Ask John


Herald columnist John Roughan is here to answer all your tricky health questions.

Dear John

I have a problem. I hope you can help me. Recently I haven’t been feeling well, and I seem to be getting worse. 

Just the other day I was reading the Saturday newspaper, and I felt a sudden wave of nausea overwhelming me. I threw up all over the table, and my husband ended up covered from head to toe in vomit. He wasn’t pleased.

I wish I could say it was the first incident involving projectile vomiting while reading the newspaper, but sadly these attacks seem to come weekly; always on a Saturday, and always while I am reading  the newspaper.

The doctor says there doesn’t seem to be anything medically wrong with me. In fact, he insists I’m in perfect health.

What should I do?

Cassie

Dear Cassie

You’re right to be worried. The medical experts will tell you they know it all, but if you type the words “malpractice” into Google you’ll be appalled at what you find. Medical science has come a long way since the days of leeches and trepanning, but anyone who puts all their faith in their GP is asking for trouble. If I were you I’d get a second opinion. Try an economist or accountant.

John

Dear John

I did what you suggested, and consulted an economist. He picked up a big book from his desk and looked up the latest Treasury projections. He said I had nothing to worry about, because GDP was on the rise and unemployment was falling. He told me I’d be fine so long as I avoided red tape and regulation, and didn’t look to impose additional costs on business.

I must admit I was perplexed by the prognosis, as I had expected him to at least attempt to address my specific medical complaint.

John, is it possible that the economist I saw is sick as well?

Cassie

Dear Cassie

It sounds as if your economist gave you some sound advice. We are finally seeing signs of a recovery, and the last thing struggling businesses need is extra cost. That’s why this whole transport plan Len Brown is embarking upon is so fraught with danger. It’s your city, Cassie, so don’t let these so-called transport experts derail it.

John

Dear John

I didn’t understand your last letter. In fact, I felt the sickness coming on again as I read it. I’m not sure you have adequately addressed my concerns. Isn’t there anything I can do? I just want to be well again.

Cassie

Dear Cassie

I sympathise, really I do. A lot of people have been confused and frightened in recent days, thanks to the scare tactics of Labour and the Greens. If you have some money put aside I would urge you to take advantage of these partial asset sales, and don’t let the scaremongering of the left frighten you off.

John

Dear John

Your reply baffled me. Did you read anything I wrote?

Cassie

Dear Cassie

I sense some coldness in your response. It’s ironic, because we’re supposed to be getting warmer, not colder, and if the experts are to be believed we’ll soon be saying farewell to the polar icecaps.

I have always struggled with the idea that the Earth is warming. It’s not that the scientists are universally wrong, because the issue is actually quite complex, but if I can’t make sense of the science then how can anyone else be expected to? Experts do make mistakes too. Who remembers the Hitler Diaries?

Even if the Earth were warming, would it be such a bad thing? Imagine being able to grow bananas in Invercargill. With the Tiwai Point smelter expected to close down at some point in the next few years, a banana industry could be just the thing to rescue the Southland economy.

The case for action on climate change isn’t yet a compelling one. But we are fortunate to have a government that understands the problem, and a prime minister who knows all and sees all. The Key government is possibly the greatest administration we have ever seen in any Western democracy; and in John Key we have a master who understands commerce, the markets, and the universal condition. I will not be at all surprised if John Key reveals prior to the 2014 election that he has magical powers.

The environmentalists and climate experts have got it so badly wrong, because they simply don’t understand that climate change isn’t something to be left to the scientists. It belongs to all of us. For every Pacific atoll threatened with annihilation by rising waters, there is a community somewhere in the deep south looking forward to nicer winters. John Key understands this.

And try telling the citizens of Christchurch that we should start putting the views of a few experts ahead of their own. The recovery is moving slowly, but the last thing the city needs now is sudden, drastic change. The destruction of all those beautiful churches and cathedrals during the big quake was heard-rending, but the faith of Cantabrians in Christ remains strong, and I’m not sure that the climate scientists have fully grasped this fact. The people I speak to certainly don’t want the government interfering in their religious practices, which makes one wonder what the left’s real agenda is.

John

Dear John

I’m cured! This last Saturday I decided for a change not to read the Weekend Herald. I felt fine all day. No nausea, no vomiting, no sudden urges to stab anyone. Finally I feel like I have my weekends back.

But I do enjoy a Sunday paper, so from next week I think I’ll start buying the Herald on Sunday.

Thank you so much!

Cassie

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