Death, disease, tumors, and pustules peppered my family’s dinner conversation as I grew up.
“Pass the salt,” my parents said, as well as: “you wouldn’t believe what I found inside a body today.”
And also: “honey, never go into medicine.”
I only dabble in the macabre on weekends.
My latest morbid jaunt was the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Maryland.
The museum was chock-full of samples, specimens, illustrations, replicas, prototypes, and tools. The most beautiful and horrible things hopscotched across the line between medicine and torture.
Life-sized dolls that look like diseased humans.
Flash cards of skin lesions.
Orderly rows of scissors, saws, syringes, and knives.
Don’t forget tidy kits for exsanguination.
I didn’t become a doctor, but I have a stomach of steel.
Bring on the corpses.