oh my God what am I doing?
So, uh, kitteh is 31-year-old, otherwise healthy black kitteh. Kitteh is fugitive from law in modern alternative world. Kitteh has had life far too easy for far too long in my view so I'm thinking of injuring him in some way that leaves an ANGSTY CLOUD OF POTENTIAL DOOM all over him. Then, when the time'S right, and everyone's appropriately worried, I can swoop in and save his life with magical healing phlebotinum I usefully have lying around. I was thinking somehow in the course of his activities, he could be wounded, it could get infected and because he and his friends are fugitives with limited access to healthcare, it doesn’t really get better.
I have all sorts of shallow, authorly concerns. You know, I’d want this to last at least a month and perhaps longer, and to keep him fairly functional, able to travel and make decisions for most of that. It’s just that he’s ill and not getting better, then slowly getting worse and they can’t stop it, and unless something changed he probably would die. I don’t even think I want him to be actually at death’s door that minute when I fix him, just worryingly ill.
And why yes, I want it to be pretty. Well, relatively so. I may even want him to be having some sex at some point! So I don’t want him to be stinking of rotting flesh or for the wound to become a really foul gaping gangrenous mass under his bandages. It staying open and a bit inflamed is okay. I don’t want him to need bits amputated.
I was thinking one way of achieving the sort of slow-burn effect I want might be that they do actually get their hands on some antibiotics (given that they’ve got a fair bit of money and some good contacts, this is probably more plausible than them helplessly doing nothing at all anyway), but they’re not strong enough antibiotics or not a full course, so he gets better, (celebratory sex!) but then gradually deteriorates again. Possibly even rinse, repeat. So, can this be done, and any recommendations on how to do it? What sort of symptoms could I be looking at? I’ve got the scope to injure him in virtually any way - cut him, have things fall on him, blow him up a little, lightly shoot him. Or I could have him get tragically stuck in a blue cardboard box.
This isn’t a part of the story I’m writing yet, so I’m not married to it and could just junk it.
I’ve searched sepsis, bacteremia, chronic wounds, infected wounds, plus various additions like "months" and "off and on". I'm pretty sure I could do this easily were I less squeamish about gangrene, but I'm not sure the kind of serious-but-not-THAT-serious-yet sort of thing I'm looking for is the kind of thing that gets written up often.