2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War 1: a pivotal time for Europe and a key transition point for medical science. The Lancet marks this centenary with a three part series ‘Legacy of the war 1914-1918’. The three papers examine the impact of World War 1 on infectious disease, military psychiatry, and amputation related pain.
Life, After. When I tripped, I reached reflexively to break my very real fall with my completely imaginary left hand. My fall was instead broken by my nose, and my nose was broken by my fall. (previously)
In pain and forced to use a wheelchair, a young woman opts to amputate her clubfeet. "New prosthetics have made active life possible for many with injuries and congenital defects." [Via]
Science journalist and NOVA correspondent extraordinaire Miles O'Brien was working on a story in Japan and the Philippines when a piece of luggage fell on his arm causing minor swelling. The next day his arm was amputated due to Acute Compartment Syndrome. He recounts his experience with as much humor and grace as one can muster.
John Bell Hood’s Leg — "This marked Hood’s third major combat injury; he had suffered an arrow through the hand while fighting Comanche Indians in 1857, and had lost the function of his left arm after being struck by shell fragments at Gettysburg. Hood was a famous general, but he now faced an outlook shared by hundreds of thousands of other soldiers who were likewise injured during the war. He became dependent on the kindness of strangers, like the Little family, in order to start his long road to recovery in the midst of a realization that he would live the rest of his life as a disabled man." By Brian Craig Miller, New York Times, December 20, 2013.
"Every day in the U.S., about 500 people lose a limb. About 1,800 amputation surgeries are performed each year in Oklahoma. More than 1,600 of those — about 90 percent — are lower body amputations. So every day in Oklahoma, four people lose part or all of a leg." (Nationally, the most common procedure is toe amputation.) "These are the stories of four people living in Oklahoma — a mother, a senior, a Marine and a student — all living life on at least one prosthetic leg": Standing Tall [more inside]
Directions from a producer to runway models to "Sex it up, ladies! Sexier! And Shera—no more tanning" might not be all that unexpected. The person giving the direction is a little atypical, however. So is how her story came to be published on the online resource for sports photography.
How a Civil War Amputation Was Performed NSFS [not safe for the squeamish]
It started with some broken bones and then Austrian skier Matthias Lanzinger had his lower leg amputated yesterday.
The Australian cigarette health warnings have pretty much filtered down to every retail packet that's bought now. They're pretty gruesome and some smoking acquaintances cover them up with stickers. I thought I'd have a look around and see what other countries warnings were like. None of them were pulling any punches except for Uruguay.
Remember Aron Ralston, the guy that was trapped under a boulder for six days, and escaped only by amputating his own arm? In this month's Outside Magazine, he tells his story in excruciating detail.
One year later "It's easy to send soldiers off to war. It's a lot harder to face them when they come home"
Since we're being morbid today, how 'bout a dose of Body Identity Integrity Disorder? People with this disorder really, really want to amputate part of their own body. Here's a first-person account from a so-called wannabe, a story about a doctor who used to perform amputations of healthy limbs for BIID patients, and the article in today's Slate about a new documentary. A couple of these sites raise an interesting question: why do psychiatric disorders seem to come and go with the times?
Pianist Looks for Justice After Losing Finger I'm sure there is a Cable TV movie in this somewhere. Expect dodgy accents and Prague passing itself off as Russia as usual. And Brian Dennehy as the head of customs.
"Fine! I'll do it!" Man cuts off the penis. There, I did it. It has been 2 days since the last penis-related post. This is the most recent penis-related post. Dear Penis-amputating man: That thing there, in the Bible, it's a metaphor! Love, Jesus
"Paul Morgan is a man who desperately wants to lead a normal life again. When the accident first happened, the technology was not available for that to happen. While the technology is now available for Paul to lead a better life, the financial burden would be much more than he could afford. That is why Paul has come up with the idea to chop off his feet live on the internet". This is the first time reading a web page has actually made me nauseous.
Amputation by choice people who want to have one or more limb cut off (and in some cases achieve their desire, by self-help or medical intervention) explored in The Atlantic (more inside).