Rhodri Marsden: Forget the GP – join Rhodri’s health club for hypochondriacs

Life on Marsden

Share
Related Topics

You get those chicken-pox parties, don't you, where parents allow their children into a room that's alive with the varicella- zoster virus and 10 days later they all get spotty and irritable.

Which you might consider a bizarre ritual, but at the moment there's a phenomenon of throat-infection parties, where we assemble under the pretext of festive celebration, unload germs into each other's faces and spend the next 10 days wearing a pained expression, swallowing gingerly and sounding like a cross between a diesel generator and that bloke out of the Stereophonics. Everyone's ill. The question "how are you?" has become redundant; we merely nod in acknowledgement that we're all feeling dreadful, while cursing the fact that living in the northern hemisphere means that "the most wonderful time of the year" is horribly compromised by mucus and moaning.

The cliché is that men moan more than women, and I'm delighted to reinforce that. Fearing that my sore throat heralded the onset of bacterial tonsillitis I went to my GP, who didn't laugh in my face but she probably would have done if I hadn't been coughing at the time. Memo to all men: your instinct may be to turn to women for sympathy, but seriously, unwell men will serve your needs better.

My friend Tom and I had precisely this realisation a while back and we started a thing called Health Club. (It isn't a health club.) It usually takes place during an evening down the pub, lasts a few minutes only, and begins when one of us raises an eyebrow and says "Health Club?" We then talk openly about our preposterous health concerns. "I've got this pain where I think my prostate is," someone might say, and another member of Health Club will reassure him. "Oh, I had that. Took antibiotics, they did nothing. Eventually it just went away by itself – don't worry." Obviously Health Club provides no professional diagnosis, andthe subtext is that we should probably see a doctor. But hypochondriac men have a fantastic bedside manner, and Health Club has allowed us to talk about our lungs, stomachs, cocks and balls with confidence and vigour. So, women: if your partner is doing your head in whining about his aches and pains, just get him to call Health Club, on... [my phone number has been deleted on the advice of my editor].

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Solar Business Development Manager – M&A

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Test Analyst

£20000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: An experienced Tes...

Account Manager - (Product & Account Management, Marketing)

£26000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Account Manager - (Produc...

Regional Marketing Manager - Northern Europe

£42000 - £45000 per annum + 10% bonus: Ashdown Group: Regional Marketing Manag...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A Bengal tiger captured by a camera trap in Nepal  

Save the tiger: The success of the Bengal tiger in Nepal shows you can make a difference

Harvey Day
Ed Miliband, talks image politics with Andrew Marr  

Ed Miliband’s Question Time ripoff: Another proposal about style, not substance

Bobby Friedman
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried