Friday, November 2, 2012

The Guilt Bone

~ the hip-bone connected to the, thigh bone... the thigh-bone connected to the, knee bone...
       the knee-bone connected to the, shin bone... the shin-bone connected to the, ankle bone.... ~

General anatomy and physiology. Core nursing curriculum for all students pursuing any health care field; after that initial introduction, the bones, muscles, tendons, and major organ systems of the body are again pounded into the student's head another 854 times before the end of the schooling. If you know anything by the time graduation rolls around, you know at minimum where things are and what they (should) do.

So - where's the guilt bone?  I don't remember seeing it in any of the A&P textbooks, and it definitely wasn't in the coloring study guide that I bought (and rarely scribbled in); none of lectures I struggled to stay awake through mentioned this one. None of the multiple pigs that I've dissected over the years have had a distinct ossification by this name - but then again, maybe pigs don't feel contrite.  (After all, pigs do what we expect of them - roll in mud, eat slop from a trough, grunt around; there seems to be nothing damning in those days...) I did, however, spend a few timid Advanced A&P labs with a human cadaver dissection-in-progress; granted, I didn't make it through the entire study and could have easily missed a small, delicate prominence, but when taken into consideration with the lack of mention anywhere else in the literature or diagrams, I'm stumped.

Is it just me? I'm certain I have this 207th bone, this extra verse to the old diddy. My guilt bone is connected to the "I'm sorry" muscle, with an antagonist "I wish..." tendon. Unlike many of my more commonly-recognized bones - possibly teetering at risk of frailty in years to come due to my ambivalence towards dairy - this little fella is strong as they come. I can't be sure, but through some sort of unusual anatomical configuration, it seems as though all of the weight of my shoulders may actually balance on this one small bone... crazy, huh?

When a laboring mama ends up with the words "failure to progress" scribbled somewhere on her chart and her support person gowning up in surgical gear - the muscles flex, that bone moves. When the charting runs long and calls keep coming, keeping the Mini's from their Mama - I feel the tightening. When the common cold spreads around and obligations aren't met - more tension. The phrases, "I'm sorry...", "I apologize...", "Next time...", slide off my tongue as easily and honestly as a warm hello to a close friend. Unfortunately, their prominence undermines their significance, and the frequency drains me of emotional energy: I know I am not at fault for anything and everything that happens. This life that I chose and path that I'm on is one of beauty, of faith, and of dedication.

Today, I forgive myself for taking blame that is not mine, and open myself to the world beyond...

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~