August 14th, 2007

Vocal cord damage

I'm trying to write a book in which one of the main characters is mute due to having been bitten on the throat by a dog when he was eight years old. The story starts around that point and continues until he is about 29, with the majority taking place between the ages of 18 and 29. What I'm wondering is-- and I can't even begin to imagine how to research this, so suggestions are very welcome-- would he still be able to laugh, and if so, what would it sound like?

When a family member is your teacher + First year teacher disaster stories

The story itself is set in the UK (it's an HP fic), but any personal experience is wanted!

I know that in modern, Muggle, American schools (or maybe it was just my particular modern, American Muggle school) that the school makes every effort to place students who are the children, siblings etc. of teachers in a different class. (For example, my friend's mother taught eighth grade math the year we were in seventh grade and then returned to teaching seventh after we had gone.)

As this isn't possible at Hogwarts, I am looking for personal stories and experiences (or even just ideas you made up) about what sort of conflicts/issues would arise if your older brother were your teacher <i>and</i> head of House, since my character can't really be placed in a different section etc.

I would also like input on what sorts of disasters I can put him through as a first year teacher/head of house. Anyone with personal experience is more than welcome to share, even if your experience was with something as disparate as Muggle kindergarten. :)

(Obviously, this isn't really an HP-specific question as I can co-opt basicaly any situation for use in my story, I just wanted people to know we weren't dealing with a RL school system here.)

Treating a Dislocated Shoulder

I've googled "dislocated shoulder, treating a dislocated shoulder, how to pop a dislocated shoulder back into place, popping a dislocated shoulder into place, treating a dislocated shoulder,..etc." I got a lot of useful tips and ideas, but I'm still unclear on a few specific details.

To help you with some background, I'm writing a story in which the heroine has an accident in a busy town square, (possibly from diving out of the way of a wild horse..) and after dislocating her shoulder from the fall, my hero gallantly pops her shoulder back into place for her. (Ouch! o.o) I had just assumed that he would do that by quickly and forcefully jerking her arm forward, but when I did some research, it seemed like that wouldn't do the trick unless she'd popped it out of place in a certain way. This is not set in modern day, (it's sort of a fairy tale type like Ella Enchanted) so a trip to the ER is out of the question and the doctor is conveniently away at the time.

Here's my questions;
1. I read that a posterior dislocation is extremely rare compared to the anterior (am I getting this right, here?) but is it at all possible to get a posterior dislocation from falling on your hand funny?

2. Could either of those be fixed by a pulling motion? If so, which one is it and what would be the proper way to pull it? Someone told me they once corrected their dislocated shoulder by pressing it against a locker, but I really like the pulling idea and I'm pretty sure I've seen it done that way in a movie.

3. If it took more than a day to correct the problem, (say, a little over 24 hours,) how would that affect the injury?

4. After the problem was corrected, how soon would it be before you'd be able to lift something heavy with your arm? Assuming you recovered rather quickly. (Plot conflicts may ensue.)

I'd love some help with this. Even if you have no medical experience whatsoever, if you or a relative have had a dislocated shoulder before, you could share the details if you think they'd help at all.

Bit of help needed for chest injury

I'm writing a book (hopefully) where one character becomes gravely injured near the end with the condition flail chest. Wikipedia had what it is but not a lot on how it would be treated, how long the healing process would probably take for extensive damage, or anything afterwards. Similiar searches helped a bit however, nothing about after leaving the hospital. I'm assuming some kind of brace would be needed to stabilize the ribs and to keep them from becoming injured again while a patient is attempting to walk. 

Also, what non-opioid analgesic (if there is such a thing) would be advisable for this character as she has a history of asthma and the doses she would probably need for pain relief could cause respiratory problems? I have Tramadol as a back-up incase nothing can be found since it isn't as potent as pure morphine.

Thanks to everyone who replies!
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