Man-Flu; Women Don't Get It

2016-06-21 09:59

I don’t mean to be an alarmist and I certainly don’t mean for my family to panic. But I am genuinely afraid. And as I lie in bed, the room’s heating set to its maximum, yet doing little to warm my frigid limbs, I debate if it is too soon to gather my children unto my bedside. My body is weak and I wonder how long I can go on like this. I am being ravaged by “Man-flu” and it’s serious.

Even if no one else thinks so.

So serious is the condition that I even considered asking Facebook for “Amens!” and suggesting that if I can get like 8 “Likes” then God will spare me my suffering. But then I thought of my children and the fact that I would unlikely survive their wrath, so I have let nature take its natural course. I have surrendered my recovery to fate.

I was fleetingly grateful last night, when the symptoms hit me (out of nowhere), and when my wife, first gently and then later more forcibly insisted I take something to assist me to sleep. “you need rest” she kept repeating, as she frantically searched the house for anything at all that might do the trick.

Given that it usually takes 3 – 4 days of my suggesting that she should “Move on”, remarry and be happy once I am gone, before I get this kind of attention, I was genuinely impressed by her change of attitude. It was only in the cold harsh light of morning that I realized that her selfish goal was to make me sleep, when the chances of my bleating and sobbing (from the terrible pain) would be diminished. I know now that I should have become suspicious when she growled “4 Stillnox never killed anyone!” Really? My mouth is still bruised from where she tried to force them down my throat.

But I am not one to complain.

My son of 17 came to the room to visit me earlier this morning. Well maybe he popped in to get some tuckshop money but I was grateful for the attention. My 3rd cup of black Rooibos tea (the milk doesn’t agree with me when I am this ill) with a squeeze (only 1) of fresh lemon (picked today) and squirt (generous) of honey (organic) was nearing its end. I was concerned that I was at risk of dehydration. I had already performed the skin push test and results seemed to be acceptable, but I have heard that people with severe symptoms are prone to hallucinations, and it was highly possible that I was delirious. Best therefore not to be left alone. I clasped his hand and I asked him if there was anything that he wanted to discuss. Now would be the time as I could not predict what he would find when he retuned from school.

One never knows.

“A hoody!” he said. I looked at him, more convinced than ever that my mind was fast disappearing. “What you talking about?” I croaked. My voice unaffected by the disease (at this point), but I have noted from experience that without a raspy voice, no one takes me particularly seriously. “You need a hoody!” he repeated. “Nothing better than to cover your head with a tracksuit top and walk around the house in it. It will help you get into character”.

And with that, he swept out the room, R50 in hand and a strange satisfied smirk on his face. If I wasn’t so ill, I would have called my lawyer there and then, and revised a thing or two.

I even sought comfort outside the home. One would think that having a good friend as doctor would be of value during these difficult times. And yet, a simple request last night for him to keep his phone nearby in case I needed him in my darkest hour, was met with a Whatsapp containing the emergency number for the Johannesburg Jewish Burial Society. Apparently he was trying to be funny, but if I did shuffle off this mortal coil, it would hardly be me placing that call, would it? Turns out the laugh is on him.

The good news, is that even given the grave nature of my illness, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. There seems to be a (Small) chance that I will be around when my son returns from school, and provided I can avoid my wife’s administration of medicines as evening approaches I might pull through after all.

In the interim, I will wrap my new hoody tightly around my head and shuffle slowly to the next room where a cup of Rooibos (with lemon and honey) awaits.

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