When you need to become his Mammy too!

The struggle between being a loving wife and being a realist is very much a real one! It has the ability to make you feel like you are lacking in any sort of empathy, while also clapping yourself on the back at how good you are at being an adult and getting stuff done! I yet again had another dose of this internal struggle last week when my husband came down with something! I call it “something” because the jury is still out on its actual diagnosis.

It really started to engulf my man around the midweek mark and by Wednesday afternoon I had an idea of what was in store. He went to work, which he always does, credit where it is due, he doesn’t take a sick day often. It was after he arrived home that evening that I knew I was in for a couple of days of what I like to call “Heisdyingosis” Now I am not sure you have ever met a man with “Heisdyingosis” but its like a new strain of Man Flu which has mutated into a flu/cold/sniffle that will wipe a man out with one sneeze. Or so is the case in my home. Now I like to play by the hard and fast rule of paracetamol, hot water and lemon and bed early, but my man has a different approach to “Heisdyingosis” (insert cold/flu for those with normal mindset) The main difference being, complaining!

Now to really understand “Heisdyingosis” you first need to know some of the symptoms:

  • Slow shuffle rather then normal walking pace
  • An adverse reaction to any hint of sarcasm
  • Downcast eye’s (think Droopy the cartoon hound)
  • A craving for affection
  • Over exaggerated sneezing/coughing

There is also a symptom which becomes ever more present if you have married an Irish Male who has an Irish Mother. You see in my experience they get the worst form of “Heisdyingosis” This is largely due to the fact that even at 35 years old, when Irish Son’s get sick, they want their Irish Mammy! Now having Mammy there herself is not essential, just so long as someone is there to play Mammy in his time of need. This is where my lovely husband looses out!

You see my husband is a “Mammy’s Boy” on the best of days. And to be fair, the woman is a saint! If he (I should say we!) needed anything, even at 2am, even if it meant her driving to the other side of the country the woman would do it! As all mothers would do I assume. The only difference is, my husband really likes being a “Mammy’s Boy” and really relishes the fact that she happily stands on her head for him whenever we pay a visit. But for me, I feel it has set a rather unfair expectation of what should be supplied when taking on the role of comforting him in his hour of need. (she says rolling her eyes!)

I am more of a “get on with it” kinda gal! And I relish a good sarcastic tone. These two things alone do not fair well with sick husband. And so after complaining and moaning and more complaining about his ailments he woke on Thursday morning with the overwhelming feeling that he MUST see a doctor! Overnight he had acquired a degree in medicine and insisted that it was now a chest infection, throat infection (I believe strep throat was thrown about) an ear infection and sinusitis. A visit to the Doctor was a must! I had to think fast! I had to really get creative with this one because I knew going to a doctor for “Heisdyingosis” was a waste of time and money and so I decided to jump into the role he had wanted me to play since last night………. Irish Mammy Mode. I summoned my best “Ah Pet” and sent him into the sitting room to have a sit down while I got him a nice hot drink. He bit the line, he really went for this new found mothering role I had adopted and I think he was delighted I was now giving him the attention he deserved! He shuffled off into the sitting room and gave a “I’m freezing” for good measure. It took every ounce of my strength to not point out to him that he was wearing only a t-shirt. Instead I decided to incorporate this comment into my plan. I produced the one thing every Irish Mammy has to hand…… the thermometer! “Do you mind if I take your temp, because you could have a fever” Sur he was only delighted! Knowing that the thermometer is the first thing I reach for when my child is sick, made him feel validated! He was right where I wanted him. No temperature (surprise surprise) but that didn’t matter, I took it. And I gave him a jumper to put on, and i gave him a hot drink! Plan firmly in motion. I mentioned about calling the doctor. He was all over it. I then slipped in that it would be tomorrow before they would be able to see him, but sur, I’d call anyway. He had not expected that. He was of the thought process that once you called the doctor you were in! I could see he was disappointed but it just ment I could put the next phase of my plan in gear! The pharmacist!

Let me state now, anyone who is living with someone who has “Heisdyingosis” THE PHARMACIST IS YOUR FRIEND! In fact you don’t even really have to speak to the pharmacist yourself, although it helps if you tell victim of “Heisdyingosis” that you did. I suggested, that because he would have to wait until tomorrow to see a doctor, I should try and comfort his suffering by going to the pharmacist and getting something to tide him over. Again, this pleased him. Before leaving the house I was coached in everything I had to tell the pharmacist. Every symptom, every ailment, every cough and sneeze and heaven forbid I forget to say “it might be getting into his chest” Armed with the information, I took myself off to Tesco, passed all the things I would normally stop to browse over, magazines, body lotions, new pjs…… there was no time today, I was on a mission. A lovely girl was stood waiting to chat with me (not the pharmacist) but that didn’t matter. “How can I help you?” without a second thought I said “I need a big bag of placebo for my husband who has a head cold or possibly a flu”

It was that easy. I decided to ask for things that I knew would come in handy filling up my medicine cabinet. Bottle of Exputex, Cold and Flu tabs and just as chance would have it, I spotted a packet of Tyrozets. They actually say on the box “antibiotic to help fight throat infection” They were made for “Heisdyingosis” Delighted with my purchases I turned on my heel and started to make my way out of the shop when I passed the vitamins! Chewable Throat Soothing Tablets……. “helps to support the immune system” RESULT! Combined them with a tub of ice-cream (for the throat) and I was out of there. 15 minutes and €24 later and I was on my way home. Now here is where you have to really push the final sell. Walking back into the house I summoned my best sympathetic face and produced my hoard to himself. Well he was only thrilled…… Thrilled to hear that “THE PHARMACIST” said that taking the Exputex would clear his chest, thrilled to hear that I had told them all about his symptoms and “THE PHARMACIST” said that if he didn’t have a fever he didn’t have an infection. Delighted with his cold and flu tabs because he couldn’t take one of them until bedtime because they make you drowsy (must be good then) and the Chewable Throat Soothing Tablets? Well “THE PHARMACIST” says that they will build up your immune system and have you right as rain in two days. But the icing on the cake the Tyrozets. I handed these over to him pointing out the word antibiotic on the box and that was the final ingredient needed in this stew of deceit. “THE PHARMACIST” said they would clear up any infection that was lingering. I felt I needed to throw in a last little bit of encouragement and went for “they said, two days is all it will take to have you back on your feet, and if not then see a doctor.” Now I knew that it was only Thursday. I also knew that the best cure for “Heisdyingosis” was a little placebo and I also knew that my lovely husband would recover from his cold within two days.

I was not wrong! By Friday afternoon he coming round and by Saturday it was business as usual. And not a moment too soon as my desire to play the role of “Mammy” was wearing thin and if I’m completely honest was abandoned totally by Thursday night. Now I don’t want to take away from the fact that he may have been poorly, and that he was not having the best of days but lets be honest anyone who has lived with a man who has ever had Man Flu or in my house “Heisdyingosis” knows, that if it was anyone else in the house with the same thing it would be called a head cold.

For anyone who might be wondering he has made a full recovery. And as a side note, if you are wondering about the ice-cream for his sore throat, I would suggest buying two tubs. Lord knows you will need your fill of the sweet stuff too!

disclaimer: All cases of Man Flu/Heisdyingosis must be assessed on a needs basis. All attempts to deceive victim of said conditions, as set out above, are done so at your own risk of being found out!