Pass the Whine

Last week was not my week. It included two visits to the ER, a broken ankle, a severe concussion and a sinus hemorrhage. My husband has been charged with playing nurse and family cook. His “cooking” has consisted of: fast food burgers, KFC, pizza and boiled hot dogs. His “nursing” is equally skilled. Let’s just say that his bedside manner needs a little more improvement and a lot less ‘whine’.

Somehow, despite my broken ankle, I still managed to put a pot roast in the slow cooker one day so we would have at least one balanced meal. When a woman gets sick, she does her best to continue her daily routine, but even scientific studies have confirmed that men are big babies when they’re sick. Writer Amelia McDonell-Parry says it best:

In another study apparently done by the “No Duh” doctors, it is official-men whine more about illness than women. The experts call the condition “man flu” and suggest that men are probably exaggerating illness to gain “maximum sympathy.” The Engage Mutual study of 3,000 people also found that 50 percent of men like to classify a common cold as “the flu” and regular headaches as “migraines.”

The best part is that both men and women seem to have a great sense of humor about this difference between the sexes. Check out these (paraphrased) comments from regular people discussing the topic in chat forums:

• Male Office Worker: Men are totally not babies. Example: Just the other day, I got a paper cut. After a quick call to my mom, and 6 or 7 minutes of pouting about the office, I got over it!… It would have totally taken babies like 10 minutes to get over it.

• Male Mechanic: I cut half of my finger off last week and kept working. And I only pointed out that fact to all of my coworkers 10 or 15 times apiece.

• Female Nurse: I’ve worked at the hospital with sick men (ill probably sounds less dirty) and sick kids. The only difference? Bigger diapers.

• Male Tattoo Artist: Industry wide (at least as far as my knowledge of American tattooing is concerned) it is understood that women are more tolerant of pain than men. I’ve been involved with the tattooing community for ages and it comes up time and time again.

• Man Who Could Be My Husband: My wife stayed home sick from work yesterday, but she is so tough that she RAN to an area consignment shop that had a handbag she wanted when the lady on the phone told her someone else was interested in it. When I got home from work she was back on the couch in her pajamas with her blanket and she practically burst into tears and told me the story because she felt guilty. I was pretty impressed though. No way would I run to anywhere when I was sick. I usually just lay on the couch and watch 5 consecutive hours of Star Trek.

• Another Man (Quoted in the New York Times) Who Could Also Be My Husband: I don’t like admitting I’m feeling sick because then I think my wife won’t want to have sex. (Not tonight, dear…you have a headache.)

Do women tolerate pain better than men? Do men whine more than women when they’re sick? I’d like to read your comments. It will give me something to do while my grumpy “nurse” orders Chinese take-out.