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AZ_Dawn
10-22-2009, 11:50 PM
Got a character whose mother died of a disease. The requirements:

1. It was present and known about in late 17th Century rural England.
2. The victim should still be recognizable, though not necessarily pretty.
3. The victim should still be able to tell the character her Awful Secret at some point near death.
4. It should be a PG-13 disease at worst.
5. No STDs!
6. Contagiousness is optional.
7. Yes, I know about smallpox; read the descriptions, saw the pictures, used the brain bleach. :scared: But it might be too ironic, since she didn't catch it when she nursed him back to health from it.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

DeleyanLee
10-22-2009, 11:53 PM
Consumption (TB)
Influenza
Pnuemonia


And that's what just comes to mind immediately.

Kathleen42
10-23-2009, 12:00 AM
Just a thought but have you thought about an accident instead of disease?

waylander
10-23-2009, 01:04 AM
TB would seem to fit very well

AZ_Dawn
10-23-2009, 02:07 AM
Thanks, guys!


Consumption (TB)
Influenza
Pnuemonia

I'll check these out, though these are lung problems. Think she'd still be able to literally say something to him? They're both illiterate, so writing the Awful Secret down is out.



Just a thought but have you thought about an accident instead of disease?

I have. I'm not sure if an accident would work for my purposes, though. His grandparents are trying to keep him from learning the Awful Secret. A disease gives them a plausible reason to try keeping him away from her despite her pleas to see him one last time. ("No, son, you might catch what she has!") Plus, if she had the accident in public and couldn't be moved before death, she'd never tell him the Awful Secret. It's not something you blab out in public, no matter what the circumstances.



TB would seem to fit very well

That's two votes for TB. Wonder if that's a sign...

StephanieFox
10-23-2009, 02:24 AM
TB is a slow and wasting disease. Then there's typhoid fever, not so slow. Measles. The Black Death (Plague) came through in 1665, and effected rural and urban areas. It's an ugly disease and makes smallpox look like a beauty treatment. There's malaria and yellow fever in the warm seasons. Scarlet fever. General infections – you could die from a small wound. Or diabetes? It had been well known as a disease for centuries.

Personally, I'd avoid using the plague because that would mean everyone around your character would be dying, too and probably no one would come near. Better to use a more common but less cyclically occurring disease since you'd have to include the death of everyone else in the book, or at least the ramifications of a general epidemic. Try measles or scarlet fever, or maybe diphtheria. Or, maybe she could die from childbirth (I do'nt know how old this character is...?)
Diphtheria is an upper Respiration tract illness characterized by sore throat, low fever, and an adherent membrane on the tonsils, pharynx, and/or nasal cavity.

The life span back them was about 35 years, but that includes a high infant mortality rate.

7. Yes, I know about smallpox; read the descriptions, saw the pictures, used the brain bleach. But it might be too ironic, since she didn't catch it when she nursed him back to health from it.
Why you shouldn't use smallpox; if she nursed him back to health and didn't get it, it was probably because she was immune, either from having a very mild and unrecognized case or from having cow pox, a similar disease that confers immunity to smallpox. Not irony at all, just medicine.

AZ_Dawn
10-23-2009, 03:46 AM
Thanks, StephanieFox! Looks like I'll be at the CDC site for a while. I better brace myself for the photos.


Or diabetes? It had been well known as a disease for centuries.
Never thought of diabetes, and I have diabetic relatives! That's going to be a tough one to check out, considering it'll bring up the worst case scenario for loved ones.



Or, maybe she could die from childbirth (I do'nt know how old this character is...?)


Considering her secret, that would be really ironic.



Why you shouldn't use smallpox; if she nursed him back to health and didn't get it, it was probably because she was immune, either from having a very mild and unrecognized case or from having cow pox, a similar disease that confers immunity to smallpox. Not irony at all, just medicine.

