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Cella
09-30-2009, 07:30 PM
I have a character who is in her mid-twenties and physically ill. She is mentally sharp but needs constant care physically. The disease has to be life threatening if serious enough (she will die from the deisease before reaching 30.)


I'm hoping someone can help me. I've researed this but it's a daunting task when you're looking for a disease to match symptoms--not the other way around.

Any thoughts or fingers pointing in the right direction are appreciated! :)

DeleyanLee
09-30-2009, 07:45 PM
How much "constant physicaly care" are you looking for?

My sister had Crohn's Disease and was frequently hospitalized because she didn't live by the strict diet and pill regime (she didn't have insurance, so the pills were expensive), though there were stretches of time when you could barely tell she had a problem. She was diagnosed at 20 and died at 35.

How much assistance are you looking for?

Cella
09-30-2009, 07:51 PM
I'm so sorry to hear about your sister, DeleyanLee and thank you for posting.

Lack of insurance will play into the lack of treatment here as well. Pretty constant care, I will look into this.

Thank you again.

Cella :)

Wayne K
09-30-2009, 07:56 PM
There's a term I can't think of for a disease that they can't diagnose. I'll look for it, but I'm not real good with the search engine. Anyway, I had a girlfriend in the 80's who had something that the doctors couldn't figure out, and it was debilitating and in the end deadly.

I looked for this and can't find it. My wife's brother is a doctor, I'll have her ask him.

melaniehoo
09-30-2009, 07:57 PM
Lupus comes to mind, but I think I'm basing that off an 80s soap opera.

Stew21
09-30-2009, 08:01 PM
Immunoglobular Anemia (IgA).

blood condition that results in low immunity and usually takes form as digestive or respiratory infections frequently. People who have it are usually very underweight, are hospitalized frequently and the blood treatments that have been developed in recent years are quite expensive.

Most don't live past their twenties. I know someone who has lived to 36 and is still going, but it is really very rare for IgA people to live that long.

Summonere
09-30-2009, 08:19 PM
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, perhaps.

Aka, Maladie de Charcot, aka Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Friend of mine has this and it's slowly whittling her down a little at a time. Though she doesn't yet need constant care, she drives a car with steering and brake assists, and has a motorized wheelchair for when she'll eventually need it. Damn it all.

waylander
09-30-2009, 08:49 PM
Multiple sclerosis.
My wife had a cousin who was first diagnosed at ~15, lived with increasing disability to about 30.

jeseymour
09-30-2009, 08:56 PM
What about cystic fibrosis?

http://www.lungusa.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=4294229&ct=5290039

Cella
10-01-2009, 01:09 AM
Thank you everyone, I will look into all of these :)

Cella

Tallent
10-01-2009, 01:14 AM
Lupus comes to mind, but I think I'm basing that off an 80s soap opera.

Isn't this what House guesses on every show?

Smiling Ted
10-01-2009, 02:39 AM
From a ghoulish writerly perspective, Multiple Sclerosis is a good call - there are dozens of different forms of the disease, its causes are not clearly understood (there is a genetic component), and it can kill quickly or be chronic.

Kenzie
10-01-2009, 05:44 AM
I was going to suggest cystic fibrosis as well. Most people with this don't live past their twenties, though my sister's best friend has it and is more or less going well at 30. She is hospitalised frequently however, and can never have children - she had a heartbreaking situation where she discovered she was pregnant and already 5 months along, but had to be induced immediately as her lungs would not cope beyond that gestation and both she and her baby would die. The baby, though unbelievably premature, lived for two days before passing.

Fenika
10-01-2009, 05:52 AM
House guesses it b/c Lupus is 'the great imitator' (meaning some patients are lucky to get diagnosed quickly but most don't b/c their symptoms are all over the place)

There are other autoimmune diseases aside from the better known Lupus and Crohn's. There's also pseudoautoimmune diseases like fibromyalgia, but that won't kill ya. (They also don't know what causes it. Bummer.)

Stijn Hommes
10-01-2009, 01:18 PM
Lupus is one of those diseases that has so many symptoms that when House first sees a patient it could be a valid diagnosis. The only reason it never is, is because the show would be very short of the first diagnosis is the right one...

Smiling Ted
10-01-2009, 05:29 PM
Lupus is one of those diseases that has so many symptoms that when House first sees a patient it could be a valid diagnosis. The only reason it never is, is because the show would be very short of the first diagnosis is the right one...

Just be *really* careful about getting ideas from "House." I have three doctors in my family who watch the show, but "for characters, not the medicine." ;)

Moost
10-02-2009, 05:31 AM
Keep in mind I'm not a doctor, all of the knowledge I'm about to share with you comes from what my doctor has told me :)

I have a disease called Thalassemia, or Mediterranean anemia. It has varying forms of severity. The worst kind, beta Thalassemia, is similar to sickle cell anemia- people who suffer from it require regular blood transfusions. I am lucky enough to have a mild case- I have only needed one blood transfusion in my life, but I was hospitalized with a kidney infection at the time anyway.

The disease is hereditary- my grandmother has it. She is an immigrant from Cyprus, which as I understand is the region where Thalassemia is most prevalent. But, it is common in other Mediterranean areas, so if your MC had an Italian or Greek parent it would be a plausible affliction.

Hope this helps!

Manuel Royal
10-02-2009, 06:10 AM
I'm hoping someone can help me. I've researed this but it's a daunting task when you're looking for a disease to match symptoms--not the other way around.You haven't given us any symptoms. How physically able does the character need to be?

bettielee
10-02-2009, 06:14 AM
Isn't this what House guesses on every show?

It can masquerade as a lot of things. It's funny he always thinks it's lupus. My aunt was diagnosed with everything under the sun until they figured out it WAS lupus. She died in her late 50's....

Cella
10-02-2009, 06:41 AM
You haven't given us any symptoms. How physically able does the character need to be?


Touche' :)

I'm still in the very early stages of research for this character. Basically she needs to be sick and immoble enough to need in-house help for daily activities, starting with (when she's not quite SO sick) needing help just getting out of the house to sit on the patio, to later being uable to brush her own teeth, bathe, etc. But, mentally she is very with it and aware of her illness (whatever it ends up being.)

It will have gone some years as undiagnosed due to inconsistent home life, with the more severe symptoms showing up in her late teens/early twenties.

Thanks again, everyone. You've been VERY helpful.

Cella

Drice
10-02-2009, 07:08 AM
ALS is something that might fit. Lou Gehrig's disease usually is diagnosed during middle age and affects men more often than women but people in their 20's can contract the disease.

C.bronco
10-02-2009, 07:11 AM
MS
It cuts down too many people in their prime.
When I get a boat-load of cash from my movie options and marketing tie-ins, I'm donating a big chunk to the MS Foundation. They do really great things for people who have it.

My friend was 27 when he was diagnosed, and it came out of the blue.