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 Mrs Austin’s two weeks ago. I was very fond of her.”
“She was a very nice lady. The perfect patient, in fact. She was one of those people who always accepted and was grateful for any medical advice.” My Dad gave Mrs Vaughan a telling look.
“I was surprised that you didn’t go to the funeral,” Mrs Vaughan retorted disapprovingly. “How long have you been looking after her?”
“I’ve told you before, Mrs Vaughan, I don’t have time to go to patients’ funerals. No family doctors do, these days. Of course, I may make an exception for you as you are such an old friend.”
“I haven’t decided who’ll be invited to mine. Anyway, I went to Mrs Grey’s funeral on the Tuesday before. We were in school together. It was such a shame she would never have the flu jab. She might still be here. I’ve been trying to persuade her every year.”
“She was very frail.”
“Then, there was Mrs Chapman. Her funeral was last Friday. That brain tumour was quite a surprise. Sudden onset of weakness in the right arm and not one single headache. Even I thought she’d had a stroke! It was only when the symptoms progressed that the cause became obvious. I don’t think it would have made any difference if you had made the diagnosis straight away, Dr Dennis. Mrs Chapman didn’t think so. She said that they couldn’t have removed the tumour. It was in a very delicate part of the brain. Of course, she would never say a word against you.”
My Dad sighed. “Anyway, how are you getting on with the medication?”
“I’m fine, doctor. No problems at all. It’s only the eye drops. Can I do Vernon’s review while I’m here?”


Three funerals.
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