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September 29, 2008 | by  | in Opinion |
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Healthy Living

Your day breaks, your mind aches

The cold I caught last week from trying to sunbathe in spring is slowly receding. With it the enhanced need to consume ginger, garlic, soup and citrus fruit is relaxed, and the cloud of tiredness stops clogging my brain and limbs. Sweet. Health is the sort of balance you only notice when it’s off, and stopping you from being your own glorious self. But before we let medical practitioners tell us not to do anything that would harm our health, we need to remember that striving for ‘perfect health’ is neither the most enjoyable nor the most productive way to live our lives, since we’re still going to cark it in the long run.

Humans show a fairly habitual capacity to appreciate pain and disability. You can see it in Saint Dominic Loricatus’ habit of lashing himself with 300,000 strokes every Lent to cure a century’s worth of sin, and smell it when extreme sportsmen get high off the adrenaline rush that comes from snapping bones in a crash. Many of the tetraplegics interviewed in Murderball insisted that their paralysis had been a blessing, since it allowed them to play wheelchair rugby (which is even more HARDCORE than the American football they played before). They wanted to deck that pussy Christopher Reeve, who instead of accepting his condition worked single-mindedly towards a ‘cure’.

Besides, my awful head cold went away when I finally doused it in the replenishing antisepsis of white wine and whisky. But I’m not going to say “fuck the doctors” since I also have a massive cavity in my canine from smoking pipe tobacco and drinking too much coffee, which would be nice to have fixed if dentists were cheaper. And I’m happy that, should I someday get really fucked up, there’s a massive network of hospitals and medical folk that the state will send to fix me. If it works – and that’s half the point of this week’s issue: how can we ensure that our hospital, mired in public controversy, gets us our fixings?

Health funding in this country is handed out according to population, and our Capital and Coast District Health Board has a smaller population catchment than Auckland and Christchurch. Yet Wellington Hospital is also used by patients in surrounding districts up to Hawke’s Bay, making it uniquely stretched for cash. It’s easy to find the whole thing irritating and uncomfortable if you’ve never actually been to hospital, but if you want to take the risk of drinking yourself into the gutter once in a while, snapping your femur for the sake of dropping into a pipe vertically, or engaging in risky sexual escapades (all of which can add to the enrichment of being-in-the-world), you’re going to want some assurance that the system is there to catch you when you fuck it up. That’s why some of your wages go towards tax instead of entertainments.

The other point of this week’s issue is that John, Paul, George and Ringo have a piece of wisdom to offer about everything. Also some dragons will appear.

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About the Author ()

Tristan Egarr edited in 2008. He threw a chair once.

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