PDA

View Full Version : Looking for disease



Chalula88
01-01-2006, 06:39 AM
I'm looking for a disease that would require someone to be in and out of hospitals throughout their life (possibly more during childhood) but would still allow them to spend much of their life at home, alone without constant care. Also, something someone could potentially die from. I'd rather steer away from cancer, but something similar might be okay.

smallthunder
01-01-2006, 11:08 AM
You have (alas) many choices -- serious asthma being the first that comes to mind. Congenital heart defect leading to irregular hearbeat. Epilepsy/grand mal seizures. Sickle-cell anemia.

Perhaps with a few more details about the character (e.g. male? female? caucasian? non-caucasian?) and how you want the illness to impact his/her life (e.g. on a daily basis? just once in a while? almost never, but in the background?), we could narrow it down ...

waylander
01-01-2006, 05:28 PM
Undiagnosed Coeliac disease? Certainly your character would be in and out of hospitals and subject to a lot of investigations

Cathy C
01-01-2006, 07:57 PM
Lupus (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lupus/DS00115) or Lou Gehrig's (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis/DS00359) disease. Neither has a cure, or even a really good treatment plan. They can be slow moving, and can last the whole natural lifespan of a person (with them never dying of it), or move quickly and kill in a few months. Lupus can resemble arthritis for a very long time, unless the person's regular doctor has ever encountered it. Lou Gehrig's starts with small nerve problems, and progresses to other things.

Chalula88
01-01-2006, 08:15 PM
Thanks for the ideas. The character is an adult male in his early thirties. He is distant from his parents and the rest of the world because he spent so much time in hospitals as a child. As an adult he is eccentric and socially unaware so he isolates himself until develops a relationship with a little girl (the main character) and so he needs to get more and more sick and die at the end for the development of the main character. I'll look into the suggestions any more would be welcome.

reph
01-01-2006, 11:05 PM
Another way to have a character be hospitalized more often as a child than as an adult is to give him an illness for which treatment advanced while he was young. I know someone born with an orthopedic impairment (not an illness), hip dysplasia. He had several surgeries as a child. Over decades, the technique improved. In his thirties, he walked asymmetrically and used a cane. I think he was in his fifties when it had improved enough that a final hip replacement took away almost all his limp.

Chalula88
01-01-2006, 11:23 PM
Medical advances is a good idea, but I don't really want the character to recover. I want him to be able to keep himself isolated as much as possible and eventually die at the end of the story. Possibly he could die because of isolation and refusal to seek medical treatment? I want the illness to come in as backstory through dialogue with main character, then not be as apparent through the middle of the story and then kill him at the end.

radiofllyer
01-06-2006, 01:14 AM
Hi,
Lupus is a good choice. It's not as common to men but for that reason can be for life-threatening-- and more serious, usually, when presenting in children. The problem of being immuno-comprimised, an issue for people with lupus, could account for his isolation and the fact that kidney shut down can come on quickly and unexpectedly could be what ultimately kills him off.

I have Lupus and I'm sure the good folks at the LFA would have lots of info you could mine and maybe some valuable exposure when your book is published (though someone dying of the disease is never *great* exposure) is always helpful to the cause. Maybe you could offer a % of the book sales to their research fund:D in exchange for them promoting it???!!! Just a thought--but the hard facts are that Lupus kills people everyday, we just don't hear about it because it's not a high profile disease yet.

Best regard,

gloria

Zisel
01-07-2006, 03:47 AM
He is distant from his parents and the rest of the world because he spent so much time in hospitals as a child.

Just wondering, what time period are you working with? If itís within this century, now I may be misinformed, but I donít see why heíd be so isolated. I say this because (Iím a pest :tongue and) because I spent a fair amount of time in the hospital as a child and learned a lot about how to socialise and deal with the ups and downs of life while I was there. If you share a room with others, which most people do I think, you spend so much time together that you discuss every topic possible, get to know all each othersí little habits, go through a great many dramas together (life and death, literally) and overall become quite attached to the other patients and the staff. At least for me, it was like an accelerated course in human behaviour, especially in regard to how people react in high-stress situations. Actually, this is probably why TV series set in hospitals are so popular.

Hm. Kind of like the Magic Mountain, although it doesnít sound like TB is what youíre looking for here.

Good luck with your work.

[And radiofllyer, I hope you don't mind this coming from total stranger, but
hugs for you :Hug2: and good wishes for your health. I've heard lupus isn't exactly a lot of fun.]

Edit: Just thought of something: if your character is Jewish, Armenian, Arab, or Turkish, (or possibly Italian, no idea about Greek) he could have familial Mediterranean fever disease (http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz/Atoz/ency/familial_mediterranean_fever.jsp). This is an inherited condition thatís pretty rare, but not unheard of; about 1 in 500 or 1 in 1000 people depending on which ethnicity. The symptoms (fevers, abdominal and joint pain) are so common with many illnesses that it's difficult to make a diagnosis, and the symptoms come and go, so a person wouldnít be in the hospital all that often, I suppose. If, however, a person doesnít get treatment (due to refusal to seek it or misdiagnosis) they could die of nephrotic syndrome. Also, they say physical and emotional stress can trigger attacks, so that might lead a person to avoid social contact.


Z

dantem42
01-07-2006, 07:06 AM
Medical advances is a good idea, but I don't really want the character to recover. I want him to be able to keep himself isolated as much as possible and eventually die at the end of the story. Possibly he could die because of isolation and refusal to seek medical treatment? I want the illness to come in as backstory through dialogue with main character, then not be as apparent through the middle of the story and then kill him at the end.

Multiple sclerosis would also probably work, although the general tendency is for the patient to become more and more paralyzed with time (usually first legs, then arms etc.). Depends on if you can do it with the guy in a wheelchair. Also offers some options because some patients respond to drugs that can temporarily arrest the deterioration, etc. You would need to spend a month or two researching it, but there is a lot of info out there.

maggie2
01-07-2006, 08:07 AM
Asthma is a good choice. Especially if it is accompanied with allergies (which it usually is in real life). Then your character can die from an allergic reaction. The worst culprit for allergies is peanuts, by the way.