If I Said You Have a Beautiful Body Would You Hold it Against Me?

My apologies to the Bellamy Brothers, country music fans, and beautiful people everywhere for that title.

In my acceptance of the Versatile Blogger Award, bestowed upon me by 5 people whom I admire greatly, I listed 7 things about myself.  The first was “I love everything about the human body”.

I have always had a fascination with human anatomy and although I did not become a nurse until later in life, I studied everything I could get my hands on that dealt with medicine, health, and bodily functions.  I grew up on a farm and never suffered squeamishness for any of the aspects of farm life (birth, death, reproduction).  I loved animals and caring for animals, but my true fascination was with humans.

I enjoy anatomy.  I love saying the correct anatomical names for body parts.  Amygdala.  Corpus luteum. Gastrocnemius. Aqueous humor. Hypothalamus. Frenulum. Uvula. Conjunctiva.  I also enjoy listening to patients use slang terms to describe their anatomy, and I think I’ve heard them all.

I love looking at bodies, from the moist pink sweetness of newborns to the crinkled saggy skin and atrophied limbs of the frail elderly.  I love bodies.  All sizes, shapes, and configurations.  I love admiring a strong healthy specimen as much as the next person,  but what others may consider grotesque fascinates me. Extremes of body make-up – body builders, anorexics, morbidly obese – I can look at them without judgement, and admire the miracle that is the vessel that holds their being.

The organs that make up the various systems of the body are so wondrous to me. How marvelous that sound waves can strike a membrane that vibrates some bones that result in a concerto, a baby’s first words, or the cry of a loon.  Waves of light strike the back of our eyes and we see a sunrise, the panorama of the Grand Canyon, or a delicate flower.   Through our skin with its billions of nerve endings we can feel the caress of a lover, the warmth of the sun and the coolness of a gentle breeze.  How wonderful that our bodies can take in substances of the earth and specialized organs tell cells to extract the exact nutrients we need and dispose of the rest.  How wonderful that our hearts pump life sustaining fluid to all of our cells; that our lungs take in the atmosphere and supply our bodies with oxygen needed to survive.  Our brains and spinal cords, neurons and synapses, working in conjunction with every other system to coordinate movement, thought, action, procreation.

In retrospect, I guess that I probably don’t really love the by-products of the human body.  As a nurse, I’ve suffered every imaginable bodily fluid or secretion and although I have to say I don’t enjoy them, I am not repulsed by them, either.  It just is.  Part of the job, part of the price for the wonder that is the body human.

What really and truly causes me to have a gut-clenching, breath-robbing reaction is the effect of trauma, abuse or neglect for those bodies I love so dearly.  I cared for a young man once who was jumped outside of a bar in the early morning hours.  One punch to the face and he went down, striking his head on the pavement.  He never regained consciousness.  I’ve seen gunshot wounds, amputations, surgical debacles, and elderly abuse victims.  Motor vehicle accidents (face-vs-windshield – guess which wins?).  Strokes and heart attacks – ravages of disease.  Through it all, I have retained my love of the bodies that bring the patients to me, that house their souls and personas, their beings and in the end relinquish it all at their passing.

So, if I said you have a beautiful body – please believe me.  I mean it.


Filed under General Mumblings, Uncategorized

19 responses to “If I Said You Have a Beautiful Body Would You Hold it Against Me?

  1. I have nothing but praise for nurse’s for their care, we saw it for 5/6 years with my daughter, the goverment doe’s not pay them enough.
    As my last post said, i worked at the other end of the scale, i buried people 🙂 people might understand but we all enjoyed our job and never let it get us down.
    And like you i saw people with gun shot and knife wounds, also people who were in bombs and hit by cars etc, from pensioners down to a new born baby, you get used to it and let it all go over your head.

  2. What a lovely philosophy you have. All bodies are precious. No judgment.

    • I’ve studied anatomy and physiology and when you consider everything that is happening down to the cellular level, it is nothing short of miraculous. Judgment has no place in health care –

  3. I’m back again 🙂 i was reading a lot of your posts and it seems you don’t answer a lot of comments left, and then i checked you don’t comment on to many blogs either.
    I don’t think it matters a great deal, but i was just wondering.
    And i do hope you don’t mind me asking, Harry

    • I’m not sure I could agree with that. I do try to answer as many comments left on my blog as possible – the last 10 days or so have been particularly busy. Sometimes, after someone has posted on an older post, I may miss it. But I try to answer.

      I try to comment on posts that I read for my subscriptions, but I have added so many that I am finding it almost impossible to respond each day. I will click the “like” button if I read something I enjoy but don’t have time to comment.

      I’m curious now which comments I have been missing.

  4. And what a beautiful post. I often could use a reminder that this old body of mine has something beautiful about it.

  5. having spent my share of time in hospitals I have nothing but pure admiration for nurses…they/you are amazing creatures. I could never in a million years do for 5 minutes what they/you do on a daily basis. continue…

  6. jacquelincangro

    I think each person makes a contribution to the world by following their calling. It seems that you’ve definitely found yours. What a heartfelt and lovely post.

  7. You could turn the body picture into ” The K8edid Award ” and give it out 🙂

  8. I have indeed :lol; its geting all together is the problem, photo,text etc in a box.

  9. I see those broken bodies on the street, before they are loaded and taken for care. What a pity what people can do to a wonderful creation.

  10. Life is one paradox after another–the human body is no different. It is so incredibly resilient and finely tuned to work. And yet it is also vulnerable and one little glitch can set the whole system awry. Amazing.

    As a nurse you must see this living paradox daily…

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