Forum: Research Questions

Discussing: Medical questions and terminology

Medical questions and terminology

This is the place to ask questions, define words, etc.

Shameless Plug:
For those unfamiliar with the research articles, there are several already posted on medical topics, as well as many fine ones on other topics, such as horses and plants. The site hopes to add many more. Anyone with expertise is invited to contribute. Anyone who doesn't think they have expertise is invited to contribute by researching a topic, such as a character from Tolkien.

So bring on those questions and/or answers.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Medical questions and terminology

Would they have had ginger in Middle-earth? it has so many great medicinal uses! I would like to use it in a minor plot point but wasn't sure if it was too off the wall.

 

 

Re: Medical questions and terminology

lindelea,

Would they have had ginger in Middle-earth? it has so many great medicinal uses! I would like to use it in a minor plot point but wasn't sure if it was too off the wall

My herbal knowledge is unfortunately limited. I will answer to the best of my ability, but I am also starting a new topic and transferring this over so those with more botanical knowedge can participate.

Ginger is not one of the plants in Forodwaith's research article dealing with those which were known to be in Middle-earth. Exploring whether it could grow in Middle-earth, I got out my trusty 'Atlas of Middle-earth' and looked at climates. Ginger grows in tropical or subtropical climates. While Harad or Rhun might be hot enough, I suspect they'd be too dry. Anyone with more information?

Lyllyn

 

 

Pneumonia

*sigh*

I was sure I saw a research article on pneumonia in ME but now I cannot find one. Looked in this forum, too, but don't see one. Do you have info on pneumonia in Middle Earth?

What kinds of herbs would have been used in treatment?
slippery elm for cough? (or is that more for sore throat?)
willow bark tea for fever, I assume

I realize that things would have been pretty bleak without antibiotics. What was the survival rate? (pretty dismal, but some percentage did survive)

What other treatments would have been used? Mustard plaster? Hot onion poultice?

When did laudanum (an opiate, right?) start being used for lung cases (in my understanding, it eased the pain of constant violent coughing and allowed the patient to rest, but I could be mis-remembering here)?

Would it be plausible for opiates to start being available once the King took over and opened up the lands of the east to trade, and the roads to safer travel?

I must turn the internet over to teen for homework or I'd be researching some of this myself.

Many thanks for your help!

 

 

Re: Pneumonia

I was sure I saw a research article on pneumonia in ME but now I cannot find one. Looked in this forum, too, but don't see one. Do you have info on pneumonia in Middle Earth?

Sorry, the only disease article so far was on plague.

What kinds of herbs would have been used in treatment?
slippery elm for cough? (or is that more for sore throat?)
willow bark tea for fever, I assume


My herbal knowledge is very limited, and much of what I found is integrated into Forodwaiths plant article 'Olvar of Middle-Earth'. One site lists comfrey, echinacea, mullein. You can find it target=" blank"> here
Of course you could start a topic in Research questions for 'Herbs' and see if you can flush out some experts...

I realize that things would have been pretty bleak without antibiotics. What was the survival rate? (pretty dismal, but some percentage did survive)

Many do indeed survive untreated pneumonia, although some survivors will have permanent lung problems. Overall mortality rate is about 30%, so about 70% survive. The very old and very young, and those with other serious health problems are least likely to survive.

What other treatments would have been used? Mustard plaster? Hot onion poultice?

Sorry, maybe someone else can answer this one.

When did laudanum (an opiate, right?) start being used for lung cases (in my understanding, it eased the pain of constant violent coughing and allowed the patient to rest, but I could be mis-remembering here)?

This is a double edged sword. The opiate will suppress the cough and make the patient comfortable. Surpressing the cough reflex in pneumonia, especially in a world without antibiotics, is not always a good thing. Large doses of opiates can decrease breathing.

Would it be plausible for opiates to start being available once the King took over and opened up the lands of the east to trade, and the roads to safer travel?

You'll have to post this question as a separate topic and get the trade experts in on this one.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Pneumonia

This is a double edged sword. The opiate will suppress the cough and make the patient comfortable. Surpressing the cough reflex in pneumonia, especially in a world without antibiotics, is not always a good thing. Large doses of opiates can decrease breathing

Agreed. And suppressing a cough is not always a good thing, as coughing is the means by which the body rids the lungs of phlegm. Now if it were a dry cough...That's why in modern times we see so many different cough formulas for sale. I had to learn a little bit on this subject since my oldest has chronic asthma, and the younger one and I get bronchial asthma if the allergies flare up or we get a cold or the flu. Now if you could find an herb that acts as an expectorant...

Nessime

 

 

Re: Pneumonia

This is a double edged sword. The opiate will suppress the cough and make the patient comfortable. Surpressing the cough reflex in pneumonia, especially in a world without antibiotics, is not always a good thing. Large doses of opiates can decrease breathing. ~ Lyllyn

It's not just opiates, if memory does not fail. If I'm recalling my pharmacology lectures correctly, several compounds that act as pain-killers have the unfortunate side-effect of being respiratory depressants (is this the correct term in English?). Of course, I doubt that codeine-based medicines would be a problem in Middle-Earth, but there may be herbal etc. compounds with the same effect (I'm afraid my herbal knowledge is minuscule).

Oh, and as Nessime says, letting phlegm and mucus to accumulate in the lungs is not advisable. Unless, of course, you believe that letting one patient die rather than cough the disease around is justifiable. Umm... I wonder what sort of epidemiology knowledge was available in Middle Earth...

Schnoogles,

-----AM

 

 

Re: Pneumonia

Ok, I have taken into account the discussion above, as well as medical information gleaned last night in the wee hours from the web, and written the details into the story I'm working on. If anyone who's gotten into this discussion (or anyone else for that matter) wouldn't mind looking at chapters 26 and 27 of "Jewels" in the beta section to let me know if I made any humongous bloopers, I'd appreciate it!

Here's a link to the story:
Jewels, main page

Thanks so much for your help!

I had pneumonia once, but thankfully it is the age of antibiotics...

 

 

Pneumonia relapse

Ok, so what can anyone tell me about relapsing into pneumonia? Can it be brought on by extreme emotional distress? What form would it take? Would it be worse or milder than the original course? Could it be headed off by proper measures and what would those measures entail in ME?

Thanks! As you can tell, I have no personal experience with relapse...
except maybe mononucleosis, but that was a long time ago... and I am not planning to write that into a story soon...

Thanks!

 

 

Midwifery question

Ok, I am somewhat familiar with childbirth (have had 3, none easy) in modern times, but need to know a few facts about Middle Earth medicine (specifically the Shire)

Would a healer ever be called in on a difficult delivery, or would it only be handled by midwife/female relations?

