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2.14. RBC = red blood cell

If one has more red blood cells in one's blood, does that make one somehow more red/warm, more capable of love? If one has fewer, does it make one colder, and care less?

Image source: diygeekery.com
No, of course not. An abnormally high number of red blood cells may make one look flushed, but these blood elements have nothing to do with feelings. Red blood cells, aka erythrocytes, carry oxygen, 4 molecules each, everywhere in the body. This makes the basic metabolism that enables life possible. Too little or too many red blood cells are not good. Neither are abnormally shaped ones.

Low red blood cells = anemia, which could be caused by blood loss, low production, or destruction. To help with deficiency-related production problems, one may increase intake of iron, folic acid, or vitamin B12. If low levels are related to a condition, such as pregnancy or Crohn's disease, treatment may or may not exist or be necessary. Same goes for destruction of blood cells occuring through inf…
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2.13. H2O = water

Some say amniotic fluid smells like sea foam, or forest loam. Life came from the sea, depends on it, and ultimately, will return to it. Human bodies are more than 60% water, and the blood coursing through arteries and veins, more than 50% H2O.
However, too much water can drown us from the outside, or inside. Every year, newborns die from water intoxication (from extreme electrolyte imbalance) because of adults diluting canned formula in an attempt to make it stretch several times too far. Kids drown in the deep end of pools, or, having gasped water into their lungs, suffer from secondary drowning hours after a close call at the beach. Sorority and fraternity pledges also die from water poisoning days after hazing events involving water-chugging + excessive exercise.

Water may be safer than alcohol, but not when so much is consumed that excessive loss occurs of sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, all important to keeping the heart, brain, and lungs functioning. Fluid and electrol…

2.12. Clinicals nightmare

It may be spring break, but the subconscious continues to construct private hells on its own schedule.

6:30 am. Nightmare land. 
It's clinical day at a public park, and between jungle gyms, swing sets and slide structures, everywhere are hospital beds, bedside tables covered with medical paraphernalia, IV poles, computers, nurses, technicians, and patient families on picnic mats.
We had done our research on a primary patient the day before, but upon being released into the public park hospital after morning report, we discovered that all the navy-blue-clad registered nurses had decided to ice out the nursing students.

Every single nurse refused to let us work on any of their patients. They even locked the glass-doored nurse's station so we couldn't get in to look up patients or get any supplies. Whenever staff members saw one of us smurfs (royal blue uniform, steamed-bun-looking white shoes) approach, they turned their backs.

"Please, if we don't have our two patie…

2.11. CVA = cerebral vascular accident; stroke

Blood, like human emotion, doesn't do well when blocked or overflowing everywhere. Most people still use the term, "stroke," for the third leading cause of death in the U.S. (after heart disease & cancer), though for awhile the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was trying to make the phrase, "brain attack," happen.

During a heart attack, part of the heart doesn't get enough blood/oxygen, starts freaking out, and cells might die. When a brain attack or stroke happens, part(s) of the brain don't get enough blood/oxygen, or maybe a blood vessel ruptures. Either way, call an ambulance, because time = brain cells.

If someone exhibits sudden numbness/weakness of the face, arm or leg, esp. on one side; experiences sudden confusion; suddenly has trouble speaking or understanding; has a sudden severe headache with no known cause; suddenly has trouble seeing in one or both eyes; or has sudden trouble with walking or balance, call 911 immediately (as opposed…

2.10. V = virus, or vampire blood*

Viruses and vampires have several things in common.
1. They're parasitic. 
Vampires, according to Bram Stoker, folklore, and popular culture, live on human blood, fresh or synthetic, depending on your source. Viruses similarly cannot metabolize nutrients or reproduce on their own and instead rely on a host cell (hijacked by the virus) to make new viruses.

2. They're not alive.
Vampires are both not alive and undead at the same time, however that works. Viruses are also not alive, because they are inanimate, complex, organic matter, bits of protein and DNA or RNA that can't be killed because one can't kill something that was never alive, just like one can't kill a tetrahedron of cement with some tangled-up string inside.

3. They can spread.
Depending on what literature you read or what show/movie you're watching, vampires can "make" other vampires through various means--the traditional blood transfusion/ingestion method; some combination of sucking-dry, b…

2.9. HTN = hypertension, high blood pressure

A little tension in life keeps things interesting, but if the pressure increases too much, something (like a blood vessel, or relationship,) might blow up.
A base level of stress improves focus, while too much stress leads to tunnel vision and helplessness. Hypertension in the brain can cause problems with memory and understanding (due to reduced blood flow to brain cells), an aneurysm (localized enlargement of artery), or dementia (from chronic lack of blood flow to the brain).

The sympathetic nervous system dilates pupils so one can see better in a dangerous situation, but long term hypertension will damage blood vessels behind the eyes and lead to vision problems.

Our hearts beat faster and circulate more blood when we're excited, aroused, etc., nothing wrong with that, but if that tension persists, the hardworking left ventricle might grow thick and ineffective, and eventually fail. Damage and inflammation in arteries from high blood pressure can also lead to a heart attack or…

2.8. Cotyledon = embryonic leaf, or placental lobe

Religious or folk tales and heavy-handed symbolism aside (forbidden fruit, Snow White, One Tree Hunahpu), human mothers are like plants in many literal and practical ways.

They have ovaries, petals of sorts, and buds.

They each have special vascular systems for transporting the fluid that supplies gases and nutrients necessary for life.

They respond to seasons and have cycles. They are part of larger life cycles, and take part in a grand, ecological cycle as well.

They have cotyledons. Human cotyledons are plump, vascular lobes of maternal placenta. Plant cotyledons, two green halves of a split pea or edamame, are the food their mothers packed them so they could eat and grow.

Like plants making our atmosphere habitable and magically creating sugar out of simple ingredients, through the placenta mothers supply O2 and glucose for baby to use and help get rid of baby's CO2 and waste products.

They need water to live and function.

They are endlessly resilient at every stage of life, b…