Every­one suf­fers when man flu takes hold

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - INSIDER - KERRY PARNELL [email protected] TWIT­TER.COM/KERRYPARNELL

It is a se­ri­ous con­di­tion that strikes half the pop­u­la­tion. But this mis­un­der­stood malaise is too of­ten heart­lessly dis­missed by women, who lack both the med­i­cal knowl­edge and em­pa­thy needed to tend the vo­ra­cious virus.

Fear not, fel­lows, if you — like my other half — are valiantly bat­tling man flu, here’s your sur­vival guide:

1 Tell every­one you are sick: It’s im­per­a­tive you in­form every­body you meet that you are ill — your boss, your col­leagues, shop as­sis­tants, to­tal strangers. They all need to know. De­clare code red to the wo­man in your life so she can pre­pare. “In­form her of the cri­sis which is about to un­fold,” ad­vises the con­di­tion’s self-help site Man­flu.info. “They must reach you at your place of safety in the ini­tial stages be­fore you be­come bed rid­den.”

2 Go to the doc­tor — sev­eral times: Visit your GP hop­ing they will give you an­tibi­otics and ap­pear sur­prised when they tell you it’s a virus and an­tibi­otics won’t work. Re­turn two days later, just to dou­ble check and spread your cold all over the surgery. Per­haps do a lit­tle cough in the doc­tor’s face when they look in your throat. They like that.

3 Take to your bed: The next step is to go to bed and stay there, hud­dled up sadly in your du­vet, for hours. Only get up to …

4… In­dulge in life-sav­ing ac­tiv­i­ties: Such as nip­ping out to get your hair cut or buy­ing a new shirt. Per­haps have a re­lax­ing foot mas­sage. And a snack. It’s amaz­ing the su­per-hu­man strength you will find — an­other ex­am­ple of the re­silience of men.

5 Do not in­ter­act with your part­ner or children: Make sure the one thing you do not do is help out around the house or spend time with your children. That would be far too tax­ing and only a fool would strain them­selves so.

6 Eat three hearty meals a day: Any­one knows you need to keep your strength up when you are sick, so do this by pol­ish­ing off three meals a day plus nour­ish­ing snacks like choco­late and bis­cuits. Ask your part­ner/ carer for spe­cific din­ners too, in a whiny voice. Dis­re­gard their sug­ges­tion you can’t be very sick if you can eat, as re­mem­ber, they are not a med­i­cal ex­pert. You can demon­strate how poorly you are by leav­ing im­me­di­ately af­ter din­ner and be­fore the wash­ing up and re­turn­ing to bed.

7 Build in con­va­les­cence time: It’s im­por­tant not to ad­mit you feel bet­ter too soon, or oth­ers will take ad­van­tage of you. In­stead, make sure you con­va­lesce by tak­ing it easy for at least three weeks post virus.

8 If a fe­male starts to ex­pe­ri­ence the same symp­toms af­ter you, tell her it’s just a cold: In­form her she has to “get on with it” and throw in a “what about me?” if she ap­pears an­gry.

“By far, the best way for her to deal with this is carry on with her nor­mal day-to-day rou­tine as if the cold wasn’t there,” say the peo­ple at Man­flu.info. No need to of­fer her any respite, af­ter all, women can’t catch man flu.

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