Can Women Get Man Flu?

Can it really only be a week or so ago that I was bragging to a client about how I never get colds since I’ve lived in Sydney? Yet here I am, on my third day in bed.eye-743409_1280


I take full responsibility for this Karma because someone, somewhere, must have heard me when I wished silently for some sort of…any sort of reprieve from work when I felt at a low ebb recently. What you forget at those moments is that when you’re genuinely sick, you feel far too shite to watch Netflix all day or try out new Pinterest plaits.


And this cold is ugly. Even the Princess, usually the perfect support when anyone in the family is sick, has begun to look at me with pity, as though I’m that gross, green snot monster from some advert for cold medication, or a troll from Lord of The Rings.


I will, however, make it clear that this is only the common cold and that if I absolutely had to get up for something important, like if Chris Hemsworth suddenly turned up on my doorstep, I could do it – which means that it’s definitely not the flu.


I’ve discovered that Australians, in spite of being the toughest fuckers on the planet when it comes to wildlife, can be the most pathetic species when it comes to sickness – either that or they’ve never experienced real influenza, because that’s how many of them describe the common cold.


‘Don’t get too close, I’ve got the flu,’ I hear them say feebly over lunch, as they guzzle on their second glass of wine.


Having said that, mine is definitely a version of man flu this time, because even though I know in my old bones that it’s only a cold, this one feels far more virulent than my normal strain. It’s the strain the old man normally gets after me, a real bad boy that is more like the type I used to get in the UK where we had snow and real weather to explain it.


Typical symptoms include not being able to breathe normally – not good for someone with anxiety. I’ve mentioned before about my over-exuberant gag reflex, usually demonstrated whenever I put a parking ticket in my mouth while I search for a space in a car park…and at other times… but it’s far worse with a cold because I can’t even breathe out of my nose at what I see as my last resort just prior to death – like when I’m eating.


And I’m eating! Because science dictates that you feed a cold, and I don’t really need an excuse to eat.


Then there’s that endless stream of green stuff that just when you think you’ve got to the bottom of it starts oozing again and it always starts with that annoying itchy trickle, usually just as I’m about to doze off, so I’m tired and crabby too.


It could be worse, I know…but could it really?



Shooting From Both Ends And Not Taking life For Granted

In a week that has seen the sad and untimely deaths of two British entertainment legends, I’m still here. But only just – I’ve been holed-up in bed for the past few days, sick and feeling very sorry for myself. 

Toilet paper rolls
two toilet paper rolls on brown wooden background


I rarely get genuinely sick, so I’d forgotten that being really ill is not about cuddling up under the doona, catching up on Netflix and gorging on food sin. Because this week I’ve felt really shite – as in the serious aches and pains type of ‘sick’, with blinding headaches and a gut that at times felt like it was going to give birth to the next Alien.


This was not one of my atypical illnesses that emanate from anxiety, but a common or garden gastric flu, which I can either blame on my brother, for transporting it over as extra luggage from the UK, or on the oysters we gorged to celebrate his arrival.


Alternatively, it could be payback for having a good time, or taking life for granted. Oh, SHUT THE FUCK UP, anxiety!


And there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that I’ll still defeat all medical records again and be the only person in the whole fucking world to empty the entire contents of my stomach and bowels without losing a gramme of weight.


But every cloud has a silver lining and the permanence of my new sleeping position beneath the toilet the other night did give me some time for reflection, and the irony of having spent the previous few hours watching my brother and his partner wipe the ass and dribble off my new nephew was not lost on me, when I found myself, only a few short hours later, in a similar predicament of shooting from both ends uncontrollably.


At least my cute new Elle McPherson knickers stood the ultimate test in their newly assigned role of perfect break fall. Not so cute now, though…


And it dawned on me once again, that the permanent physical descent to incontinence might not be that far off. Which means two things: I need to make the most of my time left and I must never take anything for granted again.


The problem with gastric flu is that you can’t even eat to console yourself and everyone behaves like you’ve got the Bubonic Plague, so sympathy is fleeting.