How would a breech presentation have been handled? I know it's an automatic C section nowadays (had one who came out foot first).

Now, James Herriot (the vet) was always sticking his arm up a laboring cow or sheep to turn a baby animal that was coming the wrong way; did that happen in "people" deliveries?

How premature could a baby be, and still survive under Middle Earth conditions? What kinds of measures would they have taken?

Thanks so much for the help! My next chapter depends upon it!

 

 

Re: Midwifery question

Lindelea, I'll answer what I can here, I can't promise it'll be enough for your chapter.

but need to know a few facts about Middle Earth medicine (specifically the Shire)
Would a healer ever be called in on a difficult delivery, or would it only be handled by midwife/female relations?


I don't know of any materials detailing midwifery practices in the Shire. The Shire is somewhat based on 19th century rural England. As far as I can tell, babies were delivered by physicians or midwives, so you have the option. Fashion, finance and/or the desire to have anesthesia probably were factors in the choice.

How would a breech presentation have been handled? I know it's an automatic C section nowadays (had one who came out foot first).

Even today this is somewhat controversial. There are advocates for vaginal delivery of selected breech births, and there are both midwives and physicians who do those deliveries.

James Herriot (the vet) was always sticking his arm up a laboring cow or sheep to turn a baby animal that was coming the wrong way; did that happen in "people" deliveries?

Turning a baby during labor is not done. However, there is technique that is considered very safe, where the practitioner attempts to turn the baby between the 37th week and delivery. It is called External cepahlic version, and you can find material about it here:
target="_blank">External Cephalic Version

How premature could a baby be, and still survive under Middle Earth conditions? What kinds of measures would they have taken?

In a corresponding RL era there weren't good measures. Without ultrasound, you can't measure size or estimate birth weight. You count back, and you can be right or wrong. Anything below 37 weeks gestation (pregnancy) is considered preterm. 34-36 weeks is considered mild preterm. 32-33 weeks is moderate preterm. Incubators and tube feedings wouldn't exist, neither would ventilators and surfactant.

So, assessment based on limited knowledge (any obstetricians, pediatricians, neonatologists or NICU nurses out there?):
Under 32 weeks - forget it.
32-33, high mortality rate, some will survive.
34-36 good chance.

Your healer or midwife should:
Keep the risks of infection to a minimum. Everything clean or sterilized, limit visitors to parents or caretakers.
Keep the child warm; premature babies can't regulate their temperature as well as term babies.
Start feeding the child immediately if at all possible. Mom likely isn't producing breast milk initally, use a wet nurse. Feed with a dropper, tiny spoon, syringe, whatever if the baby can't suck.

Hope this helps.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Midwifery question

> How would a breech presentation have been handled?

The midwife would no doubt try to turn it by external version (as Lyllyn said) or various other folk remedies - making the pregnant woman lie on a board with her feet elevated for a few minutes every day, directing light or sound near the bottom of the womb to attract the baby, etc.

If nothing happened... obviously there's no alternative to vaginal delivery. Fortunately most breech presentations are complete (baby is ass first, with ankles up by ears) which isn't *too* bad. Footling (feet first) breeches are worst.

As a rule of thumb, complications are most likely in either a first birth, or a later one (say, after 5 or more pregnancies).

 

 

Re: Midwifery question

Thanks for the replies! Your help, and the couple hours of web research I did today (amazing what you can find on the web) gave me enough info to attempt to write the chapter.

If you have time, check out Chapter 35 ("New Beginnings") of the story called "Jewels" in the beta section and let me know how it flows... I think baby Rose was probably about 34-35 weeks; I had written her as "about a month" early.

Read lots of birth stories and cribbed from one which had an 8-month with footling presentation (one foot) that came out making noise... also read on one medical website quite detailed instructions for reaching up to get the other foot if only one foot came out... which is kind of what James Herriot did in lambing--if the legs were back he would reach in to get them, since lambs are supposed to come out feet first!

whew.

 

 

question about broken legs

Lyllyn, or anyone with knowledge of fractures, can you help me out here?

I'm writing a story about a Rider who breaks his leg when his horse falls on him. How long might a multiple fracture (say 2 or 3 places) take to heal? I'm guessing almost a year before he could walk again - there's no orthopedic surgery in Rohan, after all.

I'm also assuming that his leg would be be "withered" afterwards (i.e. atrophied) and probably a bit shorter. Does this sound about right?

 

 

Re: question about broken legs

I'm writing a story about a Rider who breaks his leg when his horse falls on him. How long might a multiple fracture (say 2 or 3 places) take to heal? I'm guessing almost a year before he could walk again - there's no orthopedic surgery in Rohan, after all.

I'm also assuming that his leg would be be "withered" afterwards (i.e. atrophied) and probably a bit shorter. Does this sound about right?


Definitely withered after the prolonged immobilization the fracture would need for healing. Some of that atrophy could be reversed as the Rider builds the muscle back up again. Might be shorter depending on the fracture, and it could look misshapen, and someone feeling the bone could feel something lumpy and strange.

If the bone fragments cut up the muscle, or there was muscle damage from the original injury (which is very possible with this kind of injury) the muscle might be permanently damaged as well, and the atrophy would be permanent.

In terms of the fracture you had in mind, I'm assuming you mean the bone(s) in the lower leg, the tibia and/or fibula as opposed to the femur in the thigh.
The tibia heals slowly, and for what is known as a 'high energy fracture' 3-5 months is a good estimate. If it is an open fracture, add another month or two. With complications, it could be even longer, and some never really heal, with the fragments staying separate.

If you needed to inflict more on the poor Rider, a bad crush injury, even with a closed fracture, would put him at risk for infection. In Rohan, amputation would be the main treatment. If the initial crush was bad enough, amputation would be considered immediately.

Even if he heals relatively well, he is likely to have some permanent limp.

If you are considering the femur instead these are more likely to result in shortening of the involved leg. These take about 6 months to heal, but any complications could prolong this.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Medical questions and terminology

Question about convulsions after head trauma -

What would they be called in a Shire era setting? Tremors? Fits? Something more gastly?

Would they be an automatic sign of a serious mental incapacity? or could they be a temporary condition that would resolve over time?

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Ariel

 

 

Re: Medical questions and terminology

Question about convulsions after head trauma -

What would they be called in a Shire era setting? Tremors? Fits? Something more gastly?


I have no way of knowing what they would call seizures, but as the Shire is somewhat modelled after 18th century Britain, fits might be reasonable, or convulsions. Tremors are something else, and seizures sound too modern, at least to me.

Would they be an automatic sign of a serious mental incapacity? or could they be a temporary condition that would resolve over time?

