Why is it when men get sick it’s a monumental event? They never seem to get the common cold, no no, it’s always borderline pneumonia. They lay themselves across the bed like they’re preparing for burial, yet they’ve no detectable fever and they have a surprisingly robust appetite for one so gravely ill….seems they just can’t get up to eat it. It has to be served, in their sick bed, next to the remote control.
My darling husband had such a bout recently, the poor baby. He woke up Saturday morning with a scratchy throat….and the voice (suitably enhanced) to go with it. There were no other symptoms, he just felt poorly for three days (the same three days that preempted him from golfing due to inclement weather…how’s that for lucky timing?) We had some prearranged family functions that he had to attend over the course of his illness and he managed them stoically, steadily making his way through the lovely meals and snacks, and partaking happily of the offered libations (for medicinal purposes, of course) Unfortunately he was much too weak to finish mowing the back yard, or take out the garbage, or fold the laundry.
And when the cable on our bedroom tv went on the fritz he barely made it to the lazy-boy chair in the family room in time for the hockey game. (thank goodness he was able to muster up the strength) Of course once there, he collapsed into the chair unable to make his own drink. I even had to get his peanuts for him, poor baby. (Oh I do hope he survives this!!!!)
Ok Buster, here’s a reality check.
When the wife and mother gets the flu she has two options; 1) get over it, pronto, or 2) deal with it….and don’t let it interfere with any household routine, i.e. you still cook the meals, do the laundry, get the kids to school or hockey or ballet or whatever, you put out the garbage, buy the groceries, pack the lunches, clean the house and, like most women today, go to work full time. Taking time off for illness is not an option. (could that be why women live longer? We stay more active, we engage more on a daily basis…mmmm, food for thought)
Yesterday we had an appointment to get the snow tires put on our car, and he was deathly ill, could barely lift his head from the pillow. So I rearranged some appointments I had and took the car in, but only after bringing him his breakfast and cold medicine in bed. A few hours later I returned to find he was gone. The weather after three days had finally cleared so he went to the driving range to practice for his upcoming golf trip with the boys, the one scheduled for tomorrow in fact. I was afraid he’d have to cancel but wow! I’m happy so to report that my darling made a miraculous recovery and just in time. How lucky is that???
Why just a couple of hours ago he scarfed down two slices of pizza, a small of salad, (at my insistence) two rye and gingers, a bowl of peanuts, and a pack of M & M’s, then practically leapt out the front door to meet his ride….it’s card night with the boys.
What is it that motivates men to play up their illnesses? Is it that they need occasional validation that we’ll continue to look after them or just a deep seated desire to take a break and play helpless? And all men do it. The ‘man cold’ is legendary and I’ve yet to meet a woman who hasn’t fallen victim to nursing the ‘man cold’.
Now, there’s a case to be heard for males having a weaker respiratory system; they ‘feel’ the symptoms of a flu more deeply, and it apparently lasts longer for males. (who made these findings…a male?) Personally, I think it’s all in the head. We ALL get viruses, and flu’s, and colds, and how we deal with that is individual. I suspect the mother instinct in women kicks in so we just take on the role of caregiver, and men love that attention. (how stupid are we?) On the other hand they do succumb to the simplest of ailments; it’s like they have no fight in them, especially as they age. Women, on the other hand, tough it out because life goes on and indulging illness is not an option, ever. As a result, we become stronger, more resilient, hence our longevity.
Thank God women live longer. It’s the only break we get!