1. MrsT88
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    MrsT88 Member

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    Any knowledge on comas'?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by MrsT88, Jun 16, 2013.

    I was inspired by one of you clever people to have a male character in my story that comes into the pub that it is set in. His wife is in a coma and he comes into the pub as an escape from what is going on in his life. I have no knowledge whatsoever on comas' and have tried to use Google to get an understanding of it and try and develop this idea but I'm more confused now than I was before! She has been in a coma for a couple of months and will be for a few more yet but why and how? Has anyone had an experience, know somebody that has or even just have a little knowledge on the subject and be able to enlighten me a little?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I thought that said commas. :p

    I know a lot about comas, I used to work in critical care. Are you looking for the cause of long term comas with reversible outcomes?

    And does this guy care for her at home or are you talking about she's in the hospital still?
     
  3. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    She could be in a coma for a squillion different reasons. Car crash, attack, near drowning, her coma could be induced by the doctor for a multitude of reasons.

    What exactly do you want to know? There are some medics here way more able to help than I, be specific :)
     
  4. raven6625
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    raven6625 Member

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    Yea, same here!

    Maybe try to whittle some ideas out of the emotions you want to write about?

    Say you want to write about his emotions regarding the cause of the coma:

    Guilt- The cause could be the mans fault. (1) A car crash because he'd phoned her when she was driving (2) fell down the stairs after he hit her.
    Anger- The cause is another mans fault. (1) A car crash because the other driver was drinking (2) The doctors didn't diagnose a stroke in time because they thought she was on drugs.
    Regret- The cause is no ones fault. (1) He was at work whilst his wife had an epileptic fit at home (2) that headache was serious and he should have known something was wrong.

    Say then you want to explore the mid-coma feelings:

    denial - Wife might die. (1) bring up those children alone will be hard on them (2) loss of his emotional support from his lover.
    Guilt- Wife will stay in coma. (1) he loves her nurse/sister, is it wrong to want someone? (2) find's he's hating his wife, can't justify it to himself.
    Fear- Wife will wake up. (1) shit, he shouldn't have pushed his wife down the stairs for inheritance (2) he'll have to take her out of the hospital and care for a living corpse, ruining his life.


    Maybe that way you can make the plot fit the book you want to write? I've had a friend get a stroke misdiagnosis recently. 12 hours is a long time for brain tissue to die in without blood flow.
     
  5. MrsT88
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    MrsT88 Member

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    Thanks guys! I couldn't have been much more specific as I really don't have a clue about it, like whether the cause of the coma depended on the length of it.
    So, she's been in a coma for a month or so, being cared for in the hospital and will come out of the coma.....
    Thanks for the help on the emotions too, that's made it clearer in my head of where this is going....
    She was using her mobile whilst driving, been in an accident, now in a coma. Would this be so for around seven months? Maybe a little longer. What happens whilst someone is in a coma during all of that time? Do they do tests on them or anything? Machines they are on? What about when they come round from it? Any info that might be of help is much appreciated.
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    A coma can last from seconds to forever. The longer the person is in a coma the less likely they are to wake up and suddenly be normal though there are rare cases.

    Typically, with severe head trauma and a prolonged coma, recovery will take at least as long as a year and people are usually left with some residual brain damage.

    Depends on the area of the brain where the damage has occurred and the depth of the coma.
    WebMD has the basics: http://www.webmd.com/brain/brain-damage-symptoms-causes-treatments

    http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/traumatic-brain-injury-topic-overview

    A Google search for "webmd brain damage" had a slew of interesting links.

    Brain injury support groups are possible sources of information. Here's one: http://www.biausa.org/index.htm
     
  7. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    (Edit after I saw your latest comment)
    When someone is in a coma following a car accident, they'll probably be pretty hurt, broken bones, maybe pelvis, ribs, internal organs might be injured and bleeding, all kinds of things that would need treatment. Also, some comatose patients can breathe on their own, some can not. However, in this scenario where injury caused coma and she can't be woken up medically, you definitely want the coma to be short, a week or two at most. Anything longer than that would suggest irreversible brain injury or if the character recovers completely (ie wakes up and can speak, walk, recognise everyone, remembers everything etc) it wouldn't be medically consistent. But miracles do happen so ultimately, you have freedom to write it anyway you want.

    The problem with writing about complex medical issues in fiction is that even though it easily provides high drama and emotional content, there's a knowledge prerequisite which can't be obtained in five or ten minutes searching on the internet. It takes doctors years to get their head around these issues. My advice to anyone who wants to writ about something they can't really understand all that well, is to keep things very simple.
     
  8. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    They thought he was in a coma for 23 years
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1230092/Rom-Houben-Patient-trapped-23-year-coma-conscious-along.html

    Dies after 23 year coma caused by a nose job
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/9643910/Spanish-man-dies-after-being-in-coma-for-23-years.html

    Woke up speaking a foreign language, unable to speak her own language after 1 day coma
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/croatia/7583971/Croatian-teenager-wakes-from-coma-speaking-fluent-German.html

    Wakes after 19 year coma and asks mom for pepsi
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-187920/Coma-man-wakes-19-years.html

    10 more freaky coma stories inc a guy who purposely put himself in one, a grandad who became a sex addict and a 3 year old smoking alcoholic!
    http://www.oddee.com/item_97859.aspx
     
  9. MrsT88
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    MrsT88 Member

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    Ok thank you for all of you help and guidance, I will definitely be keeping it simple but have enough information now to put it into my story.
     

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