Published 12:00 am Monday, March 16, 1998

Rebecca Burk / L’Observateur / March 16, 1998


Tap, tap, tap.

Knock, knock, knock.

Aaaauuuunnhh. Heeellp.Women know exactly who I am referring to. But I’ll go ahead and informthe other half of the community so they can understand themselves.

I’m referring to our favorite men who all act like children when they get sick.

My fianc recently came down with the flu. I’ll admit that he was sick andI know he didn’t feel well, but, boy was he pitiful.

The second day he was laid up in the bed, my mother began to tell me about Brad’s new way of getting her attention for some juice or medicine, when I got home from work.

As she began the explanation I heard a knocking sound. I looked at her withquestion on my face and she exclaimed, “There he goes again!” So, I follow her into the “sick room” and there he is, my future husband the child, laying in bed, looking like someone just ran over his dog. And thesad thing about it was he could barely hold his fist up to knock on the wall.

“Ibuprofen,” he muttered.

Initially, I’m thinking to myself, “What about it?” It only took me a minute, but, I understood, and so did my mom and so do all of the rest of the women out there.


I believe women have much higher thresholds for pain. Who has babies? Can you even imagine a man pregnant? I don’t speak from experience, but I doubt they could get past the morning sickness much less the labor pains.

And men are such wimps about going to the doctor. I don’t particularlyenjoy going, but if I need to go, then I’m going to go.

Brad finally agreed to go to the doctor after he had been sick for about four days. And after the penicillin shot, he was back to his normal self ina day or so.

But he’s still got to be difficult about it. The doctor prescribed someantibiotic that he was supposed to finish taking whether he was well or not. I don’t even have to tell you if he finished that antibiotic.A tip for the men reading this: If you feel sick, you probably are. Go to thedoctor, get some medicine and please try not to bug the heck out of your wife, mother, aunt, girlfriend or any other caring woman who puts up with you.


Men don’t handle illness or infirmity well, that’s for certain. It’s asymbolic loss of manhood and embarrassing, at the least. However, let uslook at the distaff side to the issue.

Women apparently plan much of their lives around their doctors. They seedoctors many more times than men feel is truly necessary. Then, whenthey are home, so many of the soaps feature, yes, more doctors. Theirlives are filled with doctors, from gynecologists to pediatricians to surgeons. They see specialists and refer physicians to one another. Theyknow all the ins and outs of medical insurance. Most guys couldn’t bebothered with all that. If it can’t be fixed with an aspirin, an ice pack or agood nap, it’s probably fatal anyway, so why bother? Women get second and third opinions. It’s tough enough to get a guy to seea doctor once. I once broke my arm but didn’t get around to seeing a doctorfor six hours, figuring it was just a bump which would stop hurting after a good rest.

And guys have a great deal of trouble understanding the point of appointments. If you have a 1 p.m. appointment, the doctor had better beready at 1 p.m. or we might just walk out and plan another appointmentsome other day. What’s so tough about a little time management? Manywomen, on the other hand, have no problem with waiting for hours on end and may see a doctor two or three hours after their scheduled appointment. I would be LONG gone by that point!Admittedly, most men could see a doctor much more frequently than they do. It could extend the average man’s lifespan with regular doctor’s visits.

Rebecca Burk and Leonard Gray are reporters for L’Observateur.

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