Monday, January 05, 2009

Man Flu

Man Flu, what is this? It keeps popping up all over the place. It was mentioned in the Times today in some wishy washy article that I read while dribbling snot into yet another limp hanky. ( i have a filthy cold)
The article in question is a weird one, mildly condescending and twee in equal measure. Are men really so wimpy and selfish? Are women really pramagatic warriors who battle on no matter what the ache and pain?
Not this woman.
It is one of life's great irks to hear people say 'I've got a touch of flu' or 'I had flu last week and couldn't come to work for a day or two.' Or whatever. Having a touch of flu is like having a touch of pregnancy. You can't, you either have flu or you have not.
If you HAVE flu then you'll know all about it. I have had flu exactly once in my life and believe you me, there is no mistaking its 'symptoms' for they will include not being physically able to lift your wracked/shivering/vomiting/shitting/too hot/too cold/semi-blind/semi-deaf/hallucinating and more vomiting body out of bed for the best part of 7-10 days. It is NOTHING like a cold- and you can get some really nasty colds, I know. But flu? Flu is serious business, flu can kill you, and no amount of Lemsip Max Strength ( it sorts the men from the boys?? really?) is going to save you.
If flu is kind enough to not kill you it will most definitely incapacitate you for a while. My abiding memory of flu is being eight or nine year old and managing to crawl from the toilet to the kitchen where I lay in a chair, alternatively rattling hard enough to hurt my teeth, sweating through my second set of jammies. I was unfortunately found by Gamma's husband who declared he could 'fix me' with some concoction of stew.
I told him, through gritted teeth, that I could not keep any such mixture down, but he poo-pooed that notion and went about creating his 'cure all'
Upon being presented with a cup of some filmy orange gloop I again made my feeble protests, but he was not to be told.
'Get it down you.' he said, 'it will do you good.'
So I drank it.
It slithered down my fevered throat, sloshed into my empty churning hissing stomach where heated by gases and bacteria it became molten lava and then it did what I predicted it would. It came back up on me, him, the chair, the fire place, the blanket, the kitchen table and quite frankly anything within a six metre radius.
It took almost four days for that fever to break and another four before I was approaching anything remotely like well. Poor Gamma had it worse, she was truly walloped with it, almost two weeks worth, after which she had lost almost one third of her body weight.
So what I'm saying is should anyone tell you they've had a touch of flu or flu over the weekend you are to wap them one upside the head. I still don't know what man flu is, but I'm guessing it's not dissimilar to road rage or PMS, you know, a learned behaviour accepted by the masses, tolerated and mocked in sneering contempt. But real flu it most definitely ain't.



Anonymous sheepworrier said...

I'm not too sure what man flu is either, but i've definitely had something like it for the past week or so. I DEMAND SYMPATHY!!

Btw, happy new year FMC and peeps.

10:13 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Happy New Year to you Sheepie, I hope you had a delightful few days off- not including the ...ahem, flu, of course.

* pours soothing sympathy on*

10:19 a.m.  
Anonymous morgor said...

Got a cold too and my girlfriend refusing to listen when I say I don't feel like doing something because it's a "man-flu" excuse.

kind of irritating.

I followed your link to that article and it is quite horrible.

10:26 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Its horribly reductive Morgor. Colds are minging, they make you feel quite miserable. Hope you are not feeling to crook.

* makes fresh pot of sympathy*

10:43 a.m.  
Blogger Kim Ayres said...

Man flu is purely the idea that "while women get colds, men get the flu" And yes it is a condscending idea of wimpy selfish men, who exaggerate everything in order to get bucketloads of sympathy.

Personally I get man-typhoid...

12:18 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

Then there's "whiskey flu" which is the perfect description of one of those dizzying hangovers.

I'm awful when I'm sick. Not whiny and looking for sympathy so much as really, really pissed off that my body would betray me in such a way.

Back to work today after almost two full weeks off. NOW I'm whiny and looking for sympathy!

12:37 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

I don't actually do the sympathy thing either when im properly sick - I'd rather just be left on my own, buried in several layers of blankets with shitty daytime telly and a large mug of tea.

12:43 p.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

Oh I remember those symptoms quite well, me at 15 out of school for three weeks, people telling me how lucky I was to have all that time off, seeing things when there was nothing there, shaking so violently, and then to top it off getting pleurisy just after I had gotten over the worst of it and having to get the gick drained with a humongous needle in the hospital, "try not to move" they told me, "gee thanks I said" when they showed me the infected gick which was contained in the syringe.
I do get PMS though, or PMT or whatever, I call it the rage, or rageous, I am feeling rageous, I also get this when I am hungry and someone is delaying my eating. I don't however blame the PMS/T on things, I just use it to explain to myself why oh why did I fly off the handle so easily when flow comes to town a few days later. Also I get very weepy, crying at adverts and the like. Sure it's great being a woman, at least we don't get the man-flu eh?

12:47 p.m.  
Anonymous morgor said...

oh i get that hunger thing too.

