Injuries and Medical Research

Injuries

Doug’s Injuries

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  • Chopping wedge: Something happens to his left eye with a chopping wedge.
  • Left eyelid: A girl cut his eyelid with her skate when he fell at an ice-rink.
  • Broken face: Doug rode his bike off of the roof at school and got a cut on his face.
  • Torn Achilles: Doug fell off of a bike while riding on the handlebars.
  • Hurt ankle: He hurt his ankle while dancing.
  • Tabasco in left eye:  Senior year
  • Pink eye: Doug got it from a girl scout.
  • Lost tooth: Doug was hammering in the shed.
  • Blows out left eye: Doug set off fireworks and one exploded in his eye.
  • Coma: Doug was on the roof in a lightning storm and got struck.
  • Leg infection: Doug fell through a board. A nail went through his foot, he broke his leg in 3 places, and got an infection.
  • Paralyzed: Doug was climbing on a telephone pole.

Icarus: Icarus was the son of the famous craftsman Daedalus, who created two sets of wings for himself and his son, that were made of feathers glued together with wax. He taught Icarus how to fly and warned him not to fly too high, which would cause the wax to melt, nor too low, which would cause the feathers to get wet with sea water. Icarus soon forgot his father’s warnings, and started flying higher and higher, until the wax started melting under the sun. His wings dissolved and he fell into the sea and drowned. Doug reflects Icarus’s flight and fall. He frequently climbs onto roofs, swing sets, and telephone poles, and almost always falls and hurts himself. He also behaves this way toward Kayleen, who he believes is an angel. He constantly reaches toward her, yet fails to access her.

Kayleen’s Injuries:
  • Chronic stomach pain
  • Her mother leaves
  • Her father’s abuse
  • Rape
  • Cutting
  • Her father dies
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol/drunk driving
  • Her mother dies
  • Attempt to remove her stomach
  • Mental breakdown
  • 25 psychiatric medications

Pain Levels

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Medical Research

  • Chronic Stomach Pain: Chronic abdominal pain is pain that is present for more than 3 months. It may be present all the time or come and go. Chronic abdominal pain usually occurs in children beginning after age 5 years. About 10 to 15% of children aged 5 to 16 years, particularly those aged 8 to 12 years, have chronic or recurring abdominal pain. About 2% of adults, mainly women, have chronic abdominal pain. Only 10% of of patients have an identified physical disorder. The remaining 90% have what is called functional abdominal pain.
    Functional pain is real pain that exists for more than 6 months and occurs with no evidence of a specific physical disorder. It is also not related to body functions, a drug, or a toxin. Functional pain can be severe and typically interferes with the person’s life. Exactly what causes the pain is unknown. Genetic factors, life stresses, personality, social situations, and underlying mental disorders may contribute to functional pain. Chronic abdominal pain in children may be related to a need for attention, the stress of starting school, lactose intolerance, or child abuse. Chronic abdominal pain can also be psychological. Rather than endorsing subjective feelings of sadness or worry, children and adolescents may express their emotions in other ways, such as irritability, disruptive behaviors, school refusal, difficulty sleeping, poor concentration, changes in appetite or eating habits and vague physical complaints like stomach aches and headaches.
  • Contagiousness of Pinkeye: Unlike Doug’s claim, pink eye is not the most contagious thing in the world. Though, it is easily spread through hand to hand contact and sharing an object. Washing your hands is the easiest way to stop the spread of pinkeye. Pink eye can be contagious for several days and sometimes weeks. However, it is generally safe to return to work or school after the symptoms disappear, usually within 3-7 days.
    • Most contagious diseases
      • 1) Rotavirus
      • 2) Malaria
      • 3) Measles
    • Other things that could be more contagious:
      • Yawning
      • Laughter
      • Hysteria
      • Negativity
      • Cold/Flu
  • Hearing people in comas: Our knowledge of people actually hearing conversations in a coma is subjective to trusting patients who have experienced it. According to Goeffrey Lean, a once comatose patient, he could feel and hear. He claims to be able to repeat anecdotes that he had been told while in a coma. He also says that he could feel the nurses giving him injections, blood pressure tests, and his wife holding his hand. According to a 2015 study, comatose patients heal faster and better when they are talked to by people they know. Neuroscientist Theresa Pape believes in the healing power of voices. She developed a clinical study at the Northwestern Medicine and Hines VA Hospital clinical study. Pape performed brain scans on 15 coma patients that showed  their reaction to voices. When patients heard unfamiliar voices, brain scans showed little activity, but when they heard close relatives calling out their names or talking, the scans lit up.When patients heard the voice of a family member calling their names out loud and reciting stories while they were in an MRI, their brains showed increased neural activity. This was indicated by bright yellow and red blobs of light in regions involved with understanding language and long-term memory. Pape’s team also asked the families to record stories loved ones would recognize and play them repeatedly for a month and a half using headphones. The stories were played for eight of the patients. The other seven only heard silence. The eight patients that heard the stories recovered significantly faster.
  • Torn Achilles: The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It is formed by three muscles that connect from the top of the knee. Because the tendon is surrounded by a paratenon sheath, it can become inflamed and thickened.  The Achilles tendon takes up to 6-8 times your body weight when landing on your toe during a run. According to sports medicine podiatrists, the single most important aspect of treating this injury is early intervention and treatment. Other treatments include icing and stretching. However, damage occurs when the tendon is stretched 4% beyond its strain level and rupture occurs at 8% beyond its relaxed state.
  • Lightning: A person struck directly by lightning becomes a part of the main lightning discharge channel. Most often, direct strikes occur to victims who are in open areas. Direct strikes are potentially the most deadly type of lightning strike. In most direct strikes, a portion of the current moves along and just over the skin surface and a portion of the current moves through the body–usually through the cardiovascular and/or nervous systems. The heat produced when lightning moves over the skin can produce burns, but the current moving through the body is of greatest concern. While the ability to survive any lightning strike is related to immediate medical attention, the amount of current moving through the body is also a factor. It is possible for a lightning strike to cause a coma. This happened to a man from Florida in August 2016. He remained comatose for 3 months. Upon waking up, he was paralyzed and unable to speak. Slowly, he learned to communicate through blinking. In November, he started communicating using voice command. As of December 2016, he was able to kiss his wife.
  • Infection in broken leg: Infections typically occur in fractures because bacteria enter the body during the traumatic event. It is much more common for an infection to occur when the bone breaks through the skin. Bacteria can also enter the body during surgery to set the broken bones, but this only happens in less than 1% of healthy individuals. Preventative antibiotics are given to patients prior to surgery in order to help prevent infection.Most cases require taking antibiotics for 6 to 8 weeks.In some severe cases, surgeons may consider amputating the infected limb in order to stop the infection. If the infection is successfully treated, patients can recover without serious, ongoing problems. An infection after a fracture, however, may require multiple trips to the operating room, long-term need for antibiotics, and a prolonged course of healing.
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