I’m not feeling great. Well obviously that’s debatable – I’m suffering from man flu. Ask a man like myself and it’s the worst thing that’s ever happened. Ask anyone else including other men not currently suffering and you’d be accused of being a wuss. It’s a silly name because it’s not even flu. It’s just a pretty rough cold.
I’m (un)fortunate enough to have some particularly rubbish and open sinuses. I blame years of previous rough man-flu sessions or some other one of my many inconvenient medical quirks (nothing major just awkward oddities with my body function). The effect of these rubbish sinuses is that the minute a cold occurs it starts to pour all the badness down my throat – my nostrils themselves are often clear but a sore croaky throat and crappy cough are front and centre. Along with all the usual aches and lethargies throughout and a lot of big manly sniffing.
Let’s be clear though – most men still classify a difference between the common cold and man-flu. I’ll often work through a common cold with an assortment of over the counter tablets at horrendous prices. The man-flu when it strikes disables me completely into a whinging groaning lump (more so than I usually am har har).
I’m currently stuck on the sofa sipping water and spluttering. My little lad Fred (who is the original source of illness – no idea where he got it from) is piling cushions on me, giggling, jumping on top of those and shouting “Daddy’s house”. Full of beans as ever, well past the bulk of his man-flu stint and not at all aware of my grizzly status (apart from the fact he seemed concerned Daddy wasn’t switching from big to wearing his little glasses today (contact lenses)).
I struggled to believe parenting was as hard as people made it out to be until I became one, to be honest I still think some people over egg it a fair bit but I guess everyone’s circumstances are different. I do have a much more adult perspective on it than when I was younger (and our Fred is still a little toddler not a teenager yet). But when you’re suffering more than usual with a cold, you still can’t really get a break. My wife being as fantastic as she is is handling the bulk of it but even then you can stop him kicking me in the back all night or waking up mega early when I’m already exhausted. Or even his amazing infinite amounts of energy as he charges about when all I want to to is curl up and grumble for a bit.
The flip side though – is how amazingly beneficial his chirpy smile and interactions and giggles are al day for making you feel better. The “Daddy Cuddle” he randomly asks for and even when it’s painful the bouncing on the cushions on my head is hilarious.
Family aside being ill sucks. Even at deaths door (as if, it’s just man-flu!!!) and a contagious wreck I hate missing work. I hate day time TV (mostly CBeebies nowadays). And I hate sitting around feeling sorry for myself. I often make the mistake of getting back to the office as soon as possible and having a second wind of illness to deal with (and the unfairness of inflicting then cold on my colleagues). I’ve always struggled to relax, rest and feel better unless it’s a Sunday morning but that’s exactly what you should be doing when your ill. I’d like to try and blame society and work pressure, the British way, stiff upper lips, the modern “man-up” phrase and concept that I despise and all sorts of other things that are stupid in the modern world – but I reality I’m probably just putting the pressure on myself as who cares. I’m ill. I need to get better end of.
Next time your I’ll and suffering and worried about what you’re not doing. Stop it. Shut that brain up and just stick with getting better. We’d all benefit from doing so. I often find we just need to remind ourselves of it.
I’m off to build a Lego plane or cushion fort (Daddy’s big house) that I can sit in and feel better with my little monkey.