Shaking hands during dissections

Dr M.H. Evans mhe1000 at cus.cam.ac.uk
Mon Aug 1 17:35:18 EST 1994


In article <31gbov$16k at search01.news.aol.com>,
NigelCoop <nigelcoop at aol.com> wrote:
>In article <31f0r9$jsq at nntp2.Stanford.EDU>, rasch at leland.Stanford.EDU
>(Christopher Michael Rasch) writes: "cannot dissect due to shaky hands"
>
>Michael, try resting your forearms and wrists on some prop. Some
>dissecting microscopes come with arm rests which are essentially pieces of
>wood that slope up to the dissecting stage or area.  You might try using
>some books or other homemade device for this purpose.  

I agree. Try using a little sandbag, made from some tightly woven fabric
in a cylindrical or brick shape, and filled with dry sand. It can be
shaped like a bean-bag to suit, and makes a good rest for wrist or
forearm.

>If you drink
>coffee, or any other caffeine-containing beverage, this will aggravate
>your shaking hand syndrome.  Try dissecting before drinking.

Or, if you take alcohol, try drinking before dissecting!

Years ago, in an attempt to learn how to control my shaking I took up 
target shooting with a pistol. After a lot of practice I eventually 
decided that it had done nothing to help my shaking and I would always 
remain a poor pistol shot and a shaky dissector. However, I did notice 
that a slug of sherry or some other medium-strength alcoholic drink 
taken at the right time consistently added a few percentage points to my 
scores. Timing was important: the effect was only beneficial when, as 
far as I can judge, the blood alcohol level was still rising when I was
shooting. If the time delay was too much, and I was past the peak for 
blood alcohol, my scores deteriorated. Regret I never had any objective 
tests for any effect on dissections.

I have now retired from neurobiology and shooting but not from drinking. 
Cheers!
------------------------------------------------------
Martin H. Evans         e-mail:  mhe1000 at cus.cam.ac.uk
Phone  (in UK): 0223 891469,   (abroad) +44 223 891469
Mail: 111 High Street, Linton, Cambridge  CB1 6JT, UK.
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