Thursday 1st October 1992   Morning coffee break 11:53

My Dad dropped heavily into his chair. “I’ve just had an earful from Mrs Bailey, Lois. She says that I missed her B12 deficiency for 6 months.”
“I’m sorry, Desmond. I did explain that the result was borderline. I only checked her blood because she brought a magazine article in and said she had all the symptoms.”
“When I originally saw her, she was feeling a bit under the weather. After reading the article, she realised that she was more seriously ill than she thought. She was exhausted. She had been running an intermittent, low grade temperature: she reported figures between 37.6 and 37.8°c. There were pins and needles in her hands and feet. She had noticed that her complexion was a waxy, yellow colour. Her usual foundation didn’t suit her any more. She was off her food and her mouth was sore. I half expected her to stick a swollen, red, beefy tongue out at me.”
“Oh, Desmond, you are awful!”
“Of course, she didn’t because it was probably perfectly normal. Then, everything got dramatically worse after you told her the blood result. She insisted that she was now a neurohaematological emergency. She said that her spinal cord could collapse at any moment or her bone marrow could go into shock. She wouldn’t leave the room until I had given her the first injection. She threatened to make a formal complaint or sue me.”
“Oh, I am sorry, Desmond.”
“She’s a pernicious woman, Lois.”

A swollen, red, beefy tongue.