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I have to admit, I don’t think I have ever been bed or sofa bound for 5 days in my whole life. Now I don’t expect a medal but I think most women will agree, if they thought back, that they too, probably can’t recount a time that they literally....couldn’t....
'Thank you baby' comes a murmur from upstairs in a suitably exhausted sick voice.
I am a great nurse. It runs in my Italian/Arabic family heritage to look after people (mainly the men in the family) and be kind, caring and understanding to their needs. I have to admit that as the heritage has made it's way down the generations, it may have lost some of its depth but, still deep-rooted in me somewhere, I am a carer at heart.
However, I think it can test the strongest woman's patience when ‘Man Flu’ hits the home.
He can’t move. Something ‘isn’t right’. It’s kind of like he has been shot by a sniper, no one saw it coming. Struck down but there is nothing to physically show for it. You can hear it though, physical pain in the form of the extensive moaning, groaning and whimpering, similar to what I would imagine a wounded tiger sounds like in the wild.
They try to do things but they ‘just don’t feel right’ and everything is slower and more laboured than usual.
It’s serious. Limbs have stopped working. The only movement is to and from the toilet to wee out the fresh cold water that you are dutifully bringing to the bedside on an hourly basis because, in these situations, it’s important to keep the fluids up.
There is no hunger. The room has to be dark. There is nothing. As I said, and to reiterate, it is serious.
The sick voice is still with us, he is meak, tired and drained. He has moved from the bed to the sofa. Bargain Hunt and Loose Women offering some welcome relief. The room is still required to be slightly dark and he has brought his pillow downstairs with him, requiring him to maintain a horizontal position, sitting up only to receive and weakly sip cups of tea.
The questions and the statements come…..“I can’t believe I still feel like this’, ‘You don’t understand’, ‘I’ve just got no energy’, ‘What if it is something more serious?’, ‘Maybe just one slice of toast with marmite?’
There is light at the end of the tunnel. He declares he is going to the gym!
He is very quickly shot down and told if he is well enough to exercise he is well enough to do the school run or go to work.
The idea of a shower is suggested. In fact, enforced and whilst he is in there, the bedding is changed. Old bedding disinfected and put on a boil wash.
He is up and out of bed before 10am. It’s a miracle. He has lost 6 lbs so still weak, obviously, but mentally he now realises how strong he truly is. He has not been defeated, he may have lost a week of his life and now knows the names of the Loose Women presenters but he has come out stronger and lived to tell the tale... To anyone that will listen!
So, it’s over. Until next time.
PS - This is sadly not my husband, just a rather nice looking chap in bed.