The first autopsy visit was scheduled on a Friday. In case you don’t know, Friday is a special day for Muslims since we have the Jummah prayer (it’s kind of like a Sunday for Christians?). Jummah replaces Zuhr (the noon prayer), so the time period for Jummah is generally 1-2pm. Most people want to get off from school before Jummah so they can dress nice and have the general spirit of Jummah. So imagine our dismay on finding out that the autopsy visit is scheduled for 12:30 pm and that we’d get back around 3 pm.
Nevertheless, everyone bundled into the coaster and we set off for the District Headquarter (DHQ) Hospital. It’s situated in Rawalpindi, which is right next to Islamabad (in fact, the two cities are often called “the twin cities”) and the drive takes about 30 minutes? There’s a lot of traffic though and since summer has started, it’s pretty warm!
We got off the coaster once we were in the vicinity of the hospital and our teachers lead us into the Mortuary, which is basically this small building with only one room, designed like a mini-auditorium. There are stepped seats with desks and the bottom, ground level has the autopsy table with bright white lights hovering over it, freezing units behind it, two wash sinks and a couple of tables with tools. The walls are painted white, but the paint is flaking off. The windows are open and there are lots of exhaust fans and sunlight entering the place. This is the autopsy room.
Once we’re settled down, it turns out that just last night, an autopsy had been conducted and that there weren’t any bodies scheduled for autopsy that we could see as well. Bummer >_>. Our teachers decided to show us some stuff instead, like the autopsy register, the autopsy equipment (the saws and scissors and stuff) and the freezing unit. It’s basically like a walk in closet with lots of shelves, big enough to put bodies in, but it’s super dark, not very cold (there weren’t any bodes so they’d turned the unit off), and the door has a latch on it so it’s not hard to imagine getting locked inside….
After that, it was time for Jummah so all the guys left to pray in a masjid and the girls were told to stay in the mortuary and not to wander off without an escort. We spent about 40 minutes just sitting there. And talking. I had a pretty meaningful conversation about art and art mediums (mostly oil paints and oil pastels and acrylics) and then I’m terrible at watercolors so I didn’t say much about that xD but after a while even that got pretty boring until the guys were back.
The teachers decided to give us a quick tour of the emergency department. Since it was a Friday, it was relatively a stress-free environment at that moment. There were one or two operations happening in the Minor Operating Theater (let me tell you, it’s just a big room with the hanging lights, there’s about four beds and little operations are happening, like stitching up wounds, cleaning bullet holes, ligating arteries if there’s excessive bleeding during a fracture etc). We weren’t really allowed to go inside the theater but every random person was just walking in and out and seeing what was happening.
There was a dialysis unit too and then a few ward rooms, filled with patients. And then we went home. I was so tired, honestly. I had a really hard time studying at home, I had a hard time writing blogposts, I had a hard time doing anything because I would be so tired. I would just come home and lie down for a while before eating and then going to sleep from about 4:30-6 pm and even then I didn’t feel energized enough to study.
I guess that explains why I feel so “meh” about the exam I gave! Anyway, this is just what happened on the first day. The other days were spent completely in the emergency department where we would pick up individual cases as a group and discuss them with each other. Those were pretty interesting, although that too got boring after the first two times (because seriously, most people in the emergency department showed up after road traffic accidents and majority of them had concussions or fractures. Not a great variety of things to see, It made me skip the last day entirely…)
Anyway! That’s what happened during my autopsy visits and is also the reason why I’ve been so MIA around blogging and twitter. I still feel pretty tired, but hopefully I’ll be back in writing action in the next few weeks. Have a nice day!
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