[Media Meandry] Anatomy and Art

Six years ago, I bought a cheap copy of Gray’s Anatomy because I figured I’d someday get around to glancing through it. Maybe it’d be useful for me to learn some body mechanics given my interest in rowing? Now that I’ve been dealing with intense headaches for months, currently rocking a two-week-old tension headache, I figured I’d casually read until I was overwhelmed, but actually, it’s not overwhelming at all! “It’s for first-year med students…[1]”

Sure, there are plenty of medical terms strewn throughout.

I’m not a first-year med student. Just like I’m not a 5th-BC century Chinese warlord reading the Art of War, but when business folks rich in jargon and poor in creativity quote sections from Art of War, they aren’t quoting about strategies for plains warfare or troops rationing. They’re quoting sections about learning about yourself and the enemy.

Similarly, I’m learning foundational contexts.

I may not need to know all the medical jargon, however, I think it will be important in the upcoming months as I talk with more doctors and do my own independent research to have some understanding of how the body interacts with the head, eyes, and spine, as they relate with headaches. I’m not going to read through the entire thing at this time. At least, in my current context in regards to having just picked up the book and reading a few pages for a few minutes before work.

Let’s say I find everything relevant to my situation approachable.

Then I may just decide to read through it, at the same pace as I am with the Art of War, which is to say, occasionally, when I feel the need to learn more strategy. I should just decide to finish reading it, since the knowledge within will do me no good if I haven’t read it yet, but at the same time, there’s just so much to distract me with in life, whether it’s these headaches, my writings, selling off as much as I can before I start writing my second novel, or even just living a quiet life.

I’m reading both books as an “artist” rather than a “scientist.”

As a scientist, I would need to know all there is to know about each particular function as I’m reading it, so I could spend hours pouring over a single paragraph. I could have a thorough understanding of specific sections that could guide me along to comprehensive answers to complex questions. Yet I am an artist. I can dip my toes into the scientific realm, and often do when I get into the technical troubleshooting aspects within my novels that may be too dry for most readers, however, I do so with a sort of broad stroke approach to reality.

For me, an artist is a generalist and a scientist is a specialist.

Since headaches are a pressing and urgent need for me to understand to resolve, I have to dip my toes into the scientific realm in all aspects that could relate to their resolution. Could I have a spinal issue causing my headache issues? I won’t know unless I figure out possible causes, and I’d never know unless I can intelligently ask the right questions.

Let’s use a tech support example.

When people say that their X is broken, if I don’t understand what they mean after asking them clarifying questions, I’ll ask to see it myself, to see it myself. If they can reproduce the issue or give me enough evidence to show that there is an issue, then I can work from it. Otherwise, if there’s no evidence to be found, I will advise them on specific information to gather. I’ll ask them for timestamps, photos if they’re too busy to call it in, or anything that can help us identify any trends to arrive at the root cause.

Having worked in healthcare technical support, there is overlap.

The more information a doctor can work with, based on intelligent data gathered from specific situations, the more they can work from to find the root cause. A headache is vague. That might be why doctors and patients are seduced by the migraine headache as a solution, since it’s something concrete, like medical terminology in Gray’s Anatomy or military strategies of Art of War. If one knows the enemy and them-self, they will have a strategic advantage compared to not knowing the enemy or they-self. The more one knows about the situation, the clearer the resolution to the situation can be, depending on the complexity of the issue.

Most of my essays are broad and vague.

I may write about all aspects of what I’m thinking about at the moment, whether it’s the introduction to a book that seemingly is outside of my educational boundaries, to the nature of reading itself. When I write about more concrete, specific, scientific terms, those are either based on specific examples I’ve encountered or imagined in fictional scenarios, and might closer resemble the sort of cut-and-dried thoughts in either book. Though there are different military strategies and advances in science, both books offer foundational understandings in their respective disciplines for both the introductory artists and the advanced scientists.

Before I leave technical support as a career path, I want to contribute equally toward that.

I’ve learned many best practices, based on banging my head [maybe the cause of these headaches] up against worst-case scenarios and inefficient practices. Why not use them both in dry, technical, scientific explanations and artistic representations casually explaining the vagueness of life and troubleshooting? If my writing, as do theirs, contain a mix of highly-technical and easily-approachable material, which camp does it fall under? Can I not read Gray’s Anatomy unless I am enrolled in a doctorate program? Can I not read Art of War unless I am a military strategist? Why can’t we learn from the multitudinous sources written by experts from perspectives across time and discipline?

A book like Gray’s Anatomy is more about life than medicine.

Quotes: [1] I told a colleague this in regards to an on-going conversation about my headaches at work. It’s nice when people have similar experiences. Here I was talking about reading the book to better understand parts of the head that relate to headaches.
Sources: My reading experiences.
Inspirations: See the Photo section below. Otherwise, no additional inspirations.
Related: Other Media Meandry essays.
Photo: I don’t like reading with slipcovers like this. When I put both of them together, I came up with the idea as I drove into work.
Written On: 2020 January 12 [31 minutes. From 1:46am to “knowing the enemy” at 2:07am, from 2:35am to 2:45am. Gdocs.]
Last Edited: 2020 January 12 [Possible edits adapting from Gdocs to WordPress. Would this be the second draft, then?]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.