A trip to the city

Yesterday, after the kids all went to school, I drove into The City with my MIL and FIL.  Traffic was amazingly light and we got there in record time (about 75 minutes!) but my travel cup of coffee was untouched.  I’m a wee bit stressed driving anywhere near The City.  SuperDad met us and took us to the National Museum of Health and Medicine:


If you are interested in the Civil War, there is an entire section on wartime medicine. 

One soldier, Major General Sickles, donated his amputed leg to the musuem.  He later brought visitors to the museum to visit his leg with him.  Weird, huh?  I guess he thought it was impressive!   

Of course, it is just one old leg bone among many, but I thought the entire museum was fascinating from a medical standpoint.  If you want to see and understand what a bullet can do to a leg bone, pelvis, or skull, you would probably find it fascinating, too.  If you are a bit squeamish?  Not so much. 

For my husband, who spent a year working in Combat Support Hospitals in Iraq, this museum is (mostly) morbidly unpleasant.   However, he knew that his parents would appreciate the opportunity to visit this small outpost of the Smithsonian Institution on the Walter Reed campus. 

There was an extensive display of microscopes.

late 17th century microscope

late 17th century microscope, Culpeper type, London, c. 1725



hologram, NOT the Incredible Hulk!

hologram, NOT the Incredible Hulk!

I was captivated by the human body displays.

a preserved 4-month fetus in the womb

a preserved 4-month fetus in the womb

Click the pictures above and below for a better view

tied up in knots

tied up in knots

I didn’t take any photos in the forsenics/DNA section.  As an Army wife, that part hit too close to home.  

So does walking through the “new” hospital, where many of our wounded warriors are receiving care.  Some of their families are living with them in lodging on campus.  It’s not unusual to see a young soldier wheeling himself down the hallway while his wife & toddler in a stroller rush to keep up with him.  I smile to see this family together and I cry to see how their lives have been changed.  My husband sees this every day. 

While we were on the Walter Reed campus, we toured parts of the old hospital.  Did you know that both General Pershing and President Eisenhower spent their last year of life living in a suite of rooms there?   

The old Walter Reed General Hospital

The old Walter Reed General Hospital

By the time we got home again, it was 4:30pm, and I needed a nap!  

What did YOU do yesterday?

8 responses to “A trip to the city

  1. man, me, yesterday???? Nothing like this alright!
    Tie up a bone….eww…

  2. I don’t like driving in big cities either. Usually? DH does that type of driving. Though? I must say, I did exceptionally well with the trip to AR by myself with the two youngins!

    Sounds like y’all had a really, nice time!

    Happy Thursday!

  3. It’s so flexible you can tie it in a knot! Omg, that’s crazy. I love science museums. The preserved specimens always creep me out though. 🙂

  4. I’m a museum nut actually. History and science stuff facinates me. I’m going to have to go back and read other posts….sounds like ya’ll are military…and I heart military families. Lovee is a retired Marine.
    Have fun with the M & Fil 🙂

  5. Sounds fun but tiring. Very cool stuff.

  6. Didn’t know about this place – thanks!

  7. What a great post! If you have a chance to see the bodyworlds(.com) exhibit, you should go. It is fascinating in a kind of creepy way.

  8. Great post. I love stuff like this but I can sure see why some of it would make you uneasy. I love those microscopes.