I WAS A VICTIM OF THE DREADED MAN FLU!

The dreaded man flu can strike at the most unexpected moment

GETTING SICK

I am rarely sick - maybe once a year at the very most, and this might be a good thing because I'm not a great patient - I hate being unwell and I want to be back on my feet and getting on with life rather than swanning around on my sick bed with a cold compress clutched to my fevered brow.

I'm also the world's worst nurse - my family have an understanding that they get 3 days of sympathy a year from me - that's all I can manage - and preferably spread out over the year, not all in one hit. Sick people are hard work and I'm just not cut out for the role of care-giver. I think it's a fall-out from my childhood where we were told to "go outside and bleed on the grass - don't get it on the carpet!" I guess that can have a lasting impact on one's pschye.

CATCHING A COLD

Last week I caught a cold. It wasn't just any cold, I'm sure it was the dreaded Man Flu that we hear so much about. One minute I was at work doing a million things at once, the next I was feeling a bit off colour, and before I knew it, my nose started to run.

man flu (noun) an illness that causes the male to be helpless and Sicker than any other family member. In females: a cold

DAY1

Now everyone gets runny noses, but this was the type where somebody turned a tap on in my sinuses and they just started pouring! I was churning through tissues like nobody's business - my husband gave me a bin bag to put them in because they were soggy and horrible and I was up and down to the rubbish bin every two minutes. So the tissue box got moved next to me, then the bin bag, then the heater was cranked up, then the knee blanket and the comfy pants.

I sat reading a book, upright in a chair to stop my head clagging, and trying to whine quietly - I was such a pathetic specimen! Bleary eyed, red nosed, and miserable - yes, it was definitely a full blown case of Man Flu.

DAY 2

I was in total "Poor Me" mode and deteriorating rapidly. As fast as I was blowing my nose, it was also running down the back of my throat and pooling in my stomach (gross!) Then the coughing started, then the sneezing started, my eyes were running, my sinuses were throbbing, even my legs ached (for some weird and unknow reason - probably one of the less heard about side effects of Man Flu?)

Fortunately my husband has the sympathy gene (and has also experienced Man Flu himself, so he is aware of how serious a malady it can be) so he was able to pat me now and then and check I hadn't died. He did decide to sleep in the spare room to avoid listening to me blow my nose all night and stayed out of the room for the majority of the time to avoid the bugs.

DAY 3

After the second night of misery I noticed my flooding sinuses had eased off a little. After waking on the hour every hour for two nights, I woke around 4am and only had to blow my poor red nose once or twice. The tissue pile on the floor next to the bed diminished a little and I knew there was hope in sight. My hot and cold internal thermostat was still a bit out of kilter but there was light at the end of the tunnel.

During the last two days I'd also been lamenting the fact that we were due to visit our grandgirls in a few days and I needed to be well or we'd have to cancel the trip. I did consider the possibility of driving up there and sitting on the patio looking forlornly in at them through the window, but that was just sick, sad me whining again and having my very own pity party (pity parties are another side effect of Man Flu!).

DAY 4

Hallelujah!! The sun broke through clouds, the angels sang and all started becoming right in my world! The Man Flu had subsided into an ordinary cold and I was back on my feet and ready to face life again. It's amazing what a reasonable night's sleep and a few less nose blows does for a person's morale!

It  might also be due to the fact that I'm a woman and Man Flu doesn't impact me with such intensity? Perhaps it was just a bad cold after all and I only needed a few days to be on the mend. I've been told that Man Flu is a "very serious illness" and not to be confused with a common cold - or does it just manifest differently depending on the gender of the infected person?


SIDE NOTE:

We ended up postponing our trip to see the grandies for a week - better safe than sorry, especially when their aunty called to say that she had been struck down too. So now we plan for a visit this weekend and are looking forward to it even more - and I know I won't be carrying any residual germs along with me to be worried about leaving behind.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Have you been struck down by any maladies lately? Have you noticed that a cold is experienced differently depending on the person who has it? Are you a whiner or do you soldier on?

The dreaded man flu can strike at the most unexpected moment

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55 comments

  1. All of my colds are Man Flu, I think. You had a very short cold - I only think I've had that short duration of illness once, here in Vietnam. I think the tropics cut the viruses short.

