LAURA CARTLEDGE Life’s Like That...Friendly, helpful pharmacist offers me a very healthy option

When I catch a cold my normal approach is to pretend I haven’t.

Figuring if I acknowledge it, it will only make it stronger.

Instead I take the option of eating everything citrus in sight and carrying on. So it will probably come as no surprise that nothing makes me strop more than when I have to go to the doctor.

Not because of the visit itself, mind you – strangely I never feel healthier than when I am sitting in the waiting room. No, instead the strop comes from the stress it takes to get there in the first place.

My surgery is one of those which makes you phone up at 8am on the day if you want to have an appointment.

I know they are busy, and this is probably the easiest way to manage things.

But the fact it took me 64 times to get through to book a routine check-up is just ridiculous.

This means if I can avoid a visit, I will – and in doing so I have found out just how fantastic pharmacies are.

You just pop in. No engaged tone, no answer machine, just a happy ring from the bell above the door as you enter.

Because of this they have become my first port of call when I feel under the weather.

So when I started suffering severe heel pain this week I knew exactly where to hobble to.

I limped in on my lunch break, sat in the special room and told the man what was wrong. I didn’t feel rushed, or just one in a line of hypochondriacs who was wasting time. I was listened to.

But the best bit is I was diagnosed with ‘policeman’s heel’. Or Plantar Fasciitis to give it its proper name – but I would rather a crime-fighting foot than one that sounds like something you buy from a garden centre.