I have a pretty complicated request for an illness: I have a list of symptoms, but the bottom line is that there is no illness at all - this is a magic problem being mistaken for a non-magic one.
My main character is part of a group of three people and a relatively recent addition - the spellcaster just wanted to get her out of the way so he could get to her two friends, however, he misjudged the lenght of their acquaintance: he prepared a spell to make her forget "the last two days and all she has learned from them" and with the assumption she didn't have powers of her own.
Cue magic misfire: she doesn't forget about her friends, but loses the ability to speak and understand English and also the ability to read and write - both things she learned from her friends.
(Side note: she can neither read nor write in her native language).
To complicate matters further, her native tongue is not French or Spanish or any other easily recognizable language. Add the fact she was found wandering in the middle of the street and extremely confused.... well, I guess her ending up in the psychiatric ward would make sense.
As the doctors see it, her symptoms are:
- extreme confusion (this gets better on its own)
- doesn't seem to notice physical pain (goes away with confusion)
- lack of awareness of who and where she is (goes away but nobody notices)
- talking "gibberish"
- complete lack of reaction to being spoken to/about
- tendency to wander around as if looking for something*
*she never touches anything and a closed door is enough to stop her.
The sense of confusion fades gradually, so she doesn't really have a freak out that would justify restraining or sedating her - even when confused she was extremely docile and didn't resist being lead by an arm or a hand.
Of course, once she gets her wits back, she intentionally remains calm in order to keep it that way.
With only her symptoms in mind, what would the diagnosis be? Since the doctors don't know anything about her previous medical history, they could also come up with multiple conjectures.
Which treatments would be tried? In what order and for how long? (I still don't know how long it's going to take before the spell is broken)
Once she gets better, I'll need her to be able to sneak around. Since she is so calm and quiet and apparently too out of it to try to escape, is it believable that orderlies and nurses would sort of forget about her and pay more attention to more volatile patients?
When the spell is finally broken and she starts speaking English again, how do I ger her released? Should she act like this sort of psychotic breaks has happened before but are usually under control? If her friends showed up posing as her concerned family members, would they find it very difficult to have her released in their custody?
Any suggestion is welcome.
Setting: modern day U.S.