The Man Flu Epidemic: Hide Your Wives, Hide Your Children

Y'all. This week. This week there was an epidemic that hit our home. The Man Flu. "What's that," you may ask (if you are unmarried, that is). (yes, there is a website dedicated to this phenomenon) defines the man flu as: Man Flu is a crippling and debilitating disorder indiscriminately striking down male members of the human species without warning. The illness is often referred to pejoratively by female members of the species who are in fact immune from the illness as man flu is now known to exclusively attack the XY chromosome carrier. If Man Flu is kind enough not to kill the infected party it will definitely leave him weak, sick, hurting everywhere and in dire need of TLC.

My sweet, precious, amazing, manly husband, Jamie, became sick with a cold last week. Coughing, snotty, not sleeping, sore throat...regular cold stuff.  Because he was complaining about feeling so miserable, I tried my best to convince him to go to the doctor.  I even offered to call and make the appointment...18 million times. He just kept saying, "no, I'll be fine. I can't miss work." I tried to make the point that if he got this under control before it got worse he would minimize missing work, and he thought that was crazy: "there's no need to miss any work!" I kept wondering how that could be possible because at home he didn't feel like doing anything. ANYTHING. How could he possibly go to his job and get any work done when it's impossible to stand up after sitting down? How will he eat lunch? How will he get his own drink?  How will he find any of his own supplies? 

Man Flu fact #1: Going to the doctor is for sissies. 

Lo and behold, I contracted this cold because my husband is all about sharing. Sharing is caring, unless it's a cold. But what happens when a wife/mother gets a cold? NOTHING.  I had all of his symptoms. Same. And somehow, nothing in my world changed. I still home schooled, cleaned, cooked, chauffeured and made him more comfortable. Did I mention that we had the same symptoms?  

Man Flu fact #2: All colds are equal, but man colds are more debilitating than others.

So the weekend rolled around, and Jamie's symptoms were getting worse and so did the dramatics.  I finally insisted that if he wasn't going to the doctor, I didn't want to hear him complain anymore.  He went to work Sunday night, came home in a zombie-like state and FINALLY determined that he would skip work Tuesday and go to the doctor. And what was the diagnosis after ignoring (certainly not verbally but in the sense of not doing anything about it) his cold? Pneumonia.  And what was his response? "See I told you I was really sick."

Man Flu fact #3: Men will only acknowledge the seriousness of their final diagnosis without acknowledging that going to the doctor initially (as their wives suggested) would have prevented the said serious diagnosis. 

So then comes the guilt.  With my cold still in tact, I double-up on my servitude that's now on a full-time basis because he stayed home from work (because the doctor said so, not me...last week...when all this started). He alluded (in fun) many times that I should feel bad because I underestimated how horrible he really was feeling and made fun of his dramatics. There isn't a side-eye emoji big enough for how I feel about that sentiment. Yet somehow, I do feel guilty.  THIS WAS NOT MT FAULT. I had a cold, took care of everyone but myself, begged him to go to the doctor while giving him TLC, and I feel guilty. 

Man Flu fact #4: Women are to blame for the progression the cold even when they're the only ones who try to prevent that said progression.

So Friday is here, and I am about to collapse.  Ladies, give yourselves a pat on the back for standing by your men when they are sick. I understand the need for the whole "in sickness and health" part of the vows a couple takes in marriage.  It's a big deal to love someone through being sick.  It truly is a blessing to be able to take care of my husband when he is ill.  It means a lot to me that he trusts me when he is at his worst and most vulnerable.  I joke a lot about this, but I wouldn't have it any other way; however, I wouldn't be sad if something like the woman flu just happened to make an appearance at our house.  The only problem with that: nothing would get done in the house and after I felt better I would have to put everything back again. So. Not. Worth. It. It's better to just fight through the pain. 

Man Flu fact #5: Women are the glue that holds everything together; however, don't let them know that you know that.