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The Character Clinic



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Mon Sep 28, 2020 3:57 pm
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StellaThomas says...



The other thing I didn't mention is splinting - people who are in comas for a long time get these things called Fixed Flexion Deformities - I actually googled there to see people who had woken up from very long comas - you'll see they have their elbows and wrists bent in an unusual way. This happens from disuse. Splints and physiotherapy throughout the time they're unconscious can help, but again it needs to be pretty rigorous.
"Stella. You were in my dream the other night. And everyone called you Princess." -Lauren2010
  





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Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:28 pm
dancingontheclouds says...



So. If my character was exposed to chalk dust every single day of her life, inhaling it, having it on her skin 24/7, what would happen? I don't know if you'll be able to answer this.
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Sun Oct 04, 2020 5:44 pm
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StellaThomas says...



@LordMomo - a quick Google search brings up mostly what I expected- that chalk is non-toxic and doesn't cause any long term problems. But there's a couple of isolated case reports of chalk-induced pulmonary fibrosis - that is, severe scarring in the lungs. Pulmonary fibrosis has about a five year life expectancy without lung transplant.

So short answer- not much, unless you want her to be really unfortunate.

You can consider for instance also having her be an asthmatic whose asthma can be triggered by dust in general.

Other than respiratory issues, and maybe some eye dryness, I can't anticipate it causing other problems. If she has sensitive skin (and especially if she is asthmatic) it may cause eczema or dermatitis but in general it's not an irritant.

Cool concept though!
"Stella. You were in my dream the other night. And everyone called you Princess." -Lauren2010
  





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Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:48 pm
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dancingontheclouds says...



Wow, ok thanks!
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Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:15 pm
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SirenCymbaline says...



I have a character who is 15 years old, tiny, five foot nothing, healthy, but for magical reasons weighs as much as a pro wrestler.

She's in a modern school setting that isn't aware of this magical reason so I was wondering what sorts of things doctors/pediatricians might have been investigating as possible causes.

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Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:19 pm
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StellaThomas says...



Hey @SirenCymbaline! Interesting question!

So if you went to your family doctor I guess they would ask, how was this discovered? Have you noticed anything rlse? What are you concerned about? Then they'd take a full history - eating habits, exercise (like does she lift weights etc building hella muscle mass). They'd plot her height on weight on a growth chart. They'd want to know when/if she'd started menstruating, as girls mostly finish growing within two years of getting their periods, and they might also be curious if she has a sex chromosome variant.

Unable to find an immediate cause, they'd send her to an endocrinologist, probably a paediatric endocrinologist. They're the ones who deal with growth. The things they'd be looking for are human growth factor abnormalities, eg gigantism/acromegaly. Gigantism can be ruled out as she's not tall. But if her growth plates have fused, she could be developing acromegaly (like Andre the Giant). They'll be interested in the size of her hands, feet and the shape of her brow and forehead. Acromegaly comes on over many years though so they wouldn't be surprised to find no features.

The other thing, as I say, various forms of intersex combinations- eg she in fact has a Y chromosome but outwardly expresses female. These are complicated, I haven't read about them since med school and I honestly don't know much about them. But they're largely ruled out clinically if she's having periods.

Then think about weird and wonderful stuff. Eating disorders- is she bingeing and purging? Pica - the impulse to eat objects, especially metal. They might do an xray of her tummy to make sure her intestine isn't full of coins. Depending on the paediatrician and how averse they are to radiation, they may well do a CT scan to make sure she doesn't have any massive, heavy tumours - particularly a type of ovarian tumour called a teratoma. This is benign, formed from stem cells in the ovaries and can grow to enormous sizes. Even weirder they can often grow teeth and hair inside the tumour. These can also be picked up on ultrasound were they not keen on radiation.

Failing all that, not finding anything threatening her health, they would probably just call her a mystery and let her on her way.
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Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:22 pm
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SirenCymbaline says...



@StellaThomas thank you so much for your help! That was very interesting! I'm glad you had a good time with my strange question.

So the thing that's going on is she has magic powers related to metal and turning things into metal so I thought it would be cool to make her bones weirdly strong and heavy in a way that relates to that. That said I don't know enough about bone composition to be able to actually say what they're made of or what's happening so I just left it at 'they're heavy and don't break'

Also now I have to google some of the conditions you listed, I aint gonna use any of them but they sound interesting so I wanna know anyway hahaaa
  





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Tue Jun 01, 2021 2:03 am
WinnyWriter says...



@StellaThomas - or anyone else who might know - where can I look to safely research various poisons and their effects? This is something I want to use in a fantasy story, and I know I could technically just make something up, but I'm hoping to find some realistic symptoms that I can write for the character who gets poisoned.
  





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Sun Jul 18, 2021 7:13 pm
GrandWild says...



Hey there! What would happen (nerve damage, hand mobility, etc) if a person's hand were split down the middle from between the middle and ring fingers all the way to just above the wrist? Would the hand clench up, still be moveable, or would something else happen?
"When we walk on the bones of the landscape,
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we can hear their dreams." --Trolls, by Brian and Wendy Froud

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