September 27th, 2005

Medicine: Arm Amputations

I'm currently involved in a fandom which features a character who's an amputee. Specifically, she's lost her right arm, above the elbow.

Now, I realize almost any activity will be much harder to perform with one arm, especially as the stump is too short to be useful in any way. However, I'm told that with a bit of ingenuity one *can* learn to dress, cook and do most other everyday tasks one-handed.

The questions I have are:

- What kind of symptoms is she likely to experience post-amputation? Is it common to have phantom pains, twitches, and the like? Will the stump remain sensitive even after the actual wound is scarred over - should I have her wrap it up in bandages or something?

- The character is a soldier by profession, very athletic, and once she's recovered from the operation she'll be working hard on learning to use her left arm/hand. What time frame do you think is realistic for learning to use a sword left-handed when you're used to the right? (And am I right in thinking there'd be balance issues as well as off-hand use ones, given that she's suddenly missing a few kiloes on the right side of her body?) What about things like writing, or dressing herself?

- Can you guys think of anything that would be absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to do using only one hand? I'm thinking braiding/tying back hair would be one thing.

EDIT: Oh, and the world in question doesn't have advanced medicine or anything resembling rehab training.

Proving diamonds genuine

Sooo... I have a chgaracter who gets engaged. And gets a VERY nice ring with a diamond and possibly rubies; old, heirloom, almost gaudy sort.

Now, shegets hecjkled by some of her acquiantances who claim that the stones can't be genuine; is there any way to prove that they are without actually taking the ring to a jeweller? Modern-day, high school enviroment if that helps. (Access to chem lab if need be)

Locations of medieval nunneries/convents circa England 1350's

I'm looking to place a character in a convent or nunnery around or about 1350 in England, preferably on the eastern edge of the country (ideally, somewhere between Sheffield and London).

I'm not having any luck googling up an actual convent/nunnery that existed in that space/time, however.

I'm also looking for information on the subject of convents being used as "boarding" homes for the daughters of wealthy merchants, and the process that one would go through to enter/leave one in that situation.

Any help is appreciated. Thank you!

Tennessee

Hey all, I'm just looking for a little guidance when it comes to Tennessee. My character comes from Tennessee and he's about to see this woman and I'd like for him to describe her eyes as 'greener than the _____ fields... etc'. You get the point. What I'm trying to ask is where (a city or a town) in Tennessee can you get the greenest, most lush grash that reminds you of your childhood? By the way, this character hasn't elaborated that he's from anywhere specific in Tennessee so its open to interpretation. Anyone that could help, it would be most appreciated. Thanks!