January 1st, 2013

hospitalisation and recovery for surgery in the back/hip region

I have a character who is about to undergo open back surgery. The basic background is that he was injured in combat, there's shrapnel in his back, toward the side, a bit above the hip. It's causing nerve pain.

I'm looking for how long he'd be in hospital--it's NOT a minimally invasive procedure, so there would be a stay.

What sorts of therapy would he have, post recovery. There will be no lasting nerve damage, and he'll make a full recovery after this.

How long before he's "back to new" so to speak.

I searched google for:
recovery from neurosurgery low back
recovery from neurosurgery
recovery from back surgery
rehabilitation post low back surgery

Most of them focus on either minimally-innvasive procedures, or spinal fusion, which don't help me.

This doesn't have to be super-realistic, as it's roleplay and not novels, and I don't expect a lot of people to be fact-checking me, but I want to get the basics of it right, nonetheless.

Additional info: modern day setting, done in NYC, the surgeon is one of the premiere experts in the field (not the best in the world, but still highly renowned).

Northern Mountian Climate / Geology

Setting: What I'm trying to figure out. Earth-ish. Some magic thrown in.

I'm trying to create a far northern mountain geography/climate/culture. Canon has dictated that there's a northern mountain expanse/stretch, complete with snow and blizzards, and I'm placing my story setting north of that.

So I'm trying to figure out what that "even more north" climate is like. Right now I'm saying canon's mountain border is a treacherous mountain barrier with blizzards a majority of the year to separate my story setting from The Rest of The World.

With that barrier, what can the climate be like on the other side? I have it set as a mountainous region (lots of snow), with heavily forested coniferous valleys. Winter sucks a lot but is a bit more bearable in the valleys. Mining is a strong resource; agriculture revolving around barley/winter wheat and other plants that far well at high-altitude. I'm kind of envisioning it to be like the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Things I am not so sure about though:
  • Can I say it's like the Kamchatka Peninsula? I'm not sure if that sort of climate/geography can exist beyond my blizzardy mountain barrier. At some point it's just too far north to have rain/trees/etc, so I need to know what I can place more north of my canon's mountain barrier.
  • Where do steppes and alpine tundra fit into this? Do I have to have mountain barrier, steppes, then my mountainous story setting? Is my mountainous story setting actually just all alpine tundra because it's just that far north/mountainy? I can ditch the forest part, but I really can't ditch the mountain part.
  • Reading around, it sounds like it'll rain quite frequently, with a lot of fog. Y/N? If so, winter means massive blizzards, Y/N? (I really want to say winter sucks a lot in my northern climate, but it's livable.)
  • Are my characters going to be living exclusively in a valley or on the mountainside? What are the advantages/disadvantages of either, if they exist? I'm thinking the valleys are an easier target for bandits and flying attacks, but the weather in the valleys are more bearable, and agriculture is easier.


Research done: Geography of Russia, the geology tag here, high altitude living

Thanks!

Ranching & Cedar Trees - Need Some Specifics

Hi, I'm hoping to find some more information so I can determine if it's viable for a fic. I found one article about cedars and their hazards in ranching, but the rest so far has just been advertisements, praising why grow cedar trees.

Background:
My MC is a rancher in the midwest in the late 1940s (no specific state has been determined). I'm trying to figure out what problems he might encountering in clearing a pasture.

There was a blog about cutting down cedar trees to clear a pasture. (http://thepioneerwoman.com/blog/2012/03/why-we-chop-down-cedar-trees/)

Question:
I can't find the answer, but where exactly are cedar trees found growing naturally? What season (spring, winter) do they pollinate? Are they really that damaging for ranches?


Searches Done:
Googled - 'season cedar trees', 'location cedar trees', 'cedar trees plague ranches' (how I found above link, only one though)

Ask.com - 'what's a cedar tree's season?'

Again, all I've been encountering were complimentary florist articles talking about how great they are. I actually need to know the opposite.

UPDATE 1/02/2013: Guys, wow! Fantastic response of exactly what I needed! Thank you for the guidance!