January 21st, 2008

Blindness by sudden light, process of

Setting: Medical knowledge is mostly bandages/hot water, if a person is sick enough to need medical attention they're almost certainly getting it from a priest(who do have the power to heal wounds and the sick and stuff).

Character has been blind(ish) since she was a young'un. Her eyes are pretty much clouded over, and she has a seeing-eye dog.
I'm writing up the story of how this happened, and (as I've got it written) it's an accident, where her father didn't know she was still peering over the edge of the table when he was working on his Super-Flash-Bomb-of-Awesome.(Because if a little flash powder is good, more must be better, right?) He had the welder shield thing on, she didn't. So when it slipped from his hand, she a) probably got shrapnel flecks from the pellet casing thing and b) saw a super-bright flash.

I'm assuming that this could, especially with the shrapnel possibility, render a person permanently blind. However, I have no knowledge of how the blindness set in, or what you could see with near-blindess.

Would she have opened her eyes and it have been darkness already, or darkness lightening to whatever her vision level is now? or would she have blinked a few times and things would be fuzzy and decay from there over a certain time span?

I don't mean to ask "how well can she see," but, what is vision like at next-to-blindness? I've known people with different levels of "legally blind" or "legally blind in one eye," and for them it's different things like light/dark, Big things against contrasting backgrounds(red car against a tan garage, they can see a red smear), can read one-inch-high letters from 6 inches away-- differing levels of functionality.
My assumption is that she can see light/dark, and if she squints then the "edges" will sortof sharpen, although not to a particularly helpful level. Is this a reasonable thing to have with this sort of injury, a reasonable combination of vision levels?

Medical examination revealing past childbirth

Setting: Contemporary United States

I’m writing about a woman in about her late 50s who has been admitted to a mental hospital and given a medical examination that did not include a pelvic exam.

What I need to know is: Would the person examining her be able to tell if she had ever given birth? (She herself is not giving coherent answers about her past.) The birth was over three decades ago and she did not receive any medical care so there are no records of it. And if they could tell that from the exam, would it end up in her chart?

I googled “medical examination revealing past childbirth” “medical signs of childbirth” “how to tell if a woman has been pregnant” and “how to tell if a woman has given birth.” (I got one relevant page on that last but it was answered by whoever felt like it and wasn’t even very coherent…) I also googled “mental hospital chart” but the problem is that I’m sure that past childbirth would end up there if she herself said it, but not sure otherwise, so it’s hard to find an answer to that on the net.

Thanks very much for any help.
  • Current Mood: tired
  • Current Music: The Beach Boys: Barbara Ann

Film Noir-ish Murder

The setting: A 5 star hotel (think Hotel Casa Del Mar). The victim: A rich, evil (older) man who deserves it. The murderer: Someone equally rich and well-known but not evil (younger) man settling a long overdue score.

What I need to know: (a) how plausible this is (b) how the hotel would manage damage control to its reputation and (c) exactly where the murder could take place to allow maximum time for a getaway w/o suspicion.

[To avoid tricky things like modern state of the art surveillance systems, I'm setting it back to the early 90's when such technology was just becoming known. Also, the murderer is well-known and well-liked by the hotel management/staff, so he blends in easily and doesn't arouse suspicion.]

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: It's set in the US, probably California.