I'm not really a doctor ...
Thursday, May 02, 2013
... and I don't even play one on TV.
I am an inveterate consumer of the advertising media. I love them. They tell you what the makers of the products that you buy really think of you. And the TV commercial is the last bastion of an artform that is quickly vanishing ... the Short. There are precious few cartoons before movies anymore, except for Pixar and Ice Age movies.
And I could write a whole blog about my observations about commercials.
There is one thing though that I see in commercials that I think we don't take seriously enough. In diet commercials and exercise commercials there is a small disclaimer that goes something like this:
Before starting any weight loss (exercise) program, consult your physician.
Seriously. Consult your physician! Now in most cases, it's really isn't going to be something to cause your doctor a problem. He/she will probably give you a gold star on your chart as one of her/his (why doesn't English have a true neutral gender personal pronoun?) favorite patients.
But even more seriously, don't bring your medical questions to your friends to solve. Unless they are your doctor too, they cannot help you.
When I was in the Air Force, guys who had legal issues would discuss them with their fellow airmen then listen to their advice. We called those friends "outhouse lawyers". Well not actually "outhouse" but you get the idea.
Well, any medical advice you get from your friends is outhouse medicine.
What prompted this? I am constantly seeing people post to the forums with medical questions. Especially in the running forums.
"I have a pain in my hip when I run. What should I do? And I have an ultramarathon tomorrow. Do you think I should run it or cancel it? Registration was $175."
Geez! Eat the buck seventy-five and call your doctor today! There is not one blessed thing that a SparkFriend can do for you. Not actually.
We may commiserate, we may sympathize, we may tell you what happened to us when we had a pain in our hip.
But for all we know, you may need a new hip. Or you have bone cancer! "Oh, I say go run the race, put ice on it over the weekend and call the doctor on Monday."
So if you have a pain, or a hitch in your giddy-up, or an oozy purple discharge from I don't care what orifice (and please don't tell me about it), don't ask the outhouse doctors here.
Cancel your weekend plans and call the doctor.