They don't have to indicate any mental incapacity. Most people with seizures are of completely normal mental capacity between seizures.

Seizures that occur within the first week after injury indicate a higher likelihood of recurrence. About half of those with seizures within the first week will have recurrence within 12 months, and about 75% will have recurrence within 2 years.

Some additional information that may be useful:
20% of mild brain injury patients have some deficit
90-100% of moderate to severe will have deficit
* related to:
- duration of coma (longer is worse)
- focal injuries are worse
- secondary brain injuries (diffuse swelling has high incidence of deficits)
- epidurals evacuated early have good recovery
- insidious subdurals that are not recognized early have high incidence of deficits

Unless you've changed things a lot since the last time I read it, Frodo has a relatively long duration of coma, and falls into the moderate to severe category by the time he is treated.

So what all this adds up to, the more seizures he has in the beginnin, the more likely he will continue to have them. If he has only one seizure, there is a good possibility he can remain seizure free in the future.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Midwifery question

Fortunately most breech presentations are complete (baby is ass first, with ankles up by ears) which isn't *too* bad. Footling (feet first) breeches are worst.

Forgive my ignorance but why is ass first better than feet first?

 

 

Re: Midwifery question

As a mother who had two double footling breech presentations, I will be happy to answer this.

Breech presentation where the posterior is presented is better for the infant because the size of the body that is being pushed through first is large enough to open up the birth canal for the following head. Infants are normally presented head first because if the head can be pushed through, the rest will be easy. In footling breech presentations, the smallest part is trying to come through first and the possibility of neck injury and serious impairment is very high (I was quoted 17% (cannot recall if this was mortality or morbidity rate) for my first child) because the bottom of the head, not the crown, is what is being used to force the birth canal open – and it is not designed to do that.

These days, most breech presentations in the US are delivered via C-section, but there are techniques that can be used to deliver even footling breech babies (I wrote of one in a story I am posting), however the risk and chances of complication are still much higher with these infants.

Ariel

 

 

Re: Medical questions and terminology

Thank you Lyllyn -

As for the length of Frodo's coma - I have changed the story a little to have him show more response initially, and will be having him at least beginning to come around (walking him through the various waking stages of coma that I found on a website on the subject) within the same day as the surgery. I can't have him too impaired or he wouldn't be fit for the quest, now, would he? I am hoping that would not be considered too long a coma for his recovery to be unbelievable.

The seizure idea was just a thought - I may not use it - but, as always, I prefer to research my work prior to writing it. These were questions I was not easily able to find answers to on my searches through the aether.

Ariel

 

 

Re: Midwifery question

This is directed to anyone with knowledge of midwifery as it might have been practiced in the Riddermark.

Specifically what would have been done to slow or stop a preterm labor. Would there have been any herbal remedies to slow or stop contractions? Any info would be helpful as all the sites I find online deal with modern medicine only.

Thanks!
~Nessime

 

 

Re: Midwifery question

This is directed to anyone with knowledge of midwifery as it might have been practiced in the Riddermark.

Specifically what would have been done to slow or stop a preterm labor. Would there have been any herbal remedies to slow or stop contractions? Any info would be helpful as all the sites I find online deal with modern medicine only.


This is not something I know a lot about, but I was able to find some information for you. Caution: I have found no scientific backing for any of this!

The herbs I have found that were used or are reported to be currently used are:
Chamomile, raspberry leaf, and wild yam root.
A few sources list black cohosh, but according to the Herbalists Desk Reference this can actually cause premature labor.

I hope this is helpful.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Midwifery question

This is not something I know a lot about, but I was able to find some information for you. Caution: I have found no scientific backing for any of this!

The herbs I have found that were used or are reported to be currently used are:
Chamomile, raspberry leaf, and wild yam root.
A few sources list black cohosh, but according to the Herbalists Desk Reference this can actually cause premature labor.



Thank-you, this is quite helpful. It's not so much the success rate of such treatments that I'm looking for as the fact that they would be attempted at all for this purpose, so this list is just what I'm looking for.

~Nessime

 

 

Re: Midwifery question

Just a but more info from a herbal I have, based around a tea for helping a difficult pregnancy. I've left out a couple of the ingredients listed, since I doubt they'd grow in Rohan.

Raspberry leaves contain fragarine which tones and strengthens the uterine and pelvic muscles for an easy birth.

Nettle strengthens pregnant women and can increase the milk supply for nursing mothers. Boil it for 10 minutes to lose the sting.

Rose hips nourish the blood and reproductive system and are good for post-partum healing.

A number for the recepies I have suggest oatstraw, presumably for the calming and stamina-increasing energy levels

 

 

Re: Midwifery question

Thanks for the additional information. I'd putted around a bit at one of the sites I'd found which lists herbal remedies, but wasn't entirely certain based on the information provided if they would be applicable to the situation I have in mind. Oatstraw was one mentioned for precisely what you stated, so it helps to know that it is included in a recipe for this purpose.

~Nessime

 

 

Re: Midwifery question

According to what my midwife said, raspberry leaf tea would be contra-indicated in a pregnancy that was experiencing preterm labour. It's generally used only in the last trimester of a pregnancy because it can (if taken too often/too strong) bring on contractions. In fact, when I was a week overdue, she recommended that I drink several extra-strong cups of it to see if it we could encourage labour to start.

Ditto for black cohosh, only more so.

Nettle does not have any tendency to bring on contractions, and it is a good strengthener (BTW, it tastes awful - imagine drinking tea made of grass clippings and you'll not be far off).

In the past, bedrest was really the only treatment for preterm labour - and even today, there are few effective drugs to stop early contractions. Most women experiencing them will be admitted to hospital as much for bedrest as for the drug treatment.

 

 

Re: Midwifery question

Raspberry leaf to bring on contractions? I trust your midwife more than my books as like i said, i took the herbs from a recepie to ease a difficult labour.

What about motherwort or crampbark? I've only a sentance each on their uses "traditionally given to mothers in the final stages of labour" for Motherwort and Crampbark "eases cramping during menses" so i assume they also bring on contractions rather than halt them.

I love nettle tea. Not on it's own, it's like drinking hot water as it's got little to no taste. But with blackcurrant or something similar, it's quite nice. I drink it in place of taking iron tablets. Nettle soup is nice too. But possibly i'm just wierd.

 

 

Re: Midwifery question

Yes, for a difficult or slow labour those herbs would make a lot of sense. It's only in the context of wanting to stop premature labour that they'd be a bad idea.

What about motherwort or crampbark?
For traditional (i.e. not necessarily backed up by clinical data or recent experience) herbal lore, this online text is good:
A Modern Herbal [Despite the title, it was originally published in 1931.]

