The Urban Dictionary defines “Man flu” as the condition shared by all males wherein a common illness (usually a mild cold) is presented by the patient as life-threatening.

The Urban Dictionary defines "Man flu" as the condition shared by all males wherein a common illness (usually a mild cold) is presented by the patient as life-threatening.

This is also known, according in the Urban Dictionary, as "Fishing for Sympathy" or "Chronic Exaggeration." When the patient is your husband, he will exhibit the standard symptoms (such as an overwhelming desire for compassion) while simultaneously rejecting any and all efforts you make to placate him.

The "man flu" descended on our household Monday, which started out bad to begin with.

After a sleepless night (not because of "man flu," Hubby just doesn't sleep anymore) Hubby huffed his way out the door before sunrise. He seemed fine, except for the giant bags under his eyes. But with only two hours of sleep under his belt I thought nothing of it.

He seemed especially quiet all day Monday, but I was busy enough and thought it must be the case for him as well.

By the time he got home Monday evening he looked like H-E-double hockey sticks.

"Cough, cough," Hubby greeted me.

I didn't respond.

"I SAID...COUGH, COUGH," he tried again.

"Are you sick?" I asked.

"Yes," he responded weakly.

"How can I help you?" I asked compassionately.

"You can't," he said barely above a whisper. "It's just a cold and in time it will run its course."

Yep, it will. But hopefully before my Florence Nightingale routine begins to wear thin.

Being a male, he decided that he needed to pick up the yard, weed the garden and take out the garbage before he could bring himself inside to lie down.

Let me just say, the tough guy routine can be as irritating as the "he is the only one who has ever had a runny nose, a soar throat or the aches...THIS BAD," routine.

Frankly, I'm not surprised he's sick. It takes work to be healthy and prevent illness. Regular sleep, exercise and a healthy diet can help. Hubby sleeps an average of four hours a night, his idea of exercise is when he jumps up and down and yells at the Viking's every Sunday and he's under the false belief that because potato chips are made from potatoes, they must be a vegetable group.

I've tried, I really have. I started us on a vitamin regimen at the first sign of cold and flu season. Except he "forgets" to take the vitamins I put beside his plate every night at dinner and in his lunch pail for work.

You can lead a horse to water...

I began concentrating my efforts more on myself and have been ingesting high doses of Vitamin C in addition to my regular vitamins, getting more exercise, washing my hands regularly, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and sleeping seven hours a night routinely. It's not that I don't have time to be sick–I just don't want to be sick. Period.

But this really isn't about me.

After the third night of offering Hubby everything in the medicine cabinet from A to Z, I finally told him I was going out for decongestant and brandy to put in his tea. Instead I met my friends for a brandy and told him the decongestant he wanted was out of stock.

Don't judge me. Caregivers need a break every once-in-a-while too.

I could go on, but I'm writing this at home and Hubby just yelled from the bedroom. Night four of the "man flu" is giving him the chills and he needs a blanket and something to drink before the next episode of the Dukes of Hazard.

I think it's about time to go out for some more decongestant.