Don’t feel sick when you’re given a clean bill of health

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Did you ever go to a doctor, not feeling great, and come out after you were told there was really nothing much wrong with you?

Did you then feel huge relief – or were you feeling either foolish for going in the first place or angry that you’d just wasted fifty quid?

Bizarrely most of us would empathise with the latter, rather than experience the euphoria of a clean bill of health when you had feared you might be set for a spell in dry dock.

The recent arrival of Ophelia to these shores stirred a somewhat similar reaction – instead of relief at avoiding the potential destruction this hurricane might have caused, it was more a belief that the authorities had over-reacted in the first place.

They didn’t of course – not just because four people died – but because this carried a real threat to safety.

And suggesting we escaped relatively unscathed does a disservice to the thousands who lost their electricity, those forced to take the long way home to avoid fallen trees and those homes left without water.

But in the overall scheme of things, the West didn’t experience anything like the brunt we had been braced for – and something in us, thus, almost felt deprived.

We were relieved, too, of course to see our homes left standing, our cars undented by falling branches and our families safe from the storm.

But like the healthy man leaving the doctor’s surgery, we also felt a little robbed – and even a little foolish for fearing the worst in the first place.

Men in particular have a reputation for only going to the doctor when they’re absolutely demented in agony – by which stage a simple complaint has become a very serious one.

But when we eventually go, we do so with an almost apologetic approach, almost embarrassed for wasting the doc’s time for something as trivial as throbbing pain.

We take more care of our cars than we do of ourselves, presenting the vehicle for a regular service and even more frequent oil changes when in fact there is nothing to suggest it is in any immediate danger of stalling to a halt.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.