According to this, motherwort is "especially valuable in female weakness and disorders (hence the name), allaying nervous irritability and inducing quiet and passivity of the whole nervous system." Sounds like a tranquilizer!

I love nettle tea. Not on it's own, it's like drinking hot water as it's got little to no taste.
I must have been making it far too strong, then!

 

 

Re: Midwifery question

According to what my midwife said, raspberry leaf tea would be contra-indicated in a pregnancy that was experiencing preterm labour. It's generally used only in the last trimester of a pregnancy because it can (if taken too often/too strong) bring on contractions. In fact, when I was a week overdue, she recommended that I drink several extra-strong cups of it to see if it we could encourage labour to start.

Ditto for black cohosh, only more so.


This is really good to know, as the situation I have in mind occurs during the second trimester.

Nettle does not have any tendency to bring on contractions, and it is a good strengthener (BTW, it tastes awful - imagine drinking tea made of grass clippings and you'll not be far off).

I wondered what some of these might taste like. The site I've been looking at just has a generic note that the herbal teas can be sweetened with honey, etc. Knowing what they taste like would be useful in writng the patient's reaction to having to drink it!


In the past, bedrest was really the only treatment for preterm labour - and even today, there are few effective drugs to stop early contractions. Most women experiencing them will be admitted to hospital as much for bedrest as for the drug treatment.

I suspected as much. This has all been very helpful.

~Nessime


 

 

Re: Midwifery question

I love nettle tea. Not on it's own, it's like drinking hot water as it's got little to no taste. But with blackcurrant or something similar, it's quite nice. I drink it in place of taking iron tablets. Nettle soup is nice too. But possibly i'm just wierd.

Nettle soup? How would one go about making it? This could be very interesting!

I like the idea of flavoring the nettle tea with something like blackcurrent.

I used to know a little about herbal but haven't kept up with most of it , so this information is wonderful. Many thanks!

~Nessime

 

 

Re: Midwifery question

What about motherwort or crampbark?
For traditional (i.e. not necessarily backed up by clinical data or recent experience) herbal lore, this online text is good:
A Modern Herbal [Despite the title, it was originally published in 1931.]


Great! Thanks for the link. I'm off to do some more reading on the subject.

~Nessime

 

 

Stab wounds

A bit more gruesome than the recent midwifery questions
How would the appearance of a wound caused by a hard, fast sword stab (as in a typical battle situation) compare with one in which the sword is slowly and "gently" introduced? More ragged tearing in the first instance? Any difference in a blood spatter pattern (on the victim; the killer is in absentia)?

I'm thinking abdomen here, if that makes a difference.

-Aerlinnel

 

 

Re: Stab wounds

A bit more gruesome than the recent midwifery questions
How would the appearance of a wound caused by a hard, fast sword stab (as in a typical battle situation) compare with one in which the sword is slowly and "gently" introduced? More ragged tearing in the first instance? Any difference in a blood spatter pattern (on the victim; the killer is in absentia)?

I'm thinking abdomen here, if that makes a difference.



Interesting question! I'd like more details on the 'gently introduced' part, but some preliminary information:
A wound in a battle could be a straight thrust, force going in a straight line foward, or given while the the blade is moving - more of a cutting action. I found some interesting stuff on the physics of it (I won't inflict details on you), and the most important part is the sharpness of the tip and velocity of the blade. I'll assume we're talking about the same blade and a straight path in each case.

The quick straight thrust with a sharp blade would penetrate smoothly and deeply unless it hit bone. The slow one wouldn't be any more ragged, but wouldn't penetrate nearly as far unless the assailant kept up steady force. The skin is the most resistant to the blade except for bone. Once you go through skin it just slides through everything else. If you need something to distinguish the two postmortem, you can use bruise marks on the skin from the hilt. A hard thrust up to the hilt should leave those, a slow one should not, unless pressure was kept up for a long time.

Abdomen makes a difference only in that there is no bone for a sword to encounter until you reach the spine. I don't know if this would matter to you, but unless the sword hits one of the big blood vessels, the victim will not die immediately. I can elaborate on this if you like, and there is also some information in the Research article section of Resources under Medicine - wounds.

Do satisfy my curiosity. Why is someone 'gently' introducing a sword? Is he or she shy?

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Stab wounds

Thanks, Lyllyn! That's very helpful.

See Runaway Star/Sercemaitë for the "gently introduced" sword. I'm thinking of expanding on that episode yet again...anything to break out of this cursed writer's block...

-Aerlinnel

 

 

Re: Midwifery question

Nessime said, Specifically what would have been done to slow or stop a preterm labor. Would there have been any herbal remedies to slow or stop contractions? Any info would be helpful as all the sites I find online deal with modern medicine only.

I don't know if this reply is too late, but my midwife told me about how alcohol can be used (late term) to slow or stop labor. Can't remember any of the details... but she did say that sometimes alcohol is administerd by IV drip in the hospital to stop preterm labor. She had a client who was drinking and keeping herself from going into labor when it was time, too... that's all I remember.

 

 

Fever

I know I read somewhere that "fever" is an easy-to-use plot device to temporarily disable a character. So, anybody got some good, informative words about fever? How would they have handled it in Middle Earth--let it run its course, figuring it would burn out the "baddies"? or would they have used herbs? soaks in a cool tub? ...I know that cool wet cloths on the forehead are very popular in stories...

What would some of the causes of fever be? Would they have worried about it being contagious? How long would a normal course run? (guess that depends on if you're dealing with strep, not a minor condition; or a virus of some sort)

 

 

Re: Fever

A twofer!
1. Alcohol by IV drip used to be standard treatment for preterm labor, until it was supplanted by better drugs. Interestingly, women who had that treatment for the most part hated it. Drinking a lot might work, as long the person doesn't get too sick and start vomiting uncontrollably.

Now on to fever.
How would they have handled it in Middle Earth--let it run its course, figuring it would burn out the "baddies"? or would they have used herbs? soaks in a cool tub? ...I know that cool wet cloths on the forehead are very popular in stories...

Willow bark tea would have been a good treatment, it's essentially the same as aspirin. Cool wet cloths are more comfort measures than fever reducing measures. Letting the fever run it's course was commonly done, and there is some research around that argues for it currently. Once you get over about 102 (less in some people, more in others) the person feels so miserable that reducing the fever can be a powerful comfort measure.

What would some of the causes of fever be? Would they have worried about it being contagious? How long would a normal course run? (guess that depends on if you're dealing with strep, not a minor condition; or a virus of some sort)

The usual cause of fever is an infection, the others are far less common. Depending on the sophistication of their medical knowledge, they may have worried about contagion. The Shire (assuming your story is in your current arc) is based on 19th century England, and at that time it was known that some diseases were communicable. The Shire knew about the Great Plague, they would understand that sickness can be passed from person to person.