It's ridiculous how quickly it comes upon me too, I'll be fine, then my stomach gurgles and that's it.


I quite literally drop whatever I am doing and find food at any cost because I get shaky and very short-tempered.(and I'm normally quite placid)

1:06 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

* makes VAT of sympathy for folk back in work and suffering from various ailments up to and including pleurisy and typhoid*

I concur with the annoyance at being sick. I always feel let down by my cuerpo when ill. I sort of take it very personally although I'd rather be left alone to sulk and ponder mortality.

I am developing a cold sore too, and I hate those with a passion. Oh a pox on it, the poxy thing.

1:16 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Morgor, Babs, that could well be a serious drop in your sugar levels. Especially if you're shaky with it, or get a headache. You should keep a sack of scooby snacks on hand to stave off that sort of thing.

1:17 p.m.  
Anonymous morgor said...

hmm, never considered that it could be due to sugar levels before.

gives me a great excuse to be the biscuit demon that I already am ;)

1:32 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

Articles like the link act like the gender police. Women do all the shit work! Men don't care about anyone but themselves!

2:39 p.m.  
Blogger Manuel said...

I got man flu once......I fell asleep and woke up in an episode of Men behaving Badly, it was really quite horrible. I haven't had man flu since......I get colds now....

3:00 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

URGH Manuel, I hope Clunes was kind to you.

I know Medbh, terrible, doesn't it patronize the shit out of everyone.

Cold sore appears to be growing by the hour, eep.

3:13 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Ever seen How to Get Ahead in Advertising FMC? I'd start getting worried about that cold sore if I were you...

3:25 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I have and if it starts talking to me I may have to break one of the New Year's resolutions earlier than planned.

4:15 p.m.  
Anonymous problemchildbride said...

I'm just done moaning at Dev through my 3rd day of the cold. I moaned her right the way back on the plane. I noticed she didn't look back. I tried not to notice her breaking into a gallop.

7:31 p.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

FMC & Morgor - I have to keep a bag of jellies in my lil car at ALL times because a few times I have fainted from it (not while driving but once on an incredibly packed DART) went to the doc and they said "hey Babs, well you should really be diabetic but somehow with all these tests you aren't, so keep some jellies or fruit in your car in case you feel the weak and hungry thing coming on". Unfortunately now all my friends know that they are in the glove box and incredibly get the munchies the second they get inside the feckers, but I always have my multipack in the boot, just in case.
I get seriously rageous from lack of food, but sometimes can go a whole day without eating (by accident) and it doesn't happen. Once I was so angered in Bewleys because of it that I totally freaked out at the girl who was making the sambos, she told me they had no bread left, I was like "this is a f*cking BAKERY of COURSE you have bread" and threw down my tray. Oops!

9:09 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Don't worry Sam, she was too busy trying to ignore the herd of goats in her peripheral vision to look back.

Babs, I recommed Haribo Fizzy colas to be hidden in the car and about your person in various places at ALL TIMES. No seriously, it's amazing how unwell or odd or irrational you can feel if your blood sugar dips too low. I've fainted from it and could barely function other times, even to the point of getting teary and inchoherent. But that was many years ago, these days I'm much better in my scoffing habits. And I work here do I'm always near a fridge.

9:55 p.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

FMC I am quite partial to the Natural Confectionery Company planes and cars one (don't know why I like the shape of these ones the best but I do!). I have become totally ridiculous from the blood sugar dips before, fighting with people and all, I remember one incident involving me being delayed from eating dinner by my friend who I was living with at the time so we could go get an Xmas tree, cue massive row when we finally get home after an hour and a half, he actually said to me "I am NOT having this conversation until you are rational again, go eat something now"...I did, and the fight was over.
It scared me when I fainted a few times, so now I am more careful and make sure that I have eaten.
I think this is part of my PMT/S thing as well, because you apparently need more food etc the week before your period comes, this is generally where I fall flat, forget to eat (well apart from eating peoples heads off in an argument) and generally cry at everything, tis great!

10:14 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Oh the NCC UnBREARably sours are so yummy. What good jelly taste you have Babs

10:27 p.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

Well I do try...maybe if I buy the shit ones my friends won't steal them when blagging lifts everywhere from me! (hmmm...I think it might work, I can put the crap ones in the glove box and keep the good ones hidden somewhere else they will never find them!)

12:40 a.m.  
Blogger PI said...

Well said! I hope you are better soon.

9:03 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Oh Pat, I'm a dribbling wooshing mess.

10:07 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Yes, I too had a dose of the snots, picked up in the capital while on a brief foray in the pre-Christmas splurge. It has now retreated into a defensive stronghold in my sinuses. I have avoided the coldsore thing by keeping my hands away from my face, even in my sleep. An absent minded scratch is all those lurking bastards need to go on the rampage.

Had that gastric flu as a youngster, not funny.

12:48 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you seen this lovely youtube? Explains everything!

By the way, I love reading your running posts!

Cheers Becky
PS If the link doesn't link, you tube man flu....

1:24 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Setzen, sechs!

2:08 p.m.  
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