So true. She might've been just lucky the first time, but that's pushing it!

cptwentworth
10-23-2009, 04:17 AM
How about dysentery? That would be one of those things you just didn't talk about. Not contagious, but definitely deadly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysentery

backslashbaby
10-23-2009, 04:40 AM
It's not contagious, but Pernicious Anemia was uniformly fatal back then. I can tell you all about it if you need cos I have it ;)

It can look like syphillis with insanity, or it can be mostly a heart-problem related death, so you'd have a lot of flexibility. It's mostly weakness, paleness and nerve problems in the extremities.

I don't know if folks would've been scared that it could be contagious. It's kind of intense once the person gets really sick, so I'd think they might be careful.

eta: I don't know what they would have called it during that time period. The only early names I've read are German or Hungarian. They'd know it was anemia, though... just a deadly kind.

StephanieFox
10-23-2009, 04:51 AM
It's not contagious, but Pernicious Anemia was uniformly fatal back then. I can tell you all about it if you need cos I have it ;)



Early treatment (we're talking early 20th Century) was eating lots and lots and lots of beef liver. Every day. All the time.

There was very little understanding about contagiousness and most diseases that were contagious were still attributed to 'bad air.'

Avoid smallpox. It's a really contagious disease.

I'm going to copy a few sentences from Death, Religion and the Family in England, 1480-1759 by Ralph Althony Houlbrook. I will be making typos, cause I'm typing fast and I don't care. I can't copy and paste. Here goes;

Smallpox was perhaps the most feared killer of the century 1650 to 1750. Relatively mild and infrequent before 1600, it seem to have become much more common ahd lethal by the later 17th centurey. As early as 1629, it was claimed that sacacely one family in the Isle of Wright escaped it and many people died...A disease commonly confused with smallpox, at least until the 1670s was measles which occured as a cold weather disease in phases of different levels of virulence....This incidence of disease varied from place to place...long established gastric diseases seem to have declined, but small pox, typhus and TB contributed to an increasing death rate...Some formidable killer were communicated by inscect bites; typhus (most commonly in winter, expecially where people huddled together for warmth), malaria. Typhus is a generic term for a group of infectious diseases spread by rickettsiae, micro-organisms intermediate in size between viruses and bacteria. Epidemic typhus is spread between human beings by body lice and introduce into the bloodstream by scratching the skin...while endemic or murine typhus is spread from rats to humans by fleas.
The syptoms of epidemic typhus develops suddenly and include sever headache, pain in back and limbs followed by a high fever and a rash...The link between poor harvest and subsequent mortaligy crises in...1622-23 seems clear. All three crises were most severe in the pastoral areas of the north which were dependent on imports of grain from outside the region.
Typhus was probably carried to many different parts of the country by the rival armies during the 1640s.

There you go. You've hit my subject. This and dogs.

backslashbaby
10-23-2009, 04:56 AM
Early treatment (we're talking early 20th Century) was eating lots and lots and lots of beef liver. Every day. All the time.

There was very little understanding about contagiousness and most diseases that were contagious were still attributed to 'bad air.'

Ewww, yep. And when I was really sick, I couldn't eat regular food well at all -- no appetite whatsoever. I got down into the 80's at 5'5. Imagine the beef liver!

StephanieFox
10-23-2009, 06:11 AM
Ewww, yep. And when I was really sick, I couldn't eat regular food well at all -- no appetite whatsoever. I got down into the 80's at 5'5. Imagine the beef liver!

You think that's gross? How about this?
Vitamin B12 was discovered somewhat by accident in this effort to cure pernicious anemia. Numerous scientists played small roles in helping to discover the element and isolate it, thus making the cure available.
Dr. Newcastle

Dr. Newcastle was never looking for a vitamin supplement, but rather a simple cure for pernicious anemia (http://vitamins.lovetoknow.com/Vitamin_B12_Deficiency_Diet_Therapy). He discovered that he could regurgitate his own gastric juices and then feed it to his patients which caused disease improvement. Clearly however, this was not a sustainable practice.


...Clearly! LOL!


