my physiotherapist helps and occasionally, though not very often, I am pain free. She’s given me a programme of exercises and this time I am determined to do some every day. Might even lose some weight too.

I was surprised to discover that my grand-daughter was following the same anatomy course as the medical students and carrying out dissection. It makes sense,  since physiotherapists are very much concerned with the interplay between the muscles, nerves, blood vessels and bones and there’s nothing like dissecting them to understand their relationship.

Memoir extract from ‘Woman in a White Coat’
I was just 18 when I first dissected a human body. We’d had our first lecture on the anatomy of the thorax and now we were to start on its dissection. Continue reading Physiotherapy and my sore hip

Gray’s Anatomy revisited

Gray's Anatomy for Students 3rd edition
Gray’s Anatomy for Students 3rd edition

Hard to believe my grand-daughter is old enough to go to Uni. She is going to study physiotherapy and will be taking Anatomy with the medical students.

I started Anatomy when I was not quite 18 in 1949. We used a version of the original Gray’s Anatomy written by Henry Gray and illustrated by Henry Vandyke Carter. First published in 1859,  it was extremely heavy – even heavier that this students’ edition – with beautiful hand-coloured drawings. This version is bang up-to-date with illustrations of the value of knowing your anatomy with X-rays and MRI scans. You can see by the turned-up bottom right corner of the cover that I’ve been looking things up for my memoir.

Extract from my memoir Woman in a White Coat

I was not quite 18 when term began at St Margaret’s Dental School in October 1949. We’d had our first lecture on the anatomy of the thorax and we were about to start on the dissection of the human body.
Wearing our new white coats and clutching our rolls of dissecting instruments, we waited in the subdued light of the basement corridor, nervous and excited. The portholes of the locked double doors of the dissecting room were filled with opaque wired glass. As we tried to peep through the gap between them, a cadaverous man in a brown laboratory coat came out of an adjoining room.
‘I’m George, the technician in charge,’ he said. ‘If you want anything, you have to go through me. Remember: no smoking, no fooling around and show respect.’ Continue reading Gray’s Anatomy revisited