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The_Ink_Goddess
10-25-2010, 04:23 PM
Hey, guys! I'm currently mulling over a WIP about a girl with locked in syndrome -- she was supposed to die, but she hasn't (i.e. it's not deliberate). I've tried Googling it over and over, but all I can come up with is "traumatic head injury" or "medication overdose." I can make either of those work, but I need a few more details. What kind of medication/traumatic head injury? I want it to be a) deliberate and b) not require a medical degree, i.e. no super special talents required. Obviously reasonable intelligence and dexterity, but apart from that...?

Can I make this work?

sheadakota
10-25-2010, 04:30 PM
Hey, guys! I'm currently mulling over a WIP about a girl with locked in syndrome -- she was supposed to die, but she hasn't (i.e. it's not deliberate). I've tried Googling it over and over, but all I can come up with is "traumatic head injury" or "medication overdose." I can make either of those work, but I need a few more details. What kind of medication/traumatic head injury? I want it to be a) deliberate and b) not require a medical degree, i.e. no super special talents required. Obviously reasonable intelligence and dexterity, but apart from that...?

Can I make this work?
Venemous snake bite will do this- I think a cobra bite will do this- anything that is a nuero toxin will leave you awake and aware but paralyzed-

CaroGirl
10-25-2010, 04:38 PM
Hey, guys! I'm currently mulling over a WIP about a girl with locked in syndrome -- she was supposed to die, but she hasn't (i.e. it's not deliberate). I've tried Googling it over and over, but all I can come up with is "traumatic head injury" or "medication overdose." I can make either of those work, but I need a few more details. What kind of medication/traumatic head injury? I want it to be a) deliberate and b) not require a medical degree, i.e. no super special talents required. Obviously reasonable intelligence and dexterity, but apart from that...?

Can I make this work?
I Googled it and got about a hundred hits and a wealth of information. Anything I posted here would just regurgitate that because I knew very little about this before I searched.

Perhaps you should try another search?

LBlankenship
10-25-2010, 05:34 PM
>I want it to be a) deliberate and b) not require a medical degree, i.e. no super special talents required.

IIRC, the difference between "dead", "permanent coma", "vegetative state" and "locked-in" is all rather subtle and not entirely understood when it comes to head trauma. I think you could get away with sheer luck after a bad blow to the head.

Though with all the research opportunities the wars have given us recently...

The_Ink_Goddess
10-25-2010, 05:34 PM
I Googled it and got about a hundred hits and a wealth of information. Anything I posted here would just regurgitate that because I knew very little about this before I searched.

Perhaps you should try another search?

I got a lot of hits from "locked+in+syndrome", but the stuff about the cause/s seems quite basic, nonspecific stuff. I have no real bio expertise, so "traumatic head injury" means very little to me (...well, apart from the obvious). I guess what I was asking for is someone who could apply this to real-life circumstances for me. Make sense? :)

CaroGirl
10-25-2010, 05:45 PM
I got a lot of hits from "locked+in+syndrome", but the stuff about the cause/s seems quite basic, nonspecific stuff. I have no real bio expertise, so "traumatic head injury" means very little to me (...well, apart from the obvious). I guess what I was asking for is someone who could apply this to real-life circumstances for me. Make sense? :)
I found this:

The locked-in syndrome (LIS) is a catastrophic condition caused most often by ischemic stroke or hemorrhage, affecting the corticospinal, corticopontine, and corticobulbar tracts in the brainstem. Because consciousness and higher cortical functions are spared, patients can sometimes communicate through eye movements.

I would imagine anything that damages the area of the brain specified above could cause the syndrome.

Drachen Jager
10-25-2010, 10:39 PM
There was a case quite recently of someone who was locked in, everyone thought he was a vegetable for five years or so until they noticed he twitched his finger in a conscious manner sometimes. After they figured it out they had him fixed up fairly quickly.

Here's a story of a man who was locked in but got cured (he was only locked in for a few days before they noticed he was blinking to communicate)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/oct/23/locked-in-syndrome-body

Try searching Google News for stories about "locked in syndrome" there's a lot of good articles there on recent cases.

