Trible (tamtrible) wrote in little_details,

1920s misdiagnosed gall bladder rupture.

This is an extention/clarification of the post here, with some continuation here.

I'm trying to figure out if my situation is plausible or not. And, if not, what I need to change to make it plausible.

time: 1923, place: US, probably East coast, within a state or 2 of New York.
Search questions in prior posts.

Things I'm not willing to change: the year, the age and approximate prior condition of the patient, that she was misdiagnosed (though the specific misdiagnisis is mutable), that she was not given any meaningful treatment, that she died at home in her own bed no more than a few days after the misdiagnosis, and that her 8-year-old daughter eventually finds out what her mother actually died from.

This is for her child's backstory, so I only really need the details that her daughter might remember, but I want to make sure the situation is, in fact, plausible. There are (relatively minor) numbered questions in parentheses, and the main question at the bottom.

Patient is a 26-year-old female, with one child, unmarried, but from a very wealthy family. She is thin, and possibly a bit insane, but basically healthy. She has a fairly high pain threshold, and is disinclined to complain about her symptoms overmuch. One day, she is severely nauseous, and has bad pain somewhere in her stomach area. Her gall bladder is blocked/infected at this point. She takes to her bed, and the doctor is called. (The doctor is a condescending bastard, but generally considered competent, at least at the time)

The doctor examines her, pretty much dismisses her complaints of pain (thinking that she is a Frail Little Thing who obviously would be complaining more if she was in severe pain), and diagnoses her as having a minor stomach ailment. (1. would he tell her this, or her parents, or both?) He gives her something for the pain/nausea (2. liquid? Pill? Or is there nothing he'd give her?), tells her parents to give her lots of liquids, and bland foods; (3. right "treatment" suggestion?) and to call him if she gets worse, or doesn't get better within a few days; and then leaves.

The patient feels a bit better after a few hours, possibly as much as a day (after her gall bladder ruptures. Apparently this actually happens.) She says Touching Things to her young daughter (I love you, your father is coming back for us, etc.--this can overlap with the spiking fever and such a bit) Then, however, her fever goes up (4. would her family likely have a thermometer, or not?), she gets jaundiced, and she starts throwing up green stuff. (5. any other obvious symptoms she'd have?) The doctor is called. She dies before he arrives.

She is autopsied (6. By the doctor's request? Or her parents'? Or do I need to make the police suspect poisoning or somesuch?), and her ruptured gall bladder is discovered.

So, anything strike anyone as Majorly Off about the whole scenario? Anything I could alter a bit to make it seem more plausible?
Tags: 1920-1929, ~medicine: historical

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