While serving dinner to a few medical professional friends of mine, the concept of “posturing” came up. It first arose in a more metaphorical sense, in the form of political posturing, as in “racists don’t actually give a crap about the flag or people kneeling for the national anthem that they are themselves sitting on the couch drinking a beer through. They are just politically posturing as a way to justify and express their racism.”
But then devolved and digressed into a general criticism of my bad posture.
I naturally stiffened, blamed the over development of my deltoids from years of competitive swimming, invented a disease from which I suffered called “Hyperplastic Swimdrome” and then deflected by criticizing my surgeon friend’s affinity for unkempt hair.
We have spirited conversations. Mostly inspired by spirits. More of the vinic than the chimeric kind.
Fun Fact: Chimerism occurs when one developing zygote absorbs another developing zygote. The end result is one person can actually express two different sets of genetic material. My surgeon friend has one brown and one blue eye. While this can occur for many reasons, chimerism is a suspect. Basically, she ate her own twin. And I will never let her forget it.
After a story predicated on empathy posturing from another medical professional who had just returned from a surgical mission about how “lovely the people of Nigeria were”, I socially postured and pulled out an expensive pinot while making some outwardly glib, but inwardly calculated statement like “Good people: Good wine.”
We might as well have vogued through dinner.
But in the end I learned a few points of medical interest. primarily the differences and implications of decorticate and decerebrate posturing.
Decorticate posturing is position in which a patient has stiff arms bent toward the body with hands and fingers curled into the chest, clenched fists, and legs held out straight. This type of posturing is a sign of damage in the brain stem. And while a very bad sign, not quite as bad as decerbrate posturing.
Decerebrate posturing is an abnormal body posture in which the arms and legs are held straight out, the toes pointed downward, and the head and neck arched backward. The muscles are tight and rigid. This is a sign of severe damage to the brain.
Another interesting factoid I learned is that, if a patient has their legs crossed, this is a sign of comfort. People who are in pain and actually suffering don’t do this. It is an observation that separates true pain from drug seeking behavior.
The term “decerebrate” alone means “to remove the brain from.” And what are we doing when we drown ourselves in casks of vino if not that.
So, I rose a glass, and in my best Cool and the Gang voice shouted out, “Decerebrate Good times! Come on!”
*crickets* *tumbleweeds* *a lone wolf howling in the distance*
I don’t care. *I* thought it was funny.