Two words that send shivers down every woman’s spine – Man Cold.
The moment of dread enters your soul as you hang up the phone with your husband.
He “doesn’t feel well”.
You know exactly how the next week or so is going to look – how he’s going to feel, how you’re going to feel. All you have to do is look at him to know how far along in his Man Cold he is, and what’s required to get you through to the other side. It takes strength, my friend.
I want to share these stages with you, in hopes that it may help you navigate your next Man Cold.
Stage 1: “I don’t feel well”
Take a deep breath. Brace yourself, and your medicine cabinets – Vitamin C tablets, Theraflu, Benadryl, local honey, Tylenol, cough drops. And remember, you can’t pour into anthers cup if yours is empty. So make sure you set yourself up for success. I suggest starting at the liquor store.
Stage 2: “My throat hurts”
It took all his energy to muster up those words between coughs. He’ll need you to recreate his favorite comfort food, but don’t count on him to be able to coherently relay exactly what it is he needs. He’s going downhill, fast. If you have any doubt about exactly what to cook, don’t worry. Call his mom. She’ll let you know down to precise measurements, and then tell you about all the times he was sick as a child while your husband moans in the other room.
Stage 3: “My snot is yellow”
It’s getting serious now, y’all. The second your husband sees that yellow snot he may as well have one foot in the grave. He’s entered the snot stage, and you can expect to spend the next couple days cleaning it off of every surface of your house – your couch, your living room floor, his boxers, the dog, your child’s toys, and your bed. With any luck, you had the sense to stock up on Boogie Wipes. If not, go to your local drugstore or Walmart and look in the baby aisle. They may not make the snot stop, but they’ll surely leave your husbands nose feeling fresh as a babies bum. At this point he may need your help wiping his nose, since it’s taking all his energy to sit on the couch and play his video games. Help him. Put up with the video games, but make sure he doesn’t stay on the couch too long. When his eyes go blank and his hand has been down his pants for more than 15 minutes in a row, get him to bed pronto. Fluff his pillow. Because….
Stage 4: “I can’t move”
By now, your husband is delirious with a fever. Hopefully you got him back to the bed just in time, because anything more strenuous than getting up to pee could knock him out for another 8 days. And you surely can’t bother him by going about your daily life, tending to kids, pets, etc. with him helplessly dying on the couch. That just wouldn’t be kind of you to make such a ruckus! So make sure he’s snug in bed, surrounded by tea, comfort food and Gatorade. This stage is when your assortment of cold medicines comes in handy – present them to him like a buffet, and let him pick which one best suits his current, immediate needs. Your husband needs you right now. Give him all the encouragement and positive reinforcement you can. He can’t pull through without you, and is in the thick of his Man Cold. Don’t leave his side, for he may wander due to his high fever and not be able to get back up.
Stage 5: It moves
The light, my friends. Do you see it? Your husband is beginning to come out of the other side of his snotty, fever-induced delirium. He’s ventured out of your dark bedroom, leaving behind the stench of his Man Cold, and is back on the couch with his video games. Don’t get too ambitious, though. Be patient. Just because he’s back in the sunlight of the living room doesn’t mean he’s better. Remind him how he made it through the trenches, he fought the good fight, and he’s almost won. He can get through this. If you’re struggling at this point with your words of affirmation, grab your handy dandy alcohol. It’ll surely help.
Stage 6: Normalcy
He survived. Your husband is almost back to feeling better, and can’t seem to stop talking about how sick he was in the first place. Just grin and smile. Pat yourself on the back, ladies. You navigated the awful experience that is a Man Cold, and brought your husband through to the other side safe and sound.
Starting to feel sick yourself? Probably.
Get some canned air to get all the sand out of your vag.
It’s just a cold.