Friday, December 30, 2011

The Single Man’s Guide to being sick—they still shoot horses, don’t they?


I can remember a couple years back when Deb (one of my former coworkers) was at her wit’s end.  She had just gotten off the phone with her husband, who was at home in bed, sick with the flu.   Apparently he wasn’t too happy that she had chosen to go to work while he lay there suffering, and wanted to prepare her for the likelihood of coming home and finding his corpse in their bed. 

Some other women quickly chimed in, sharing some of THEIR past experiences with ill boyfriends or husbands, and the consensus was that us guys were absolute wusses the minute we got the sniffles, and would probably be better off if we were just put out of our misery instead. 

(I protested, but being one of only two guys in our group, all I got was a couple blank stares before they continued their death-wish on all sick men.) 

I’m reminded of that now, because for the last few days I’ve been home sick with the flu.  It actually started Christmas Day; I was at my sister Shawn’s house for the holidays and the four of us—Shawn, her husband Jim, my niece Sophia & myself were gathered at the dining room table playing “Wheel of Fortune” while I kept attempting to “swallow away” a sore throat.  At first I just chalked it up to the drier air there (my apartment is muggy year ‘round) or from all the late night Christmas Eve jabber (I was doing most of the jabbering).  But after my eyeballs got hot, my spidey sense began tingling and I announced that I was coming down with something, so I’d best head home.  (It didn’t really hit me for another day or so, but by Tuesday night I was knocking at Death’s door.)

I admit I was unprepared for what was coming—but other than Wednesday night (when my fever broke and soaked my bed, I woke up shaking so hard my teeth were rattling & I may have whimpered for my mom, I dunno) I think I’ve “manned up” just fine.  Here’s some examples:

No medicine:   It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten a bug, and I know this because the Tylenol ‘Cold & Flu Gelcaps’ in my medicine cabinet have BEST IF USED BY MAR 2006 on the box.  (I had an expired bottle of cherry flavored Cepacol Sore Throat Spray in there too, but I tried some and it tasted like old pennies.)   So what!  That stuff isn’t fixing anything anyway, all it does is mask the symptoms for a couple hours—as for my sore throat, I gargled with Listerine-Mint & let a little trickle down my gullet; it did the job just fine!

No cold juice or hot soup:  Okay, some juice would’ve been nice but I DID have a couple Popsicles in the freezer left over from this summer—and while there’s no soup in my cupboards, I did find a couple packets of chicken gravy mix.  Add some hot water & grab a spoon!

No Kleenex:  This one’s a no-brainer, who needs a fancy box of Kleenex when you have 4 ROLLS of the stuff right under your bathroom sink?  Okay it’s Scott toilet tissue and got a little rough on my nose, but anything better & I would’ve felt spoiled.  Hmph!

.         .         .

And finally, who needs someone hovering over you when you have TV to keep you company?  This morning I watched “A History of the Space Suit” on the Science Channel and was surprised to learn that when NASA put out the call for someone to design a moonsuit, who beat out the giants like Goodrich & the military?  The good folks at Playtex, who designed bras & rubber undergarments for women!

Kinda makes me wish I had one of these a week or so ago... then maybe I wouldn’t be sitting at home alone with the flu


  1. Oh man, on Christmas day? What a time to come down with the flu. It sucks being sick during the holidays. I do hope you feel better soon. Isn't it just the case that when you need groceries/medical supplies there's nothing at home! I like the way you approached everything though, with a sense of humor and a let's get on with it attitude. I hope you feel better soon my friend. Sending good wishes your way.

    Have a wonderful New Year Doug. So happy to have come across your blog this year (many thanks to Pam for that). Cheers :)

  2. Chelly, I couldn't agree more about the bad timing--I just told myself to be glad it didn't happen BEFORE I made the trip home :)

    Anyway, I sure hope you had a terrific holiday with your loved ones, and thank you so much for the kind words here, you're one of the very nicest people I've met online. You have a Happy New Year too! PS. I was just thinking about you the other day, I have another "Brady blog" coming up soon :)

  3. Aw thanks so much Doug! You are too kind and one of my faves in the blogosphere! I hope you're feeling much better now.

    Oh I can't wait for your Brady blog post! Can never get enough of those Bradys. Thanks for being my Brady supplier! :)

  4. Hey Doug--First of all, just wanted to wish you a belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I'm sorry to hear you got sick on Christmas. I was actually sick on Christmas as well and for most of my week off--caught the office bug that was going around a couple of weeks wasn't enough to prevent me from doing stuff, but I was congested and had a fever of 102 on Christmas Day.

    Having said all that, I find it interesting how some women complain when their husbands/significant others get sick. OK, it is true that guys tend to be more whiny than women when they are under the weather. But...and maybe it's because I've been single for so long, but some of them sometimes sound bitchy and unsympathetic. I actually look forward to the day where I can help my significant other feel better by making him some homemade chicken soup, buying him meds, and trying to make him feel more comfortable. After all, I would want someone to do the same for me. Isn't marriage supposed to be about "in sickness and in health?"

    Anyways, here's to a happy & healthier 2012!

  5. Hi Pam, it's good to hear from you (and Happy New Year to you too)! Damn, I can't believe you got sick over the holidays too, I sure was sorry to read that & hope you're back to your old self. Well, I was trying to "show the world" that I can take care of myself just fine, but I admit it would've been nice to have a "significant other" to do the things you mentioned. (And if the shoe was on the other foot, it's nice to be needed too.) Hmm... you always give me something to think about, Pam. Thanks again for your lovely comments. :)


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