Kitty Pryde
10-25-2010, 11:16 PM
The etiology could be any sort of sufficiently traumatic brain injury--though even a small head injury can be devastating if not treated in time. If it was a deliberate attempt, just make it easy on yourself and throw her out a window. For a more random event, it could be a stroke (yes, people of all ages have them), or a mugging where she receives a head injury and is not found until the next day perhaps.

PS Read The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, it's super good (and short! it was dictated by the author one LETTER at a time via a complicated method of blinking). Stuck In Neutral is another book with a character who is locked-in.

PPS It's really hard to write a book about a character who can't communicate--I've done it! Good luck!

The_Ink_Goddess
10-26-2010, 12:34 AM
Thank you!

Luckily, she's not the MC. She's a major character, but it's narrated through the ideas of someone who can talk/move/communicate. Thank God. I'm not up to the challenge. :P

Drachen Jager
10-26-2010, 01:42 AM
As a complete aside to this thread.

You are interested in the strangest things Ink Goddess.

scarletpeaches
10-26-2010, 01:47 AM
Sleepyhead (http://www.markbillingham.com/sleepy.html), by Mark Billingham.

The_Ink_Goddess
10-26-2010, 02:13 AM
As a complete aside to this thread.

You are interested in the strangest things Ink Goddess.

I know. It's an occupational hazard. And I am very morbid.

But, seriously. I like dark YA. :)

Scarletpeaches, I haven't read that (I'm worried it'll influence me; I have a super-malleable brain), but from the brief synopsis thingies I've looked at, he's doing the LIS thing deliberately. As my characters are young adults, it seems pretty unrealistic (well...y'know...MORE unrealistic) that they'd be able to wiggle around in someone's brain so easily.

MumblingSage
10-26-2010, 10:52 PM
PS Read The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, it's super good (and short! it was dictated by the author one LETTER at a time via a complicated method of blinking). Stuck In Neutral is another book with a character who is locked-in.



My political theory teacher recomended during one of his self-interrupting book commercials. He says the movie didn't do the book justice, although that might just be because he thought very highly of the book. Just the thought of having to dictate an entire book one blink at a time makes me tear up--but the fact that somebody managed to do it is inspiring.

Kitty Pryde
10-26-2010, 11:07 PM
My political theory teacher recomended during one of his self-interrupting book commercials. He says the movie didn't do the book justice, although that might just be because he thought very highly of the book. Just the thought of having to dictate an entire book one blink at a time makes me tear up--but the fact that somebody managed to do it is inspiring.

Read it! I didn't even want to see the movie--the beauty of the story is not the play by play of what happens, nor does it follow a standard movie plot trajectory. There's also not enough material for a whole movie's worth. The beauty of the book is the poetry the author creates in the face of what happens to him.

eyeblink
10-27-2010, 02:54 AM
Read it! I didn't even want to see the movie--the beauty of the story is not the play by play of what happens, nor does it follow a standard movie plot trajectory. There's also not enough material for a whole movie's worth. The beauty of the book is the poetry the author creates in the face of what happens to him.

I haven't read the book, but I have seen the film which doesn't follow a standard plot trajectory either - and it's in French. I wasn't impressed by Julian Schnabel's previous films (Basquiat and Before Night Falls) but The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a huge advance for him as a director. I was very impressed by it.

Xelebes
10-27-2010, 09:41 AM
I have experience in catatonia which might have the same psychological effects as locked-in syndrome. However, I have never had an episode that lasted more than a day and I can imagine the questions being different after the third, fourth, tenth and fifteenth day.

Sydneyd
10-27-2010, 10:02 AM
Ok. I did some research and one of the leading causes I found was a brain stem infarct, which translates into necrosis due to some sort of hemmorage. I suppose this could occur with many types of head injuries. here is the link (I found it with my school's library access so it might not work. sorry :( )

http://stroke.ahajournals.org/cgi/reprint/17/4/758.pdf

Hope this helps. :)

Kitty Crocodile
11-01-2010, 05:53 PM
For what it's worth, I happened to read an article this morning about a man who had suffered a severe electric shock about seventeen years ago and ended up with locked-in syndrome. He had been cleaning an oven at his summer house, and a dead mouse (somewhere inside the oven, maybe, not quite sure about this) had caused the accident. He was still hopeful that he might recover.