A normal course depends on the infection. If you want a nice high fever that incapacitates someone for 2 to 7 days and doesn't leave lasting damage, consider a flu. A real flu can leave you feeling like you can't get out of bed and can give you a fever of 104 F, or 40 C.

Tell me what the outcome should be, and I'll scratch up a few diseases for you.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Midwifery question

Not too late at all! Thank you for another interesting bit of information!

I wonder how much alcohol she was drinking, as we know now that too much is bad for the unborn child. But in the correct proportions...? I will have to poke around a bit and see if I can discover anything more.

~Nessime

 

 

Sword cuts

I have already read the wonderful research articles on medical topics but could not find an answer, so here's the question: My most unfortunate main character has received a rather nasty sword cut to the shoulder (a blow from above/behind, dealt with considerable force, the attacker advanced from the back), somewhere between the neck and the joint. I have figured out that such a blow would result in a broken clavicle and a deep cut, though, according to my story so far, no large bloodvessels have been severed. But as such a cut would sever at least some of the muscular cords in the shoulder (I hope I figured out correctly that there are no tendons and the like involved) and my unfortunate main character is not due to see a healer within the next month, I have some question: - What kind of "first aid" would be appropriate (appart form cleaning and covering the wound). I am thinking about setting the bone, if that is possible at all ... - What are the consequences if such a wound is not treated properly, especially for the muscles. Could the damage be "repaired" even after the main injury has healed (I am thinking in terms of maybe six months after the injury, and since the healer in question would be Elrond, I think I have quite some leeway, but I want to make it as believable as possible - I am not overly fond of putting it all off as Elf-magic). tia, fliewatuet

 

 

Re: Sword cuts

What kind of "first aid" would be appropriate (appart form cleaning and covering the wound).

You are right that first and most important is cleaning. Have the character or someone pour clean water on it several times.

I am thinking about setting the bone, if that is possible at all

Clavicles typically are not set. Instead, you want to stabilize the area so it doesn't move much. This could be complicated by the type of wound (see below). For the circumstances you describe, I'd recommend a simple sling of the arm on the affected side, being careful to pad the area of the wound well so the sling doesn't put pressure on it.

What are the consequences if such a wound is not treated properly, especially for the muscles.

This depends on the wound somewhat. I'll give a quick answer first, then go into detail - might be a lot more information than you ever wanted so I'll put it at the end.

If the wound is kept clean and does not get infected, that is the first and most important part; untreated, infection is more likely, but not inevitable. The muscle can be repaired later, althought the success rate declines. There have been cases of successful muscle repair 13 years after the initial injury, although which muscle does make some difference. Bottom line: With luck and the right initial injury, it is believable that the most skillful healer in M-e could fix it, leaving your character with a nasty scar and a long rehabilitation to build up strength.


It sounds as if you have thought out the initial injury carefully. I don't know everything you plan, so I'll mention some things to consider.

Details:
The injury you describe can certainly break bone. I would suggest you stop it at that, and not have the blade go through the bone. A cut through the clavicle could damage the subclavian artery underneath, and this is a large artery. Death would be very likely without sophisticated intervention.

It matters where on the clavicle the injury is - for medical assessment the clavicle is divided into the third closest to the neck (medial third), the middle third, and the third closest to the shoulder (lateral third). I recommend the sword cut at the lateral third or second best the middle third; otherwise it is a lot more likely to cause severe or fatal injury.

Assuming the wound is lateral third, it is most likely to cut 3 muscles - names supplied on request. At least two of them would not be cut completely through, and probably all three would retain some function, especially if you pick your spot.

This would leave the character with weakness of these muscles once everything healed. The actions that would be difficult or impossible:
Raising the arm sideways on the affected side.
Carrying a weight with the arm at the side (like carrying a suitcase)
The character's shoulder could droop on that side even when not carrying anything.
If the injury is the middle third instead of lateral third, the character would have trouble bending the head toward the cut side, or turning the head toward the opposite side.

If a certain nerve was cut - and the injury doesn't have to do this - the shoulder blade on that side would 'wing' or appear in an abnormal position.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Sword cuts

Wow, thanks a lot for the detailed answer! The injury has already occurd, see my forever WIP Doomed to Live if you are interested in the details. But other than a description of the event that led to the injury, I have not yet gone into detail about the resulting wound itself. But since that's due for the next chapter, I decided to ask I think I'll go for that lateral third to be injured, and since I am a curious, if somewhat lazy person, I would be interested in the names of the affected muscles (though I am not sure if I will actually go so far as to hunt for anatomical websites ... the images tend to be not so pretty ). Unfortunately, immobilizing the afflicted arm in a sling is out of question, since my unfortunate main character is unfortunate enough to be a captive of Uruk-Hai, so immobilization by hands tied behind his back will have to do (did I mention that he's unfortunate?), but one of his fellow prisoners will be allowed to tend to him and I'll have to figure out what he'll be able to do. Which seems to be not much, other than to apply some of that vile Orc-medicine that Tolkien invented, but that seems to at least stave off infection (or so I guess). I already suspected that the scarring would not be really nice, but I was concerned whether I would have to add too much elven magic in order to restore the use of the afflicted arm. Given what you wrote, I think it would be believable that Elrond could pull it off and long rehabilitation will be no problem. Again, thanks a lot, fliewatuet

 

 

Re: Sword cuts

The injury has already occurd, see my forever WIP Doomed to Live

I think I had read the first two chapters months ago - but somehow missed the others. It's now on the list, along with several other stories that look enticing - I'll have some time next week... (crosses fingers).


But other than a description of the event that led to the injury, I have not yet gone into detail about the resulting wound itself.

What you have in the first two chapters leaves you lots of leeway and choices.

I would be interested in the names of the affected muscles.

The deltoid, which goes from the outside of the upper arm to the clavicle; the trapezius which covers the back of the neck and the upper back and comes forward to the clavicle, and the supraspinatus which goes from the shoulder blade to the upper arm.

Unfortunately, immobilizing the afflicted arm in a sling is out of question, since my unfortunate main character is unfortunate enough to be a captive of Uruk-Hai, so immobilization by hands tied behind his back will have to do (did I mention that he's unfortunate?),

Actually, aside from the discomfort of the position, it should work fairly well. One commercial brace puts the patient into a position that is similar (but without tying the hands!)

...but one of his fellow prisoners will be allowed to tend to him and I'll have to figure out what he'll be able to do. Which seems to be not much, other than to apply some of that vile Orc-medicine that Tolkien invented, but that seems to at least stave off infection (or so I guess).

