WHEN WILL IT HIT?
Signs of impending Mum Flu are often missed, but it usually strikes shortly after an illness has immobilised the rest of your family. The symptoms will develop slowly, allowing you to function normally and enabling you to nurse them through the acute sickness that has rendered them incapable of all but the most basic functions. Mum Flu can be expected to attack just at the moment your children regain full energy levels.
In normal cases of influenza, and indeed the far more serious ‘man-flu’, a loss of appetite is to be expected. This is not the case with Mum Flu. Appetite and an almost pathological craving for sugar will increase and, despite your throat feeling like it is made from razor blades, do not be surprised to find that you eat more than ever.
YOU WILL STILL LOOK EXHAUSTED
Your appearance will not change. You always look tired anyway. It is quite likely that members of your immediate family will probably not notice that you are ill at all.
You may assume it is withdrawal from caffeine that causes these symptoms, but this is your bodies reaction to your body temperature rising. You are ill.
Expect to feel overwhelmed with self-pity. Do not be surprised if the smallest amount of sympathy that comes your way results in uncontrollable floods of tears
(my apologies to the pharmacist in Boots!)
You will have exactly 12 minutes from when you first show symptoms of illness to the point at which you will be expected to make a full recovery. Remember, children and husbands have needs that necessarily take priority over your own fragile state. You will find this is in your job description.
A swig of Calpol and a double-dose Berocca should just about get you through until lunchtime … at which point you will have lost the will to live and turned to wine anyway.