View Full Version : Make my hero ill :D

08-06-2008, 07:12 PM
Well, I need to give my poor, ever-suffering hero some sort of illness that will get him out of the way for a while, so my baddie can win over the heroine.

I want him to go to hospital for a good few days (4 or more?), and be off school for about a week. He's eighteen and very fit and healthy - an athlete. I want it to be something that comes fairly quickly, and that will be over when it's over, with no side affects to contend with when he's back and wooing my heroine. I'd like something serious too, so everything can be suitably worried. Nothing life-threatening, or that'll be with him for the rest of his life or anything, and preferably no surgery. He's got to be in pain (ooh, I'm evil). Nothing too obscure, but something unusual would be fine. I think that's all my criteria... :P But oh yeah, nothing like a drug overdose or too much alcohol, or something really self-inflicted please.

BUT, he must be able to think on the fourth day of his stay in hospital (i.e. conscious at one point) and be able to phone the heroine on the sixth day of his illness/the start of his recovery. At the moment, I've got a scene with him in his hospital bed with a nurse fussing round him, so maybe some illness with something exciting like a drip?

I'd love to pick your brains, because so far my google-fu has failed me, and I can't write a scene in hospital without knowing what's wrong with him. :P

So, shower me with illnesses and the gory details of what they are! (gory details optional, I can always look them up :D) Cookies availiable too!!! Please specify your preferred flavour.

Thank you!!


08-06-2008, 07:40 PM
Urosepsis from a kidney stone that he manages to pass the first hospital day. He'll still be on some IV antibiotics until the cultures are back (probably day 3 of the hospital stay). With sepsis they usually have more of a flu like syndrome the day before they crash rather than the classic excruciating flank pain. In an otherwise healthy young person it can be confused with meningitis or toxic shock syndrome. People are usually in the hospital 3-7 days with urosepsis

08-06-2008, 08:00 PM
I had Atypical Pneumonia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atypical_pneumonia) once. I was in hospital for that long. Even had the armful of antibiotics. An extremely unpleasant experience, I might add.

08-06-2008, 08:07 PM
cat-scratch fever.....

Kitty Pryde
08-06-2008, 08:13 PM
Tonsils and adenoids removed.
A friend of mine, at 18, was on an AP Biology edible plant searching field trip in the woods around his school. Apparently wild carrot looks awfully like poison hemlock root. After he ate it, his teacher identified it properly. A hospital stay and a stomach pump ensued. No permanent damage done, he went onto 2 ivy league schools and today he's a professor (not of biology)!

08-06-2008, 08:18 PM
Meningitis? Too long probably.

Flesh eating streptococci infections probably a bit icky...

What if there was an accident? Guy I work with had a tree fall on him while he was camping. Bruised and battered but not broken. In the hospital for just under a week.

08-06-2008, 08:24 PM
Flesh eating streptococci infections probably a bit icky...

Would also require surgery to remove the dead and corroded flesh, not to mention try to put back together any surviving tissue. Assuming, of course, that they got all of that little bugger so it doesn't come back.

Personally, I was just thinking of the chicken pox, with accompanying fever. Hospitalization of older children isn't that unusual in such cases and any sustained fever is good reason to take him to the ER/get him admitted. The other bennie is you don't have to explain what it is.

08-06-2008, 08:31 PM
Food poisoning with threat of dehydration?

08-06-2008, 08:41 PM
Food poisoning with threat of dehydration?

Having had mild food poisoning, it can take 2-3 weeks to get your stamina back. And I was only out of it for a day, without hospitalization.

08-06-2008, 08:54 PM
Does it have to be a "sickness"? What I mean is, since you say he is an athlete and extremely fit, maybe it could be related to his athletic activities/working out? Ligament damage, tendon, muscle sprian etc.

Just a few cents worth

08-06-2008, 09:02 PM
You could make it something sort of cool (so she'd be impressed), like West Nile fever or some other form of viral encephalitis. The clinical course of several of these varieties is pretty variable, so you'd have lattitude in your plot, and several days of delirium/stupor (coma in the worst cases) is common. They also often have headaches and fevers that make them feel pretty rotten for several days. Complete recovery is the norm, although not necessarily, so everybody would be concerned about the worst, but then happy when he turned the corner.

Here's a link (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/encephalitis/DS00226/DSECTION=causes) with a bunch of them.

