Thursday 9th July 1992 Home visit 14:20 “He is deeply unconscious, Mrs Hughes. I don’t think it will take very long.”“It has all happened quickly. It will be a relief for him, doctor.”“He seems comfortable. I don’t think he’s suffering.”
Thursday 2nd July 1992 Morning coffee break 11:48 My Dad sat down and sipped his coffee.“Some patients are downright cheerful, whatever life throws at them,” he said. “I have just seen Mrs Green. She’s got advanced breast cancer. It has
Thursday 2nd July 1992 Morning surgery 10:00 “How are you, Martin?”“I feel awful, Dr Lewis. The pain is dreadful. My whole body feels as if it has been trampled on.”“I thought it was your lower back?”“Yes, that’s the worst but
Thursday 25th June 1992 Morning surgery 09:19 “We’ve seen Griff Evan’s for you, Dr Lewis. He is in terrible pain. It sounds like renal colic.”“It’s awful,” added Dilys. “The worst ever! It starts here,” she continued and grasped her right
Saturday 20th June 1992 Home baking 10:50 “There’s nothing wrong with these aprons, Daphne.”
Thursday 11th June 1992 Morning surgery 08:40 “Good Morning, Declan!”“Good morning, Dr Roberts!”“Declan, I’ve got a 60 year old man who has had severe, central chest pain for the last hour. It is radiating up into his throat. He is
Friday 5th June 1992 Morning coffee break 10:39 “Good morning, gentlemen.”“Good morning, Nathan. How was the holiday?”“It was fantastic! You really should try Trinidad, Nick.”“Nesta and I prefer to stick to what we know, Nathan. We both love Mauritius. I
Thursday 28th May 1992 Morning coffee break 12.01 Dad took us to see the waiting list for hip replacements today.
Wednesday 20th May 1992 At home 11.00 “Good morning! It’s Declan Dennis, the Assistant Bed Manager.”“Good morning, Declan. How are you today?”“I am fine thanks, Dr Roberts. How are you?”“I’m not bad, Declan. Another busy day! How is Bronwen Foulkes?”“She
Thursday 14th May 1992 Morning surgery 11.37 “Carbon monoxide poisoning? I think you may be right, Mrs Vaughan.”“You think that I might be right?” Mrs Vaughan look surprised.“Yes, you have got a lot of the symptoms. Throbbing headaches, nausea, loss
Thursday 7th May 1992 Morning surgery 10.30 “Good morning! It’s Dr Declan Dennis in admissions.”“Declan? Have I got the wrong number?”“No, Dad. I told you! I’ve got a job. I’m on work experience. I’m the Assistant Bed Manager.”“Don’t be ridiculous,
Friday 1st May 1992 At home 01.30 “Is that, Dr Dennis?”“Yes, it is.” The phone had woken my Dad. He yawned then cleared his throat. He blinked.“It’s Marjorie Bowen, Jack’s wife. I think he’s died, Dr Dennis. I think he
Wednesday 29th April 1992 At home 20.07 “Is that Dr Desmond Dennis?”“Yes, it is.”“Hallo! It’s Arthur Milne here from the Health and Safety Executive. I am sorry to ring you in the evening but we have been very busy this
Wednesday 22nd April At home 21.36 “Good Evening, Dr Dennis. It’s Paul Mathias here from the General Medical Council.”“Good Evening, Mr Mathias. I’m surprised that you’re ringing at this time. ““Well, we’ve had a complaint about you, Dr Dennis. Mr
Saturday 18th March 1992 Portmere 3 : Bangor City 0 16:17 It was Declan’s second match for Portmere first team and he started! He had always played in defence but there he was, up front. He scored two headers and a
Thursday 16th April 1992 Practice complaints meeting 13:30 Dr Lewis has had what my Dad calls a vexatious complaint. John Jones had collapsed in the waiting room. Harriet and Dr Lewis had successfully resuscitated him. Because of their enthusiasm, he had
Thursday 9th April 1992 Morning surgery 10:20 “I saw Dr Lewis last week, Dr Dennis. I couldn’t get an appointment with you.”“Dr Lewis is very good.”“Yes, I must say, she was extremely thorough and, when I say extremely thorough, I mean
Friday 3rd April 1992 Morning coffee break 12:17 My Dad was in the process of making himself a coffee. Mrs Andrea Jones, our practice manager, came in clutching a large, glossy brochure. “Look at this, Desmond! It arrived this morning and
Thursday 26th March 1992 Portmere Hospital 16:57 “Good afternoon, Dr Delany.”“Good afternoon, Dr Dennis. It’s nice to see you. Why are you wearing your school uniform? It’s far too small!”“It’s not mine. It’s Dennis’. I got up late this morning and
Thursday 19th March 1992 Morning surgery 09:50 Mrs Charles’ daughter and son-in-law wheeled her into the consulting room. My dad looked surprised. She was almost completely covered by a white, cotton sheet. All we could see were two purple feet.“Why is
Thursday 12th March 1992 Morning surgery 11:20 “I’ve got pins and needles and numbness, doctor. They are affecting my thumb, my index finger, my middle finger and, funnily enough, just this side of my ring finger. I don’t understand why just
Saturday 7th March 1992 After breakfast 10:45 Something horrible has happened to Declan. All of a sudden, he has grown taller and filled out in a manly way that doesn’t suit him. His voice is deeper. He has adopted an authoritative
Thursday 5th March 1992 Morning surgery 11:10 Roger Brightman had not stopped talking for 20 minutes. He had rushed from one symptom to another, was worried about two rare conditions that he could not possibly have had, wanted to know the
Thursday 27th February 1992 Morning surgery 10:20 “Why is everyone’s blood pressure 132/74 this morning, Dr Dennis?”“Mmm . . .” my Dad said thoughtfully, his face turning red. He coughed and cleared his throat.“I suppose that’s just the way it is,
Thursday 20th February 1992 Morning surgery 10:20 “I’m sorry to bother you, doctor.”“That’s alright, Mr Jackson.”“I know that you are a busy man.”“Yes, I am.” “Well, as I said to you on the ‘phone, I’ve got this rash under my arm.
Thursday 13th February 1992 Morning coffee break 12:10 “You’ve had another complaint, Desmond.”“What is it this time, Andrea? We seem to be getting more and more complaints.”“Don’t worry! It’s just a minor complaint. A written apology should do the trick.”“What’s a
Thursday 6th February 1992 Morning surgery 11:00 “Vernon has changed his mind, doctor. I have had another chat with him and he has decided that he does want to be resuscitated.” “I think that that is very sensible, Mrs Vaughan. After
Sunday 2nd February 1992 After breakfast 10:30 “The Sunday supplement has another of those ten top diseases features, Desmond.” “What is it this time?” “It’s the ten top infections to catch this Winter.” “Sounds interesting!” “For babies they have picked gastroenteritis.”
Thursday 30th January 1992 After dinner 19:10 “I’ve got a job.” Dad and I raised our eyebrows. “I didn’t think that Alf was looking for a new paper boy,” Dad said. “He’s not. It’s in the hospital.” “In the hospital!” Dad
Friday 24th January 1992 After dinner 20:15 “So a doctor can’t treat his own sunburn?” “Come on, Declan. I think you are taking this too far. According to the General Medical Council, doctors are allowed to treat their own minor injuries
Thursday 16th January 1992 Thursday morning 11:50 Dr Lewis seems fascinated by sore throats. “After all, students,” she will say, “they are the bread and butter of general practice.” She will measure the patient’s pulse rate and temperature. She spends ages
Thursday 9th January 1992 Wart clinic 11:00 “How is that small solar keratosis just above your left eyebrow, Mrs Vaughan?” “That’s a very specific, opening question, Dr Dennis.” “Well I asked you to come back specifically to review that particular lesion
Thursday 19th December 1991 Before morning surgery 08:47 “George Gwilym’s dead!” Dilys had tears in her eyes. Dylan looked shocked. “He died last night,” she continued. “He woke up vomiting blood. It was everywhere by the time we arrived: all over
Thursday 12th December 1991 Morning surgery 10:50 “I’m feeling quite well at the moment, Dr Lewis.” George Gwilym sat down. “I am definitely better than I was. I am eating reasonably. Of course, I have to be careful. I can’t eat
Thursday 5th December 1991 Thursday morning 12:10 Threadworms live inside your bottom. At night, when you are nice and warm in bed, they come out and lay their eggs on your skin. The
Saturday 30th November 1991 Portmere vs. Newtown 14:10 In the past, we have always tried to go to the first few Portmere matches of each new season. We would arrive at these games with rekindled optimism and, sometimes, even buy programmes. This
Thursday 21st November 1991 Morning surgery 11:11 Dylan and Dilys looked sheepishly at each other as they came into the room. “We’ve just seen Adam Andrews for you, Dr Lewis.” They both accidentally spoke in unison and laughed. “You start, Dilys,”
Thursday 14th November 1991 Morning surgery 10:50 Valerie Vaughan stomped into Dad’s room. She sat down and looked angrily at him. She was obviously in a bad mood. “I would like to see my medical notes, Dr Dennis.” “Your medical notes?”
