When I'm sick, I go quiet. I shut down. I fight like hell not to get sick but then when I realize I really am, I fold like cheap paper in the wind. Or I flop like Chris Bosh in the 4th quarter. Either way, I'm down for the count. I take to my bed with a pot of tea and whatever sleep-inducing drug of choice is appropriate and I'll holla in a day or two. Those days of "powering through" and "sucking it up"? Unless I'm absolutely required to be somewhere? Done.
Not talking cramps or a throat tickle here. I'm that person who sat on a six-hour flight with walking pneumonia praying my ears and lungs didn't explode thinking it was just a sinus flare-up. I'm the person who thought an intestinal virus was just "a little food poisoning" and I could "work through" it. I'm the chick who just thought she was "getting headaches" only to have my doctor say if I didn't slow my ass down, she was putting me in the hospital on "stroke watch." How's that for sobering verbiage? [Allow me to take a moment to thank my folks for the genetic jackpot of ailments they gifted me with :-/]
My experience with ailing men has been...
frustrating enlightening. There is first the complete unwillingness to admit that they could, indeed with all of their penis-having superpowers, fall prone to illness. I, unfortunately, have the uncanny ability to pick up any floating bug or virus looking for a host. So I don't appreciate a bruh being hugged up on me while assuring me that he's fine when he's really gifting me with the influenza strain from hell... Sorry, bad flashback, moving on.
Every time I hear a man say, "I don't get sick" - I cringe. Because you do get sick, sir. You just don't admit it. Once dude admits the illness "I think I'm coming down with something", it's like the entire world has come to an end. Normally self-reliant "I got this" men become something entirely different. Either they go full-blown martyr "Don't worry about me, I'll muddle through." Or they get needy. "Can you bring me some soup, and a spoon, and room temperature ginger ale? And the remote?"
My dude has been fighting off a cold for weeks. We both are but his brilliant decision to go out in the rain with the fellas to help Jay do some sort of home repair? Brilliant. (Putting aside the fact that these guys were pushing their DIY skills and they could afford to hire someone. Putting. That. Aside.) But six grown-assed men standing in the rain for four hours in the dark (while accomplishing nothing) has unleashed a small version of hell on the women that care about them.
Here were the six stages of illness:
1. Arguing about what it was. "It's just a cold." "No, once you have fever and a mix of symptoms, it's viral." "How do you know? Are you a doctor? No, are you?"
2. Arguing about how to cure it. "It's starve a cold, feed a fever." "No it's starve a fever, feed a cold." "Either way, you have both and you need to eat to take these meds."
3. Arguing over the meds. "I don't like Theraflu, it knocks me out." "That's the point." "You just want me to go to sleep." "Now we're getting somewhere, drink up."
4. Arguing over severity. "I'm not that bad." *hacking cough, hacking cough, sneeze, sneeze* "Right, I can tell but until the fever breaks, stay where you are." "Will you stay with me?" "What happens if I say no?"
5. Arguing over acceptance. "You know what, I feel like crap." "You don't say?" "Have some sympathy, woman." "Have some more Nyquil, man."
6. Arguing over recovery. "So now I can get up and get some hot wings with the fellas, right?" "I hate you." "What I do?" "I should have spiked your Nyquil and oh, you're welcome."
Even the most confirmed of confirmed bachelors wants a woman to bring him food and hold his hand when his throat is scratchy. We finally set up a round robin system where Nyquil, ginger tea, fruit, echinacea, soup & sandwiches were dispersed in six hour intervals. Jayme's housekeeper was slipped an undisclosed early Christmas bonus to assist with sheet-changing, bathroom recovery and kitchen sink cleansing for five homes. I won't even talk about the whining. I won't. I'll just let you imagine. We bit our tongues to keep from pointing out that they owed us, big time, and Christmas is just around the corner.
Is it me or are some men the biggest babies ever when they are "under the weather"? What do you do when you get sick? Do you give in? Ride it out? Ignore it? Drive everyone around you crazy? What's your go-to cold & flu remedy? Do tell.