Update, and a debate on pain.

So, I’ve been home for a little over a month, and much is happening! House-wise we are making progress – pictures are going up on walls, a set of stairs is about to be built to replace the terrifyingly rickety and steep stepladder that went up to the loft room and as I write we have rolls of turf waiting outside the back door to replace the majority of the paving that calls itself our garden. In addition to this frenetic rush of Getting Stuff Done While I Am Home, I am trying (and admittedly not doing particularly well at it) to revise all the things I learned at college 4 years ago, because I’m going for my Chief Mates ticket soon. That in itself is a terrifying prospect and I keep kicking myself for trying to do too much stuff at the same time. My main reason for pushing the house stuff is because of a (possibly rash) announcement last summer when I had all my family here, which was that We (OK, I, but the Beast is also down with it) wanted to host Christmas this year. So I need the house to a) feel homely (pictures), b) be able to accommodate at very least my parents and the Mini-Beast (stairs to the loft room), and c) be able to provide my family’s ageing and beloved countryside living dog who WILL NOT pee on anything but grass with somewhere to go that doesn’t mean a 10 minute walk on tarmac (lawn turf). We’ve also had/got 2 weddings to attend, plus the usual need to see friends and family that I’ve not seen for months/years/aeons. It’s hectic, it’s a bit stressful, it’s life as I know it, and I will get it all done. (Fingers crossed).

Now here’s the thing I actually wanted to ramble on about: A couple of weeks ago I got into a heated debate with a very good friend of mine about manflu and who (men or women) feels pain more, it was discussed over too much wine, which eventually and inevitably meant that no useful conclusions were drawn and therefore left unanswered questions in my head. So this evening I decided to use the time while the Beast is playing Elite Dangerous to follow up on the points raised and see who was right. My conclusion, for those who like a TL,DR, is that we were both sort of right and both sort of wrong, and that I shouldn’t be allowed to debate while drunk because I ramble.

The argument started over a stereotype of how men react to being ill. The old “man flu” debacle, if you will. I dislike stereotypes, the “ALL men/women/children/dogs/cats do such and such” trope is hideously flawed, but on the other hand, one surely has to accept that stereotypes exist for a reason, and that is because evidence, mostly anecdotal, but widely documented, shows us that in the majority of cases, (but by no means all!) this is what is observed. My stance was that men who play the “man flu” card are just being a bit wet, particularly when it’s not actually flu. I’ve had flu, once, I was so ill that watching TV made me dizzy and all I could do was shiver and quiver on the sofa and hope I died. When I have a cold though, I get a few sniffles, feel a bit shite, and mostly power on, because there’s shit I have to get done. Somehow, and you’ll have to forgive me for not remembering exactly how this transpired, the argument then moved sideways slightly to my friend telling me that women feel pain more than men because we have twice as many pain receptors. My response was, well if that’s the case, (and it is indeed the case) then women are tougher than men because they still get up and get on with stuff, despite their pain being worse than the pain experienced by men, this is assuming that the physical impact or cause of pain is of the same strength when applied to either gender. My friends take on it was that men can take twice as much pain/physical abuse than women, which makes them tougher. In the end I think we were looking at the same thing from opposite directions and kind of agreeing, while disagreeing vehemently about it.

But I still wondered about the “man flu” part, and whether blokes are actually being a bit wet. Given that women experience pain more than men, I reckoned that any kind of illness would affect us more. I was unable to find many articles on this area, but apparently a new study suggests that men may actually suffer more when they are struck down with flu – because high levels of testosterone can weaken their immune response, So while men can physically take more of a physical hit, women’s bodies cope much better with illness!

So there we go, I think it boils down to the point that we have different strengths and weaknesses, but they balance out in the end. In addition to all of this, we have to remember that pain is subjective, and each and every one of us actually experiences it in different ways, as this little video from asapScience discusses:

Now, I must stop faffing about on the internet and go and revise!

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~ by size4riggerboots on October 10, 2015.

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