Thursday 7th November 1991 Morning coffee break 12:00 Dr Lewis gave each of us our coffee and sat down. “Right, I would like to discuss 3 different types of chest pain whilst we are having coffee this morning. You can start,
Wednesday 30th October 1991 Morning surgery 10:40 “You’re back . . . with the same blocked nose?” My Dad looked up as Mr Palmer came in. “Yes, doctor. I made sure that I booked a routine appointment when you weren’t on
Thursday 24th October 1991 Morning coffee break 12:20 Dylan and Dilys have been telling us about their career plans. Dylan wants to be a cardiac surgeon but Dilys is thinking about general practice. My Dad smiled encouragingly at her. “One of
Thursday 17th October 1991 Morning surgery 09:40 “My nose is blocked.” “Your nose is blocked?” My Dad sounded annoyed. “Yes, doctor.” “Dr Lewis is away. I am on call. I’m very busy and you have come because of a blocked nose?”
Thursday 10th October 1991 Morning surgery 11:00 “It’s not bowel spasm, Dr Dennis.” “It sounds like it.” “I’ve been having bowels spasm since I was 14 years old. This pain is not the same. It’s in a different place. It doesn’t
Thursday 3rd October 1991 Morning surgery 10:00 Fred, Phil and Gregor all refused point blank to wait in Casualty for 4 hours and Dr Lewis was away so Dad
Thursday 26th September 1991 Morning surgery 08:50 “Thanks for fitting us in at the last minute, Dr Dennis.” Mrs Farley looked very flustered. “I am so worried about this rash. It started yesterday but was much worse this morning.” “That’s alright,
Thursday 19th September 1991 Morning surgery 10:10 “Well, at least Mr Lane has taken my joints seriously. He had a good look at my knee. He was extremely thorough. He is arranging a completely new set of x-rays from a variety
Thursday 12th September 1991 Morning surgery 09:20 “What’s that?” “It’s my auriscope.” Mrs Lightfoot. “I am going to look into your ear.” “No, that yellow thing.” My Dad tilted the auriscope so he could look at the earpiece. “Oh! It’s just
Thursday 5th September 1991 Morning surgery 10:50 “We’ve just seen George Gwilym for you, Dr Lewis. He says he’s on a knife edge.” Dylan and Dilys had come to Dr Lewis’ door. “He was bleeding from the tumour,” Dilys said. “It
Thursday 29th August 1991 Morning surgery 10:20 “How bad is that pain, Mr Riley?” “I would give it a score of 2 out of 10.” “2 out of 10?” My dad looked very surprised. “That’s hardly any pain at all.” “These
Tuesday 20th August 1991 Agia Galini 15:30 Because my Dad was on holiday, he refused to attend to the
Thursday 15th August 1991 Lunchtime Agia Galini 12:00 Like clockwork, at midday on the first Thursday of the holiday, Mum, Dad and I all finished our third Summer blockbusters. Declan was still on the second page of his first novel. Mum
Friday 9th August 1991 After dinner 20:20 It wasn’t until my Dad found out that the Vaughans were going camping to the Shetlands at the same time as Mum and him, that he decided to go back to Agia Galini. After
Thursday 8th August 1991 Morning surgery 10:00 “I just have one remaining problem, doctor. I thought we could discuss it today.” Mildred Mercer sat down and smiled. “I thought that there were two left?” “There were but one is better.” “That’s
Monday 5th August 1991 Morning surgery 10:10 “You are back, again, Mrs Mercer. Didn’t Dennis and I see you last Thursday?” “Yes, I couldn’t remember what you said about problem number 4 and I wanted to discuss the remaining problems, if
Thursday 1st August 1991 Morning surgery 10:20 Mrs Mercer looked flustered. She sat down and started rummaging through her handbag. “I am just trying to find my list, Doctor Dennis.” “Your list?” My Dad raised his eyebrows. “My list of problems,
Thursday 25th July 1991 Morning surgery 11:30 “Come on, Phil. When did you last do any exercise?” Phil’s feet were dripping. The skin was macerated and peeling off. His soles
Thursday 18th July 1991 Morning surgery 08:53 “We’ve just seen George Gwilym for you Dr Lewis. He’s not well at all. He’s much weaker.” Dylan and Dilys had come to Dr Lewis’ door. They looked very concerned. “He is really pale:
Thursday 11th July 1991 Morning surgery 10:20 “Dr Desmond, I’m in agony. I know you don’t like pain scales but the pain in my left ankle is just the same: it’s 6/10 still. The pain in my left buttock is worse:
Thursday 4th July 1991 Morning surgery 11:00 We saw a baby this morning with projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhoea. He smiled at us and squealed. He looked perfectly well. I suppose these illnesses always seem worse to the people who change
Thursday 27th June 1991 Morning surgery 09:40 Len Logan came in and sat down. His wife, Cath, followed him, clutching a scrunched up hanky over her mouth. Her face was bright red. “We have come about our coughs, doctor.” Len smiled.
Thursday 20th June 1991 Morning surgery 11:30 “I am sorry, Mrs Baxter. They haven’t even got room along one of the corridors for you.” “I don’t mind, doctor.” “Things seem to be getting worse in that hospital. Sister Salter has looked
Friday 14th June 1991 Home alone 21:50 It looks as if everyone really has forgotten my Birthday, this year. Dad’s at a meeting, Mum has gone to Gran’s and Declan’s playing 5-aside.
