Thursday, July 07, 2016 10:01 AM

THINK LIKE A DOCTOR: A COUGH THAT WON’T STOP

PhotoCredit Andreas Samuelsson

The Challenge: A 43-year-old man starts to cough every time he takes a deep breath. Can you help him figure out why?

Every month, the Diagnosis column of The New York Times Magazine asks Well readers to try their hand at solving a medical mystery. Below you will find the story of a healthy middle-aged man who starts coughing and just cant stop. He cant exercise. He cant laugh. Sometimes he cant even talk without interrupting himself with deep, awful-sounding hacks.

Below I provide much of the information available to the doctors who examined him. It took 18 months before a doctor figured out what was wrong. Can you do it any faster? The first reader to offer the correct diagnosis will receive a signed copy of my book, Every Patient Tells a Story, and the satisfaction of solving a real-life case.

An Emergency 18 Months in the Making

You should probably have that checked out in the E.R., the nurse suggested to the middle-aged man on the other end of the phone. And sooner rather than later. In the next few days? he asked. In the next few hours, the nurse ...

News source: The New York Times

See also: Nashville ENT