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11 seconds to better health

Opinion

11 seconds to better health

Ashley Robinson can never seem to find a ‘magic sponge’ when he really needs one, to overcome feeling sick and sorry for himself.

I read recently that GPs on average let you talk for 11 seconds before they interrupt you when you are doing your best to tell them what is actually wrong with you.

This study was done on a national basis and suggested that if GPs let you talk longer, it would probably be more helpful when they came to an accurate diagnosis.

Wow, I wonder how much the study cost and I am wondering whether that could have been worked out a whole lot quicker – maybe in less that 11 seconds?

I don’t know how they do these studies, but I must say, they couldn’t have talked to any of my GPs as they have always patiently listened to my ramblings without interrupting. Sure, their eyes glaze over but they all let me finish. In hindsight, maybe when they saw I was the next appointment, they decided: ‘Well, here is 10 minutes I can nod off in while this d*ckhead whinges about his ailments’.

I share this with you as I have been struck down with man flu – a serious one at that – and all of us men know that this is far worse than anything anyone else gets. I have tried not to moan about it, as it is pointless anyway: Old Mate just shakes her head and tells me to stop whining. You know, like: ‘Try having a baby and see if you can handle that’. But here is the kicker: if I just battle on without saying anything, I get in trouble for not talking to her.

I must say, though, that going to the doctor has always had a placebo effect on me. For instance, if I get a headache, I am pretty sure it’s a brain tumour until I go to the GP and he tells me it’s nothing to worry about. Nearly instantly, I feel better.

It’s a bit like playing footy in the ’70s: you’d go down with what felt like a broken leg or a bad head knock and the trainer would run about with a bucket of water and a sponge (well, a ‘magic sponge’, actually, because they would rub that thing on you with water that looked like it came out of a nearby creek and you were magically better).

So as I write this, there are three things I can do to recover: head to the doctor and see if I can push past 11 seconds; find a ‘magic sponge’; or just stay here and whinge about how sick I am. See if you can guess which one I picked.

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