The human body is a marvelous machine of autonomous functions, artful movements, complex thoughts, and fragile components...all layered together. And with 'The Fold-Out Atlas Of The Human Body: An Illustrated Replica Of The Body With Movable Parts That Show How The Body Works In Full Color,' those layers can be peeled back for an in-depth look of our anatomy. Originally published in 1906, this 1991 edition keeps the original illustrations in all of their vintage glory---down to the hair styles.
I've always had a fondness for vintage medical texts, specifically outdated entries into the study of gender and sexuality. The "facts" presented in those are more akin to charm school etiquette than valuable medical knowledge. Though there is disclaimer in the beginning of this book that this Atlas shouldn't be used in place of a modern medical textbook, there is still much to see and learn.
Make no bones about it. These vintage, three-dimensional illustrations are still vital. Medical puns. Sorry, had to do it. But all in all, I'd say that my humor has been a coping mechanism.
In all seriousness, it's refreshing to look at bodies as efficient and interesting instead of a personal source of pain and heartbreak. After a a series of discreetly described "female troubles" had me in the emergency room, I had to undergo a few tests to determine the problem. And that problem was Adenomyosis, a medical condition that is causing my endometrial lining to grow inward, puncturing the wall of my uterus. While I'm trying to remain optimistic, this condition---if it progresses---will mean infertility.
Just when I thought the chronic pain of Fibromyalgia and Degenerative Disc Disease had worn me down, this new development has all but broken me. In truth I was always uncertain about the prospect of children. That was until I fell in love with James, and we started building a life together. Seeing him interact with children, I knew what I wanted---what we wanted. And now to have this newfound desire, to see the best of both us in a child we would raise together, as something that may not ever happen...well...it's been difficult.
In truth, vacation couldn't come at a better time. Though what usually would be time to frolic in the leaves, and do all the Fall-themed day trips that I typically do this time of year... has just been more like a few days of quiet contemplation. And I finally decided that after a week of knowing my diagnosis, it was time to go public with what has been weighing on my mind.
No fake smiles. No questions. No explaining. And what's more? This week off from work has also given me time to get our home office up and running. Now if only I could find a desk, so I don't have to balance my Macbook on a pillow, on the couch in front of the TV while I make stream-of-consciousness blog posts.
So what does it all mean? This was supposed to be just a little blog post about the super cool vintage medical book I got for a $1. Then all these emotions just came pouring out. What gives? I guess we're all just layers of blood and bones, thoughts and feelings. And if you look close enough sometimes, you'll see the pain that someone is trying so hard to keep hidden. So be genuine. Be understanding. Empathize and be kind always.