Yesterday, I took the day off sick. I’d vomited twice, my head felt like a squishy breeze-block, and cold sweats meant I got through two lots of bed sheets in one night.
I dealt with it. I’ve been ill before and I’ll be ill again. What I did struggle with, however, was being unable to kiss and cuddle my baby daughter. She’s nearly six months old and she’s everything. Honestly, sometimes I cry for love of her.
Since coming back to work, six people have asked me about my ‘man-flu’. All in the usual jeering, mocking tones I’ve come to expect from women who delight in the use of the term. After all, men can’t genuinely be ill can they? Not when they’re supposed to be so strong and tough.
Today, when I think of the little girl-my little girl- who hasn’t had a kiss from her Dad, female trivialisation of my illness doesn’t seem so funny.