Triage and the Manflu


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manflueEveryone’s heard of the manflu, right? This idea that men get sick and turn into giant, suffering children, who think they’re dying?  The thinking is women get a cold and keep going, while the same cold in men causes them to completely collapse into the manfllu.

I reject this little bit of cultural fluff. Stuff and nonsense. Men don’t fall apart when they’re sick, anymore than women do. It’s kind of interesting however, I tend to feel far more distressed when men get sick then when women do. It’s not that men act all that differently, it’s that I DO. A woman expressing distress, well she’s venting, relieving some stress. A man saying the exact same thing, well HE’S DYING! Maybe it’s biology, who knows. Traditionally women have been somewhat dependent on men, so our survival was closely related to theirs. It would stand to reason that we may have developed a bit of hypersensitivity to male distress.

In my regular life, when just trying to mind my own business, I sometimes get calledmandage to do triage. This is what led me to stop believing in the myth of the manflu. It’s not that I have much medical training, but I do apparently have some common sense. I kid you not, I have had to say the craziest things, like, “Dude, that fish hook in your hand is not going to ‘work its way out’ in a few more days. Those red lines going up your arm are going to reach your heart before nightfall. Do you think I can have your boat?”

My other favorite is, “Your shoulder is not working because you have a bone sticking out of it. Yes, I can bring you a paper towel and some Tylenol, but I don’t think that’s really going to do the trick.” Also, there’s the unforgettable time I spoke my words of wisdom from the floor with my head between my knees, “Just because there’s not enough of that thumb left to reattach, is no reason to not see a doctor.”

Not all men have a high thresh hold for pain, but than again not all men are likely to show up on my doorstep seeking medical advice, either. Also, if it in anyway involves power tools or nail guns, just call me on the telephone, will you? I prefer to congratulate you verbally from a great distance. Also, no need to email me the photos, I have a good picture in my mind already.


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