    I am a horrible patient, but I'm not too demanding. I will not get out of bed, I will complain, but I won't ask you to do things for me. Unless you're going out already.

    My husband doesn't even notice if he's sick. He complains about a sore throat maybe once, sleeps in one morning, and that's it. He's a champ. I have therefore never seen the Man Flu in an actual man.

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    1. I thought I'd conquered it in four days Red - but it has come back to take me through the final stages. The whole 7 days for a cold thing seems to be true after all. I'm not whining though and I'm sucking up going to work - so I'm tougher than I thought :)

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  2. I'm not a very good patient, and tend to soldier on Leanne and I'm glad to hear you are okay. I remember leaving a job with $15,000 worth of accrued sick leave which wasn't paid out unfortunately - I should have taken a 'sickie' but that isn't in my genes. My daughter and one of my running friends came down with something similar but it didn't go away and they both had to resort to antibiotics. I bet you are really looking forward to seeing the grandbabies now you are fit and healthy again. Have a great week! xx

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    1. I don't want to even think of the tens of thousands of dollars of sick leave I haven't used Sue. I push on through and feel guilty if I take time off. This cold has decided to linger a little longer and I've taken a couple of hours off this week - but really, it's a case of head down and push through for us girls isn't it?

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    2. Sometimes I think we let the guilt rule, to our own detriment, Leanne. I remember one boss telling me I wouldn't get any thanks for turning up sick! Hope you are feeling better as it is #MLSTL day!

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  3. That was a very funny post that made me laugh. But it wasn't so nice for you so I hope you're feeling better now. I had to laugh about your lack of a sympathy gene - i'm like that too. I think it comes from not whining much yourself and therefore having no patience with complaining.

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    1. I'm a great believer in the old "soldier on" approach Kalpanaa - so when other people are being sick, sad and pathetic I don't have a lot of time for them. I probably need to work on that part of my character more!

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  4. I'm glad you're on the mend Leanne, it sounds like you had a nasty one. Definitely man flu. Definitely.
    Good on you for resting, I'm a huge fan of sick leave - it's there for a reason - and when I had a cold recently my colleagues were very thankful I took the week off!! Enjoy your weekend visit with those gorgeous granddaughters (and their parents) xx

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    1. I took a couple of hours off today Sue - my sinuses are still clagged and I sound pretty clagged on the phone. I really thought I'd kick it to the kerb in a few days, but colds have a habit of settling in for at least a week. I will definitely be rested up and ready for those grandgirls on Saturday!!

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  5. I totally get you Leanne! I'm not a patient person or a particularly caring one when others are sick so I know what you mean. I d hope you are feeling better now and I must say I enjoyed reading of this account of Man Flu more than I should have!

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    1. It was fun to take the mickey out of myself a bit Debbie - when you're feeling a bit "poor me-ish" it's always good to have a laugh. And I have no sympathy - even for myself it seems!

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  6. Hi, Leanne - I'm sorry to hear that you were so sick. Wise choice to postpone your visit with your grandchildren. I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better and have re-booked your visit!

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    1. I'm getting there Donna - the trouble with colds is that there are always stages to work through - I'm still a bit clogged up but I'm sure I'll be well and truly ready for some grandbaby snuggles by Saturday!

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  7. Leanne - sorry to hear you are feeling ill. You've managed to turn the man flu into another great post!

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    1. Thanks Janet - a part of being a bad patient is being able to see myself being pathetic and to laugh it off :)

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  8. Glad To Read, Through It All, You're On The Mends!
    What A Way To Spend A Good Labor Day Holiday.
    Take Care And May There Be Sunny Skies Your Way Today!

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    1. Thanks Amy - the bonus is that in Australia our Labour Day is in a different month - so I didn't miss any long weekend holidays while I was down and out x

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  9. Ugh. I hate being sick! But I'd take the flu any time over nausea! Double ugh!
    Glad you're on the mend and have little grandbabies almost in sight!

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    1. I always hope there might be some weightloss associated with nausea Diane - no luck so far, but there's always hope for a silver lining! Colds have no linings - silver or otherwise :(

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  10. As a former Pharmaceutical sales rep, I hit the drugs at the first sign of a sniffle because I can't stand my own whining! Bleed on the grass, will be laughing about that all day! Glad you are on the mend.

