Free Advice on Free Advice5 Feb 2016 / Paul Epps
Today a colleague offered to fix the pain in my shoulder. “Sounds like a problem with the connective tissue,” he said. “I can push it back into place.”
“No,” I said. “No no no no no no no.”
“Why not? Are you homophobic?”
“Not wanting you to touch my shoulder is not homophobic.” Also this guy is not gay.
“You don’t trust me?”
“I was trying to think of a nice way to say that.”
“I have a gift for this. I’ve helped a lot of people.”
“You might be able to fix it. Probably you could. On the other hand, you might, just perhaps, push on it the wrong way and I lose the use of my left arm. Not worth the risk.”
He then recommended that I go to a health food store and buy some red something-or-other algae to use as an anti-inflammatory.
Which I’m not going to do . . . If someone recommends a movie I should see, I might check that out. Even if it turns out to be terrible, which it usually does, I’ve only lost a few bucks and a couple hours of time. Same with a restaurant. Or a book.
But on medical matters, when someone says “You should go to a health food store and buy some of this product and eat it,” I’m not going to do that because if I do that, and I die . . . because the recommender didn’t know anything about my health condition, medical history, medications I might be taking, didn’t know anything about chemistry, biology, pharmacology . . . I’m dead and the person who told me to do that is scratching his head going, “Hmmmm, that never happened before. Maybe I should have gone to medical school to actually learn something.”