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We Just Don’t ‘Do’ Being Ill

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e are never ill in our house. When I say ‘never’ you know what I mean – never ill enough to have a day off work or stay home from school. We just don’t ‘do’ being ill.

I will never forget that one year when all three of my children won an award for 100% attendance at school. I wasn’t sure whether to be proud that I’m clearly providing my offspring with a ridiculously healthy environment to grow up in, or ashamed that I’m so strict that the only legitimate reason for staying off school is an inability to walk or a need to be within 10 paces of a toilet at all times*.

*For the record, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

As is custom at the start of a new school term, a particularly nasty cold seems to have worked its ‘magical’ way through our home over the last fortnight.

My son had it first and I’ll admit to barely even noticing that he had an illness. He seemed perfectly capable of lifting a Playstation console, so life pretty much continued as normal.

Then the eldest caught it. True to form, she continued working her 10 hour shifts at the stables, occasionally emitting a cough from the depths of her bedroom. She did opt out of accompanying me to the gym, but that’s nothing unusual.

A few days later, the youngest daughter and I fell prey within hours of each other. Everyone knew about it. The throat of razor blades that was proving to be a real hazard when eating, the blocked nose that was causing a very odd effect to the voice, the tight and tickly chest that was keeping us awake at night.

The symptom competition was gaining momentum as the days went on. I felt so ill that I even spent a few hours cuddled up in bed with this one!

I must admit to being secretly amused by the way that this lurgy has affected each one of us differently; it says a LOT about our personalities. I never for a second thought that I was someone who milks an illness, I certainly don’t enjoy being ill. Maybe I just never get properly ill, or the four of us had different strains of this illness…yes, it must be that.

The husband has yet to succumb. If he does, the strain he catches will be the weaker variety passed on from the first two casualties. Obviously.

Are you someone who takes to your bed demanding Lemsip on tap? Or do you carry on with life, without so much as a whimper?

Inside, Outside & Beyond




  • Love this! We’ve had just the same in our house (and the houses of nearly every girl in my daughter’s class). My daughter was properly ‘ill’ for a day – really pale, non-stop coughing and no energy to do anything. My eldest took great delight in telling her that she ‘wasn’t ill’. Until he got it. Then it was really bad, but he bravely soldiered on. My husband seems to have had it FOREVER and has taken rather a lot of paracetamol and blocked the toilet with all of his tissues. And me? I had a throat like razor blades and a blocked nose, but I ran 12 miles anyway. I’m still a bit snotty, but I’m basically invincible!
    When I mentioned to my husband that it was weird he always got colds worse than me and wondered why, he just got cross! But there must be a reason, right?

    • Suzanne W

      Isn’t it funny how it affects us all so differently…is it the same virus, do we all have different pain thresholds, do some of us just need to ‘man up’? Know there’s an interesting expression for you!

  • Plutonium Sox

    Haha this does make me laugh! When you say that your husband will get the weak strain, presumably he will get the weak strain but have at least four days off work ‘dying’ in bed?? I hope you’re all better soon.

    • Suzanne W

      He may well get the deadly strain that I got but he’ll only get as much sympathy as the first two got from me…I don’t ‘do’ other people being ill ha ha!

  • Jill

    My ‘other’ grandson, when aged about three and asked what was the matter with his Dad who hadn’t come to a family get together, answered very matter-of-factly: “man flu,”. At which your sister burst out laughing and said”whoops, he must have overheard me telling a friend that at church this morning”.

    • Suzanne

      Apparently, there really is such a thing as man flu – who knew?!

  • natalie cox

    Oh gosh I feel like someone in our house is constantly ill – since the girls returned to school in September someone has been poorly. My husband always seems to suffer the worst though (of course!!)

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