Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Products of Conception

There is just so much to absorb when you are in a new country. All I can do is try to photograph to be able to process it slowly over time. I feel like every time I turn around I keep getting hit over the head with a new thing. "There can't be anything better or new" my mind screams, but I am proven wrong every time.

I'm reading this book (Part III) In Other Rooms/Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin. A National Book Award Finalist. Same thing. Hit over the head every time I turn a page. It's a trip.

I was in my very favorite Facebook group today, PMG pathology, and someone posted something that reminded me of the book. Products of conception (POC's) are a junk routine surgical. Usually they consist of only decidualized tissue and placental villi. Sometimes you have to put the whole bloody mess in to find the placental villi. It's important to document the truth: that it was a pregnancy, that someone was there even though it never came to fruition.  Rarely you see fetal parts under the scope. Sometimes immature brains, sometimes immature guts. Never limbs. At least I'd never seen it until today.

Yes, that's a human hand. A very small human, one that didn't quite make it.  It can make you sad, or it can make you wonder. It makes me wonder, and it reminds me a lot of the book I am reading right now. That's part of our job in pathology. To document things that no one else will ever see. Honoring the invisible.

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