April 24th, 2007

Long-term effects/damage--hand maiming: Present Day U.S.A.

I've posed this question at fanfic_med ( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fanfic_med/?yguid=216897039 )and tried googling 'Impalement injuries hand'. Still waiting for an answer from the yahoo group, and google gave directed me to an article on how to prevent said injury and a few scientific abstracts which I don't have the medical knowledge to translate into plain English. (Also some disturbing photos of torso impalements that made me ill...) Anyhoo...

I'm (still) writing a Batman fanfic. Here's my scenario:

Roughly a year and a half before the action takes place, one of my characters got his hands pinned to a wall by batarangs. His hands were roughly at chest height, and in each case, the batarang impaled the hand, and embedded in the wall. (Character was resting one hand against the wall when the first 'rang was thrown. The shock/tug had him slap his other hand to the wall for support and that was when the second 'rang got him... I'm picturing the 'rang as having been about 3" high at the centre by 6" wide, but I have not specified this anywhere in the fic and can be flexible if need be.

At this stage, (18 months after the injuries) how much use of his hands would this character have? I never stated whether the 'rangs went into the palms of the hands dead-centre or a bit to one side, so I have that much leeway.

He would have received prompt medical attention (ambulance at the scene and hospital within 30 to 45 minutes) at the time of injury.

Prior to the injury, the character was a surgeon. Is it accurate to say that he'd be highly unlikely to regain sufficient dexterity to practise his profession again?

Thanks!




Questions on terminal illness, cancer, progression of brain/lung cancer

Hi everyone! I've signed up the board lately.

I'm not sure if it will be answered here, or if this is the right place since it's mostly medical in nature, but here goes: I'm working on a fanfic that would involve a character contracting a terminal illness. I need to find the disease that would fit the premise, and would likely dictate the story direction. 

The plot
a) The character discovers he has a terminal illness at the beginning of the story. 
b) He keeps this a secret, and would either seek treatment, or not do anything so as not to arouse suspicion since it would drastically change his lifestyle. 
c) A year or two later, his condition worsens, and he dies at the story's end.

I was thinking of either brain or lung cancer, but am inclining more to secondary brain tumor originating from the lung. (I picked this up from Wiki). 

Here are the conditions/questions that would define a bit what I'd want to come up with:

1) The disease should not drastically affect his lifestyle or appearance. The character is a racer, if it's of any relevance.

2) Illness should progress slowly, and will not show a too much (or too obvious) symptoms, not until ten to twelve months. It's important that he manages to keep things under wraps for about a year.

3) Then after that year (or two), his sickness would progress to terminal that it would be incurable, thus, he dies at the end.

These conditions can be slightly altered, except that the onset of the obvious symptoms should show up about after a year. I'll likely have other questions, but this is the groundwork thus far. So is there such an illness that could be incorporated in the story? Would it work? 

Distant stars of the Milky Way Galaxy

Setting: The Milky Way Galaxy

All the known forms of intelligent life in my story have developed warp travel, which is why they know of one another in the first place. So they don't all come from the good ol' Orion arm of the Galaxy like we do. I need to find the names of the stars they do come from.

Have we mapped the stars in the rest of the Galaxy? Do they have names? Where can I find a Galactic map with the names of stars on it, or, failing that, where can I find the names and approximate locations of some stars from the far reaches of our Galaxy?

Or, how can I tell where a star is in relation to other stars, instead of where it is in the night sky of Earth?

I've Googled various phrasings of "milky way galaxy map" but I've only found diagrams of the whole thing or maps of the immediate Solar neighborhood.
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