Before Dr. Whipple, pernicious anemia was a fatal disease. In about the year 1920, Dr. Whipple bled dogs to induce anemia and then set about to find out which foods would cause the dogs to recover the most quickly. He discovered that feeding the dogs raw liver would essentially cure the anemia. Thus, raw liver, or raw liver juice became the treatment of choice for pernicious anemia. Patients would eat at least a 1/2 pound per day!

backslashbaby
10-23-2009, 06:30 AM
:scared: Oh, my. Somehow I can't picture my doc swallowing my food for me before I do!

And the needles really seem like a walk in the park :D (Actually, I don't mind them a bit over the years).

AZ_Dawn
10-23-2009, 11:18 PM
:tmi Gak! I keep for get how gross medicine was back then! (Not that it isn't gross now...)


How about dysentery? That would be one of those things you just didn't talk about. Not contagious, but definitely deadly.
It could work, but I don't think I could bring myself to write about diarrhea.


There you go. You've hit my subject. This and dogs.
I think after reading up on diseases a lot, I'd want to look at cute dog pictures, too. ;)

StephanieFox
10-24-2009, 02:11 AM
:tmi


I think after reading up on diseases a lot, I'd want to look at cute dog pictures, too. ;)


Go to www.bulldogsworld.com (http://www.bulldogsworld.com) and go to the regular forum (#1). Very cute dog pictures.

AZ_Dawn
10-24-2009, 11:45 PM
Go to www.bulldogsworld.com (http://www.bulldogsworld.com) and go to the regular forum (#1). Very cute dog pictures.
Aww, you didn't have to! Thanks!

Well, it looks like death by diabetes might work the best, except I can't find a good description of it. All I can find so far is that back before insulin, you were lucky to live out the month, let alone the year. That, and the early syptoms and TMI diagnosis method. >.<

StephanieFox
10-26-2009, 02:50 AM
Start here:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetic-ketoacidosis/DS00674/DSECTION=symptoms

However, you might want to call up an endrocrononogist and interview her to get a really good description and to be accurate. You can include her name in the 'thants to:" section.

AZ_Dawn
10-26-2009, 07:48 AM
Start here:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetic-ketoacidosis/DS00674/DSECTION=symptoms

However, you might want to call up an endrocrononogist and interview her to get a really good description and to be accurate.
Thanks yet again! Nice overview in the link, but yeah, I probably should ask an expert in the field.



You can include her name in the 'thants to:" section.

I'm gonna have one hefty Acknowledgements section by the time I'm through. :D

beqs
10-26-2009, 08:54 AM
I was going to suggest consumption too (TB) but since it's already on the table, how about rabies or tetanus? Easily acquirable and deadly.

Or leprosy? Bit more obscure.

cscarlet
10-26-2009, 07:29 PM
I was going to suggest consumption too (TB) but since it's already on the table, how about rabies or tetanus? Easily acquirable and deadly.

Or leprosy? Bit more obscure.

With rabies or tetanus unfortunately they would not be able to speak.

My vote is also for TB, though the first poster of it had the right idea: You must call it consumption if you're talking about it in history. It didn't adopt the common name tuberculosis for quite some time after that. She would certainly be able to speak, but it would be in raspy breaths/gasping for air as her lungs filled with fluid. Might make for a more dramatic event that way.

AZ_Dawn
10-27-2009, 04:40 AM
Or leprosy? Bit more obscure.
Interesting, but it takes too long. Besides, weren't they still throwing lepers out of town back then? ;)



With rabies or tetanus unfortunately they would not be able to speak.

I thought as much.



My vote is also for TB, though the first poster of it had the right idea: You must call it consumption if you're talking about it in history. It didn't adopt the common name tuberculosis for quite some time after that. She would certainly be able to speak, but it would be in raspy breaths/gasping for air as her lungs filled with fluid. Might make for a more dramatic event that way.

I'll keep that in mind if I decide to use TB. Hope my character doesn't catch it. :D

StephanieFox
10-27-2009, 05:00 AM
There wasn't a lot of leprosy around then. This is why;
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050814172940.htm

However, I am more inclined to believe the other theory that there is a cross-immunity and if you have exposure to one, you will be protected from the other.
http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/87/12/1923

Whichever it was, there wasn't leprosy in Europe during the period your story is set.