Dr Wordle picked up the phone and dialled the number of his next patient. After only a few rings his call was answered and a woman’s voice announced herself as Miss Tina Fied.

‘Hello Tina, it’s Dr Wordle here. I’m ringing with the results of your tests.’

‘Oh Dr Wordle, I was hoping you’d call. I haven’t been able to stop trying to work out what my symptoms could be caused by’.

‘Was there anything you were particularly concerned it might be?’

‘Well Doctor, I’m probably being silly but I was worried I might have cancer.’

‘Cancer!’, exclaimed Dr Wordle, ‘don’t be ridiculous Tina. How could you possibly have cancer? Cancer has six letters. Don’t you know I only deal with illnesses which have just five letters in their name. So try again – have a wild guess at what might be the problem.’

Tina was a little taken aback and took a few seconds to think of a condition with the requisite number of letters in its title.

‘Piles?’, she hesitantly offered as an answer, not with any real expectation of being right.

‘Well that was a wild guess’, laughed Dr Wordle. ‘You could hardly be more wrong. That said, and although haemorrhoids are rarely the cause of a new continuous cough, you have got one letter right. There is an ‘I’ in your diagnosis, but it’s not your condition’s second letter. Have another go.’

Miss Fied was beginning to get a little irritated by Dr Wordle and asked him if he couldn’t simply tell her what she was suffering from.

‘Simply tell you? Absolutely not! Where would be the fun in that? Do please have another guess.’

Tina racked her brain for what seemed like forever desperately trying to come up with any five lettered illness that might cause her to cough. Suddenly she had a flash of inspiration.

‘Croup’, she said excitedly, confident that the conundrum had finally been solved.

‘Obviously not’, replied Dr Wordle pointing out rather dismissively that there was no ‘I’ in ‘croup’. ‘But’, he added, sounding a little disappointed as he did so, you have nonetheless been somewhat lucky with your guess for I can reveal to you that your illness does indeed begin with a ‘C’ and that it also has an ‘O’ in it though it’s not its third letter’.

Tina scratched her head again and thought hard for a disease with five letters that began with ‘C’ and contained both an ‘O’ and an ‘I’. For a moment she considered Covid but she couldn’t see how her cough could possibly be Covid. And since she had tested negative on a lateral flow test that morning she quickly dismissed the idea.

‘Colic?’, she offered tentatively, knowing inwardly how unsatisfactory her answer was. Anxiously she awaited Dr Wordle’s response.

‘Close – but no cigar’ Dr Wordle countered. ‘In my book colic is more a symptom than a disease but even so I can tell you that, as well as the initial ‘C’ you now have the ‘O’ and the ‘I’ in the right place. But I’m afraid there is no ‘L’ and only the one ‘C’ in the disease you’re looking for’.

‘You really are most irritating Dr Wordle! Must we continue playing this silly game. Is this really how they teach you to break bad news these days?’

‘I’m afraid it is Miss Fied, I’m afraid it is. And if I have anything to do with it everything will soon be Wordle-fied!. It’s already begun of course. Take our world leaders. There’s Biden and Putin and of course there’s Boris. You see what I’m saying? So come on Tina, you must guess again.’

Now totally exasperated by the situation, and despite having previously discounted it as a possibility, Miss T. Fied found herself blurting out the only answer that remained open to her.

‘Covid’, she announced resignedly, ‘Have I got Covid?’

‘Congratulations, Tina, you have indeed. Now all that’s left for you to do is to tell all your friends and family that, despite it taking you a while, you’ve finally got it. After that you’ll find that none of them want anything to do with you for a while. Now, is there anything else I can do for you today?’.

‘No thank you, Dr Wordle, I don’t think there is. But if I ever find myself suffering from polio, mumps or worms I’ll be sure to get in touch.’

‘You make sure you do! Goodbye then Miss Fied. I’m sure we’ll speak again soon’

‘I don’t doubt it, Dr Wordle, perhaps even tomorrow. But until then ‘Goodbye’ to you too.’

Other GP related stories:

To read ‘Mr Benn – the GP’, click here

To read ‘A Bear called Paddington’, click here

To read ‘The Three Little GPs and the Big Bad Secretary of State for Health’, click here

To read ‘A Mission Impossible’, click here

To read ‘Jeeves and the Hormone Deficiency’, click here

To read the whole of ‘The Scrooge Chronicles’, click here

To read ‘The Happy Practice – A Cautionary Tale’, click here

To read ‘A Grimm Tale’, click here

Published by peteraird134510580

Nothing particularly interesting to say other than I'm a GP with an interest in emotional well-being, an avid Somerset County Cricket Club supporter and a poor example of a Christian who likes to put finger to keyboard from time to time and who is foolish enough to think that someone out there may be interested enough to read what I've written. Some of these blogs have grown over time and some portions of earlier blogs reappear in slightly different forms in later blogs. Apologies for the repetition. What I have posted today (6th August 2018) consists of what I have written over the last few years - whether I write anything ever again, only time will tell.


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