The Husbands Who Cried Wolf-itis

If this post looks familiar to you, then you are the proud owner of a copy of “I Just Want To Pee Alone”, which features this essay. We are finally able to share it with our loyal readers the whole world today! And now we sit by the phone, because at any moment Oprah is totally calling us, right?

Let it be known right off the bat, we have initials that go with our full names. Lisa’s are M.D. and Ashley’s are R.N. You might think that being married to someone in the medical professional would come with certain benefits. Maybe we’re like Albert Schweitzer and Florence Nightingale all wrapped up in one, diagnosing their aliments and caring for them with compassion during their man-colds. Surely we’re consumed with keeping track of their Motrin dosing schedule and lovingly applying cool compresses to their foreheads.

You might think those things, but you would be wrong.

Because neither of us is involved in patient care on a daily basis anymore, we really enjoy functioning as private WebMDs for our friends. Our fellow moms always come to us with legitimate and normal concerns. We love to help them. But our husbands are another matter. Something about taking our marriage vows eliminated our tolerance for their whining, sniffling, and dramatic overreactions to their every ache and pain. In fact, we endlessly complain about their latest hypochondriacal maladies to each other. Daily.

Hence our conversation from last Tuesday:

Ashley: Seriously, get ready for the latest complaint from my damn husband. Keep in mind that every.single.word I am about to share with you came directly from his lips.

Lisa: Oh God, I can tell this is going to be good.

Ashley: That man looked at me last night and said, “I am really worried about my knee. It feels really spongy–YES HE SAID THAT VERY WORD– and loose around my kneecap.” I let him know that he is over 40 now and that’s going to happen. I told him to get a knee brace from Walgreens, and he’d be good to go.

Lisa: Yep. Total weekend warrior syndrome. That was good advice. Did it reassure him?

Ashley: Ha! No, not even close. He wondered if he should make an appointment with an orthopedist for a custom brace or maybe an MRI.

Lisa: Wow. Just wow.

Ashley: The best part is yet to come. The *next* thing he said to me was (and I quote), “I am really nervous it will just buckle, and I will need emergency knee surgery.”

Lisa: Bwahahaha! Oh, Lawd! What is he, a linebacker for the NFL all of the sudden? Which orthopedist do you have on retainer? I wonder if knee buckle surgery is arthroscopic or invasive?

Ashley: I wonder if it’s covered under our insurance! I assured him that I was pretty confident he was safe from a dreaded case of “the knee buckle”.

Lisa: This must be the week for joint complaints in the over 40 male population.

Ashley: Oh, do tell!

Lisa: My brave little soldier of a husband has decided that he has a raging case of tennis elbow. Except, instead of taking an ibuprofen and going on with his life like a normal person, he thinks it’s best to go around the house wincing and moaning every time he tries to pick something up. He has even taken to freezing in mid-motion and crying out in agony.

Ashley: Did you tell him to get a brace? Maybe our husbands can go together. Perhaps they can find a buy-one-get-one-free special or something.

Lisa: Oh, I wish it were that simple. Unfortunately, the over-exaggeration of his “pain” led our sweet, somewhat anxious son to decide that his father was gravely ill. Bobby was so concerned that he took me aside because he was worried his father had somehow contracted elbow cancer.

Ashley: Poor kid! Hey, wait a minute! Don’t *you* have tennis elbow from time to time?

Lisa: Why, yes…yes I do. In fact, when I tried to commiserate with my dear husband at dinner and offer tips for dealing with it, do you know what he actually said to me?

Ashley: No, but I can’t wait to find out.

Lisa: He said, “Oh, that’s right. I forgot you had tennis elbow.” Um, OF COURSE HE DID because I don’t go around complaining about it all of the time.

Ashley: I bet he felt bad then, right?

Lisa: Oh, no! In fact, he had the nerve to say, “My case must be worse than yours. You would not be able to function with pain like this.” You will be proud to know I suppressed the urge to stab him with my fork.

Ashley: Bravo, sister. You deserve a medal for that.

Don’t judge us. We are caring people.

If you had to put up with the litany of complaints we do on a daily basis, you’d become hardened to their whimpers, too. After years of cases of “malaria” that turn out to be nothing more than a zit, we feel totally justified in our penchant for dismissing their illnesses outright. We have no problem assuring our husbands they won’t catch rickets just because they spend all day in an office environment.

We are also absolutely positive they won’t contract scurvy because we callously refused to buy the imported crate of tangelos they wanted from Harry and David.

As a rule, we are always correct.

But…let’s just say that *hypothetically* there may have been a time when each of our husbands complained of a severe cough. We might have suggested they suck on a Ricola and relax. Let’s just say that they both continued to insist they were getting worse by the second and begged us to listen to their wheezy chests. Maybe we assured them they didn’t have the bubonic plague and that, while colds are indeed unpleasant, they are harmless. Let’s just say that after they each spent days lounging in bed, we sent them to the doctor so he would tell them to man up. It’s *possible* that they both *hypothetically* came home with the official diagnosis of pneumonia.

