A dread case of the man flu 32



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I’m feeling ‘woozy’ in my head, my nose is running like a hose and my throat is sore. Not only that, but I also feel as if the energy stored in every cell of my body has been sucked out of it, for use God knows where and my chest seems to have a steel strap tightly wrapped round it. Even my feet ache, something I don’t think I’ve ever suffered before – so, although I think there is little chance of me actually dying, I’m at that stage when I sometimes wish I could!

Jacqui tells me not to be so silly of course; I just have a bit of a cold, she says. A BIT OF A COLD? Is the woman mad, does she have no idea of the danger I’m in, the agony and the fear? The only concession she has made to my desperate state up to this moment is to make me a ‘nice cup of tea, to sooth your throat a bit’, something that was very nice I must admit, but tea is hardly a life-saver, compared to large doses of brandy or any other such medication! What I really need is for her to drop everything she’s doing, so she can care for me in a proper way, aimed at getting rid of this pestilence I’m suffering, driving out the germs and curing the painful bits (i.e. everywhere in my body)! I should be allowed to stay on in bed in the mornings, until I feel I have gathered enough strength to face that cruel and unkind world, with a nice tasty breakfast provided on a tray before I get up, the bathroom pre-warmed with a cosy bath towel waiting for me, and my clothes laid out on the bed ready for me to climb into after the shower. I ask you – is that too much to ask for?

But all I actually get is Jacqui saying I am suffering from ‘man-flu’ (something known to men to be very serious), then she laughs uproariously, as if this title is some sort of joke in her opinion, some silly secret the women pass between themselves, trying to drag we men down to their level. But it will never happen, men are much too strong for that – we are the masters, if only they’d realise it and let us get on with it. And as for this ‘man-flu’ thing, which they don’t take seriously at all, it’s obvious to me that we suffer more because we are more sensitive than them. Half of the time, when I am as ill as I am at the present, a large part of my bad feelings are due to the fact that I don’t want to pass them on to her, so I try to stay in bed, or crouch on the settee all day so as not to give her the disease – pure thoughtfulness on my part!

Apparently, another reason why Jackie doesn’t consider my condition to be serious is because ‘most of the town have it at the present time’, though I fail completely to see the logic in this argument. Surely if most of the town has it, it follows that it must be a pretty virulent strain, and just because, when she says ‘half the town’, she means just the male half, all that says to me is that the bug I have has some sort of ‘thing’ about it that only affects men, or perhaps women have some special immunity to protect them, a natural defence to stop them becoming ill when they are expecting children. It has to be something like that – doesn’t it?

Oh dear, get another handkerchief, put more drops up my nose, wipe the tears from my eyes and stumble off to bed – it must be at least eight o’clock and this is the worst part of the day for me –whatever she says. She seems glad to see me go anyway, so I don’t need to feel guilty!

Tell us, have you or your partner had the man flu before?

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Brian Lee

  1. I live alone and if I’m sick I take care of myself, I still do the house work and cook if I’m up to it or perhaps just rest if needed, big difference between men and women I guess.

  2. My lovely husband who is incredibly able and energetic becomes helpless and pathetic on the rare occasion he gets sick. He can barely speak above a whisper. I think it’s hilarious, but go with it as it’s not a common occurrence.

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  3. Man-flu? What a load of stupid sexist bullshit!

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    • Well! You have a really well developed sense of fun don’t you! Surely you couldn’t possibly have been reading this as a serious story, because that was certainly not the intention when I wrote it!

  4. My husband is obviously the exception to the rule. When he is sick he soldiers on. Sometimes I have to threaten him to get him to rest.

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    • My late husband insisted he was okay. It wasn’t until he started talking nonsense I took him to hospital. He had double pneumonia. He had a cough but he said it was because he smoked. !!! He got better from that.

  5. Mothers always babied their children when they were sick. Problem is the men never grew up. They still expect to be babied.

  6. Man flu?! Ha.. I can top that one. Try knee replacement drama king!! Now don’t get on my case, but, really it’s a drama every day months on!

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    • Agree Knee replacement is no picnic, I can stand pain usually but this had me floored. I was desperate thinking it would never improve. Only five days in hospital then straight home to start cooking etc!! Hell. I still shudder and would seriously consider options if I need other knee done…the only procedure i would not like to repeat.Took nearly four months before I felt human again.

  7. The man flu in my house starts BEFORE onset….’might’ catch it ‘tomorrow’ so I’d better practice my horizontal TODAY!…….hilarious!

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