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    1. Yes I come from strong maternal stock Haralee - seriously, that bleed on the lawn comment was a regular occurance growing up (along with not being sick on the floor!)

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  11. Hope you get well soon, Leanne! But I did enjoy your humor in this despite you feeling badly! No one is EVER sicker than a man, so don't you forget that, girl! LOL!!

    Lori Jo - 50 With Flair
    www.50withflair.com

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    1. Sometimes you just have to laugh Lori Jo - or I'd just put myself to bed and not get up again! I was so sad to miss seeing our grandbabies last week, so I'm hoping all goes well for this weekend.

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  12. Unfortunately I've been sick too much as of late. I work with elementary school children and they love to share their germs. The runny nose thing is miserable. For me, it usually goes to my lungs as I have asthma. And then I cough for months on end.

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    1. Hi Leah - our daughter is a high school teacher and she says the same thing - the students share their germs around and she always gets it and then gets really sick by the end of term and it takes all her mid term holidays to recover and go back and do it all again!

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  13. I showed the Hubs your headline and he literally rolled his eyes at me and then proceeded to tell me how absolutely pitiful I am when I'm sick. He's not totally wrong...Glad to hear you are on the mend.

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    1. My husband would say the same about me Kim - mind you he seems to have mental blinkers when it comes to remember his pathetic-ness when sick (or his propensity for snoring!)

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  14. I would say that you didn't have man flu, but real flu. In my experience, man flu has always been just a little bit of sniffles and then loud and continuous complaining for a week even though the sniffles only lasted one week. And usually man flu doesn't start until said man's spouse is sick, has food poisoning or is recovering from an operation.

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    1. That made me smile Jennifer - I couldn't agree more about the sick wife part - the number of times I just start to recover and then have to turn my sympathy button on because my husband has gotten sick or one of the kids in the good old days! I'm hoping it doesn't happen this time because then he'll re-infect me and it'll be a trip on the runny nose merry-go-round!

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  15. Glad you're feeling better, Leanne. Enjoy your upcoming weekend with your granddaughters.

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    1. I'm hanging out for it Natalie! Getting sick sucks even more when it means you miss out on treats :(

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  16. Oh my gosh Leanne - the dreaded Man Flu! I'm so relieved you have survived! LOL A thoroughly enjoyable read, even though I am very sorry you've been unwell. Interestingly, I have a certain person home today sick with MAN FLU and my sympathy gene is just like yours! I do hope that the Man Flu is not passed on to me! Enjoy your upcoming visit with those gorgeous granddaughters! :-) xo

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    1. My husband would tell you that Man Flu is an extremely serious ailment Min, so gird your loins and prepare your tea tray and sympathetic face so you can cater to your poor husband's needs during this dire time (is there a tongue in cheek emoji??)

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  17. Yep, it got me this year too. I've been over the cold for a couple of weeks but the dry cough and asthma is still hanging around. Ugh. Definitely man flu. As an aside, I'm a shocking patient too - and make sure that everyone is as miserable as I'm feeling.

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    1. I think it's important to let everyone know how sick you are Jo - that way (when you don't get sick very often) you can milk a little sympathy back from all the days of it you dish out to everyone else! It definitely sucks the energy levels for a couple of weeks.

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  18. I haven't had a cold or flu this year (she says cautiously because you know it's never too late). This is the first year in ages without a flu injection too so perhaps it is a case of more good luck than good management. I did have a 24 hour feeling that one might be coming on but an early night, a couple of panadol and I was OK.
    Like you I am low on sympathy for others but soak it up when it is directed at me ;-)

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    1. I thought I'd managed a year without any bugs Jan - but the dreaded lurgy got me when I was least suspecting. I hate it when it happens at a bad time too - missing out on family time because of a stupid cold is SO annoying! I hope you stay flu free - fingers crossed!

