I’ve got man flu. Well - to be honest - I am just recovering from an extremely nasty bout and I have found the strength to crawl to my keyboard to tell you about it.
Yes, I know that if you are a female reader you are probably rolling your eyes, shaking your head and tutting in disbelief. I imagine that you are also picturing a scenario similar to this:
If you are then shame on you. I have been poorly – very poorly.
On Monday I went to work and started sniffling and coughing slightly. On Tuesday, my sinuses were completely blocked and my head felt like somebody had stuffed tons of cotton wool into it through my ears and nose.
My throat felt as if somebody had forced my mouth open and sandblasted my gullet with maximum prejudice. At lunchtime I had to visit the dentist so I somehow dragged myself to my car and drove to have my teeth examined by a man who I feared needed a new set of golf clubs and would therefore find something wrong.
As I sat in his chair with my mouth open, ready for the invasion of metal objects he said “I’m sorry if I sniffle, I have a bout of man flu.”
His assistant – a woman – scoffed and tutted. I could feel her eyes watching us as he probed my teeth with his vicious dental instruments while telling me about how bad his sinuses were. We compared notes about our illnesses at the end as his assistant stormed out to the hygienist – another woman who I was due to see next – with the words “OH PURLEEESSE!” echoing from her disbelieving lips.
The hygienist had no sympathy. As she scraped my teeth she moaned and moaned.
“He’s been going on about his sinuses all morning. For God’s sake – IT’S ONLY A COLD!”
“But it’s man flu,” I said with my mouth full of more vicious instruments, so that it sounded more like “BUURRGGGHHHHH EEESSSSSSSS BAAAAANNNN BOOOOOOOO”.
I left with teeth scraped and polished. The hygienist shook her head and said “Men! Honestly!”
On my return to work, a work colleague said I sounded so bad that I should go home. I survived until four o’clock and drove home in the wind and rain feeling extremely sorry for myself and expecting nothing but trauma from Mrs PM when I arrived home.
And then it got worse. I found myself shivering and sweating at the same time and my head felt like it was going to explode. My throat felt like the driest desert on Mars and my hacking cough sounded like the noise made by a rabid monster. I was sneezing so much that I managed to use three whole toilet rolls.
I had no strength to protect myself from a rampant Liquorice, our beloved hellcat, who was using my hand to exercise her already formidable jaw.
Mrs PM was very sympathetic. She cooked my tea did her best to protect me from the cat. The only thing she couldn’t do was go to the toilet for me.
At 9pm I had had enough. I crawled upstairs and fell into bed in a heap.
I hoped that a good night of rest and slumber would defeat the man flu; it didn’t.
I awoke feeling even worse. Mrs PM jumped out of bed and rushed to work with no sign of illness whatsoever, leaving me to fester in a pit of self-pity and debility.
I called in sick, my first day off work due to illness for at least three years.
And I tell you what, dear reader.
If you are ill and off work, don’t you feel guilty?
Why is that?
I barely had the strength to crawl downstairs, fight off the hellcat and make myself a Lemsip before slumping on the sofa with a duvet and a remote control – yet I felt that I should be in work passing my germs to all the male members of the office (because we all know that women don’t get man flu).
Does man flu addle your brain that much?
Back in my sickbed (or more accuratley sick sofa) I watched three movies and was bored out of my brain.
The Lemsip helped and I had perked up by the evening, enough to be able to find my gloves and defend myself against Liquorice, who by now had started boasting about “the biggest prey she had ever felled”.
By bedtime I was much better and this morning I was well enough to go back to work.
All my male colleagues had sympathy. Female colleagues rolled their eyes and muttered “Men, honestly!”.
I spoke to my boss who told me that “Man flu is no myth”.
I decided to investigate this. I discovered an article that suggested that scientists have discovered that manly men, i.e. those with high levels of testosterone, have a weaker immune system and are therefore more susceptible than women to a whole range of bacterial and viral infections.
Dear female reader - note the words: "more susceptible than women to a whole range of bacterial and viral infections."
So there is proof that man flu really does exist.
And I am recovering from it and have the strength (and testosterone) to be able to tell you about by the media of a very silly but painfully true blog post.
Guys – I know you know how I feel and sympathise.
Ladies – you need to be kinder to your man when he catches this evil little man flu bug.
He really is ill – honestly.
And if I catch you shaking your head and rolling your eyes, I will set my hellcat on you.