We went yesterday to see the respiratory consultant about OH's persistent cough that he's had on and off for years. This cough has been put down to asthma by a succession of GPs, although husband has always maintained it's not asthma - he's not breathless or wheezy (never has been) and has always had strong scores on the peak flow meter thingy - he can blow far better than me and I don't have asthma.
The consultant was lovely (as have been all the medical people, doctors and nurses, we've seen rather a lot of over the past few weeks), showed us the various scans and x-ray results and explained them all clearly. OH had already been told he's got asbestos plaques on his lungs, his GP had said they merely indicate that husband has in the distant past been exposed to a small amount of asbestos, and not that there's any problem. The consultant confirmed this, he said they are of no importance at all and are extremely unlikely to cause any problems or develop into anything serious. So that's good.
He then went on to say that there is no evidence of any problem at all, and in fact in his opinion OH does not even have asthma. He reckons the most likely explanation for the cough is heartburn (which OH wasn't aware he suffered from!). He said it was also possibly due to the fact that husband has hayfever....his throat may also be irritated by things other than pollen, apparently.
He recommended that we raise the head of the bed on bricks, that husband takes double the dose of omeprazole, which he has to take to protect his stomach from the daily aspirin he takes for his heart, and that he uses a hayfever nasal spray. These measures should show an improvement within 2 or 3 months, he said.
We're relieved it's nothing serious, one less thing to worry about!