Sword through the spine.
April 23, 2007 2:30 PM   Subscribe

Novel-filter: What does it feel like to have your spine severed? Say, by a sword.

What does it feel like to have a sword shoved through your spine (from behind)? How about when it's pulled back out again? What effects would it have on things like your ability to stand up and feel your legs?

Bonus points for suggestions for places a layperson can find out what various injuries feel like.
posted by joannemerriam to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This guy thinks he knows.
posted by Methylviolet at 2:44 PM on April 23, 2007

Best answer: One of the answers to this Google question (scroll down) gives a horrifically detailed, first-person account of having your spine severed by .22 caliber bullet. I'd imagine it's very similar.
posted by timeistight at 3:03 PM on April 23, 2007 [9 favorites]

Well if you're looking for specific descriptors to describe the experience, as a former victim of a herniated disc, I can tell you the word "excruciating" cannot be overused.

Kidding aside, you may want to search for info about spinal injuries, say from stuff like car accidents or being blown up in Iraq. There's bound to be something in there that you could extrapolate with the sword angle.

BTW, if ones spinal cord got severed, there would be no standing up.
posted by elendil71 at 3:05 PM on April 23, 2007

And upon further preview, if you cant get anything from timeistight's link, you shouldnt be writing. That is truly a horrific description.
posted by elendil71 at 3:09 PM on April 23, 2007

Yeah, I'd say that description in timeistight's link pretty much sums up what the pain would be like. It sounds like a horrific experience.
posted by dazed_one at 5:15 PM on April 23, 2007

13 millimeter rupture in my L5/S2 here. Let's just say if you can avoid even imagining what that kind of pain feels like you'll be glad you did. Awful, awful stuff.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:18 PM on April 23, 2007

Bonus points for suggestions for places a layperson can find out what various injuries feel like.

Descriptions or some kind of virtual reality/simulation pain?
posted by Caviar at 9:25 PM on April 23, 2007

Best answer: I've read two detailed descriptions of gunshot wounds to the head (luckily I haven't experienced this first hand). I was surprised in the similarity between the two stories. The first was an American hostage aboard EgyptAir Flight #648. She was shot point blank in the back of the head and thrown off the plane onto the tarmac. The other was the lone survivor of the Wichita Massacre, who was also shot at point blank range in the back of the head. Both described hearing an explosion inside their heads when the trigger was pulled, and then everything went grey with white "stars." Neither lost consciousness at first, and both had the presence of mind to "play dead" until they were sure it was safe to move. The hostage didn't feel any pain from the gunshot wound until it started raining while she was laying on the tarmac - she said when the raindrops hit her wound, it felt like someone pelting her with gravel.

It is believed that the hostage survived because the terrorists had used homemade bullets that weren't as powerful as the store bought variety, and the Wichita victim because the bullet fist hit the metal barrette she was wearing in her hair before penetrating her head.
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:54 PM on April 23, 2007

Response by poster: Caviar: Descriptions. I was hoping somebody would recommend The Writer's Guide to Swashbuckling Injuries or something. I'd rather not actually experience getting my spine severed, even virtually.
posted by joannemerriam at 3:32 AM on April 24, 2007

« Older Where should we host a bridal shower in Seattle?   |   Want to set up Mac-based DVR for non-basic digital... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.