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cm000
06-23-2014, 04:27 AM
Hi! Long term lurker, first time poster. This has been troubling me for awhile. I'm totally stuck with research, because I need specifics about recovery.

I need main character to get shot or stabbed during a mugging. Right now, i'm leaning toward stabbing. I need him to think he's dying, lose consciousness and spend a few weeks in a hospital, hopefully with some kind of terrible infection, but don't want him gone too long. I also don't want him to be horrendously and permanently disfigured.

When he goes home, I need him to be weak but able to walk/talk etc., but don't know if I can write in a bunch of physical therapy sessions or anything like that.

So I guess I'm looking for something very painful and scary but ultimately he's fine.

Any ideas? And what does recovery actually look like?

Relic37
06-23-2014, 05:15 AM
Research peritonitis...

sheadakota
06-23-2014, 05:45 AM
Hi! Long term lurker, first time poster. This has been troubling me for awhile. I'm totally stuck with research, because I need specifics about recovery.

I need main character to get shot or stabbed during a mugging. Right now, i'm leaning toward stabbing. I need him to think he's dying, lose consciousness and spend a few weeks in a hospital, hopefully with some kind of terrible infection, but don't want him gone too long. I also don't want him to be horrendously and permanently disfigured.

When he goes home, I need him to be weak but able to walk/talk etc., but don't know if I can write in a bunch of physical therapy sessions or anything like that.

So I guess I'm looking for something very painful and scary but ultimately he's fine.

Any ideas? And what does recovery actually look like?

A few weeks is a very long time to spend in a hospital these days- you are usually extremely critical to spend that amount of time. If you have your character stabbed and a lung is punctured, he sure would feel like he was dying. He would have a hard time breathing until he got to the hospital and put a chest tube in him. this would stay in for 3-5 days until the wound healed and the lung is fully functional again. when it is they pull the tube ( kind of painful) wait to make sure everything is cool and if nothing else is wrong with your guy he would be discharged in a day maybe two. he would be weak and ouchy for awhile but pretty much okay.

cm000
06-23-2014, 06:38 AM
Thanks! This is exactly what I'm looking for!

I don't need him there for a few weeks, but I definitely want him to be critical. He's twenty and healthy, so I think a full recovery is pretty reasonable with any level of injury. I love the idea of peritonitis, never would have found that. Because I do kind of want him laid up with a tube down his throat and in and out of consciousness with fever. But I like the idea of having him choking on his own blood from a lung injury, too. Hmm. Decisions!

midazolam
06-23-2014, 08:30 PM
Peritonitis is a good one - those patients are very sick but they can definitely recover without any major issues.

Traumatic pancreatitis could also work. Most patients with severe pancreatitis spend a few weeks in the hospital, but they aren't always "critical," per se. Pancreatitis is so dangerous that it's often safer to monitor them in the hospital, even if the patient looks good.

There are a lot of reasons someone might need a tube down their throat - you could easily work this in if you wanted to (but it tends to be a short-term thing unless the patient is truly critical or has major lung issues).

cm000
06-25-2014, 01:32 AM
Thank you again!

How long between when a stab wound patient is stabilized and peritonitis? I'm having such a terrible time finding practical information for this!

WeaselFire
06-25-2014, 05:35 AM
How long between when a stab wound patient is stabilized and peritonitis? I'm having such a terrible time finding practical information for this!
Probably looking in the wrong places.

Peritonitis is basically an infection, and something hospitals watch for with any penetration injury to the abdomen. You can see signs in a day or two or not have symptoms show for several weeks. Depends on how severe, what caused it, etc.

Now, for your story, just write is as showing up during recovery. It's plausible. Unless you're writing a medical journal, you do not need the accuracy you seem to be searching for.

Jeff

Savant99
06-28-2014, 10:11 PM
Speaking as someone who was stabbed, twice, I'll say that there are MANY factors that would come into play here. First off, is the character 'average' size? In my case I'm overweight, which gave me some protection from the stabs - they never reached an organ. I was discharged not long after being stitched up. (I had them forgo anesthetic)

Honestly? I think you would be better going with a concussion. A mugger usually doesn't want to risk killing a person - which would happen with a stabbing.

Have the mugger clobber him over the head with something. (if the attack is from behind you won't even have to say what it was) If he's hit hard enough, the character could indeed think he was dying. And while there is no 'infection' here, a serious concussion could hospitalize a person for weeks. There is also the risk of a brain aneurysm that could also keep a person in hospital for weeks.

When he is released he'll be fine (for the most part), whereas a serious stab wound would make him hobble around for a while. With a concussion you could just write in the occasional headache.