Inside Out

Is everyone's rectum this red?

Is everyone's rectum this red?

Pictured to the left is a particularly vivid visual from a fascinating lecture we had yesterday on the ischio-anal fossa. The puborectalis is a part of the levator ani muscle – innervated by the by the perineal branches of S3 & S4, it forms a sling around the anorectal junction and keeps it closed so that the contents of the rectum don’t fall out (as they would if it were in a straight orientation). It relaxes during defecation, allowing the anorectal junction to straighten so that movement and expulsion of feces can occur. It also provides support to the bladder. Paralysis of this little sling could cause all sorts of problems, including rectal prolapse. Yikes! Although, it kind of reminds me of I.R. Baboon…

You don't need pants for the victory dance...

You don't need pants for the victory dance...

It’s week 11 of the semester and from the dearth of updates, one would assume that I’ve been toiling away, working to redeem my grades and preparing for the shelf exams. I suppose that’s about 65% correct – I have been studying but I haven’t really been working as hard as I should be. Even without all the distractions I’d have back home, it’s pretty easy to lose focus here. Since the end is near, I’m trying to get back on track. We’ve begun some interesting topics – the renal system in physiology, the posterior abdomen and pelvis in anatomy and histology and fun topics like sleep, headaches and the limbic system in neuroscience. Our Semester 2 DPS practical, the one project I’ve been diligent about, is due this Monday. I think I may have gone a little overboard creating the imaginary patient for the report. She’s got thyrotoxicosis (as a result of Graves’ Disease). She’s also got a husband (at 24!), two degrees in culinary arts and a job tending bar at the fictional Cucumber restaurant, a transparent parody of this place. Actually, the report is pretty standard with a nice thorough history of present illness (HPI), complete review of systems (ROS) and all the other medical information required for full marks but I couldn’t resist spicing it up with some interesting tidbits (I hope the graders appreciate the effort). I’m having too much fun writing about patients when I should be 一生懸命* studying. We’ve got a physiology quiz tomorrow, 3 practicals at the end of week 13 and the our first shelf exam on December 9th. Maybe I’ll start penning the Ross Chronicles on the plane ride home after the Fortnight of Hell (when my eyes stop bleeding from all that studying) – I could write a million stories filled with drama, intrigue, rivalries, unlikely romances, fun in the anatomy lab and shenanigans at the Cucumber Cafe.

*Nifty 日本語*

一生懸命 [isshōkenmei] very hard, to the utmost

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One Comment on “Inside Out”


  1. […] mentioned the Fortnight of Hell before but this time, I won’t exaggerate – it’s 9 examinations beginning December 5th and […]


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