Thursday 13th June 1991 Morning surgery 10:10 Mrs Vaughan did not look too pleased when she saw that Dylan and Dilys were sitting in with us again. “Come on, Valerie,” my Dad encouraged her. “At least you will get three second
Thursday 6th June 1991 Morning surgery 09:10 “Well, that’s another 47 we’ve got rid of today, Caitlin. Do you want to make an appointment to come back tomorrow?” Delusional
Thursday 30th May 1991 Morning surgery 09:30 “I’m not having another spirometry test, Dr Dennis. It’s a waste of time!” “I don’t know why you are saying that, Mrs Vaughan.” “It’s breathing in that I’m interested in, Doctor. I’m not getting
Thursday 23rd May 1991 Morning surgery 11:20 “I am very worried about this gentleman’s blood pressure, Dr Dennis. It’s 160/100.” “No, it’s not, Dylan. It’s 140/80.” “I checked it in his right arm, Dilys and you checked it in the left
Thursday 16th May 1991 Morning surgery 09:39 “Good Morning, Dr Dennis. Thanks for fitting me in at short notice. It’s Malcolm Travis here.” “Yes, of course, Mr Travis.” “I’ve brought you these. They’re Cerys Bevan’s notes. You left them in our
Thursday 9th May 1991 Morning surgery 10:00 “I’ll just get my list, doctor.” “List?” “Yes, as you know, I usually see Dr Lewis. She likes me to bring a list of my problems.” “I am afraid that lists don’t work for
Thursday 2nd May 1991 Morning surgery 10:40 “This gentleman seems to have had a stroke, Dr Dennis.” “I don’t think so, young man.” Valerie Vaughan ushered Vernon into Dad’s consulting room. “Hmm . . . is this another medical student?” she
Thursday 25th April 1991 Morning surgery 10:50 Titch Mitchelson, Terry Talbot and Rodney Masters had all started smoking together in the second year in Grammar School. At lunchtime, they would nip
Thursday 18th April 1991 Morning surgery 09:10 “I’ve got this awful pain in my tummy, doctor. It’s right up here.” Mrs Carter pressed her clenched fist up against the bottom of her breastbone. “When did it start?” “I can’t eat a
Friday 12th April 1991 Home visit 10:00 “Good morning, Dr Lewis.” “Good morning, George. When did you come home?” “On Tuesday . . . you were right, I was having clots.” “It’s Dilys and Dylan you need to thank, George. They
Thursday 11th April 1991 Morning surgery 11:20 “Despite being younger and giving up smoking a few years ago, Emrys Evans is quite a lot further along the road than his brother, Eifion.” My Dad had just finished examining Emrys. “I don’t
Thursday 4th April 1991 Morning surgery 09:00 “Well, this is how it usually starts, Mr Evans. A smoker’s cough. Bronchitis once or twice a year. You have probably noticed that you are slightly out of breath walking to the Newsagent’s in
Thursday 28th March 1991 Lunchtime 13:07 My Dad must have ducked into the newsagent’s at exactly the same second that Mrs Eleri Goldman collapsed. He had picked up The Times and was so intent on the front page that he heard
Thursday 21st March 1991 Morning surgery 10:05 “We’ve just seen George Gwilym for you Dr Lewis. He’s not well at all. He’s much more breathless than last time.” Dylan had come to Dr Lewis’ door. He looked very concerned. “His lips
Thursday 14th March 1991 Morning surgery 09:30 “How are you, Mr Gwilym?” “Well, I’ve been quite good really, Dr Lewis. The stent seems to be working. I am still eating quite well. The only thing is, I’ve been feeling a little
Thursday 7th March 1991 Morning surgery 11:59 By the end of their first surgery, it was obvious to Dr Lewis and I that Dylan and Dilys, our new medical students, were in
Thursday 28th February 1991 Morning surgery 11:40 After Dr Lewis had finished examining Arthur Rowe’s tummy, she took a peek down his trousers. I thought his mum might call the police. “There we are, Dennis,” she said, “a very painful, swollen,
Thursday 21st February 1991 Morning surgery 10:05 My Dad scowled and picked up the phone. He hates being interrupted in the middle of a consultation. “It’s Penny from reception, Dr Dennis. I am sorry to disturb you. I have just had
Wednesday 13th February 1991 After dinner 19:45 “What’s safety netting, Dennis?” “It’s a fancy, medical term that doctors use when they explain how they ask patients to come back to see them if they are not getting better.” “Isn’t that just
Thursday 7th February 1991 Morning coffee break 12:40 “Cardiac arrest! Cardiac arrest!” Dr Lewis and Harriet went flying out of the staff room and down the stairs. I jumped up to follow them but Dad stopped me. “Hang on, Dennis, Isobel
Thursday 31st January 1991 Morning surgery 11:20 The difficult thing about removing a fish hook from a patient’s finger is the barb. You can’t just pull the hook out. The barb is there to
Thursday 24th January 1991 Morning surgery 09:40 “Good morning, Mrs Vaughan.” “Good morning, Dr Dennis. I’m just here for my review.” “How are you, then?” “I’m fine. However, I’ve been to three funerals in the last few weeks. I was at
Thursday 17th January 1991 Morning surgery 09:20 Ryan Ellis had celebrated his 18th birthday on New Year’s Eve. Now he had severe pain every time he went for a wee and ‘two swollen balls that hurt like hell’. After a bit
Thursday 10th January 1991 Morning surgery 10:40 “How are you, Mr Gwilym?” “I’ve been good, Dr Lewis. The stent seems to be working. I’m eating quite well, mostly soft foods. I’ve had lots of soups. We had turkey soup every day
Tuesday 1st January 1991 At home 09:07 At 9 o’clock on New Year’s Day, Gary and Maisy Wilkins found Fred slumped against their snowman. Maisy lifted his hat. Fred was
Wednesday 26th December 1990 Portmere vs. Blaenau Ffestiniog 14:15 The wind was bitterly cold and the rain stung our faces as we walked towards the stadium. We kept our heads down. Kevin Kendall was on the turnstile. He had his right
Monday 24th December 1990 Afternoon coffee and debrief 17:10 With some prompting from Mrs Andrea Jones, Dad has decided that I have been so helpful with the flu outbreak that he is prepared to let me take the next two weeks
Monday 24th December 1990 Afternoon coffee and debrief 16:50 “Good afternoon, everybody. I am very pleased to report that this week has not been as busy. It looks as if the 1990 influenza epidemic may be waning.” Mrs Andrea Jones smiled
Thursday 20th December 1990 Morning coffee break 12:17 “Mr Gibson was stroppy this morning.” “Why was that, Desmond?” Dr Lewis was signing the prescriptions. She looked up. “I said that we wouldn’t visit his wife. She’s had typical flu symptoms: fever,
Thursday 20th December 1990 Morning surgery 10:34 “It’s not the flu, Mrs Vaughan. You’ve got a cold.” “Aren’t we in the middle of an influenza epidemic?” “Yes, we are.” “I was under the impression, Dr Dennis, that, in a flu epidemic,
Wednesday 19th December 1990 Afternoon coffee 17:00 “Mrs Austin died last night.” Dr Lewis looked really upset when she told us. “Listen, Lois,” my Dad said. “You can’t keep getting attached to these patients. You have to maintain a professional distance.
Tuesday 18th December 1990 After dinner 20:00 “Could I have the flu jab, Dad?” “Don’t be stupid, Declan.” I scowled. “You don’t work in the surgery. Dad and I have the flu jab because we work in the surgery?” “What about
Monday 17th December 1990 Dennis’ evening surgery 17:30 “I’m sorry, Mr Brightman. That’s what I think it is. You can see my Dad if you want but you will have to wait a couple of hours. He’ll probably say the same
Monday 17th December 1990 Dennis’ evening surgery 17:20 “Don’t be such a wimp, Harry! It’s just the flu.” “I’m not sure why I’m seeing you anyway, Dennis. I thought doctors weren’t supposed to treat their own mates.” “You don’t need any
Monday 17th December 1990 Afternoon coffee and debrief 16:50 Mrs Andrea Jones came breezily into the staff room. “Good afternoon, everybody.” She said. “Thank you for coming. I thought it would be useful to have a weekly practice influenza debrief. I
Thursday 13th December 1990 Morning coffee break 12:45 “There’s been a late call from Ashbury Lodge, Lois. They’ve got 9 patients for you to see.” “I went there yesterday, Desmond. I saw 5 patients then.” “Well, 3 of those have deteriorated
Thursday 13th December 1990 Home visit 11:45 “You shouldn’t have come to see me Doctor. It’s just a slight touch of flu.” “Your wife was quite worried about you.” “Yes, Gladys does tend to overreact. Look, if I had known you
Tuesday 11th December 1990 Dennis’ evening sugery 17:39 There was no way that I was going to see Tara, Tabitha and Tesni. Examining one small child is difficult enough. I rang through to reception. “You will have to rebook the
Tuesday 11th December 1990 Dennis’ evening sugery 17:33 “This can’t be the flu, Dennis. I’m feeling far too weak and I don’t want anything to eat.” “You can get those exact symptoms with the flu, Mr Tanner. You’ll perk up
Tuesday 11th December 1990 Dennis’ evening sugery 17:27 “This can’t be the flu, Dennis. This cough is awful. It’s so bad, I think it must be a chest infection.” “I don’t think so, Mrs Lawson. If you had a chest
Tuesday 11th December 1990 Dennis’ evening sugery 17:20 “This can’t be the flu, Dennis. I have had this temperature for too long.” “I think it is, Mr Chapman. The flu usually causes a temperature for about 5 days, occasionally longer.
Monday 10th December 1990 Morning sugery 09:20 “Good morning! How’s Andrew?” “He’s been flat out with the flu but he’s a bit better today.” Mrs Tarley sat down. “The receptionist said that, while I was here, I could ask you to
Monday 10th December 1990 Morning sugery 09:18 “There’s got to be, doctor. They both feel completely blocked.” “No, I’m sorry, Mrs Vaghan. There’s no wax at all.”
Monday 10th December 1990 Morning sugery 09:13 “It’s not the flu, Mr Cross. You’ve got bronchitis.” “Bronchitis? I thought it was just the flu.” “No, it’s bronchitis. You’ll need some antibiotics I’m afraid.”
Monday 10th December 1990 Morning sugery 09:10 “It’s just influenza, Mr Soames.” “Just influenza! I‘ve got a dreadful headache. It’s right over this eye.” “You can get a dreadful headache with influenza.” “I am sure I’ve got sinusitis, doctor.” “You may
Monday 10th December 1990 Morning sugery 09.04 “She’s got the flu, Mrs Price.” “But she’s got a really bad sore throat, doctor.” “Yes, I’ve got an awful sore throat. I can’t eat a thing, doctor. It’s feels like I’m swallowing broken
Monday 10th December 1990 Morning sugery 09:00 “You’ve got the flu, Mr Wiley.” My Dad sighed. “I am sure I’ve got a chest infection. I am coughing up loads of phlegm.” “Your chest sounds completely clear. You’ve got typical flu symptoms.”
