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 enough oxygen and you get oxygen by breathing in. That’s my problem. I don’t care about breathing out.”
“I don’t understand you Mrs Vaughan. You had spirometry in 1985. It was normal.”
“Of course it was normal! Harriet, the nurse, checked how well I could I breathe out. I can breathe out perfectly well.”
“I see what you mean. You are right. Spirometry primarily tells us how well you can breathe out but that gives us an overall idea of how your lungs are functioning. After all, you can’t breathe in without breathing out. Spirometry is particularly useful for people with a tendency to wheeziness.”
Mrs Vaughan took a deep breath, sighed, got up and walked towards the door.
“I am sorry, doctor. Spirometry was obviously not the correct test to demonstrate my difficulties in 1985 . I very much doubt if things will be any different now.”

Breathing in and breathing out.
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