11 Feb 2013

kaigou: It's dangerous to go alone, Alphonse says, and holds out a cat: here, take this. (2 dangerous to go alone)
I know there's some of you out there, so if you have any ideas:

I've got a character who was poisoned. Think a milder, survivable form of strychnine (I think that's the one I mean), where the poison freezes the muscles up. He got a small dose, but it was still close, and as a result his heart's going to take awhile to recover from getting stomped like that. The analogue I've been using is open heart surgery, which apparently does a fair bit of heart-stomping. So I've had the character gradually work his way back to some form of moving about, following the advice given post-surgery to heart patients: walk a bit, then rest, walk a bit more, rest, work your way up to walking up a flight of stairs, lots of rest, etc.

However, the story takes place in the equivalent of the 16th century, so well before any of our fancy modern medicines. Doesn't mean there's no medicine, just that the reasoning might be off (even if the end results work), like thinking aspirin works because of humours, or whatever.

Anyway, so I've got a bit where the character has exerted himself too much, and from what I could tell of the warnings to post-surgery patients, this is why patients often take blood-thinning medicine, to make it easier on the heart. Extrapolating from that, seems like the heart would tire out, can't pump but the body's demanding it, and suddenly you have lack of enough blood, ergo, passing out.

Here's where it might get tricky: the medical person's logic is that a drunk person bleeds twice as much as a sober person from the same-sized wound, so alcohol must make blood run faster and/or be thinner. If blood is normally thick, and the heart is weak, then thinner blood would be easier for the heart. Thus, alcohol is the make-do medicine for someone coming to after dizzy spell, whose heart continues to beat too fast.

In discussions with one of my beta-folks, the point was made that alcohol also raises blood pressure. I know it's a sedative (calm down the heart?), and I thought I found something that mentioned it's also a kind of blood-thinner, so would those positives outweigh the blood-pressure increase? Or would the addition of two shots' worth of alcohol make no substantive difference, or would it actually just kill the character outright?

Anyone? even wild guesses, if there aren't any doctors in the house. tia!


kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
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"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

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