June 4th, 2012

Gunshot to Shoulder - Injury to Order

Setting and Characters: This is set in the early 1960s US. I have some very smart and resourceful characters with backgrounds in science and a little medical training. It would also be possible to bring a surgeon in if necessary. They have access to basic medical equipment and a sterile location, but not a full surgery or blood transfusions. He was shot with a handgun (I don't go in to what type since my characters don't know themselves) from roughly 20 feet away.

Criteria: There needs to be enough blood loss to show symptoms within a few minutes (pale, clammy, shallow breathing, racing pulse, maybe passing out), but not enough to be fatal. I need him on his feet within a few days to a couple weeks, but not fully functional (as in very sore and stiff, can't move it, needs long-term rehab to get full - or almost full - use of his arm back). Risk of making it worse by straining it is high.

I've been doing quite a bit of research on this and other fiction-reference sites, searching for things like "gunshot shoulder recovery and treatment", but haven't quite found anything that comes close enough to my criteria. From what I've read, I'm thinking I'll have to scrap my original idea of blowing straight through the bone for added drama and gore. It doesn't seem like something that could be stabilized with limited medical resources (though if I'm wrong, I'd still prefer to go that route!). I'm leaning toward the outer, "meatier" part of the shoulder. But would this be "bad" enough?

Thank you for your help!

Right on time for the Zombie Apocalypse...

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Less triggering #3: I'm aware that after a certain age breast milk needs to be supplemented with solid foods, but in dire need could you make a nutritional [enough to stave off starvation for a little while longer, anyway] meal out of breast milk for a three- to four-year-old child? The woman in question is actually in the third-trimester of her first pregnancy, and the child is unrelated, so I don't imagine she'll be producing anywhere near the ideal amount of milk, but I need a better idea of what exactly would or wouldn't be accomplished with this.

EDIT: Thank you, everyone!

Prodigal Piano Prodigy Returns?

A twelve-year-old genius pianist (not really a prodigy, sorry) described as "a fine clinical player" gives up piano (to become a scientist) and doesn't touch it again until his mid-thirties. The very first time he puts hands to keys and tries to play something (which he remembers accurately), what happens? Is it humanly possible to do it as perfectly as twenty-plus years ago, or would he fumble a bit because his hands have changed, or would he be terrible because his muscles will forget no matter what his brain remembers?

Googled every combo of piano, practice, and/or memory I could come up with, no joy.