It was few weeks into our first semester of 200 level. Our gross anatomy lecturer had already announced our gross practicals and we were all so excited about it that we didn’t stop talking about it. Everyone was preparing for it.
I was looking forward to it too, but for someone like me who at that time, had never seen a corpse, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Amidst the excitement, was my fear. I ignored the feelings, though. I knew I wouldn’t face it alone and that my friends were going to be there with me when we see the cadavers.
Oblivious to me, destiny had other plans for me.
The day we had our first histology practical, I had to go for prayers. So my friends who stayed back were the ones who called me to come back to the class.
The practical classes were fixed impromptu, and I had to hurry back to class. Because it was our first histology practical, I didn’t know the lab. I tried calling my friends but they couldn’t pick up my calls because they were already in class.
I asked for directions from a senior and he directed me. But it was unknown to me that the histology and cadaver labs were in the same building.
In a hurry, I missed the directions and with great speed, I unfortunately barged into the gross anatomy lab…
Within seconds, I found myself sorrounded by cadavers. I was in the middle of them all. It was like a movie; it was like a nightmare. I was living my biggest nightmare!
The lab was very cold and suddenly, I started getting goosebumps. Every single strand of hair on my body was erect. Jitters and chills of horror kept gushing down my spine.
It felt like all the cadavers were soon going to stand up against me. It felt like they were all going to march up to me to ask me why I was invading their privacy.
I was shivering and the only thing I could feel was FEAR…
My brain was completely shut, I was confused and I had no idea of what my next move should be.
I didn’t know how it happened but I found myself at the foot of the stairs, shivering and hysterical. I guess it was adrenaline rush.
All my nerves were still up and I kept quivering like a leaf in the windstorm.
The experience was terrible, it was horrible, it was absolutely very bad!
A lecturer later found me and took me to the histology lab. I still couldn’t say a word, and people tried hugging and petting me in a bid to make me comfortable.
I was in tears…
Boys would always be boys; they were all laughing at me, calling me ‘Cadaver Girl’. I had to put up a fight before it stopped.
I still couldn’t sleep properly some days after the experience. It was always like the cadavers were trying to tell me something; I continuously had nightmares about them.
They would call out to me, begging that we stop punishing them by mutilating thier bodies. They would tell me we were abusing them and making them suffer.
Days later, I was still so terrified and scared. I couldn’t even go to the toilet alone; a friend always followed me. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw a cadaver. It was an awful, horrific, dreadful and terrible experience; an unforgettable one at that. An encounter that no one would ever wish to have.
Now years later, I still have imaginations at times. Imaginations like a cadaver blinking, twitching, moving it’s leg, or adjusting its head or face.
Written by Nana from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, NIGERIA.