She has a teen protagonist who is a serious classical pianist. She needs some sort of injury or illness that would make it impossible for her to play. Melissa also has a few stipulations:
- If possible, she'd like it to be a strange and mysterious illness
- She can't physically lose her hand
- It has to be relatively sudden in nature
Okay, here we go with some possibilities. There are a lot of diseases that can cause hand or arm problems in teens, but many of them may not show up suddenly, so I tossed them.
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (Specifically, Systemic Onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, previously called Still's Disease, or if over age 16, Adult-onset Still's Disease)
- any joints can be affected, so the hands and wrists would work in this scenario
- a pink, spotty, flat rash also occurs often around the armpits and waist. It often accompanies...
- a high spiking fever that can occur for days on end and is not responsive to antibiotics
- less common in teens but certainly can occur
- symptoms for Melissa's character can include numbness, tingling, and weakness of her hands and arms. Other problems include unsteady gait, vision problems and weakness of other parts of the body.
- unlike adults, children and teens with MS can also have lethargy and seizures
- MS can be very mysterious for people who don't understand it. The cause is unknown and it's not contagious, but can be quite debilitating and wax and wane in severity
- Car accident. A hand can easily be traumatized in a car accident from rollovers, crush injuries, or contusions
- Ring injuries. Ever heard of the kid who climbed a fence, got their ring stuck, and fell? Sadly, it happens. Catching a ring can cause a "de-gloving" injury that is repairable but debilitating.
- A penetrating injury like a knife cut could injure a tendon. Though repairable, it could impact playing for quite a while.
- Sports injuries. Think broken fingers, blunt impact, stuff like that.