Since Tolkien indicates that, I'd take it as a good guess. Would Pippin be able to get any water to wash the wound out? If at any point he could, that would be a plus. If they ever get free Pippin and Merry could do more, even while traveling.


Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Sword cuts

Thanks again for the information. I have one more question concerning this issue: Would a blow like the one described result in a clear break or would there be shards of bone in the wound?
I still have to figure out whether water will be available for treatment. I haven't decided that one yet. So you still have plently of time to catch up reading as an update is not likely to appear within the next three weeks
Thanks again, fliewatuet

 

 

Re: Sword cuts

Would a blow like the one described result in a clear break or would there be shards of bone in the wound?

I'm afraid I have to say 'that depends'. The good news is that you can have it either way.

Warning: moderately graphic...

It depends both on how heavy and how sharp the sword is, on the angle, and on the velocity of the blade swing. If the sword is very sharp, it can cut through bone. I don't know if an orc would meticulously sharpen a blade, but a scimitar is a good cutting sword because of the curve. Blades can even get stuck in bone, or get bent from contact with bone. If the blade is blunt and heavy, and the swing gives a high velocity, it would function somewhat as a club as well as an edge and the bone could shatter. This gives you lots of choices - anything from a fairly clean cut to a mass of fragments. How badly hurt do you want him to be?

lyllyn

 

 

Re: Sword cuts

So you still have plently of time to catch up reading as an update is not likely to appear within the next three weeks

So... what's the name of the story? Sounds interesting. Pardon me if you mentioned it already and I missed the mention. Am skimming through in haste, about to have to turn the computer over to the next family member standing in line for the computer.

Oops. Never mind. I just glanced back thru the thread and found it. Will look into it later when there is not someone breathing down my neck.

Lin

 

 

Re: Sword cuts

How badly hurt do you want him to be?
Not bad enough to be crippled for the rest of his life, but as I consider Aragorn a very tough guy, it takes quite a bit to knock him off his feet (which is essential for the rest of the story). So I want him hurt quite badly, at least bad enough for the wound not to completely heal on its own but to require later surgery to heal (safe a scar, don't know how fit Elrond is when it comes to plastic surgery ).
Lindelea: I am always happy when people want to read my story. And as Real Life slowly releases its clutches, I can now go so far as to promise another update before the end of the next months
fliewatuet

 

 

Re: Sword cuts

Not bad enough to be crippled for the rest of his life, but as I consider Aragorn a very tough guy, it takes quite a bit to knock him off his feet (which is essential for the rest of the story). So I want him hurt quite badly, at least bad enough for the wound not to completely heal on its own but to require later surgery to heal (safe a scar, don't know how fit Elrond is when it comes to plastic surgery ).

Hurt quite badly...Ok. I'm trying to clarify as there are many shades of badly.

If it the clavicle is broken, even with some fragments, it has a good chance to heal. If it is completely shattered, it may not heal. If the broken peices are in a bad position, it may heal, but strangely, and even put pressure on the big nerves nearby.

The combination of the muscle injury and the broken clavicle would make the arm pretty useless for a while, although he could still use the hand and forearm.

If you want more injury than that, you can have enough blood loss from the injury, either immediate or gradual from continued bleeding, to weaken him. Since I doubt the orcs would feed him well, he wouldn't be able to replenish the lost blood.

This could work well, depending on what you have in mind, because he can be weak for quite a while, and even near fainting - especially when he stands up suddenly - yet is reversible within a few weeks with plenty of iron-rich food.

BTW - I don't recall you saying which side was affected, but since he fights the orc afterwards, I'm assuming it wasn't his sword arm.

And I agree, I don't think they'd worry much about the cosmetic aspect in M-e, too busy trying to maintain function.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Sword cuts

If you want more injury than that, you can have enough blood loss from the injury, either immediate or gradual from continued bleeding, to weaken him. Since I doubt the orcs would feed him well, he wouldn't be able to replenish the lost blood.

Hmm, too much blood loss won't work as he must remain strong enough to keep pace with the Orcs, but I will definitely keep that in mind for later chapters (I hope that I don't give away too much of the plot to come by saying that Aragorn has not reached the end of his ordeal yet ).

BTW - I don't recall you saying which side was affected, but since he fights the orc afterwards, I'm assuming it wasn't his sword arm.

It is the sword arm (he continues fighting with his left hand -- I assumed he would be not too bad at wielding a sword with his left hand), and in order to keep him worried about whether he will regain the use of his sword arm at all, I need the injury severe enough to take sufficient time and treatment to heal completely. But as this won't be his only injury before the end ...

Anyway, thank you so much Lyllyn, you have given me plenty of food for thought.

fliewatuet

Addendum: BTW, Lyllyn, I have figured out (or I think I have) what muscles would be afflicted (thanks to some webpage on bodybuilding , I would have never thought of browsing through stuff like that ...). That would be the lateral deltoid and upper trapezius, the other one seems too sheltered to be afflicted (safe some minor injuries due to splinters) unless the bone were cut, not shattered.

 

 

Poisons and drugs

Terrible. I am looking for a reference where I can look up something that would incapacitate someone, gradually getting worse without an antidote. And then I need to know about antidotes. Or if someone could recommend something specific, that would be nice. Somehow I hesitate to go to google and put in "poison". Seems as if it would trigger an FBI investigation or something. Tell me I've been watching too many thrillers...

Preferably something that could be slipped into a bottle of wine.

I'm thinking of something the hill men might have dumped in a water hole to stun the animals and make them easy targets, and an unscrupulous man might have picked up from them to use on travellers passing through in order to take advantage of them.

Got any ideas?

 

 

Re: Poisons and drugs

Somehow I hesitate to go to google and put in "poison". Seems as if it would trigger an FBI investigation or something.

I'm no good on the medical stuff, but if poison is a bad thing to google, you've made me feel slightly worried.

 

 

Re: Poisons and drugs

Somehow I hesitate to go to google and put in "poison". Seems as if it would trigger an FBI investigation or something. Tell me I've been watching too many thrillers...

Possibly. I remember Shadow 975 saying she hoped no one was keeping track when she was researching guns for 'An End to Innocence.'

This is actually a difficult question you've asked, Lindelea, at least for me - perhaps someone else has more information. I'll do some research, but it's not a straightforward problem. Most poisons that accumulate aren't going to be reversed very easily. And prior to modern medicine, antidotes were often more of a hope than a reality. Even modern medicine doesn't have that many good ones, especially before very recent monoclonal antibody technology.

Lyllyn

edit I just realized we may be thinking very different things for 'gradually'. What time course did you have in mind? And does the poison have to stun or sedate the person, or could it doother bad things instead?

