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. “I think we’ve probably both got the same virus.”
“Virus! My cough can’t be a virus. It is unbearable, doctor. It goes on and on and on. I can’t stop coughing. I’m really worried about it.”
“Don’t get carried away, Cath. You know, as well as I do, that those coughs that come in never ending spasms, that make your throat hurt and seem to leave you struggling to take a breath, are usually in your throat and not on your chest. They feel much worse than they really are. They almost invariably get better on their own. Dr Dennis has always said that.”
My Dad nodded.
Cath glared at Len.“My cough is much worse than yours.”
“Exactly. That’s what I am saying. These quiet, unobtrusive coughs like mine are the ones you need to worry about. A cough like mine could be the first sign of pneumonia or even lung cancer. Having said that, I have only had my cough for a week and I feel fine otherwise, so I don’t think I’ve got either. Putting two and two together, it seems likely we’ve both got different versions of the same thing. What do you think, doctor?”
“I think you are probably right, Len.”
“I wouldn’t have come. Cath wanted to see you about her cough and she made my appointment without telling me. I am afraid we have wasted your time.”

Cath and Len.
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