Friday 7th December 1990 At home 21.17 We’re starving! Mum always insisted that we had to wait for Dad to come home from work before having dinner. Tonight, he hadn’t arrived until 9:15. He looked defeated. “Oh, Desmond! You must have
Thursday 6th December 1990 Morning coffee break 11.55 “The government are launching the new Community Influenza Rapid Action Teams tomorrow, Lois.” Mrs Andrea Jones came into the staff room carrying a large glossy brochure. Dr Lewis looked up. “Really!” “Yes, it
Thursday 6th December 1990 Morning surgery 11.27 Dad made me have the flu jab at the end of surgery this morning. “You’ve got to have it if you’re working here, Dennis.” I don’t know what the fuss is all about. I
Thursday 6th December 1990 Morning surgery 10.50 “Are you aware that 250,000 people died in the United Kingdom in the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, Mrs Highly?” “I am not having the flu jab, Dr Dennis.” “They also estimate that influenza causes
Thursday 29th November 1990 Morning coffee break 12.22 “I don’t know why we don’t give school children the flu vaccine,” my Dad said angrily. “That’s where it starts, in school. I have just seen Nathan Preston and I can guarantee he’s
Thursday 29th November 1990 Morning surgery 10.10 “I tell you the same thing every year, Dr Dennis. Every time I have the flu vaccine, I catch the flu.” “The flu vaccine doesn’t cause the flu, Mrs Crosby. Perhaps you mean you
Thursday 29th November 1990 Morning surgery 09.10 “No, I am not going to have the flu jab, Dr Dennis. My father died after having it.” “Your father died after having a massive stroke, Mrs Hunter.” “He died the day after he
Thursday 22nd November 1990 Morning surgery 10.00 “You were right, Dr Lewis, it was a tumour.” Mr Gwilym smiled uncomfortably. “I was very worried about you.” “I went to see the Mr Langford, yesterday. He said it’s oesophageal cancer.” “Yes,” Dr
Thursday 15th November 1990 Minor surgery 15.30 There is nothing nice about watching an ingrown toenail being operated on. From the point of view of the observer or the patient,
Thursday 8th November 1990 Morning coffee break 12.25 “I like your new glasses. They are very stylish.” “I haven’t got new glasses.” “Don’t be coy, Desmond. Tortoiseshell really suits you.” Dr Lewis laughed. She enjoyed teasing my dad. My Dad took
Wednesday 31st October 1990 After dinner 19.20 “Could I be a doctor, Dad?” “Declan, I’ve explained this before. I really don’t think that you are intelligent enough.” “He is not even clever enough to be a nurse!” I laughed. “Shut up,
Thursday 25th October 1990 Home visit 13.20 Mrs Austin was panting as she carried our drinks in. Dr Lewis got up and took the tray from her. “You really know that things are catching up with you when you can’t bring
Thursday 18th October 1990 Morning surgery 08.56 “I want to see the chiropodist.” “The chiropodist?” “Yes.” My Dad look puzzled. “I phoned the Department of Podiatry. They said that I need to come to see you to see if you think
Thursday 11th October 1990 Morning surgery 10.30 “From what you have said, Mrs Vaughan, I don’t think that this dizziness is anything to worry about.” “I did not describe the dizziness, doctor, and you didn’t ask me anything about it. I
Thursday 4th October 1990 Morning coffee break 12.00 “Have you considered a sexually transmitted disease, Desmond?” “Dr Lewis,” my Dad looked horrified. “I am an old fashioned GP. I work in a quaint, respectable town. I know all my patients personally.
Thursday 27th September 1990 Morning surgery 09.10 “I find this a little odd, Mr Burrows. Your condition is obviously deteriorating slowly but, in yourself, you seem a bit better.” “He likes to be ill. That’s what it is, Doctor Dennis.” Mrs Burrows
Thursday 20th September 1990 After dinner 20.10 Dad’s already booked next year’s holiday. He and Mum are heading off to a remote Shetland island. There is only one guest house and no pub. Neither Declan nor I have been invited. We
Thursday 20th September 1990 Thursday morning Dad still looked jaded. He was pale but not clinically anaemic. All he had had for breakfast was a large cup of black coffee. He told Mrs Andrea Jones that this had caused his slight
Monday 17th September 1990 Still in bed 07.45 I feel awful. My mouth’s like sandpaper. My head aches. I’m knackered. I’ve only been in bed for a couple of hours so I don’t want to get up. Mum and Dad have
Monday 17th September 1990 Approaching Manchester Airport 01.30 We all felt a bit subdued on the way home but what a holiday that was!
Wednesday 12th September 1990 Space nightclub, Playa d’en Bossa, Ibiza 02.40 “Amazing, Dec!” “Amazing, Den!” “Amazing, Daph!” “Amazing, Des!” “Amazing, Val!” “Amazing, Vern!”
Friday 7th September 1990 After dinner 20.00 Last year’s threat to go on holiday with my mates has worked. Dad is taking us all to Ibiza. He’s even invited Val and Vern. He surprised us with the tickets after dinner tonight.
Thursday 6th September 1990 Morning coffee break 11.55 My Dad has decided he needs my help again. He thinks that, if I am in the surgery, it takes the pressure off when he sees his difficult patients. “They don’t moan half
Thursday 6th September 1990 Morning surgery 10.20 Dr Lewis picked up a new patient with mitral stenosis today. My Dad thought that it was a brilliant diagnosis. “In the first place, Dennis,” he said, “we hardly ever see mitral stenosis these days
Thursday 30th August 1990 Morning coffee break 11.40 “You like your emergencies, Lois.” “Yes, I do, Desmond.” “I always remember when you came for your interview in the practice. You told us that you were going to save at least one
Saturday 25th August 1990 Portmere vs. Porthmadog 14.33 I couldn’t believe it! It was our new striker’s first game. He was our one hope for the season. He had played in both the Welsh and Welsh Alliance Leagues and had 40
Thursday 16th August 1990 Morning surgery 09.40 “So you’re telling me the food sticks about here.” Dr Lewis pointed to the bottom of her chest. “Yes.” “What happens then?” “It feels quite uncomfortable, as if there is a lump there. Slowly
Sunday 12th August 1990 Sunday morning 10.00 “There has been another child who has died of meningitis, Daphne. It was in Huddersfield this time.” My Dad looked up from the front page of his Sunday paper. Mum was still eating her
Thursday 2nd August 1990 Whitby Rd, Portmere 10.40 Dr Lewis could spot a broken hip from a mile away. “You will notice that the right leg looks shorter, Dennis, and the foot
Thursday 26th July 1990 Home visit 13.00 “How are you feeling today, Mrs Austin?” Mrs Austin was breathing quite quickly after walking back into her front room. She looked pale. “I’m not bad, doctor. My legs aren’t as swollen and I’m
Thursday 26th July 1990 Morning surgery 10.40 “Don’t worry, Mrs Fraser. Of course I don’t mind looking at William’s throat and listening to Gareth’s chest, and it will be no trouble for me to check the baby over. First, I need
Thursday 19th July 1990 Morning surgery 08.57 Oh my God! I knew it had to happen in the end. Dr Lewis wants me to see a patient on my own. It’s a lady with a bee sting of all things. What
Thursday 12th July 1990 Morning surgery 10.33 “I’ve got a 14 year old year old boy with suspected meningococcal meningitis. He has been unwell with a high temperature and
Sunday 8th July 1990 Sunday morning 11.37 “Isn’t the first hour the most important after a heart attack, Desmond?” “I’ve always thought so, Daphne.” “Yes, I am sure that’s what the British Heart Foundation say.”