Boy, did we learn a lesson.

No, that lesson isn’t that husband coughs should be taken seriously. Have you even read a single word we’ve written?

The takeaway is that husbands who cry wolf-itis, only have themselves to blame when we tell them to take two aspirin and call us in the morning. Obviously.


The Husbands Who Cried Wolf-itis — 24 Comments

  1. I totally was smiling and giggling, because sadly my husband has done stuff like this quite a few times with different ailments over the years. Seriously, he had himself on death’s door more then once and usually it is nothing more then a simple head cold! Got to love men and I my grandmother was totally right that if you let one man have a baby, the human race would totally die out, because the pain during labor alone would send them over the edge, lol!

  2. OMG!! Husbands! I can’t imagine how the species has survived with the severity of their ailments. Mine sounds just like yours. This week he has a bad bruise on his leg from playing football. It means he can’t sleep on his right side and smother me in the bed, so I’m secretly happy about it!!

  3. “You will be proud to know I suppressed the urge to stab him with my fork.” Haha, I laughed out loud with this one! Seriously, though, with the exception of perhaps my dad (who is a pediatric oncologist who responds “your fine” with just every complaint of not feeling well that my sister and I had growing up), I feel like the men in my life (past and present) have NOT handled even the slightest runny nose well!

  4. Oh, I feel your pain, girls! Being and esthetician there have been many times when people will lift their shirt and say “What is this?!” And they have no qualms doing this in a public place with peeps all around! Or they send me a text with a lovely picture!

  5. I am dying over here!!! They are ALL THE SAME!!! My husband would totally go with the “knee buckle emergency surgery” thing… And complaining? Holy crap! I’ve been known to run say a world championship duathlon and my husband will complain (that very day!) of how tough his workout was and how tired he is. REALLY??????? So glad to know I’m not alone… Hilarious!!

  6. Either they won’t listen to you when you give them good advice (or just yell at them to take the *&^% medicine already!)or they are just simpering blobs when they do come down with something. ps. now that I know you two are medical can I make an appointment to ask you for some advice? J/K…sorta 🙂

  7. Would he have actually made the appointment with the specialist or was he assuming you would do it for him?

    In this house we ride the “back surgery” train.

    Me-“why are you wincing?”

    Husband-“Remember when I had back surgery?” (15 years ago)

    Me- “Yes but I’m not sure what that has to do with taking the trash out.”

  8. I’m definitely the one around here more likely to think things are worse than they are, although I am certainly not this bad. I know things are serious if my husband is complaining. He had a serious injury once and drove himself to the hospital instead of asking me for help. But I have quite a few friends whose husbands want to be really taken care of when they are sick, so I am chuckling!

  9. I’m such a good mom. One of my most favorite “dad stories” to tell my children about their late father? His constant whinging whenever he had a cold and the endless descriptions of the colour of his snot. It was incredible. Not a peep out of him when his Crohn’s was flaring up but when he had a scratchy throat? Katy, bar the door.

  10. HaHa – I loved this!! I love Chris more than life but when he is sick….
    The first time he had a sinus infection (not many years ago), I had to take him to urgent care (never mind that I always took myself with a baby an toddler) on a Friday night (after i called a sitter for the boys). The DR took pity on him because he was so pitiful and actually prescribed hydrocodone for his pain – for a sinus infection!!! I was not overly sympathetic or caring that weekend!!!

  11. OMG!! Major SHAME! After reading this post, I have come to realize that I am the one who cries wolf-itis at home.
    Excuse me while I go and apologize to my husband who I am astonished has never threatened to leave me on account of me doing this at least once a week!

  12. A- “Cry wolf -itis” definitely happens at my house. The entire family can be sick and The Hubs always “has it worse” than anyone else. If it hasn’t been added to WebMD it should be.

    B- I didn’t know you gals were in that book. Exciting! I’ve heard a ton about it and definitely need to get my copy.

    C- I read it will “-itis” I something very different when clicking through from Bloglovin. This was a milder post than I expected.

  13. This is too funny! Why is it we always hear so many complaints from Husbands? In the last week I’ve heard complaints about turf toe and near constant speculation about when he’s going to get sick from the kids (which-by the way-I already did. It’s called Mucinex, take it).

  14. Y’all are killing us with these comments! It is SO refreshing to know we are not alone with these men who think that stubbed toe is headed for gangrene! 😉

  15. I’m glad I’m not the only one out there. It is so much easier if I’m sick or if the kids get sick – hubby is just the worst. THE WORST. Sometimes he tries to even over diagnosis my woes. One time I made the outloud comment that my hip was hurting and his flat out response (while looking down at his phone of course) was “Maybe you have bone cancer” – who in the world thinks like that – not to mention SAYS that??? They just don’t get it.

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