I don’t officially have man flu on the basis I have been to work.
But I have had a pretty rubbish cold with an especially irksome cough and feel rather sorry for myself. I’m pretty sure that going to work and uni libraries and stressing about my writing-up has not helped me recover but finances and submission deadlines await no woman.
Now as I start to feel marginally less like the walking dead a weird thought has struck me – it occurs to me that I had not mentally listed joint pain and aching muscles as symptoms of the bug but merely chalked them up to my everyday pain problems with a twist of poor sleep. I know (impersonally/logically/academically) that physical discomfort and painful muscles are usually listed as symptoms of a cold/flu but I can no longer tell what counts as normal and what as ill. I wonder what else this applies to… what level of pain would I would consider ‘normal’ when lifting or carrying and would I damage myself (further?) simply because I expect things to hurt?
Pain is so subjective and I have been conditioned to believe, firstly that mine is less than everyone elses and secondly that it is at best a suggestion you are approaching your limits and at worst a weakness. Mostly I therefore treat it as inconvenience to be endured.
I should know differently.
Not only is pain a warning signal (even a misfiring warning signal is a sign you need to change something) but accepting pain is not the same as merely pretending it isn’t there.