Sunday 8th July 1990 Sunday morning 11.30 “Listen to this, Daphne: Crushing, central chest pain? Breathless? Sweating? Don’t panic! A suspected, heart attack is no longer a medical emergency. Ring 999 . . . then, sit down, put your feet up
Thursday 5th July 1990 Morning surgry 11.00 Max hobbled into the consulting room. He lowered himself cautiously onto the chair, took a deep breath and groaned. Dr Lewis smiled sympathetically. “I can’t walk more than ten yards, Doctor. It’s agony and
Thursday 28th June 1990 Home Visit 13.09 “How am I doing?” Mrs Austin asked, optimistically. Dr Lewis sat down after she had finished examining Mrs Austin. She reached out and took her hand. “I think that things are reasonable. You are
Thursday 21st June 1990 Morning surgery 09.00 “Mrs Brown is probably the most typical case of hypothyroidism we will ever see, Dennis.” Hypothyroidism means that the thyroid gland is underactive. Dr
Thursday 14th June 1990 Portmere Sports & Social Club 22.23 I thought that everyone had forgotten my 16th birthday, including Mrs Vaughan. As it turned out, they had organised a surprise party for me at Portmere Sports and Social Club. My
Thursday 7th June 1990 Morning surgery 11.30 Today, we saw four tearful patients. The first was a lady whose periods had stopped. She could start crying at any time of the day or night. The second was a lady whose periods
Thursday 31st May 1990 Morning surgery 11.30 I have seen quite a few patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux. My Dad isn’t interested. He regards it as a minor, mechanical failing of the upper gastrointestinal tract, a leaky valve. It is not really
Thursday 24th May 1990 Morning surgery 10.10 “I’ve got an awful headache, right here.” Neil Plummer rubbed the back of his head. “It started this morning after breakfast. I got up to go and clean my teeth when it struck me.
Thursday 17th May 1990 Morning surgery 11.30 As I have already said, Dr Lewis is fantastic! It is easy to see why all the patients like her so much. Kindness and warmth radiate from her. She is always calm. The tone
Thursday 10th May 1990 Morning surgery 08:50 It was my first morning with Dr Lewis. Dad looked puzzled but the new shirt, tie and haircut were nothing more than coincidence.
Thursday 3rd May 1990 Morning coffee break 12.10 “Lois, would you consider doing me a favour?” “Of course, Desmond.” “I need a break from teaching,” my Dad continued. “I wondered if Dennis could sit in with you for the next few
Thursday 3rd May 1990 Morning surgery 10.00 My Dad gets himself into a muddle when he is tired. Today, he checked someone’s blood pressure three times without realising it. Then, when the patient had gone, he couldn’t remember what any of
Thursday 3rd May 1990 Morning surgery 09:20 “I am not referring you for a scan, Mrs Crosby.” “I am sure I’ve got a kidney stone, doctor.” “No, the pain is muscular.” “It feels just like a kidney stone.” “You’ve never had
Thursday 26th April 1990 Morning surgery 09.40 “You are correct, Mrs Vaughan, it is gout.” Mrs Vaughan was very pleased with herself. “I thought so, doctor.” My Dad seemed as if he was about say something but paused, deep in thought.
Thursday 19th April 1990 Morning surgery 09.49 We have just seen a young girl who wanted antibiotics for her sore throat. She said that she was getting married at the weekend and was worried that, if she did not have an
Thursday 12th April 1990 Morning surgery 09.21 “SEPTICAEMIA! SEPTICAEMIA!” Dr Lewis’s voice rang through the surgery. “We’ve got a collapse in the waiting room. Help me, please!” Dad is a bit slow in responding to emergencies, these days. By the time
Thursday 5th April 1990 Morning surgery 10.00 “Dr Weston, the Cardiologist, suggested that I should come to see you. I was coughing when I went to see him.” “It wasn’t just that, Henry, you sighed.” “I don’t remember that.” “Yes, you
Saturday 31st March 1990 Portmere vs. Newtown 11.39 Declan has been called up for Portmere U14s. We are all excited. Even Mum has decided to come to the match. He was sent
Thursday 22nd March 1990 Morning surgery 10.40 “I can’t stand these headaches, Dr Dennis.” My Dad nodded. “To start with I have been having those so-called tension headaches. You know that I don’t agree with your diagnosis but I think that
Thursday 15th March 1990 Morning surgery 11.27 “I just need a letter for Abbie for school, doctor.” “We don’t do letters for school, Mrs Tindall.”
Thursday 15th March 1990 Morning surgery 10.10 This morning we saw a man who was going on holiday in a week’s time. He was desperate for some Winter sun. He had a sore throat and wanted antibiotics. He hated the thought
Thursday 8th March 1990 Morning surgery 09.30 Today we saw a small child who would not sleep. His mother brought him in. She was distraught. “When I put him down at night, he just stands in his cot and screams, doctor.
Thursday 1st March 1990 Morning coffee break 11.59 “How was the course, Lois?” “They have changed their minds about hormone replacement therapy again, Desmond. When I qualified, they were saying that we should be treating everybody with HRT. There has been
Thursday 22nd February 1990 Morning surgery 08.55 “Good morning, Mrs Vaughan!” “Good morning, Dr Dennis! This is my neice, Victoria. She is staying with me for half term.” My Dad smiled. “What can I do for you, Victoria?” “It’s iritis, doctor:
Thursday 15th February 1990 Morning surgery 11.00 It must be National Paracetamol Prescribing Day. We all know that paracetamol is effective for muscle aches and ligament sprains. It will promptly bring the temperature of feverish children down. It’s the only thing
Thursday 8th February 1990 Morning coffee break 12.05 “You’ve had another complaint from Mrs Aitkins, Desmond.” Mrs Andrea Jones came into the staff room and sat down. “Why don’t you see her, Lois? She is always complaining about me.” “I don’t
Thursday 1st February 1990 Morning surgery 09.50 “Come on, Mrs Vaughan, you try this on every Winter! I don’t know how many times I’ve told you. A frozen shoulder has got nothing to do with the weather.” “It feels exactly like
Saturday 27th January 1990 Portmere vs. Bangor City 14.00 Portmere need some new kit.
Thursday 25th January 1990 Morning surgery 10.00 Tracey Moffat jumped up, pushed her chair over and stormed out of the consulting room. “I can’t believe he hasn’t given me any antibiotics! I told him I’ve got to go shopping to Liverpool
Thursday 18th January 1990 Early morning waking 03.30 A harmless freckle? Thanks, Dad! My melanoma has spread everywhere. There are big, black lumps all over my skin. My liver is full of it. I’ve got nodules in both lungs. Dr Miller,
Thursday 11th January 1990 Morning coffee break 12.17 “I couldn’t make head or tail of that lady’s pain. What did you think it was, Dennis?” “I’ve got no idea, Dad.” “We have just seen Mrs Talbot, Lois. She has the most
Tuesday 2nd January 1990 After breakfast 08.00 It was just over a week after his heart attack and my Dad was going back to work. He felt fine. In fact, he said he felt so good that he was sure that
Monday 25th December 1989 Coronary Care Unit 18.32 Dad was admitted with chest pain at 7 o’clock this morning. We all spent the day on CCU.
Sunday 24th December 1989 After dinner 19.41 Mum is usually in charge of most of the Christmas preparations but Dad always does the crackers. On Christmas Eve, he carefully takes them apart, swaps the jokes for some of his own and puts them
Friday 22nd December 1989 Morning surgery 10.50 “I wouldn’t usually come about a sore throat, Doctor Dennis, but it’s Christmas on Monday and I still have loads to do. Maybe I’m a bit run down with all the excitement. I seem
Saturday 16th December 1989 Portmere vs Barry Town 14.21 These days, if I see Phil at a match, he always buys me a cup of tea. Since I treated his wart, we
Thursday 7th December 1989 Morning surgery 10.40 We saw a schoolboy with a sore throat this morning. “I wouldn’t normally ask for antibiotics for a sore throat,” his mum said, “but Dylan has got an important exam tomorrow.” “I don’t usually
Thursday 7th December 1989 Early morning waking 01.10 “How are you Dennis?” “I’m fine, thank you, Mrs Vaughan. How can I help you?” “Oh Dennis! I don’t know what to do! I’ve got terrible prolapsing piles!”
Thursday 30th November 1989 Morning surgery 09.50 “It’s not sinusitis, Mrs Crosby.” “But I’ve got horrible, thick, green catarrh.” “That’s because you’ve got a cold.” “My sinuses are really painful.” “They’re uncomfortable.” “I get excrutiating pain when I put my head
Wednesday 22nd November 1989 Early morning waking 01.32 “It’s time you started seeing your own patients, Dennis.” “I’m not ready, Dad.” “You’ll be fine, Dennis. I’ll be sitting in the room next door. You’ll learn so much.” Of course, my first
Thursday 16th November 1989 Morning coffee break 12.10 “Just pop in and ask your doctor?” My Dad looked puzzled and annoyed. “Yes, Desmond, it’s a new government scheme.” Our practice manager, Mrs Andrea Jones, was reading a large, glossy brochure. “The
Saturday 11th November 1989 Middle of the night 00.18 “It will be a good opportunity for you to see some proper emergencies, Dennis.” Dad’s idea of me spending a Saturday night with
Thursday 2nd November 1989 Morning coffee break 12.00 “Dennis, I have just realised something. How long have I been working here in the practice?” I sighed. “You keep asking me that, Dad. It’s thirty years.” “Yes I have and, since then,
Sunday 29th October 1989 At home 17.00 I told my dad that I didn’t know anything about hormones but, of course, I do. We’ve got hormones at home. On a Sunday, we always try to have a relaxing, family afternoon.
