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 ...