Would you rather think of your body as a singular object or a collection of goopy organs packed together in fluid and wrapped in a leathery covering? Me too!
Earlier this week I was called upon to photograph a blood drive. Having done this before, I knew that at some point during my visit a volunteer would try to lure me into one of those clinical La-Z-Boy recliners with a free T-shirt. Not gonna happen.
Giving blood and registering as an organ donor are both valuable contributions to society, and people who do so deserve all the cookies and juice they can handle. In the case of organ donation I participate, but I'm keeping all of my blood, thank you.
If the situation arises and I become an organ donor, as my discounted driver's license denotes, my recently deceased body can do all the dirty work. Giving blood requires far too much awareness for me.
To understand just how uncomfortable the prospect of blood donation makes me, I need to explain my doctor / clinical aversion with some history.
During high school I passed out during two, count ?em, two separate physical exams. Ever have smelling salts passed under your nose on the floor of a bathroom by a frightened nurse who doesn't know what the hell is wrong with you? Not fun. Something about the inner workings of the human body makes me uneasy.
These two blackouts both occurred as the doctor was detailing something or another about my body. Ah, the power of words. Poke and prod all you want, just keep me out of it. You went to medical school and you make $300 an hour, not me, so just work it out and send my insurance company the bill.
Having braces locked on to my face and wisdom teeth removed didn't bother me for a second. Teeth exist on the outside of the body. I can see them. I'm used to them.
Sure, I used to wince when the orthodontist would crank the wires in my mouth tighter, but he didn't sit there and explain how the roots of my teeth were shifting back and forth just so. He just made pleasant one-sided small talk while I affirmed with non-verbal nasal sounds.
Discovery Health has been deprogrammed from my remote control. Flipping between home improvement shows on TLC and stand up comics on Comedy Central shouldn't include a detour through the operating room. I don't want to see a baby being born while I'm eating dinner. Why isn't the FCC fining these people? I've never been more offended.
On a serious note, if you are one of those people who keep Discovery Health in business and actually enjoy watching probing cameras truck through someone's innards, seek help. There is something wrong with you. If you know someone who watches this channel, disable it when they're not looking and then innocently ask: "Did your cable company drop Discovery health, too?"
Sometimes there are too many daily problems and challenges to worry about what's going under your nose, or behind it. Although understanding the inner workings of every organ couldn't hurt, I'll leave the details alone and let the great miracle of life do its thing.
Anything that goes on inside my body is none of my business as far as I'm concerned.
Rob Felt is the photographer for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.