Saturday 10 December 2016

'As Philip Larkin might have said, They let you down, your kids. They may not mean to. But they do'

Published 21/08/2011 | 05:00

I finally get a diagnosis. It's a virus. There's nothing I can do. The chemist who diagnoses me says that she can, if I wish, sell me some stuff, but really there's nothing I can do. Rest and fluids maybe. Rest is obviously impossible so it will have to be fluids. There's no point in going to the doctor either, she tells me. Because there is nothing he can do.

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I am relieved to hear that. Because I wasn't going to go to the doctor anyway. I'm a responsible citizen and we are told now not to waste doctors' time and to go to the chemist first, so I have taken to getting my medical advice from chemists. The big difference is the chemist can't give you antibiotics, so they don't. Doctors can, so they do. It's like that old thing of, if all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail. The chemist is cheaper too. And quicker.

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