The Doust Files – Albany Advertiser 17/1/2012

This column has been written standing up, on my feet, keyboard on a lectern, screen elongated to its full extremity on a desk.
Why? Pain. Oh, I can hear the sympathy cries. Please, let me speak.
The thing is, like a lot of men, I am not good with pain. What do I do, scream, lie still for hours, call for a glass of water, whimper for a sandwich as soon as the working woman arrives home from her daily  grind?
No, that’s not me. My history with pain has not been a sensible one. Like many country blokes of this and previous generations, I have tended to ignore, push through and do battle with those bits that hurt me.
So, when I woke up this morning with a knife in my left side, I did what any country bloke worth his pepper would do, I grabbed the handle and stuck it in further. In other words, I headed for the garden, took a spade, called it by its name, and went for it.
Of course, as soon as I stopped for breakfast, the pain returned full of vengeance, vitriol and a fierce determination to stop me in my track and make sure I couldn’t find another one to walk on.
All this reminded me of the time I damaged my knees while distributing a small booklet I had written called “How to lose an election”. Instead of stopping for the day I decided to complete the job while hobbling and running at the same time.
Eventually I collapsed and every so often the knees remind me of my idiocy by giving way beneath me.
Finally, to close, a few words of advice for blokes just like me from that great Australian philosopher Oliver Newton John, who once, when in pain, sang: Listen to your body talk.
And it would have helped if she had added: Then go and see your health care professional.

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