08-06-2008, 10:20 PM
Depending on time of year - swimming in a lake when the "turnover" is happening. Not sure what all can happen, although I know it can be "very" serious.

Tish Davidson
08-06-2008, 11:09 PM
Food poisoning (e. coli) or a poisonous mushroom (some are more toxic than others). Swift, serious enough to require hospitalization and genuine concern, but fairly short duration.

08-06-2008, 11:19 PM
Mono can be quite serious.

Shingles has a rapid onset, is very debilitating, and can depart just as quickly.

Simple blood poisoning from something like stepping on a nail. When antibiotics get it under control the recovery is almost immediate but it can be life threatening.

Snake bite.

Anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting or a food allergy. Life threatening until medication is received.

Asthma attack.

Salmonella from bad tomatos... or is it jalapenos?


Stacia Kane
08-06-2008, 11:59 PM
Appendicitis/burst appendix. It does require the surgical removal of the appendix, but that's a very minor surgery (a very small incision;they may even do it laparoscopically these days) and it's totally conceivable that he would be able to go back to school after a few days--according to Wikipedia, the patient leaves the hospital the next day after the laparoscopic surgery (but that doesn't mean you can't keep him in longer, of course. Either way, it's such a small incision he would be able to return to normal activity quickly). Also, it's a rapid onset illness.


Either that or pneumonia.

08-07-2008, 01:29 AM
If it's track and field season, hit him with a javelin. No, don't stab him with it, let him get hit with the butt of it. Happened to my cousin and it bruised his aorta badly enough they put him in the hospital, because they were worried his aorta would rupture. He had a lot of chest pain, followed by a couple days of reduced activity, with a lot of anxiety over the risk of a rupture. And then, he was just fine.

08-07-2008, 02:28 AM
MRSA... highly contagious and passes like crazy in locker rooms. Looks like a rash, brings on infection, and is treatable.

Sandi LeFaucheur
08-07-2008, 01:34 PM
He could go in with something minor--like tonsillectomy--and contract C Diff or MRSA while in the hospital.

Tsu Dho Nimh
08-07-2008, 05:23 PM
Ordinarly appendicitis ... with generic unspecified "complications" like his fever doesn't go down and he keeps vomiting. Then they find out half the high school students that were at an event where he was the day he showed symptoms of appendicitis were also vomiting. He has norovirus on top of the appendicitis.

He'd recover stamina in a few days,

08-07-2008, 07:26 PM
Any surgery with a bad reaction to the anesthesia. My step daughter had trouble breathing and vomiting. Plus she was mentally foggy.

08-08-2008, 04:47 PM
GeorgeK: Urosepsis sounds interesting. I haven't heard of that one before, so I'm going to do some research. It sounds like it could work though.

Priene: Atypical pneumonia sounds awful! Poor you!

smoothseas: Cat scratch fever :D WOw! I hadn't heard of that before! That would be funny, the big tough guy getting scratched by the little kitty and having to go to hospital :P I might give him a cat :D

Kitty Pryde: I like the idea of him needing his tonsils out :D Also it would be interesting to have him eating somethnig he shouldn't and getting poisoned :P

Jennontheisland: Flesh eating streptococci infections SOUNDS icky :P I hadn't though of an accident, I was just thinking about sicknesses. That sounds good; anyone can understand being bruised and battered :D

DeleyanLee: I hadn't even thought of something as simple as chicken Pox. I was too caught up in complicated things. I hadn't realised it was more dangerous in older children. I could definitely use that to my advantage.

Keyan: food poioning would be a nice idea. Make him vomit nicely :D

jkcates: I'd thought about a sportng injury like something to do with muscles or ligaments. As I do lots of track and field myself I've had quite a few of them. The thing is, you aren't often hospitalised from a muscle tear or something like that. I once did my quadriceps in really badly and I was off sport for a good six months, but I didn't spend any time in hospital.

ColoradoGuy: THose sound really cool!!! THe link isn't working so I'm going to do some research.

Fern: The thing is, I live, and the story is set in the UK. We don't do much swimming in lakes here. Much too cold. Good idea though.

Tish: Food poisoning does sound good. It's the sort of thing which everyone has heard of but isn't too common. I'm liking it.

MelancholyMan: Mono sounds good. It's called glandular fever where I am. One of my friend's relatives had that. Shingles could work as well. Ooh, I hadn't thought of blood poisoning either. A snake bite's out of the question, sorry. You don't get poisonous snakes in the UK (luckily). I've heard of anaphylactic reactions, some people at school get them sometimes. That's quite quick too, which would be good. My little brother has Asthma, so I could write quite well about that, but the problem is that he's an athlete, and I don't want his performance to be ruined by athsma :S. Yeh, Salmonella's definitely a possibilty too. That's like food poisoning.

DecemberQuinn: I hadn't thought of Appendicitus. That could be quite good. A simple little operation, but suitibly worrying - will they get to it before it bursts?

Redzilla: ROFL. Now that would be funny. The thing is, whoever threw it would get in a lot of trouble. Ah, you made me laugh :D Seriously, I suppose that actually would be possible.

Wildscribe: MRSA is that bug they keep getting in hospitals isn't it? I read the wikipedia article on it, and it sounds great. Nicely infectious to keep him away from school for a bit :D

Sandi: I didn't think of that! That's clever, go in with something, then catch something else. I might do that if whatever I give him doesn't keep him in for long enough.

Tsu: Appendicitus with complications might to the trick. that way I can keep it vague if the doctors don't know what's happening.

spike: Surgery with a bad reaction to the anaesthetic might be good. It would be suitably scary too. Just as they think he'll start to recover because of the surgery he gets worse.

Thank you to everyone for your help. I've now got so many wonderful things to choose from. Before I couldn't think of anything, now I can't choose! I'll have to go away and try to narrow it down :P

08-10-2008, 05:13 PM
WOW, how many exciting ideas!! :)

You could also 'give' him something silly & inconspicous (or embarassing to tell about, like the urosepsis or such, would a guy that age be comfy telling about that to a potential love interest? ;))
- & everyone else would think it was something waaay more dangerous & 'lethal' - because of a clumsy choice of words, or a misunderstanding, or too much 'silence' or something? &/or ambiguous 'signs'... the doctors might hint at one thing, Mom could be convinced it's an entirely different thing, mates (& the girl) could think it's something totally different... basically, everyone could have their own version in their head... (& in reality it could be something silly & non-threatening, after treatment :) or the cat thing. lol)

I know when I was ill in the past my parents were convinced it was TBC or something.. (turned out it was just a cold of sorts)... Or I had backache & was convinced I broke something.. then had Xrays & tests & there was nothing so major...
I also once had to go to the hospital cause they (doctors, mainly :)) thought I had appendicitis... I had great stomachache or such, on the site where it was fishy for that.. (in my early teens) I lay in bed & had the drip for a few days, laughed so much my vein tore a few times, so the nurse had to keep looking for another place to stick it in, cause I was put in a room with some extremely funny (& cute! ha! ;)) guys.. :) cause there was no room for girls elsewhere.. I actually enjoyed my time there!! :) Turned out all was well & I had no need for surgery, nothing.. :)

/They had kept me in there for observation & to do an emergency surgery if needed. It wasn't. I think maybe the laughter (& the cute company!) etc 'cured' me! lol)

Oh, & as for mono. I think I heard it can repeat itself later. So not sure if it would vouch for an 'entirely happy ending' (?)
MRSA is very dangerous too. Old people or those with poor immune system can die from it, so if he has a sweet grandma he wants to have alive at the end of the book living with them...? hmm...?
I'm not sure how 'totally 100% recoverable' it is too, you might wanna look it up... (& for other fishier diseases too...)

You could also give him tricky symptoms so the doctors don't know what it is right away, & everyone is scared of the worst (of course) - or some just shrug it off for him 'not being manly enough' or something..? (& being a 'wuss' or such-?)
& of course if you go read your symptoms on Wikipedia (or in a book with symptoms & such) you always pretty much fear the worst right away (or your Mom does :)).

08-10-2008, 07:18 PM
Do you get the tv program "House" in the UK? There's a great source for ideas.

Round John Virgin
08-10-2008, 07:56 PM
Eighteen years old and has a sweetie? He sounds like a good candidate for mono. We used to call it glandular fever over here, too, as well as the kissing disease! (His lady love can spend her time feeling guilty! Or perhaps angry that he caught it from someone else and worried that he might have passed it on to her! :tongue) Mono probably wouldn't require hospitalization, but it would sure lay him out for a few days. One problem is that the effects can linger for some time.
Or how about an infection from the removal of impacted wisdom teeth?