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Jasmine Moxley Writing and Rhetoric Dr.E 9/05/12 An Experience to Remember (Drill sound) Whoa! What was that?!

I think to myself as I am drawn out of my trance. Staring at an exposed skull not even three feet away can completely capture someones attention. Now youre most likely wondering how and why is she standing and staring at an exposed skull? As a senior at BCC High School, I was awarded an internship at the National Naval Medical Center. Three times a week I worked with the Chief of Neurosurgery, Dr. Severson and while there I got to see the most amazing things. Once I observed the removal of a large metastatic brain tumor. It was incredible. Three surgeons, Dr. Severson, Dr. Davidson and Dr. Hochheimer started with the removal of half of the scalp. They cut a semi-oval and gently peeled it away from the skull. Folding the scalp in half, they then took fishhooks and hooked them into to the folded flap to make sure that it didnt get in the way during the rest of the surgery. My attention was entirely focused on the bloody skull. (Drill sound). I tore my gaze away from the skull to find the source of the noise. I found the drill as soon as they began to saw. Bone dust started to fly everywhere. I took a step back to avoid getting that stuff in my eyes and I rubbed my arms rigorously only just becoming aware of the brisk cool that filled the OR. Occupied with my discomfort a smell pierces my mask, unexpectedly slapping me in the face. It is not a nice smell, the smell of burnt bone and flesh. But once again my attention is consumed as the surgeons remove a portion of the skull. Brain, you can see a brain. I can see the brain!! I am so close I can see it pulsating. Uh oh I dont think this is right, my pulse quickens in pace as blood begins to cover the exposed brain. One surgeon yells Weve got some bleeders! confirming my fears. Everyone in the OR becomes a little panicked. The surgeons work furiously over the exposed brain. The residents, med students and one high school student stand frozen, wide eyed, hands folded tightly, waiting for another surgeons next call. They finally catch all the bleeders and with extreme care remove the superficial, thin as plastic wrap layer of the brain, the Dura.. I watch intensely, the surgeons move with quick and sure hands.

If this isnt artwork I have no idea what is. With the Dura peeled back and folded with the scalp one surgeon uses a hockey puck probe to locate the tumor. Luckily its near the surface. Dr. Davidson then slices and dices through the brain tissues, pulling, pushing, and removing pieces, Dr. Hochheimer irrigates to keep the vision field clear and Dr. Severson observes watching over both of the younger surgeons there to jump in if anything goes wrong. About a half-hour later the tumor comes into the view Dr. Davidson tests the consistency of it, Its pretty tightly wound, lucky for us and chuckles slightly. I must look confused because Dr. Severson turns around and says tight tumor easy out, mushy tumor slow out. We both turn around as another pair of fishhooks comes into play and gets hooked into the tumor. Now all three surgeons slowly begin to tug. No more than two minutes later (Pop!) the tumor is out. Dr. Hochheimer turns to everyone in the OR and heartily says What a beautiful birth, some of the staff chuckles most just roll their eyes and keep working. Dr. Davidson motions me forward into the sacred little sterile circle where only the men in blue are allowed to stand and asks me to take pictures of the exposed brain and of the tumor. After I step back I stare at my phone, I cant believe I just did that and now I get to keep these pictures. They Close. Surgery ends successfully. The next day I go on rounds with my team expecting to see a vegetable in the patient bed after all the trauma her brain experienced just yesterday. Think about it. There is a huge hole in her brain, and the whole brain must be irritated and swollen after the surgeons had been poking and pulling at it for hours. I walk in and .the patient is up? Not just up but laughing and cracking jokes with her family. WOW, Right then at that very moment I came to realize how extraordinary the brain really is. Its power to heal and adapt after being exposed to such horrible circumstances is unparalleled. Here is where I confirm that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life I want to work in the presence of such a powerful, wonderful almost magical organ. Exploring this magnificent vessel of information while healing people in the process. This is me and this is where I want to be.