The Man Flu
It all started with the kids getting sick. Poor Lochie has been sick as a dog with a high fever and chesty cough, Kaitie has now followed suit (and we've learned that when Kaitie is miserable, we're all miserable). We thought it would stay with the kids, we'd keep them in a drugged up stupor, they'd get over it and then we'd move on with our lives.
Then Paul got it.
I'll give him this, the guy is sick. I was sleeping soundly when suddenly Paul comes staggering into the room clutching his head in one hand and the cat in the other, pouring sweat and claiming to be near death. His fever was raging out of control and was quite possibly the worst fever that any man has ever endured and survived to tell the tale. He was near delirium and needed water, green death nyquil, motrin and sleep. Alone. I slept on the floor of the nursery with the sick kids while he and the cat star-fished on the soft king size bed - Paul in a drugged up coma sleep and the cat in the sheer satisfaction that he had finally usurped my position in the household as Paul's preferred bedmate, that furry, ungrateful bastard.
Did the coma sleep help? No. Because not only did Paul have the wicked virus that was raging through our household, he also had a touch of THE MAN FLU.
And God help the one that points this out to him.
See, I was feeling quite ill myself. However, my day was very different. I had the same virus that was raging through the household, as well as my general diseased state, I was recovering from a stroke and still managed to take the tube into the city to spend the day at a stroke clinic having hordes of tests done, walking back to the tube, getting home, picking up groceries, cleaning the living room, answering work emails, cleaning the kitchen, bathing the kids, putting the kids to sleep and taking care of Paul.
But he was the deathly ill one.
See, while men suffer greatly from Man Flu, woman flu involves being sick and getting on with everything that needs to be done. But oh, you'll hear about it for the rest of your natural born life. And he has.
So, convinced that Paul's illness was near terminal, we called the out of hours clinic and appointments were made for all 4 of us at the hospital clinic nearby to get checked out. The kids go first, one at a time. "Just a virus" the Dr. declares. Paul is dubious. He explains about their horrible fevers and coughs. We're instructed to give them calpol and nurofen - both over the counter meds that we already had at home. Paul checks that the over the counter strength is going to be enough. The Dr. assures him that yes, it will do the trick. Paul is visibly doubtful.
It's his turn.
She listens to his chest. It's clear. Takes his temperature. Normal. Paul points out that this is only because of the overdose of Super Strength Motrin that he recently took. The Dr. isn't swayed. She checks his ears and throat. A little red, but nothing alarming. He again points out that this is because of the grotesque amount of lozenges and cold medication that he has been taking. She's still not swayed, and announces that he too has "a flu-y like virus". Paul asks if this is going around, has it been in the news, what is the name of this horrid, life threatening virus-flu - the norovirus? Hantivirus? Influenza Maximus? Swine Flu? Bird Flu? Nope, just "a flu-y like virus".
He's not happy and thinks she's a quack. It's not helped that when she checked me out she declared a bit of inflammation on my tonsils, though I don't have any tonsils. He's now convinced that she's just a first year med student that clearly should have either loaded us up with virus killing antibiotics or admitted us and we leave, resigned to take our wussy-pants over the counter drugs for our wussy pants flu-y like virus that has nearly killed us all.
And Paul's final words on the subject?
"You know, this never would have happened if we were still in China. In China they would have given us so many drugs that we'd have left there loaded up like drug mules. The drugs wouldn't have fecking done anything, but at least we'd have them."
To his credit, when he got home he made us all soup, hot chocolate and chocolate cake with ice cream. Even with the Man Flu.