Thursday 26th October 1989 Morning surgey 10.00 “I have lost my voice, Dr Dennis.” “I don’t think so, Mrs Vaughan.” Even I got that one right.
Wednesday 18th October 1989 After breakfast 08.15 Malignant melanoma! I knew it. The worst kind of skin cancer. I should never have listened to my Dad. “It’s not even a mole, Dennis. It’s just a freckle.” That’s what he had
Thursday 12th October 1989 Morning surgery 08.53 “Right, Mrs Crosby, let me sum up. You came to see Dr Lewis on Monday.” “Yes, doctor.” “At that stage, you had had a cough for 3 days and a bit of a
Sunday 8th October 1989 Sunday morning 09.07 “Have we run out of marmalade?” My Dad looked bedraggled after being on call. Mum passed him some hot toast and coffee. “I had to go to see poor Mrs Austin, last night.
Thursday 5th October 1989 Morning surgery 10.20 Valerie Vaughan’s husband Vernon had a brother called Victor. Victor had married Valerie’s sister, Vera. “To be completely honest, Dennis, both brothers had their eye on me. In fact, I went out
Thursday 28th September 1989 Morning surgery 11.00 “Good morning, doctor. How are you?” “I’m fine, thank you, Mr Parry.” “Yes, I must say that you are looking very well. Did you enjoy your holiday?” My Dad looked slightly surprised.
Tuesday 19th September 1989 Rethymnon 14:17 Trust Declan! He had been rock climbing, fallen and cut his head open. His best holiday t-shirt was covered in blood. Dad said that he would stitch him up. “I don’t want to
Wednesday 13th September 1989 Agia Galini 12:00 Dad and I had been really careful with our sun tan oil this year but the mosquitoes were the worst ever.
Friday 8th September 1989 After dinner 19:30 We are off to Agia Galini tomorrow. I told Dad that this would be my last family holiday. Next year, I am going to go with my friends after we have finished
Thursday 7th September 1989 Morning surgery 09:20 “I’m trying to check your blood pressure, Mrs Crosby!” “I am sorry, Doctor.” “Well, if you talk to me while I am checking your blood pressure, I won’t concentrate properly on what
Tuesday 29th August 1989 After breakfast 07:50 Dear Desmond, We were very disappointed to find that you had changed your holiday dates at the last minute. By then, of course,
Thursday 24th August 1989 Morning surgery 10:30 “Don’t keep arguing with me, Mrs Crosby!” Dad’s alarm had not gone off. We got up late and left home without any breakfast. “I am not arguing, Doctor.” “Yes, you are, Mrs
Thursday 17th August 1989 Morning Surgery 11:10 “How are you, Mr Lawley?” “My back is awful, Dr Dennis.” “I am very sorry to hear that.” “Your’s would be too if you had spent 18 hours on a trolley in
Thursday 10th August 1989 Morning surgery 11:20 I thought Max looked really ill. He walked slowly and painfully down the corridor to Dad’s room, leaning heavily on his crutches. He
Friday 4th August 1989 Criccieth beach 17:12 Our discussions about waiting lists had made us all feel hungry. It was Dad’s afternoon off and he decided to take us for a walk on the beach followed by fish and
Thursday 3rd August 1989 At home 19:22 “I don’t understand these waiting lists, Dad.” “It’s very straightforward, Dennis. It’s just a queue, really.” “Yes, but you’ve been telling everybody that there is a 24 week waiting list for an
Thursday 27th July 1989 Morning surgery 10:13 “They’re flea bites.” “Flea bites, doctor! They can’t be.” Mrs Vaughan looked quite upset. “Yes, they are, Mrs Vaughan.” “It’s not shingles, then?” “No.” “You know I’m susceptible to shingles. I’ve had it
Thursday 20th July 1989 Wart clinic 16:30 Phil had caught a wart from one of his girlfriends. It was on a very embarrassing part of his body. I gave him
Thursday 13th July 1989 Morning surgery 11:05 Catherine Taylor was our first patient this morning. She was 19 years old. “I’m pregnant, doctor.” “That’s fantastic! Congratulations! Well done! What can I do for you?” “I want a termination.”
Thursday 6th July 1989 Morning surgery 10:06 “Nothing in particular! What do you mean? You can’t put nothing in particular as a cause of death. This woman must have died of something.” My Dad held the phone away from his
Friday 30th June 1989 After dinner 19:40 Cauliflower cheese and chips used to be my Dad’s favourite snack when he was on-call in the hospital. He would arrange to meet Alistair, one of his colleagues from the surgical ward,
Thursday 22nd June 1989 Morning surgery 11:00 “My hairdresser sent me.” “Did she, now?” My Dad looked less than impressed. “She thinks that I have got a small skin cancer on my right ear.” My Dad laughed.” Does she,
Wednesday 14th June 1989 At home 16:45 It was my 15th birthday. I had a big kiss and a fountain pen from Mrs Vaughan. “It is time you started writing
Thursday 8th June 1989 Morning surgery 10:40 Valerie Vaughan was in today with more pain. After she had told my Dad all her symptoms, he said to her: “Look, Valerie, I think we have all got to accept that
Thursday 1st June 1989 Morning surgery 11:30 Dad hardly spoke to me during surgery this morning. He seems to have lost interest in teaching. He didn’t say much to his patients either.
Wednesday 31st May 1989 Lunchtime 13:10 Zoe and Chloe are going back to Cardiff today. They baked a big coffee and walnut cake for all the staff. Everyone is sad to see them go. Dr Lewis came in on
Thursday 25th May 1989 Morning surgery 10:20 Zoe and Chloe have been seeing their own patients. They take turns in presenting ‘each case’ to my Dad. “Melissa Martin is 15 years old. She has had a sore throat for
Wednesday 17th May 1989 After dinner 19:40 Dad and I were having beans on toast for tea because Mum was visiting Gran in the hospital. She and Declan arrived home just as we finished eating. “Well, Gran’s had her
Thursday 11th May 1989 Morning surgery 09:23 “Let’s have a look at this rash then, Mrs Preston.” My Dad looked impatiently at his watch. Mrs Preston was quite flustered as
Thursday 4th May 1989 Morning surgery 10:50 “Right, Zoe, was Mrs Spencer coughing up any blood?” “I don’t know, Dr Dennis. I forgot to ask. I suppose she would have said if she was.” “You can’t be sure, Zoe.”
Thursday 27th April 1989 After dinner 19:20 “What?” My Dad was astounded. “Don’t be so stupid, Declan!” “Yes, Declan,” I joined in. “that’s really stupid.” Declan had suggested that, if the all hospital managers sat down, they could work
Thursday 27th April 1989 Morning surgery 08:55 My Dad is furious with our local hospital. He has just spent 20 minutes trying to admit a lady with severe, acute asthma. The nurse who deals with all the emergencies had
Thursday 20th April 1989 Morning surgery 10:20,10:30,10:40,10:50 This morning, we had four schoolboys in: all from the same class in the same primary school and all with sore throats. Their tonsils all looked pretty similar and my Dad said
Thursday 13th April 1989 Morning surgery 09:00 “These tablets aren’t working, Dr Dennis. The pain is a lot worse. My whole back is agony, right from the very top of my neck to the very bottom of my spine:
Thursday 6th April 1989 Home visit 12:50 Tim died more quickly than my Dad had expected. He passed away last night. We all went to offer our condolences to Mrs Chapman. Dad and I both said how sorry we
Thursday 30th March 1989 Baby clinic 10:20 As Dr Lewis was on holiday, Dad had to do the baby clinic. There was no health visitor to help him. At first, he seemed confident enough but there were 24 small
Thursday 23rd March 1989 Home visit 13:00 Tim had deteriorated. Yesterday, he was confused. Today, he was unconscious. My Dad shouted at him and shook him. There was no
Wednesday 15th March 1989 After dinner 19:20 Dad said that he had sent Zoe and Chloe back to see Tim. He had decided that it would be an interesting assignment for them;
Thursday 9th March 1989 Home Visit 12:44 Tim’s friend, Fred, had come to see him. He was sitting by the bed, laughing loudly, when we arrived. Fred was holding a
Thursday 2nd March 1989 Home Visit 13:02 It was another home visit with the medical students. Tim was 37 years old. My Dad said that he was dying of liver
Thursday 23rd February 1989 Morning surgery 09:30 My Dad explained to us that tummy pain is often caused by constipation in small children. “I am always surprised,” he said, “by the number of these children who are constipated and
Thursday 16th February 1989 Morning surgery 10:20 My Dad was pretty pleased with himself today. He diagnosed a ruptured Achilles tendon. To top it all, they had missed it in casualty. They thought the patient had a sprained ankle.