I’ve not been at my most attractive, admittedly. It must be hard to look on the menopausal version of Gollum, empathetically. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly you can fall from a life of glamour to the full wretchedness of incontinent misery. Life can be a bitch like that. One minute you’re in the Blu Bar of the Shangri La, toasting everything good in it, and the next you’re a hot, ugly mess, emptying the night’s excesses down the pan.


The old man has pretended to look after me, but as I’ve been unable to do little more than moan vociferously about what a useless nurse he’d make, it has been hard for me to truly test his ‘in sickness and in health’ vows.


So all I can pray is that he doesn’t catch the man-flu version of this living hell.

Woman Flu And Spreading The Love

Flu Warning
Flu Warning

I know you’re all sick to death of hearing about my flu. But it is now day 12.

Just sayin.

So I’m wondering if it’s time for THE blood test?

You see my body still feels like it has done the Tour de France, drug-free and with no training.

Twice, at least.

And I know that’s not normal.

And I’m feeling a tad guilty because I do believe that I successfully spread my little virus fairly successfully around the whole of the south-west of England during our Mince Pie Tour of Europe over Christmas. With the commitments we had, feeling sorry for myself in bed and watching back to back repeats of British ‘XFactor’ on such a socially heavily scheduled trip was never really an option, no matter how appealing it sounded.

You can’t let people down when you see them every three years, so you share your germs as well as your stories.

The Tour took us on an emotional roller coaster via Brittany in France and around the south west of England. The winds were obviously blowing in the right direction and when the flu virus spotted the easy target of my pathetically inadequate, newly-acquired Aussie defense system, it jumped at the chance to create some real physical havoc.

Seriously, who gets the flu and THEN a grade 9 cold all in the same seven days?

The most frustrating aspect of my illness was that due to the extremely painful symptom of what felt like a lacerated throat, I couldn’t even moan audibly about how terrible I felt. I certainly couldn’t protect myself from the unsympathetic verbal assaults shot in my direction by CLOSE family, every time I dared to mention how f*cking awful I was feeling.

Which was ALL the time.

You see, when you’re ill on holiday, no-one wants to know or really cares about how miserable you are feeling for fear of spoiling their own holiday expectations. Sympathy certainly wasn’t on offer and with our packed schedule of meetings with family and old friends to rival a Royal tour, there was no opt-out clause. Which mean’t I had no choice but to spread my germs, really.

Of course I felt bad about spreading my disease so blatantly to friends who had come to see us with the best intentions; particularly when my dastardliness involved children. At one point I did consider wearing one of those medical masks favoured by Asians to avoid contamination but the old man outrightly refused to let me, fearing that the onus would then be on him to take responsibility for all communication. So instead, I sewed my germs, croaking and snuffling my way around Europe, with only REALLY old people and babies let off the hook.

Fortunately, I did have some obvious symptoms to prove my malaise (like my pathetically croaky voice and fugly pallid skin), beyond the ‘faking it’ shaky limbs and headaches ordinarily associated with a serious bout of the flu, otherwise everyone might have come to the conclusion that I’d just aged horribly over the past few years and simply looked sh*t.

‘Attractive’ is not exactly how I’d describe my look over the past ten days, which was unfortunate when I obviously wanted to look younger or at least thinner than the last time we visited the homeland.

As I mentioned in my previous post, in fairness the extra kilos were due in part to MY rare strain of flu which uncharacteristically induced hunger rather than starvation, and with decent Chinese, Indian and Doner kebabs to catch up on, I made the most of my need to feed my illness.

After twelve days of sickness, I had unfortunately gained four kilos and was forced to request special help from the Virgin air hostess to help lever my new Kardashionesque ass into my economy seat home; although luckily (and FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER) we were upgraded to ‘extra leg-room’ seats, (which gave us a whole extra 4” at least), meaning we could cross AND un-cross our legs, although we did then require glasses to watch the miniscule tv monitors.

Anyway, according to the old man, I’m finally beginning to look better; the implication being that I’m well enough to cook, resume my domestic responsibilities and stop boring the pants off my readers about my woman flu.

Flu Warning courtesy of mrofiq at