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Lehcarjt
06-01-2011, 12:03 AM
Thanks for taking a peek at this.

Time period is 1880's. Influenza goes through a family. An elderly relative gets it and she dies. I want her to die of an underlying condition though and I want it to be unpleasant for her caretakers. Any suggestions?

The only thing it can't be is lung cancer. Thanks again.

Drachen Jager
06-01-2011, 12:14 AM
What kind of unpleasant? Cancer can be pretty nasty. Syphilis can cause deformities and mental troubles.

shaldna
06-01-2011, 12:34 AM
during that time period influenza alone was enough to kill people, given the general living conditions.

johnnysannie
06-01-2011, 12:37 AM
Influenza still actually kills a number of elderly people each year and others with underlying medical conditions. In 1918, long after your time period, there was a huge flu epidemic that killed people worldwide including the young and the previously healthy.

Pneumonia can become a complication of influenza along with many other things.

Death from disease, especially in the 1880's, in a home setting, tends to be messy anyway.

crunchyblanket
06-01-2011, 12:49 AM
What about sarcoidosis (http://www.umm.edu/respiratory/sarcoid.htm)? A systemic disease that commonly affects the lungs. It can present with severe fatigue, night sweats, joint pains, shortness of breath and nasty skin rashes. It can also cause neurological problems and heart problems.

Lehcarjt
06-01-2011, 01:40 AM
Thanks for the responses. I am learning that I tend not to give enough details when asking for help!

I have the scene now written where the woman gets influenza which exacerbates her lung cancer and then she has a horrible death coughing up blood. However, this is exactly how a relative of mine actually did die (the lung cancer, not the influenza) and I decided that it would be insensitive to write that into my book.

I still want a bloody, difficult death that my protag has to deal with on her own. I looked up sarcoidosis and I don't think I can use that one because I've got a relative on the other side of the family who (I think) is dying of it or something very close. I'll study it a bit more though.

Thanks for the assistance. More suggestions are welcome.

crunchyblanket
06-01-2011, 01:46 AM
Possibly Emphysema (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emphysema) (aka COPD) then? Usually affects smokers or those who live in areas of high air pollution.

Alternatively, good old fashioned Rheumatoid Arthritis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rheumatoid_arthritis#Heart_and_blood_vessels) can lead to rheumatoid lung disease (http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Rheumatoid-Arthritis-and-the-Lung.htm)

Nugus
06-01-2011, 02:07 AM
How about if dear old Granny actually had a bout of haemoptysis - coughing up blood. Usually this would happen if there was capillary damage to the trachea or alveoli, but sometimes the pulmonary vein or pulmonary artery is involved, especially if there is an underlying aneurysm which can cause catastrophic blood loss - which is very messy. Also an underlying cause could involve disseminated intravascular coagulation - which is when the peripheral vascular system won't clot and people bleed to death whilst the core system develop massive clots causing pulmonary embolisms - nasty. People also die of haematemasis, which is vomiting blood. An ulcer, or oesophageal varicies will cause this, but it is usually an alcohol related illness.
Unfortunately, if these things would only be found on an post-mortem exam, which wasn't routine in those days.

Wayne K
06-01-2011, 02:09 AM
Dysentery is a horrible way to die. It fits the time too

Kitti
06-01-2011, 03:46 AM
What you're describing - especially with the bloody coughing - sounds a lot like tuberculosis (aka consumption).

idempotent1729
06-01-2011, 08:28 AM
What about a ruptured spleen due to infection? Or peritonitis, possibly also involving sepsis/septicemia? There's always cholera, too.

If you want something a bit more similar to what you originally thought, people used "consumption" as a blanket term for any kind of wasting disease (often tuberculosis). You could just say it was consumption and avoid having to specify in modern terms exactly what it was.

PinkAmy
06-01-2011, 06:36 PM
In my opinion, care-taking for someone with bowel issues would be one of the hardest/messiest problems to deal with. They probably didn't have colostomy bags back then, but if they did that's gotta be near the top of the list.

johnnysannie
06-01-2011, 06:38 PM
What you're describing - especially with the bloody coughing - sounds a lot like tuberculosis (aka consumption).

That's what I thought.

And it was a major ravaging disease at the time.

Tsu Dho Nimh
06-01-2011, 09:31 PM
Thanks for the responses. I am learning that I tend not to give enough details when asking for help!

Tell us what the plot needs, and the setting. We'll maim,. mangle and strangle for you :0


I still want a bloody, difficult death that my protag has to deal with on her own. I looked up sarcoidosis and I don't think I can use that one because I've got a relative on the other side of the family who (I think) is dying of it or something very close. I'll study it a bit more though.

How about idiopathic thrombocyotpenia purpura? It can be as mild or severe as your plot needs. And it can be VERY gross, usually death comes from gushing blood from several orifices.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/idiopathic-thrombocytopenic-purpura/DS00844/DSECTION=symptoms