BC: "Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it happened." - Dr Seuss
FC: A Red Blood Cell's travels | By: Megan Andrews
1: Hi! I am a red blood cell and my job is to circulate through the body and do various jobs. I circulate through the body many times a day. I will now describe to you step by step my route.
2: When I am just returning from the body, I enter the right atrium. I am oxygen-poor because the body used up all of the oxygen that I had. Veins carry the blood here. The right atrium is the chamber that is in the upper right corner of the heart. It collects blood that is just returning from the body and is oxygen-poor. From the right atrium I flow through the tricuspid valve. | This is where i am at right now!
3: The tricuspid valve is a flap of skin that, once the blood goes through it, immediately closes so the blood doesn't flow back to the right atrium.This valve is located in between the right atrium and the right ventricle. From here I go into the right ventricle. | The tricuspid valve is open letting blood flow through. | The tricuspid valve is closed which means that the blood is either in the right ventricle or still in the right atrium.
4: Now that I have gone through the tricuspid valve, I have entered the right ventricle. The right ventricle is the chamber in the heart that is in the lower right corner. The right ventricle's job is to push the oxygen-poor blood to the lungs to get oxygen back. After I leave the right ventricle and go to the lungs I will enter the left ventricle.
5: Okay! I have just returned from the lungs. I am now oxygen-rich. Aww...i feel so much better after I got my oxygen back. I am now in the left atrium. This chamber is in the upper left corner. The left atrium collects blood that is just returning from the lungs. This blood is oxygen-rich. From the left atrium the blood will go through the mitral valve and then to the left ventricle.
6: I am now going through the mitral valve. This valve is located between the left atrium and the left ventricle. It pushes the blood from the left atrium to the left ventricle. After the blood has all gone through the mitral valve, the valve immediately closes, just like any other valve. The blood will now go to the left ventricle. | This what a valve looks like when it is open, letting the blood go through.
7: I am now in the left ventricle. I have just been through the mitral valve. The blood is still oxygen-rich. The left ventricle is in the lower left corner of the heart. The left ventricle has the hardest job out of all the chambers in the heart. It has the biggest muscle of all the chambers because it has push my oxygen-rich friends and me through out the body.
8: Now that the blood is in the left ventricle, it will move on to the aorta, but first it has to go through the aortic valve. The aortic valve is the valve that the blood going in the aorta goes through. This valve's job is to close immediately after the blood goes through it so the blood doesn't flow back into the heart. The blood, after it flows through, will supply the body. This blood is oxygen-rich.
9: The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body. It leaves the left ventricle and then branches into smaller and smaller blood vessels that supply the entire body. Once the blood goes through the aortic valve there is no way that the blood can return to the heart. The brain is always the primary target for the oxygen-rich blood to go to. | This is the aorta and the smaller vessels it has branched out into
10: The blood is carried through out the body through arteries. Arteries carry the oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. One of the main arteries that carry the blood is the aorta. | This is the route that arteries carry the blood.
11: Capillaries are another key part in getting oxygen to the cells. Capillaries provide oxygen and nutrients to individual cells. They have very thin walls. The walls are so thin that red blood cells, like me, have to go through them one at a time. Food and oxygen "leak" through the walls of the capillaries. Capillaries trickle into the veins.
12: Once the body has used up all the oxygen that us blood cells have, veins carry oxygen-poor blood from the body back to the right atrium. Veins have thinner walls than arteries, but thicker walls than capillaries. Veins also have many one-way valves to prevent blood from flowing backwards. | This is what veins look like.
13: While this cycle is happening, white blood cells are off doing their job fighting off diseases and other various jobs. Although you are very much crediting the red blood cells and me for our jobs, you also have to credit the white blood cells for their magnificent abilities of fighting off diseases. If you didn't have white blood cells then you would be sick more often. | This is what white blood cells look like.
14: I have just taken you on just one of my routes around the heart and body. After this cycle happens, I do it over and over again. Although you may think it sounds boring doing the same thing over and over again, it is all worth it because it is keeping you alive. If you are alive then so am I!
17: sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart
18: today you can be anything you imagine
21: "An open home, an open heart, here grows a bountiful harvest." - Judy Hand
23: Home is where there's someone to love, and someone to love us.
25: "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year." - Ralph Waldo Emerson