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  19. I'm glad you're feeling better. Sorry you had a few horrid days.
    Your post reminded me of my ex. When he was sick, the world came to a stop. Terry cloth robe, hot tea and honey, reclining on the couch, letting the world cater to him. When he had a tooth pulled, he was out in the parking lot, banging on the hood of the car because he was in such agony and ended up in bed for the next two days. Two years later I had a tooth pulled. Took the baby (a few months old) to the dentist with me in the carrier. Came home (still with the baby) and started caring for both children (Chris 4 years old) and cooking dinner.
    Sharing on SM for MLSTL

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    1. I loved that story of your ex Trisha - what a man baby!! It's so true that women just soldier on because there's no sick leave when you're a Mum. I remember lying on the couch feeling like rubbish but still present so I could watch our kids - my daughter came up and patted me every now and then (I think to check that I was still alive!)

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  20. Good to hear your man flu didn't last too long Leanne. Fortunately I haven't been struck down this year. I put it down to taking Vit C tabs daily all year round and an orange a day. Not sure if that's the reason but it seems to be working so I'm sticking with it. For me this year has. Ren more about injury than illness. Enjoy your time with the brandies #MLSTL Shared on SM

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    1. I tend to be reasonably cold free most years Jennifer - but this one snuck up on me and stole my family time - so doubly annoying! I guess I'm less active than you so avoid the injury side of things, so an occasional cold is pretty small potatoes.

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  21. Just popped back to say I’ve shared this for #mlstl on Twitter, Pinterest, Mix and flipboard. Hope you’re over it now 😊

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    1. Thanks Deb - I appreciate you sharing and getting into the vibe of #MLSTL :)

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  22. The trouble with you Leanne, is that you have a long memory, like the elephant, you never forget.
    I’m sorry if you were told to go outside and bleed on the lawn, but you must admit it was good advice, as it would have saved a lot of effort trying to get the blood stains out of the carpet. It is called tough love. Now you know that it was definitely inherited from your loving mother!!

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    1. I think I just heard it a lot and it stuck in my memory (I must have been a bit of a bleeder!) The tough love was definitely handed down and I don't think any of us suffered unduly from not being overdosed on sympathy xx

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  23. Another thing we have in common, Leanne. I rarely get sick and have a hard time when others are sick. There are several nurses in my family, but I can't even imagine lasting a day in that career. When I am sick, I don't really want to be fussed over either. Go ahead and ask me how I'm feeling and if I need anything--once--then just let me be. Growing up in our family, if you got sick, you went straight to your room. Food was served to you in bed, and you were allowed to lounge and play to your hearts' content, but don't infect the rest of the family. #MLSTL

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    1. I'd make a terrible nurse Christie - all those sick and whinging people would do my head in. I'm actually not bad with genuinely sick people but my patience just wears thin after a while - usually around the time they start getting a bit better and are just annoying! I love that we have so many commonalities :)x

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  24. Fortunately I've never fallen into the vise of man cold but unfortunately my husband has. Lol.
    There is a really funny video about this on YouTube. https://youtu.be/Sn4BDdQyX_c
    I'm glad you are better!

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    1. That was a great video - and sums it up really well and gave me a smile. Men can be such babies can't they? It was a great description for the difference between men and women when we get sick :)

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  25. I had to laugh at your description of empathy that you have...I am the same way. Totally!!
    Luckily both my hubby and I don't get sick often either. But the only thing good about it is I realize how good i feel the rest of the time!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. Someone once said that to me Jodie - that you don't appreciate being pain free until you're in pain - and it's the same with being sick isn't it? I'm so glad I'm not a regular cold catcher or I'd just go to bed for Winter and shut the door!

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  26. I love this so much!

    I really enjoy your blog so I nominated you for a blogger recognition award.

    https://michelleonyourside.com/2018/09/06/blogger-recognition-award/

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words and your lovely offer to nominate me for the recognition Michelle.

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  27. OMG this post was great! I hate being sick, too.. it feels like I'm wasting so much time when I could be doing a million other things! I read your bio and you sound like someone who would totally "get" me... our oldest just began university and I'm starting menopause... argh! Would love to connect! From The Blogger's Pitstop.

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    1. I'm so glad you liked it Denise - if you can't laugh at your own foibles then life is pretty sad indeed! I'm glad you felt a connection and I hope you'll be back for more - and perhaps even join our Wednesday Midlife Link Party x

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