An atlas of the body seen through invasive surgery

We often think of the soul as our heart and the heart as our soul and that death occurs the moment the heart stops beating.  But in a heart transplant the donor heart when removed is still beating.  It must be.  In fact, it has to be injected with a drug and packed in ice just to calm it down so it will have enough energy to kick in and start over.  In this manner, the recipient receives the very heartbeat, the rhythm of the donor.

In the operating room, as parts are removed, replaced, salvaged or exchanged, the body is just a vessel.  The anesthesiologist controls your blood pressure, your breathing, your ability to sense pain.  You can’t speak.  Your eyes are taped shut.  Your thoughts, your memories, your dreams are adrift.  Where do they go?

 

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