September 6th, 2014

Effects of cataclysmic religious beliefs / destruction of the gods on individuals and societies

There's a slight chance I've already asked this here, but if I did, it was quite a long time ago, and I'd like to give it another go, to see if there's any new thoughts / advice / resources.

I'm working on a fantasy novel that's set in a culture similar to the ancient Egyptians, although not exactly. The planet is ringed, and to its people, the rings have become the physical incarnations of the gods. Their religion, and consequently their society, is heavily based on structure and order, class systems, and the idea that everything and everyone has its place and shouldn't step out of bounds. They have only one major aggressor, another culture that splintered from the main group hundreds of years ago.

For my story, the rings disappear, which of course causes chaos among the peoples of the planet. Never mind the scientific validity of such a phenomenon and the astronomical repercussions of it. I'm curious to know if there has been any research on a similar intellectual / emotional event on either a society as a whole or on individuals. It's a crisis of faith, certainly, but for these people, it's so much more -- this is a physical incarnation, their protectors, that disappears, not just the belief in something greater. And it's not just doubt or curiosity, either -- it's a literal and figurative annihilation.

So, any thoughts on what would happen? How society would react? How individuals would react? Ideally I'd find some sort of anthropological or psychological studies on such a thing -- the dissolution of belief, whatever. I've tried Googling, of course, as well as using some of the academic databases to which I've got access. I've searched various combinations of the following words and phrases: abandonment, dissolution, death, destruction; divine, gods, deities, religion; cataclysm, catastrophe. Mostly I get atheists talking about their crises of faith, but again, this isn't something willed or even sought out. It's terrifying!

Any thoughts?

Cracked ribs + dislocated shoulder

Setting & character: Set in present time, Europe. My character is a 30-year-old male, fit and healthy. He's tall and kind of strong.

He's got three cracked ribs and a dislocated shoulder, all on his right side.

What I'm trying to find out is:

- How would having both of these injuries at the same time affect him? I was able to find information on the two injuries separately, but I can't seem to find anything on having them both at the same time. Would treatment be any different? (I.e., would they still give him a brace for his arm?)
(Searched for various combinations of "dislocated shoulder" + "cracked ribs" and "treatment" / "brace" / "doctor" "/ hospital" / "healing" / "care")

- What would be the most comfortable/less painful position to sleep in? Would he be more comfortable on a bed or on the couch for the first few days?
(Searched for "dislocated shoulder" + "cracked ribs" and "sleeping" / "sleeping positions")

- The day after getting injured, he will be traveling in a sleeper bus. He will have a bunk bed available. How painful will it be? Would the doctor recommend he doesn't travel for a few days?
(Searched for "dislocated shoulder" + "cracked ribs" and "traveling" / "car" / "bus" ...quite honestly I'm not sure how to find relevant info even on just cracked ribs and traveling)

- I know sexual activities will be out for a few weeks, but - especially during the first week - what about hugging and cuddles? What would feel nice and what would hurt? After how long would a (soft/careful) massage feel good on his shoulder? (I'm at a loss for keywords for researching here... suggestions appreciated.)

Personal experiences dealing with either or both are appreciated, especially in terms of daily struggles (i.e., getting dressed, shaving, showering, etc.), pain, pain management, and, er, couples activities.

Thank you in advance.