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Hospital Stay Post-GSW to Abdomen (+ Injury Details)
Writer at Work
ashen_key wrote in little_details
SETTING: Odessa, Ukraine, 2008/2009
SEARCHED: previous posts here; gunshot wound to abdomen recovery; post-surgery procedure; hospital recovery room. I've ended up with a lot of general information that relies on 'depends', and I need a few more specifics.
SET-UP: An athletic woman in her mid-twenties (who for the purposes of this is pretending to be American) is covering another person at the base of a cliff when she gets shot by a sniper, and bullet goes straight through. She survives with this scar, and I'm guessing that's the bullet's exit point from what the character said of the set-up. About two years later, the character seems to be suffering no mobility issues or long-term damage that impacts her very active job.

- Assuming the shooter is standing on the cliff above her, roughly where would the entry-point be on her back for that scar to be the exit-point and what would be hit? (As mentioned, she survives with no mobility issues)
- How long would they want to keep her in the hospital? And how soon would she be allowed visitors and moved to her own room?
- How long before would it be safe-ish to leave? She'll be leaving with someone pretending to be her husband (she's aware of this deceit and is going along with it). Doctors can be unhappy about her leaving, but not actually stop her.
- How long before she's able to move about somewhat normally?

I found a lot of information that started with 'depends where the patient is hit', which wasn't quite helpful with pinning things down given I'm working within what the character's movie said. So, anything more specific would be super-useful.

I don't have a *lot* of answers for you, unfortunately, just a few anecdotes about my own abdominal surgery.

Although, to be honest, that scar doesn't look like it was *surgically* touched at all. I don't know about hospitals in the Ukraine, but in the US, you can go see a patient once they're out of recovery (have woken up from the anesthesia). So - six or eight hours after the actual surgery, usually, depending on how well/quickly they recover.

I had surgery that left me with an incision from just below my breasts to just above my pubic bone. It hurt like fuck to sit up or turn over or do anything that involved abdominal muscles. Shock.

Anything that makes the muscles around the injury site work or move is going to, first, *hurt*, like a sharp ache and then, as recovery moves along, it's going to feel like you just did ALL THE SIT UPS EVER. Every time you move. Also - probably they'll not let her have any food for a couple days (IV only) if they had to stitch up some of her intestines.

I went home in...six or seven days? That injury, she could easily go home in three or four, depending on the internal damage. The docs would be less happy with her wanting out of there immediately post-recovery, as they like to watch for fevers and whatnot.

First up, so sorry for the lag on this! I lost the notifs, and then I got eaten by RL.

Re: scar - hrm. Oh, Marvel. Good to know, though.

And thaaaaank you. Anecdotes I find almost more useful when writing. So, thanks!

No worries. :)

Post-surgery, i tend to get irrationally annoyed by characters leaping around and running and moving and *doing* stuff like they didn't just have their guts opened up. I have a high pain threshold but man - that *hurt*.

Ahaha, yeeeeeah. The character in-canon seems to have a ridiculously high-pain threshold (gets shot through the shoulder, sixteen hours later can hold a gun on someone with that arm), but I'm aiming for at least semi-realism here.

Yeah, heh.

I was thinking of a Hawaii Five-Oh episode wherein Our Hero leapt off a boat onto another boat about 10 hours after abdominal surgery and landed *on his abdomen*.

So much fucking no.

You might also want to check out Antonius Wiriadjaja's blog, "How I Survived a Gunshot to the Gut", at although I admit that he has a lot more scarring than your character does. He gives a day-by-day, blow-by-blow account of exactly what's involved in recovering from a serious gunshot wound.

First up, so sorry for the lag on this! I lost the notifs, and then I got eaten by RL.

But oooooh, thank you so much for this!