Browsing Tag

being sick

Food, Parenting, Writing

In Search of White Space

November 14, 2018 | 7 Comments

I’m currently munching my way through a bag of chips, because I take the adage of “feed a cold” seriously. I feel that we need a better description for something that is not just a dripping nose. Because while my body aches and my throat hurts and my head is pounding, I know this is not real flu (as Ben had that earlier in the year and it is much more serious). Can we call it “clu” instead? Or a “flucold”? As in, “I’m feeling really rough, I’ve got a flucold?” Continue Reading…


When I Get Sick I Would Like to be a Man

June 17, 2014 | 11 Comments

I would prefer some sort of transformer box that you jump into quickly and then five seconds later you hop out (or limp) as a male version of yourself (you can call me Bill). Because when you are a man and you are sick it is MUCH better than when you are a woman and you are sick.

This is what happened yesterday when my husband was sick for a maximum of 3 hours (nauseous apparently, caused by “something he ate”):

  • His face went ashen and he huddled under the duvet. His voice dropped to a whisper and he was served icy cold drinks to quench his thirst, hot tea to comfort him and a nutritious supper cooked by yours truly.
  • He was UNABLE to perform any housework, or do anything that involved the children, such as bathing them, feeding them or putting them to bed.
  • He was only able to watch sport and shows with lots of guns in them, with the volume turned up really really loud.
  • He whimpered so much that I finally asked if we should be heading to the emergency room. This is my latest trick to gauge the severity of his illnesses, because from the look on his face it is often very hard to tell if it is truly a life or death situation.
  • He then proceeded to eat half a bar of nougat, so I guess he was rapidly emerging from the vice grip that was nausea (I never got morning sickness myself but I do know that many women live for 9 months wanting to puke. However this is probably equivalent in severity to his 3 hours because HE IS A MAN).
  • When I asked him to take the dog out for a wee before he went to bed, he looked pained, like “what are you doing to me woman, don’t you know that I’m severely ill?!”
  • When our car alarm went off at 1am he shook me and told me that our car alarm was going off. So I got up in a daze and went out bravely into the cold, scoped out if there were any potential car thieves (there weren’t) and sorted it out. Because he was VERY VERY sick.

This is what happened when I was sick over the last five days:

  • I carried on like I wasn’t sick. Which included working and cooking and racing around doing chores and looking after six 4-year-olds at their ballet concert and even staying up from 11:30-2:30 am with a complaining baby.
  • No one actually knew I was sick. Not really even me. I mean, I had this popping sound in my ears and pretty much a headache most of the time and I felt a bit dizzy and light-headed. But it was more annoying than anything else.
  • And I mentioned it as an aside to members of my family and no one paid me the least bit of attention. No one suggested I sit and relax, or go to the doctor or heaven forbid, not get out of bed in the wee hours to look after a baby or sort out a car alarm.
  • Until I went to the doctor today and got told I have acute sinusitis and was put on antibiotics immediately.

My point is this, most men are big babies when it comes to physical pain or being uncomfortable. This is a gross generalisation because I am talking about a very distinct husband and wife dynamic here (my own). In the past I have basically hugged the toilet bowl for five days with severe food poisoning and then still performed basic chores because it is simply expected from us women. But men start to feel slightly off and the world must end.

Us women were given bodies that are uncomfortable regularly. We have periods for one thing. We are used to being prodded and poked by doctors and we just handle pain differently. I once had to take time off work and rush my husband to hospital because he had just got back from a stag party in Las Vegas and thought he had been “bitten by a spider”. The doctor at the emergency room looked at me with a twinkle in her eye when she told me that actually, all he had was gout (not caused by anything he drunk or ate in Las Vegas of course). And yes gout is very sore but it is often self inflicted and it has nothing to do with spiders.

But my point is also this: a lot of it is my fault. I soldier on, because I am a woman and a mother and I feel like my family needs me. And I always put that above my own physical comfort. But you cannot get better if you don’t rest and you don’t delegate. So tonight I am not cooking. And I am not taking the dog out for a wee and I am certainly NOT getting up in the middle of the night if the car alarm goes off. I am taking my antibiotics, having a bath, writing this post, eating a piece of toast and going to bed. Because unfortunately no miraculous transformer box exists.

Goodnight. xxx