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KansasWriter
08-25-2008, 03:20 AM
My character was drunk and broke his arm in an arm-wrestling contest. He has brittle bones and it didn't come as a big surprise -- he just wasn't thinking.

Would he go into shock of some kind being drunk and having this type of injury? Or would anything else unusual happen to him?

Thanks,
KW

alleycat
08-25-2008, 03:43 AM
He'd probably start singing . . .

Just kidding. I don't know, but I don't think someone who typically go into shock with that kind of injury.

Vanatru
08-25-2008, 06:38 AM
From personal experience, he probably won't notice it until later when the effects of the alcohol start to wear off. At least that was the story for me, twice, and for various amigos of mine.

Generally, while drunk as skunks, we didn't feel any real pain. Just twinges. The next day involved a whole lot o'pain and suffering.

shakeysix
08-25-2008, 06:43 AM
a friend in college broke her jaw while very drunk. she was having a great time with it--slapping it into various weird positions and saying "'ook at 'is! 'oo you think i' is 'roken?" all the while we could hear the bone grinding. sobered me up---s6

Williebee
08-25-2008, 07:14 AM
Man S6 --

That is SO not right.

:)

shakeysix
08-25-2008, 07:18 AM
well, it was the sixties--s6

kristie911
08-25-2008, 08:23 AM
A couple of months ago, there was a car accident and the passenger broke his arm. Really broke it, with bones sticking out and blood pumping and everything. He was walking around the scene of the accident like nothing was wrong. He was so drunk they didn't even give him pain meds until they put him in the helicopter to fly him out to another hospital...2 hours after the accident.

RJK
08-25-2008, 05:50 PM
These are great answers. I attended a safety lecture once where the speaker had been involved in an explosion. He was burned over 70% of his body. He was in such a state of shock that he felt nothing until later, when they calmed him down in the ambulance. Then, it was pain beyond imagination until he went unconscious.

So, you don't necessarily need to be drunk to ignore the pain.

Horseshoes
08-25-2008, 07:05 PM
You could certainly write a drunk respond in pain, in giggles or not noticing a significant injury. If your guy truly has brittle bone syndrome, it affected his childhood (and probably one of his parents, as it's genetic)...he may have off-colored teeth and sclera and had numerous fractures and very numerous bruises as a baby. If you didn't actually mean he had the disease of og imperfecta, then he needs that arm wrestling to have been pretty rowdy to have resulted in a fracture- a clean match should not break and adult's radius or ulna without exceptional circumstances...the other person much stronger and put in a last minute twist?
On the shock question, lots of people use the term in a non-medical sense even attempting to apply it to someone feeling ill, saying the person's going into shock...tho it does not meet the medical def of shock ( hypovolemia, whether neurological w/ vaso-dilation, hemorrhage or dehydration, whatever, causing dropped BP, oliguria and altered mental status) you can certainly have someone remark that the char is going into shock...heck, someone certainly would, even tho they were not using the term medically.
Have fun with it--sounds like you are.

Koobie
08-25-2008, 08:26 PM
A friend of mine broke his leg in a disco and went on dancing for half an hour or so before he even noticed. So yeah, being very drunk, your character probably won't even realize what happened at first.

GeorgeK
08-25-2008, 09:39 PM
My character was drunk and broke his arm in an arm-wrestling contest. He has brittle bones and it didn't come as a big surprise -- he just wasn't thinking

It matters why he has brittle bones. If it's congenital osteogenesis imperfecta, even when drunk he'd know not to arm wrestle. Knowing that your bones are brittle becomes ingrained after a while, so if it's a congenital thing, he could realistically not get drunk enough to forget something that big, and still be functional enough to try. If it's a recently developed adult osteoporosis or osteomalacia he might be drunk enough to forget, and that scenario would be plausible. (Especially since chronic alcoholism can cause osteomalacia which is one of the more common adult forms of "brittle bones".) Depending upon the reason for the brittle bones, there are other symptoms that would be typical. He's probably already had a compression fracture or two involving the spine and maybe has lost an inch or so of height. It can be confusing when all of a sudden you can't reach things on shelves when you used to be able to just a year earlier.


Would he go into shock of some kind being drunk and having this type of injury? Or would anything else unusual happen to him?


Arm wrestling does result in wrist fractures from time to time even in people with normal bones. Wrists are peripheral enough that he'd not likely develop shock. Omitting pain and rational thinking due to alcohol, he'd probably not be able to twist his hand voluntarily and be able to generate enough torque to turn a knob, and so he'd likely think all the doors were locked. It would start to throb when he's starting to sober up.

I had severe osteoporosis from a rare metabolic problem (rare enough it doesn't have a name, just a description of the mechanism) I started having vague diffuse bone pain before I started breaking bones and once I started breaking bones would have recurrent nightmares involving some form of falling or impact like a car out of control or hanging from a ledge. Apparently that is a common phenomenon.

KansasWriter
08-25-2008, 11:45 PM
Thanks for the answers folks! Very useful...although a little frightening!


It matters why he has brittle bones. If it's congenital osteogenesis imperfecta, even when drunk he'd know not to arm wrestle. Knowing that your bones are brittle becomes ingrained after a while, so if it's a congenital thing, he could realistically not get drunk enough to forget something that big, and still be functional enough to try

George it's funny: I wrote this scene a long time ago, not knowing anything about osteogenesis imperfecta at the time...because I actually saw it happen! Yes, it's true. On New Year's Eve I saw someone do exactly this and the arm just snapped (he was only a little drunk). I'm almost positive he didn't have OI, but I was told later that his bones were very brittle and that this had happened before. And yes, his girlfriend was very angry he had tried to arm-wrestle someone.

But, now that I hear about the other symptoms that Horseshoe mentioned, I'm thinking that perhaps OI is not a good thing for my character to have. Does anyone know what else I could give him? Or could he just have "brittle bones"? Is that something?

Like I said, I actually saw this happen, but the person in question did not have any of the other problems you've mentioned and, unfortunately, I have no way of contacting the person I saw.

KW

Linda Adams
08-26-2008, 02:08 AM
When I was in the army, we had a drunk soldier fall out of a second story window in the middle of the night. He broke both arms when he landed, and snored his way through it until morning when people began to arrive for work.

GeorgeK
08-26-2008, 04:29 PM
Or could he just have "brittle bones"? Is that something?


Yes, it's the layman's term for the host of bone diseases that result in brittle bones. By far the 2 most common are osteoporosis (which has multiple causes and subtypes) and osteomalacia (which also has multiple causes and subtypes)

google either of these two and you'll find a host of disease variants. The way I found out was that I woke up one day with a broken back (compression fracture), had an XRay where I could see it and made an appointment with an oncologist because I knew that 95% of men in their 40's with a spontaneous spinal fracture have a metastatic malignancy. So until all the tests came back saying it was a bizarre, nearly unheard of metabolic derangement, I was expected to be terminally ill. I could see someone in that scenario to go out and get drunk and do whatever in a reactionary denial sort of way.