 

 

Re: Poisons and drugs

Thanks, Lyllyn! I surely appreciate your help and the time you take that makes our stories more believable. I hope you can read this post... I am not writing well today. Ah well, it's good today is a research day and not a writing day.

In this story, I have some badly chilled hobbits coming in out of a blizzard, so they could be a little "logy" (I don't know if that's the word I'm trying to think of) already. They start a fire and start to thaw out and the (mad)Man who owns the hut comes in, offers them wine spiked with something that makes them uncoordinated and unable to resist when he later ties them up and starts making dastardly threats and even begins to carry out those threats. Okay, so they arrive in early evening, five or sixish? and are drugged by eight or so, perhaps. (nasty ruffians, they keep popping up just when you thought you were rid of them)

I was imagining this stuff as something the Man learned about from the wild men in the hills, something they might put into bait to kill wolves, or sprinkled over grain left out to lure and then to stun the animals that ate the grain, and as long as they caught (not difficult, with animals disoriented and staggering) and butchered the animals fairly quickly after ingestion of the drugged grain, when the stuff was just starting to affect them but had not yet spread throughout their systems, the meat would still be safe to eat. Perhaps this is unrealistic and I will have to rethink the situation. Dunno.

Another hobbit who was in the "back room" and not seen by the Man, creeps out and hits the Man while he's crouching over the hobbits he's gloating over, over the head with a wine bottle, (my that's a lot of "overs") knocking him out. This hobbit tries to tend to drugged and injured hobbits. Because one of the injured has been so traumatised by the fire on the hearth, the others decide to put the fire out, even though it's freezing outside. They huddle together for warmth.

When the King and rescue party arrive in the morning (looking for hobbits, not really hoping to find them, how "lucky"! ha.), all the hobbits are suffering hypothermia. The injured hobbits are also suffering effects of the drug. I was thinking the drug/poison might affect them for several days afterwards, even though it doesn't kill them.

Perhaps there isn't an antidote, or maybe good-ol' athelas keeps them from dying but cannot reverse the effects completely, and only time can wash the poison from their bodies. I might have to make something up, but was looking for something "real" to base it on.

They continue uncoordinated and unfocused. It is difficult for others to get their attention, until they are forced to rouse by a shocking situation (the wrong Man has been accused of assaulting them and is about to be punished for the crime he didn't do; at least one of the injured hobbits is roused or rouses himself to full involvement in the situation in order to intervene).

Come to think of it, I think adrenalin has a nullifying effect on this drug, probably only temporary, as the drug remains in their systems for some days after their ordeal, and the ordeal certainly would have generated adrenaline.

There, did I cloud matters entirely, or give you something to work with? At the very least, now you know more than you ever wanted to know, and don't even need to read the story when it gets posted...

 

 

Re: Poisons and drugs

Lindelea, There are a few things inhabitants could use that would make the Hobbits uncoordinated and/or unable to think clearly - Belladonna would be a common plant and poison, Monkshood is another. These would wear off with time, or could be treated (although the treatments are no picnic, either). Both of these are deadly, but with smaller doses would make the victim sick. The most common and effective treatment is to induce vomiting as soon as someone realizes they've ingested the stuff.

The problem is actually in the proposed background explanation - men giving the poison to animals and then expecting to eat the meat. One of the historical examples you may be thinking of is curare - but the difference is that curare is used on animals as a dart. It would paralyze only if it pierced the skin and got into the blood, but was not harmful if the poison was eaten.

I hope that helps, and if you need information on specific poisons I can give you some sites to look at.

(I'm away from home for the next 3 days so I have a net connection but not all my bookmarks, but I can still give you a reference or two. When I get home I'll have several.)

HTH
Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Poisons and drugs

Thanks! So, would belladonna and monkshood taint meat if animals ingested it? Might have to change the plot point and have the Man picking up the poison some other way than from the Hillmen. And (am giving away plot point here, shhh, don't tell anyone) if this madman is thinking of eating the hobbits (shudder, he really is mad. Perhaps he has delusions of trollhood), could he incapacitate them with something in the wine, without fear for himself?

Isn't belladonna used medicinally? (must be in tiny doses)

What kind of treatments are you alluding to? Is there some sort of treatment that would work, the morning following ingestion, or am I poisoning the poor hobbits to death? (cannot do that, they are main characters) Vomiting as soon as they realise they've ingested the stuff may not be an option, especially since the hobbits would not be thinking clearly, and would be tied up by the madman in the bargain, remaining that way for an hour or more before the hidden hobbit is able to knock the ruffian out and untie them. Or would the hidden hobbit then try to make the incapacitated hobbits vomit?

What would the King do, next morning, to treat them?

 

 

Re: Poisons and drugs

Perhaps he has delusions of trollhood), could he incapacitate them with something in the wine, without fear for himself?

He could do this only if he waited for the effects to wear off beforehand, using the poison so they could be captured then waiting until they recovered somewhat.

Isn't belladonna used medicinally? (must be in tiny doses)

Yes, the active ingredient Atropine is used, but the dose is carefully controlled.

What kind of treatments are you alluding to? Is there some sort of treatment that would work, the morning following ingestion, or am I poisoning the poor hobbits to death? (cannot do that, they are main characters) Vomiting as soon as they realise they've ingested the stuff may not be an option, especially since the hobbits would not be thinking clearly, and would be tied up by the madman in the bargain, remaining that way for an hour or more before the hidden hobbit is able to knock the ruffian out and untie them. Or would the hidden hobbit then try to make the incapacitated hobbits vomit?

Vomiting is the only worthwhile treatment available to them. Even in modern times there aren't good antidotes to poisons like Monkshood or Belladonna, and what's available for Belladonna is only used when the situation is grave because it has its own problems.

What would the King do, next morning, to treat them?

Nothing, really. Depending on how long it had been, it would probably be wearing off by then. You could use Athelas to make them feel better, of course.

I'm afraid real life poisons don't cooperate well with dramatic necessity.

There is an interesting article on Medieval poisons at Stefan's Florilegium

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Poisons and drugs

Someone suggested spider venom, which would paralyse but not kill and not make the flesh unwholesome for the predator. Perhaps the Hillmen have trade with Men in Mirkwood, or they have their own problems with oversized spiders in the hills. It might be used as curare, which you're right, it was the stuff I was thinking of, having grown up with a brother who enjoyed bringing out such topics at the supper table...

I must admit I'm leaning in that direction now, rather than completely making something up--or altering the plot to fit reality! LOL

Of course, ingestion might have different results than injection, but OTOH, since I'm not using a real-life compound, I suppose I can make up my own rules (within reason). I just don't want it to sound contrived.

