Why Men Don’t Get It – Chapter 4: The Man Flu

You may have noticed I haven’t blogged for a week.  I’m a bad blogger. If I was a puppy you’d be rubbing my nose in it. If my blog is my baby, then fine. Call me a neglectful parent.  Call me a gamblerholic who’s left my blog locked in the car at the casino in 36 degree heat.

But look, sometimes stuff happens. Like vomit.

And sometimes other stuff happens, like headaches. And sore throats. And runny noses. And coughs. And aching, aching bodies.

It’s true. While the world has been turning, while the Socceroos have been struggling in SA, while troops in Afghanistan have been dying, and while deputy PM’s have been plotting to do some rug pulling, I’ve been sicker than Marilyn Manson with a nose bleed eating his own toenail clippings.

Yep, that’s pretty sick.

And wrong.

And that is how I’ve been feeling all week.  Hence the blog-less week that’s been.

Well there’s that, and the fact that I’ve had 4 extra people living at my house, including 2 children under the age of 2. That alone would render you almost useless to do much thinking… let alone sitting still for an hour to write.

There’s a reason they call getting sick Coming Down.  Coming down with the flu, or a cold, or a chest infection.  Because it’s as if your body has just been dumped and fired all on the same day. Your body is no good to anybody. Not even somebody, and especially not everybody.

Now when you’re a man and you feel like this, of course you remind every person you come into contact with during that ‘sick period’ that you are a futile human. Less of a man, and therefore, in need of much care and attention until once again your faculties are restored and you are made whole. 100% man once more, after which time you can recall to others your ‘sickness.’

And as you recount those days of horror, you remember what a brave soldier you were, suffering the way you did, and what manly ways you used to fight and destroy the sickness that bound you.

HOWEVER when you’re a woman – it’s not just a different story, it’s a different author from a library far, far away.

I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a drama queen when I’m feeling bad. “Puh Huh. Puh Huh…” That was me after a scorching case of sunburn / sunstroke. A shivering pathetic bright red mess.

So perhaps I’m not the best person to be noting the major differences between men and women when we’re sick.  Especially when you consider I’ve been on the verge of self diagnosing a severe case of The Man Flu.

But I haven’t. Not yet.

Now when you have the Man Flu, movement is impossible. You have to lie still like a vegetable, or you will never get better. You have to have tissues at your side, along with substantial water or juice in order to properly replenish the fluids you’re losing through the cold sweats.  You also have to have some form of pain relief – Panadol, Codral, etc… as well as some kind of lozenge if the throat area happens to be affected by the Man Flu as well. These are always located on the bed side table, or lounge arm chair – depending on where the man in question has decided to spend his debilitated and delicate state recovering. And all of these items have been delivered to the side of the suffering patient because they are incapable of doing anything for themselves beyond involuntary bodily functions.


The same symptoms experienced by a woman however, do not necessarily mean the same diagnosis. Man Flu is reserved for those who choose to suffer in NON-silence. It’s very serious. Those indisposed are extremely fragile. It is an illness reserved for those who can’t possibly leave the confines of the couch, let alone the house.

When a woman with similar symptoms is sick, it’s just called the flu. Or – in some cases where a woman is determined to keep on going – just a bit of a cold. Nothing serious.  A woman will still be able to prepare her own meals, make her own bed, go to work, wash her own dirty dishes, get herself a drink, drive herself to the chemist/doctors, and basically function as usual. Movement? Of course – movement is necessary for function.


So. I have tried DESPERATELY to convince my husband this last week that I may be coming down with the Man Flu. That I am barely able to function. But he’s not buying it. Yesterday morning when I lay in bed, in those last few precious moments before you get verticle, I told him I wished I could stay in bed all day.

“But you can’t. I need you to tidy up outside and water the plants today, and you need to get on the computer and fix up that traffic infringement, and – since you’re last out of bed today, do you think you could make the bed?”

(Yep, we make our bed every day and we both get annoyed if last one out hasn’t made it).

On the rare occasion that my husband has the Man Flu, asking him to fix his own toast and vegemite is like asking him to tint my eyelashes. It’s a ridiculous idea to be baulked at.

So? My response to his suggestion that I get outside and channel Jamie Durie?

“Sure, no worries. Let me just clean away the green snotty tissues, and locate my green thumb. Stat.”

Umm, No! Actually to me that was a ridiculous idea. RIDICULOUS! We had words, and his suggestion to my feeling average was: try going to bed earlier.


See men just don’t get it. When they are sick, they are bearing the diseases of the world on their manly shoulders. When we get sick, we should just go to bed earlier and surely we should be fine….  Because our threshold for pain is clearly higher, and despite pain, we are usually expected to get on with it.

And THAT is why women give birth – not men. Good grief – can you imagine????????????

Today I’m feeling better. I actually ate lunch. And look! I’m blogging again.

But until next time I’m sick – hopefully not for AGES, I’m on the prowl for a female doctor who writes medical certificates for women sufferers of The Man Flu. And perhaps a prescription to boot that reads:

“DO NOTHING. Sleep. Relax. Get a massage. And a facial if it helps. Avoid all home maintenance and cease all activities aimed at assisting the males in your direct environment. After one week, if you’re not feeling better, come back and see me for a repeat, otherwise leave a note where the male will find it saying: Annoying isn’t it???



  1. Pingback: Is life a dress rehearsal for your next Facebook status update? « Cyclone Cindy
  2. Earl · August 21, 2012

    Only in married life?

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