Feb 2, 2006

Back at the morgue...

Went to an autopsy today.  Waved to the pathologist, said hi to the coroner, chose not to greet the guy on the stainless steel table.  I grabbed some candy off the coroner's secretary's desk (not too much... got to fit into that wetsuit come spring) then grabbed a Diet Pepsi and got ready to watch the show.  Today was another "equivocal death"; 20 year old guy who, other than daily pumping 100 bucks worth of cocaine into his grossly overweight body, was the picture of health. 

I looked the guy over pretty well; no trauma, nothing to indicate a violent death or injury; had a horrible tattoo of his gang name: "Pollo".  What a great name, very intimidating, it's translated "Chicken".  I suppose every gang has to have one; they must have run out of good gang names like "Clown" and "Puppet".  I wonder if Walt Disney was a gang-banger? 

Then Doctor R (forensic pathologist) whipped out the scalpel and sliced him down the middle.  I try to engage the doc in some conversation, you know... weather, sports, newest model of bone saw; but he is too busy talking to Mr. Chicken,

"Hey there, aren't you a fat one!" 

"Oh my, you sure have a pale liver!" 

"What were you eating; what is all this pink stuff?" 

"Let me just weigh your heart for a moment, if you don't mind."

It's the weirdest thing to listen to.

Sometimes I try to answer for the dead guy,

"Sorry about your shoes doc, next time I'll urinate BEFORE I die."  I thought that would get a laugh; instead the stiff gets an apology,

"Oh no, my fault, should have not have pushed on your bowel like that." 

The one-way conversation continues after I step out of the room for the skull-sawing (can't stand the smell of burning bone), but I can't hear the particulars; maybe doc's giving him stock quotes.

I probably should have nightmares about this sort of thing, but I don't.  I'm reminded of a Marine Sniper's response to a CNN reporter's question about what he feelswhen he shoots an insurgent:

"Recoil."

16 comments:

psychfun said...

Well that was sure ICKY! Ha! I don't think I could handle watching that. Ya, I agree...kind of a different breed those coroners...but then heck they say that of people in psych, lawyers & for shame even those oh so normal lawmen! HA!

I remember in college after a night of...."relaxing" :-) I came back to my dorm room & my friend went to hers to change & then was heading back so we could make fun of all the goofiness of the night over a pizza. She walked in my room with perfect timing to see on my tv a doctor doing a surgery on a child with facial structure problems associated with genetic mental retardation of some type. She walks in & sees the doctor pulling the face skin down past the nose. She nearly freaked & I was fascinated. They were chipping bone from other places to build up the eye sockets so the eyes did not look like they were bulging. You'd think she could handle it being in a "relaxed" mood! HA! Can't remember if she actually ate any pizza! HA!

mllevl said...

  ......ok, so I won't bother with breakfast now...need to lose some weight anyway!!!
Eve

dragonrose3911 said...

omg. I know for sure that I could NOT watch that. lol. But I love the way you always make everything seem so funny...lol. See...I have a hard time getting near a dead body at a funeral much less a fresh one in a morgue. I know for sure I couldnt do that. I would freak out if I was even near someone dead. It would definately haunt me. But then again, you do see that type of stuff all the time with your job and all. Me? Well, I'll get the honor of dealing with these types of people as well, just in a different situation. And hopefully I wont b such a bad psychologist that they kill themselves in front of me. I think I would go mentally insane if that happened. Lol. I dont do dead bodies..nope..nada.
Felicia
http://journals.aol.com/dragonrose3911/PIT/

jevanslink said...

I know an Army Ranger who was accosted by a reporter right after a helicopter left him and his team on the tarmac. "Why are you in Afghanistan?" the reporter asked, running along side with his microphone. "For truth, justice and the American Way," said the Ranger whose nickname was Superman sometimes, The Punisher other times.  "No, really," said the reporter, still trying to keep up. "No, really," came the reply.   Mrs. L

ally123130585918 said...

Dave in the situations you find yourself it is good that you have a good sense of humour....and good for us that you take time out to tell us about it..(just a tick gone back to read the "wetsuit - come spring")
:o) :o)......Loved the conversation the pathologist had with "Pollo" translated "Chicken" sounds about right to me......"wetsuit comes
spring - my imagination is running riot ":o).....lol....Ally

demandnlilchit said...

Weird thing about me (yet one more) sometimes the blood and gore don't phase me and other times I have to turn my head. I wonder what that is all about! lol

memes121 said...

If the dead start talking back, run.

dwhee70041 said...

Dave,  Great entry.  Life is what you make of it!  Love the recoil reference.  Thanks for doing your job.  David

suzypwr said...

Watching an autopsy is probably more fun than writing the reports, anyway.

sunnyside46 said...

I always wondered what is said during an autopsy!
Marti

ladeeoftheworld said...

I have always wanted to see an autopsy.  A really interesting case.

mosie1944 said...

Hilarious entry, in a sick and twisted way.  LOL.

shayshaydc said...

Does the doc really talk to the stiff? I think the doc is a little twisted too!! lol..... glad it was you and not me in there!!! I don't think that I would like the smell of bone burning either!!!! Ugh!!!!!!!!!!! http://journals.aol.com/shayshaydc/Golfaholic
Sharon:)

zosche973 said...

Great entry....and I can see it was a hit with ALL  the j-landers, including me!
Too bad you can't post pictures! ~Diane~

lv2trnscrb said...

I can see why the pathologist would talk with the corpse. Its gotta be lonely working there by yourself, so to speak

betty

moundcreek said...

Hey, Everybody...I'm new at this, so, of course, I'm a tad on the green side (no pun intended-ha).  I'm very interested in the subject of forensics.  Mind if I join?

Judy