If you, like me don’t believe that man flu is a real thing, perhaps you should reconsider..
In all seriousness, apparently there may be some scientific basis for man-flu. Who knew?
Men suffer more with coughs and colds because they have extra temperature receptors in the brain and so experience worse symptoms. Children deal with colds the same way because the relevant area of the brain is the same size in boys and girls, said Durham University neuroscientist Dr Amanda Ellison. But when boys hit puberty testosterone starts to act on the area, called the preoptic nucleus, making it larger. Dr Ellison said: ‘When you have a cold one of the things that happens is you get an increase in temperature to fight off the bugs. ‘The bugs can’t survive at higher temperatures. ‘When your immune system is under attack the preoptic nucleus increases temperature to kill off the bugs. But men have more temperature receptors because that area of the brain is bigger in men than women. “So men run a higher temperature and feel rougher – and if they complain they feel rough then maybe they’re right.”
There is even a website dedicated to helping all sufferers of man flu (that is, those with man flu, and those who care for the victims of man flu!)
Now that we’ve “established’” that man flu really does exist – how do you survive it? And when I say you, I mean the carers of those with man flu. I speak from 20 years experience. At first I resisted. When man flu visited my home, I could be heard muttering helpful comments like ‘it’s all in your head’, ‘get over it‘ & ‘hypochondriac’. My attitude toward man flu (or sickness in general) hasn’t really changed over the years – I still find my partner over the top when he’s sick. And it does annoy me quite a lot. However, the way I deal with it has evolved and a bout of man flu is no longer the end of the world like it used to be. My survival strategy can be summarised in one sentence:
Make him comfortable then GET OUT!
I’ll break it down a little more.
- Set him up on the couch or bed
- Give him clean linen
- Fluff his pillows
- Make him some soup
- Make him some lemon & honey drinks
- Give him some loving pats on the head
- Make tissues, TV Remotes, Extra doses of medicine, Water etc available without him having to move
- Set up an infuser.
In other words give him a massive dose of loving nursing all at once – I can manage all this in about an hour. He’ll be feeling better for it, and you’ve earned yourself a whole load of man flu brownie points.
The next part is absolutely CRITICAL. If you don’t follow it to the letter, you could potentially undo everything you’ve just achieved. GET OUT. NOW. My threshold for lovingly putting up with whinging is about an hour. I strongly suggest you find yours! Once you’ve reached it, get out at all costs. Tell him you’re going to buy some lemons, consult the family GP about his critical situation, or run urgent errands. It doesn’t really matter…just get out! It’s a simple as that. Then be sure to do something for you so that you’re all refreshed for Round 2!
Man Flu – it doesn’t have to break you.