tetsui_no_tate (tetsui_no_tate) wrote in little_details,

Medicine: Arm Amputations

I'm currently involved in a fandom which features a character who's an amputee. Specifically, she's lost her right arm, above the elbow.

Now, I realize almost any activity will be much harder to perform with one arm, especially as the stump is too short to be useful in any way. However, I'm told that with a bit of ingenuity one *can* learn to dress, cook and do most other everyday tasks one-handed.

The questions I have are:

- What kind of symptoms is she likely to experience post-amputation? Is it common to have phantom pains, twitches, and the like? Will the stump remain sensitive even after the actual wound is scarred over - should I have her wrap it up in bandages or something?

- The character is a soldier by profession, very athletic, and once she's recovered from the operation she'll be working hard on learning to use her left arm/hand. What time frame do you think is realistic for learning to use a sword left-handed when you're used to the right? (And am I right in thinking there'd be balance issues as well as off-hand use ones, given that she's suddenly missing a few kiloes on the right side of her body?) What about things like writing, or dressing herself?

- Can you guys think of anything that would be absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to do using only one hand? I'm thinking braiding/tying back hair would be one thing.

EDIT: Oh, and the world in question doesn't have advanced medicine or anything resembling rehab training.
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