Thursday 9th February 1989 At home 21:05 “Here’s another interesting story, Daphne.” Dad was reading the local paper. Mum did not look up from her magazine. “Last Friday, 9 year old Peter Burgess was admitted to hospital with an
Thursday 2nd February 1989 Morning surgery 10:59 My Dad had just finished dealing with another sore throat. “What did you notice about Mrs Wynne, Dennis?” “She had a normal sore throat.” “Yes, obviously. Was there anything else?” “Her glands
Thursday 26th January 1989 Morning coffee break 11:50 “One of the best things about lady doctors is that they can actually feel their patients’ symptoms.” Zoe, Chloe and Dr Lois pricked up their ears when they heard this. “If
Wednesday 18th January 1989 19:38 Dad never stops at an accident.
Saturday 14th January 1989 09:03 On a Saturday morning, Dad likes to go to the baker’s for fresh bread. If we get there at about 9 o’clock, the loaves are still warm. He used to send me into the
Thursday 12th January 1989 Morning surgery 10:20 “Hang on, Mrs Vaughan! Can I stop you, there?” Mrs Vaughan gave my Dad a stern look. “I would like to bring the medical students in.” He turned to Zoe and Chloe. “Here,
Thursday 5th January 1989 Morning surgery 11:17 “Doctor, I’ve got terrible side effects with these new tablets! I am itching all over. My lips feel swollen and my throat. My husband says my eyes are puffy. I feel sick. I
Tuesday 27th December 1988 Portmere vs. Flint Town 16:15 It should have been an easy win. It was a home game against Flint Town who were second from bottom in the league. Declan and I wanted to relax but Dad
Saturday 24th December 1988 Christmas Eve 23.00 Mum doesn’t like stockings and she refuses to cut a good pair of tights in half. Every year, Dad brings home some compression hosiery for Declan and I to use. Usually, we each
Thursday 22nd December 1988 Morning surgery 10.00. My Dad had always expected to marry a woman who darned socks. Dad’s Mum, my grandmother, darned socks. Dad’s own grandmother darned socks. Mum never darns socks. If Dad’s socks are beginning to
Thursday 15th December 1988 Nearly midnight. I have been to the toilet again. It’s the third time since I got into bed. Having an enlarged prostate must be worse than having a baby!
Thursday 15th December 1988 Mathmatics lesson 15.45. I think my own prostate is enlarged. I had to go for a wee seven times in Maths this afternoon. Each time, I could hardly pass anything. Mum made me drink two pints
Thursday 15th December 1988 Morning surgery 09.38. We saw a man who couldn’t have a wee. He had struggled to go on Monday and Tuesday. Since Wednesday night, he hadn’t managed to pass a single drop. He was bursting. He
Thursday 8th December 1988 Home visit 12.36. Zoe, Chloe, my Dad and I were called to see a woman with severe vertigo. When we arrived at the house we found her lying face down in the hall. If she moved
Thursday 1st December 1988 Wart clinic 16.15. Mrs Vaughan had a large wart on her arm. As I started to freeze it, she began to giggle. “Are you alright, Mrs Vaughan?” “Of course, Dennis.” She laughed. The more I continued
Thursday 24th November 1988 Morning surgery 09.30. “It’s just a normal sore throat.” My Dad, Zoe, Chloe and I had all had a look at Michael’s tonsils. “What do you mean? A normal sore throat?” “Well, Mrs Morris. It is
Thursday 17th November 1988 Morning surgery 08.58. Two medical students, Zoe and Chloe, were starting in the practice today. My Dad had obviously forgotten that they were coming. He was quite
Thursday 10th November 1988 Morning coffee break 11.45. “I think that I might write a patient information leaflet, Dennis. I thought I would do one on diabetes.” Don’t, Dad. “They recommended it on the communications course.” Don’t, Dad. “It takes
Thursday 3rd November 1988 Morning surgery 09.50. We saw a Liverpool supporter today with a really bad chest infection. My Dad thought that it might even be pneumonia. I knew that he was a Liverpool supporter because he was wearing
Thursday 27th October 1988 Wart clinic 16.00. I’m back on liquid nitrogen. A small boy asked for me specifically. He said that I was his doctor and he wouldn’t let anyone else
Thursday 20th October 1988 Morning surgery 11.00. “I don’t want the pink one. I don’t want the pink one.” My Dad’s consulting room door flew open and little Terry Turner charged in. He saw my Dad and me, stopped dead
Sunday 16th October 1988 After breakfast 10.12. On a Sunday morning, after breakfast, my Dad likes to look through the papers. He reads out interesting stories to Mum. Of course, she finds this annoying. “Listen to this, Daphne. The health
Thursday 13th October 1988 Home visit 13.08. “I am sorry, Sister, that is completely unacceptable. Mrs Anderson is 93 years old. She spent two days on one of your trolleys last time she came into hospital. Her back was awfully
Thursday 6th October 1988 Morning surgery 09.40. “I can hear Mrs Pryce’s heart, Dad. Lub dup . . Lub dup . .” “Excellent, Dennis, at last. I was beginning to think that young Dennis was going to have to give up
Thursday 29th September 1988 Morning surgery 11.20. I am glad to say that my Dad seems to have forgotten that he ever went on the communication course. He is back working on his usual need to know basis. “Look, Mr
Thursday 29th September 1988 Morning surgery 10.20. My Dad has just been on a communication course and decided he was going to try to explain the meaning of high blood pressure to one of his patients. “If someone’s understands exactly
Thursday 22nd September 1988 Morning coffee break 11.45. It was Dr Lois Lewis who discovered what was wrong with Dad’s stethoscope. Both earpieces were packed full of hard, greenish-brown wax. “It
Thursday 15th September 1988 Morning surgery 11.20. We had a really awkward consultation today. A woman came in and started telling us about her periods. I went bright red and felt sick. I thought that my Dad handled it really
Thursday 8th September 1988 Morning surgery 10.30. My dad has started introducing me as Dr Dennis Dennis. It’s really embarrassing. Patients keep asking me when I’ll qualify or what I intend to specialise in. Will I take over from my
Thursday 8th September 1988 Morning surgery 09.00. Dad is more practical than I thought!
Tuesday 30th August 1988 Breakfast 10.00. Dad always makes the most of his Greek, buffet breakfast. Today, he has chosen Greek yogurt with honey, a peach, slices of salami and ham, soft goat’s
Friday 26th August 1988 Agia Galini 12.00. Even though we were supposed to be on holiday, Dad and I had to deal with two cases of sunburn.
Saturday 20th August 1988 German air space 13.31 Is there a doctor on board? “Go on, Dennis. You go.” Declan sniggered and I elbowed him firmly in the ribs. Dad did not react. He seemed completely absorbed in his book.
Wednesday 17th August 1988 Morning coffee break 11.45 This will probably be my last day of work experience. On Saturday, we are all going on holiday to Greece. Mum says it will do me and Dad good to have two
Wednesday 10th August 1988 Morning surgery 10.35. “Dr Dennis, this hay fever is unbearable!” “Come on, Melvyn. I would never describe hay fever as unbearable. In fact, I am not sure why you have come to see me. Most of
Wednesday 3rd August 1988 Morning coffee break 11.45. “Dennis, you can call me Lois.” I couldn’t do that. It did not seem right. But, every time I called her Dr Lois, she thought that I’d said Dr Lewis and looked
Monday 1st August 1988 Morning surgery 09.55. I really like Dr Lois Lewis. My dad had asked her to look at my ankle. I had sprained it playing football. To start with, she was shocked at how bruised it was.