I appreciate your help, even if the plot I'm trying to spin does not fit the constraints of real-life poisons. Drat. Good thing I'm not writing RL type murder mysteries. (And didn't Agatha Christie get in trouble when she was researching obscure poisons? *g*)

Fascinating article at the link you posted. Hey, Aragorn bore an emerald, didn't he? Did you notice this line? (Emerald, when waved over suspicious food or drink, was believed to render it safe likewise from poison.) Food for thought. I laughed out loud when he recounted the anecdote of the man attempting to procure a toadstone, resulting in him being groggy and the toad being grumpy.

I am rambling and must seek a cup of morning tea. thanks again!

 

 

Re: Poisons and drugs

This is probably a year too late for the original question, but I thought I'd post it anyway.

For stopping preterm labor, in addition to what's been posted, one thing that can help is drinking lots of water. Dehydration can bring on premature labor, so if that is the problem, getting rehydrated by drinking plenty of water or tea, or taking a long soak in a lukewarm bath, can stop it.

Another thing that can bring on labor prematurely is an infection, particularly urinary tract infections, so antibiotic herbs like garlic or goldenseal could be helpful. Also craberries or blueberries are good for UTI's.

Alcohol is also good for stopping contractions. A common midwife's suggestion as a first approach for preterm labor is to drink a glass of wine and take a tepid bath.

If the labor can't be stopped and the baby is born prematurely, a method called "kangaroo care" requires no technology and is very effective. The baby is placed naked on the mother's bare chest and both are wrapped warmly in blankets. The baby has to expend very little energy to move to the breast and nurse as often as it wants to. Babies born at 34 weeks or so, or later, will usually do well this way. If you google on "kangaroo care" you can get lots more detail on exactly how it works and how effective it is.

Elana

 

 

Re: Poisons and drugs

Elana, of course I must now fling a resource!nuzgul.

You are extremely knowledgeable, would you consider writing an article on childbirth in Middle-earth?

It could include anything from the physical facts and treatments give the level of technology to how midwives might be trained.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Premature Labour

Probably a year too late, as Elana says, but just as a matter of interest...my mother went into premature labour with me somewhere around the five month mark (26 weeks, I think). She was prescribed total bed rest (not even allowed to get up to use the bathroom) and regular doses of alcohol. At first they brought her a shot of brandy to chug back every four hours - which might help to answer the question posted somewhere above about amounts of alcohol used in situations like this. Mum hated the brandy (she would have preferred the wine that Elana suggested, but I guess that wasn't an option at the hospital!) so eventually they put her on a drip. I was born at 30 weeks, weighing a whopping 3 pounds 10 ounces, and (obviously! ) survived with no lasting effects, although apparently it was touch and go for the first couple of weeks. This was in 1976 though - no doubt my chances would have been even worse in a pre-industrial society, which is how we are meant to think of Middle Earth, as far as I know...

 

 

Re: Birth in ME

Lyllyn, I think I would like to do that article. The trick is to organize all my thoughts and track down references for all the disconnected information floating around in my head. I'll start working on it, though it will probably take a while. Elana

 

 

Re: Birth in ME

Lyllyn, I think I would like to do that article. The trick is to organize all my thoughts and track down references for all the disconnected information floating around in my head. Welcome to the ranks of the resource!nuzgul bitten. Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Birth in ME

Lyllyn, I think I would like to do that article. The trick is to organize all my thoughts and track down references for all the disconnected information floating around in my head. Welcome to the ranks of the resource!nuzgul bitten. Congratulations, Lyllyn! Your evilness continues unabated! Elana - I was very much hoping you would agree to write this article -and am very much looking forward to seeing it - as I gave a great deal of amusement to my beta circle for showcasing my lamentable lack of detailed knowledge of childbirth in a draft of my current WIP. Can I put in a plea for something about miscarriages and post-birth problems (both immediate and long-term) as well? Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Birth in ME

Those who do resources: An excellent site for information about pregnancy, related health issues, birth, and infant physiology and behavior is: http://www.babycenter.com It is intended for expectant mothers, and has ALL the information you could EVER need, in terms the average person can understand. For the original novel I was working on, I got more information than I could have possibly needed all in one place. There's information about problems with pregnancies, as well, though I'm not sure about miscarriages-- I didn't do much research into those. But-- very good info, with things like "what will this feel like" and "what happens if I want to do this" and "what will it look like" etc. An AWESOME resource if you need pregnant women or babies in your fic. And, a very good description of natural childbirth.

 

 

Re: Birth in ME

An AWESOME resource if you need pregnant women or babies in your fic. And, a very good description of natural childbirth. Thanks, Dragonlady! Hang around long enought and you might get a wee bite yourself - but nuzguls are awfully cute! Lyllyn

 

 

Unconsciousness

I have decided that my forever-WIP Doomed to Live needs a thorough rewrite as I fear that I might have messed up some medical issues among other things. While I have a rough idea how to fix the other things, I am not so sure about this one: Is it reasonable for a person to lose consciousness due to pain alone? Unfortunate Main Character receives a nasty sword cut to the shoulder, has to battle a few more Orcs. They overwhelm him and give him a good kick to his injured shoulder for good measure. Then he blacks out. Is that a reasonable scenario? How long would he stay unconscious? Currently, I have him out cold for several hours (about 5 or 6) while he is dragged through the Emyn Muil by Orcs, but now that I think of it, that seems like an awfully long time as the wound is neither poisoned nor so deep that he is about to die from loss of blood anywhere soon. TIA fliewatuet

 

 

Re: Unconsciousness

Is it reasonable for a person to lose consciousness due to pain alone? A person can lose consciousness as a reaction to pain, but it would be very brief, a few minutes at most. Lyllyn Question for others - is this thread getting so long it's slow to load? If so we can start another.

 

 

Re: Unconsciousness

Yes, but only for a couple seconds or minutes. The person gets shocky, they pass out, but a few seconds later, they wake up again. The only ways I can think of to knock someone out for a long period of time are lots of blood loss or a severe head injury (or drugs). And needless to say, those have a million other complications that you probably don't want to deal with.

 

 

Re: Unconsciousness

Thanks Lyllyn and Gypsum! I feared as much. And since I neither want to add drugs or a head injury to Aragorn's misery, I'll have to change that. I hope that having him somewhat stunned and drifting in and out of sleep for the next couple of hours does not seem too far off (and neither too out of character). At least that's what Tolkien had Pippin experience in the same situation, and Pippin was not severly injured. Thanks again, fliewatuet Edit: Starting a new thread seems a good idea. I have a rather fast internet connection but it took considerable time to load the entire thread.

 

 

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