The uterus-small intestine disproportion hypothesis

(Yes,  that is a TBBT-inspired title. I feel so clever, hohoho *imaginary fox ears pop up*)

Can you find the missing uterus?

You can’t really leave behind four years worth of education, not even if you wanted to. In my case, there is always that tinge of regret when I think about how I detoured from nursing to a potential career in IT and communication. But what can you do? “You will know that one more, here and there, will make no difference in the long run,” says the elderly and wizened witch in Stardust. A universal truth, that one, being a Neil Gaiman work.

Funny things can happen when you’re a nurse in hostile environment. And by hostile I mean, when you are asked to explain medical arcana to office mates who live and die by balanced sheets and numbers. “What does this diagnosis mean?”. A semi-official IT professional by virtue of osmosis and proximity to computers, servers, html codes and php, my answer will make anybody who use and abuse Google on a daily basis proud: “Google it na lang.” Haha.

In my humble opinion, Googling is better and safer than, say, me giving someone a medically-related opinion. It’s been three, four, years since I last took to a nursing book and boy am I rusty on my med-surg, anatomy and pathophysiology. While I’d like to think that I have a natural affinity for all things medical, my dad being a doctor and me having dreams of becoming one someday – that does not mean that I remember everything that I ever studied in school. Nursing concepts were taken in strides; we learn just enough to get through a long exam. They don’t necessarily get tucked inside the long-term memory storage.

So you can imagine the shame that I bring upon my college and my school at the bullshit that I come up with every time I get asked to explain something medical. A few days ago, I had a conversation with my office mate on appendicitis. The conversation went something like this:

What causes appendicitis? Idiopathic, I say – which is really a fancy way of saying I have no idea. Food? Well, yeah to an extent, I guess. The appendix is a pouch, you see. A tiny, useless sac that gets all inflamed if something gets inside it. How the food gets in there is another matter.

At this point, I’m still good. I still have my facts straight and I’ve managed to give reasonable explanations. Then, the million dollar question.

If the appendix is on the lower right region of your abdomen, near the groin, how did the appendix of so-and-so get behind the uterus?

I’m sorry, say what? I ask. The husband of so-and-so said that the inflamed little bugger was found hiding behind the uterus. Hmmm. Let’s see. Maybe, just maybe, anatomically the uterus is in front of the small intestines. Yeah, that sounds just about right. I never saw intestines during a cesarean operation, so yeah, uterus is in front of the small intestines, ergo, appendix behind uterus. Cue applause. Take a bow.

Even now, that explanation sounds so lame. And stupid. /shoots self

Another office mate came to the rescue and explained that since the appendix is tiny and soft, it can easily be pushed around. The slightest pressure from the intestines then can push it behind the uterus. I don’t know if that’s the right answer, but it sure sounds better than my appendix-behind-the-uterus hypothesis. The appendix. Behind the uterus. The horror. Even my mom thinks so.

To be fair, I can justify why I came up with that explanation. It has something to do with anatomical position of the organs, anterior and posterior wise. But until I can get hold of a comprehensive anatomy book, I am keeping my mouth shut.

I know, I know. I should probably just turn in my diploma and license, and, as what Sheldon Cooper insinuates to Howard Wolowitz, get a refund on my nursing education.


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