Wednesday 27th July 1988 Morning surgery 11.10. “Dennis, it is a classic case of aortic stenosis.” “I can’t hear it, Dad.” My Dad took a deep breath and raised his eyebrows. “It is one of the easiest heart murmurs to
Wednesday 20th July 1988 Morning surgery 10.30. “I don’t think that you should keep looking these things up, Mrs Vaughan.” My Dad had just finished examining Mrs Vaughan’s knee. “Why not,
Wednesday 13th July 1988 Morning surgery 09.20. I always thought that if you went to see the doctor and the doctor said that there was nothing or, at least, nothing serious wrong, you would be pleased. A lot of our
Sunday 10th July 1988 After dinner 19.30. My Dad wants me to do a night on call with him. No chance!
Saturday 9th July 1988 Lunchtime 13.00. My Dad hates weekends on call. Once a month he works all day Friday, all day Saturday and all day Sunday. My Mum says it makes him bad tempered. He is alright during the
Wednesday 6th July 1988 Morning coffee break 11:45. “You must apply for a job in Ashbury Lodge, Dennis.” “Dad, I am not going to work in a nursing home.” “You’ve got to do some voluntary work if you want
Wednesday 29th June 1988 Practice nurse clinic 10:00. I am sitting in with Janet, the practice nurse, today. Our first patient is a very overweight lady. Janet shows her a picture of a healthy plate; a neatly arranged plate
Wednesday 22nd June 1988 Morning surgery 10:40. Today, we saw a man who was worried about his memory. He spent 10 minutes (a whole appointment) telling us everything he had forgotten in the last 3 days. He had started
Wednesday 15th June 1988 Morning surgery 09:40. “My name is not Dr Desmond, Mrs Parry. It’s Dr Dennis, Dr Desmond Dennis.” “I am sorry, doctor.” “Yes, people often call me Dr Desmond and I find it very irritating. It’s
Tuesday 14th June 1988 After dinner 20:15. Today is my fourteenth birthday. I had asked my Dad for a typewriter but he bought me an auriscope. Declan got me a box
Sunday 12th June 1988 After dinner 19:30. I told my Dad that I thought I had piles. He just laughed. “Dennis,” he said. “Doctors in training always think that they have got terrible illnesses. I thought that I had
Wednesday 8th June 1988 Morning surgery 10:25. I don’t like piles. One of my teachers came in today and, as it turned out, he was suffering from piles. After my Dad examined him, he insisted that I had a
Wednesday 1st June 1988 Morning coffee break 11:45. My Dad has just seen another man with indigestion. We were all very concerned. The practice manager rang up halfway through the consultation to check that everything was alright. The nurse
Wednesday 25th May 1988 Morning surgery 09:50. “Hallo, Mr Rhys. How are you?” “I’m fine, Doctor. You wanted to check my blood pressure.” “Yes, I did, didn’t I? How is Mrs Rhys?” “She is improving. She’s not bad at
Saturday 21st May 1988 Portmere vs. Welshpool 14:30. It was Portmere’s final game of the season. A tough home fixture against Welshpool. Declan and I settled into our seats. I
Sunday 15th May 1988 After dinner 19:00. “Is he dead, Dennis?” My Dad was getting impatient. Declan frowned. “Of course not, Dad. He’s fine.” I pressed the stethoscope more firmly against Declan’s chest. “Well, if he’s not dead, you
Wednesday 11th May 1988 Morning coffee break 11.45. I told Dr Lewis that I wanted to be a sports journalist. She thought that it was a great idea.
Wednesday 11th May 1988 Morning surgery. I had been hoping for a day off. My Dad was going to a conference in Cardiff. “I have arranged for you to sit in with Dr Lewis, this morning, Dennis. It will
Wednesday 4th May 1988 Morning surgery 10:50. Scabies is worse than chicken pox.
Thursday 28th April 1988 Wart Clinic 17:00. Health & Safety! I can’t do the warts any more because I sprayed someone in the eye. He was a wriggler so it wasn’t really my fault.
Wednesday 20th April 1988 Morning surgery 09:05. Croup is a completely different kettle of fish. Imagine that you are 4 years old. You have had a slight sore throat and a cough. Your voice is a bit croaky. Apart
Wednesday 20th April 1988 Morning surgery 09:00. Happy wheezers are great. They are usually about 2 years old. They’re coughing. They’re puffing away. Their noses are blocked or full of mucous. Their Mums are in a panic but they
Wednesday 13th April 1988 Morning surgery 11:45. “How do you know it’s not sciatica, Dr Dennis, if you haven’t checked my reflexes?” “The pain sounds muscular, Mrs Vaughan. It does not sound anything like sciatica.” Mrs Vaughan smiled at
Thursday 7th April 1988 Minor surgery 15:15. Of course, the excision of the sebaceous cyst made my Dad late for the toenail resection. He hates being late and didn’t wait for the local anaesthetic to work properly! By the
Thursday 7th April 1988 Minor surgery 14:00. My Dad was performing minor operations this afternoon. He had a sebaceous cyst to excise from the top of someone’s head. It was about the size of a malteser. It took him
Sunday 3rd April 1988 After dinner 19:00. My dad has always had this big thing about confidentiality. You would think he was some sort of secret agent. He would never tell me who he had seen in the surgery,
Wednesday 30th March 1988 Morning surgery 10.00. My Dad taught me how to use the stethoscope, today. I couldn’t hear a thing.
Wednesday 23rd March 1988 Morning coffee break 11.45. Yesterday, we had an unexpected death. Brian Blackwell was only 39 years old. All the staff at the surgery were very upset which is why we discussed it over coffee. My
Wednesday 16th March 1988 Morning surgery 11.00. Patients with trichotillomania continually twist or pull at thier hair until it comes out in clumps.
Wednesday 9th March 1988 Morning surgery 09.40. My Dad is furious. He saw a patient this morning who had had a cough for two hours. He couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t a particularly bad cough. The man seemed quite
Wednesday 2nd March 1988 Morning surgery 10.30. We saw a woman with constipation right after we saw the man with diarrhoea. My dad did not seem all that interested. “When did you last go?” That was all he asked.
Wednesday 2nd March 1988 Morning surgery 10.20. My dad is always asking people stupid questions about diarrhoea. How many times did you go today? How many times did you go yesterday? Was there much each time? Was it like
Wednesday 24th February 1988 Morning surgery 09:40. We saw a lady this morning with one of those small children who can’t keep still. He sat on the chair by his Mum for about 30 seconds. My Dad smiled and said
Thursday 18th February 1988 Wart clinic 15:50. I have just frozen a wart right on the tip of a little girl’s nose. A bit of the spray went up her nostril. Awful!
Thursday 18th February 1988 Wart clinic 15:10. I didn’t realise that verrucas are the same as warts. It is just that they are stuck on the soles of people’s feet. They don’t seem to hurt so much when you freeze
Thursday 18th February 1988 Wart clinic 15:00. My second wart clinic did not get off to a good start. I told the first patient that liquid nitrogen was -200°c and he burst into tears. We had to cancel his treatment.
Wednesday 10th February 1988 Morning Surgery 10:30. Mrs Valerie Vaughan was on pins. She had just come in and was standing in front of the door which she had not closed properly. “Take a seat, Mrs Vaughan.” “I can’t, doctor.”
Thursday 4th February 1988 Wart clinic 15:00. We spent the afternoon freezing warts. I love doing that. I tested the stuff out on my own hand first. A small circle of skin went white, like ice. It stung. My dad
Wednesday 27th January 1988 Morning surgery 09:20. Some children get awful chicken pox.
Wednesday 20th January 1988 Morning surgery 10:10. A lady that we saw this morning had not really had much of a sore throat but, after she had cleaned her teeth, noticed big white spots on her tonsils. Of course, she
Wednesday 13th January 1988 Waiting room 10:00. The receptionist announced that my Dad was running late. She apologised and explained that he had been dealing with a serious emergency. She wasn’t quite sure when he would finish. The elderly lady
Wednesday 13th January 1988 Waiting room 09:40. The nurse appeared to be the only person working efficiently this morning. She was taking bloods, calling patients through, one after another, and greeting each with a cheerful ‘Hallo!’ My Dad’s young assistant,
Wednesday 13th January 1988 Waiting room 09:00. My Dad decided that I should spend the morning sitting in the waiting room. I couldn’t see the point.
Wednesday 6th January 1988 Morning surgery 11:00. “The whole population seems to think that every child needs to see a doctor every time they get a temperature. I have had enough of seeing hot, little children this week.” My Dad
Friday 1st January 1988 13:00. My name is Dennis Dennis. I am 13 years old. My dad is Dr Desmond Dennis. He is a family doctor. He wants me to follow in his footsteps. He says that his job is