In sickness and in health: when mummy gets man flu
Sarah Long arrived in Australia from the UK in early 2010 and met her Mr Miner soon after. They're based on the NSW Central Coast and he does drive-in, drive-out (DIDO) to country NSW. Sarah came out to Oz as part of a six-month backpacking trip around the world, and never went home!
If there is one thing I've learnt in the last seven years of being a miner's partner, it’s that if something can go wrong, it will go wrong the minute Mr Miner leaves.
It’s as if the house senses the moment he drives down the street and things just collapse. Light globes that I can’t reach go out, plumbing fails, storms happen, pests invade. If a disaster is going to happen, I can almost guarantee it will happen when he goes away.
And since the arrival of Mini Miner, we seem to have a new drive-out-day challenge… sickness!
Prior to Mini being born, neither Mr Miner or I had rarely taken a day off work due to sickness, apart from perhaps the odd Monday migraine caused by a few too many vinos; or a sore neck or back here and there from going a bit too hard at the gym (ahhh, those were the days).
But now the vino and the gym are a distant memory and our latest pastime is fighting the day-care bugs. Thick green snot, strange rashes and the old faithful gastro, we’ve seen it all this year.
Two weeks ago, I was in the kitchen trying to persuade a tired toddler that he couldn’t just eat raisins and cheese for dinner and counting down the final minutes until Mr Miner walked through the door. He’d been away for a few days longer than usual with training and I tend to burn myself out in the time he’s away, knowing I can relax a bit more when he’s home to help.
So, I was pretty excited to hear the familiar sound of his ute pulling up in the driveway and the gate opening. But in walked a pale, shaking, shell of a man. Sweating and shivering, he announced that he had flu (everyone at work had it) and retired to bed for the next 48 hours.
I tried my hardest to be sympathetic, but a) he is prone to hypochondria combined with a touch of the dramatic – for example, he once forgot to eat lunch and thought he was dying by dinner time!; and b) I was done. All caring had been expended and the little I had left had to be conserved for Mini.
I must admit, I may have mentioned the phrase ‘man flu’ more than once.
After four days of being fairly horizontal and generally drugged with the strongest cold and flu remedies I could find, he rallied, and by the time it was his turn to look after Mini and my turn to work for a day (having missed my previous work escape), he was almost better (although still complaining).
And then a day later he was driving back to work, the opportunity for ‘me time’ fading into the distance with the dust from his tyres.
That night Mini was sooky and didn’t want to sleep and by morning he was sick and feverish. I spent the next three days on the sofa, surrounded by Panadol, water, tissues and ABC kids on repeat. Trying to coax him into eating plain toast or having some more water, cursing Mr Miner for bringing his work germs home.
And then the worst came. Mini seemed to be getting better, I still had half a shift ahead of me and I was going to actually achieve some of the things I hadn’t got done in the last three weeks. I managed to finally do some cleaning (read, find my kitchen bench top) and write a big ‘to do’ list before I went to bed. Things were looking up.
A few hours later I woke up feverish, sweating, legs aching, head hurting. I felt like death.
Sheepishly and weakly, I rang Mr Miner and told him I was sick.
"Do you need me to come home?" he asked.
"How long will I feel like this?" I replied down the phone.
"I’ll go and talk to the boss," he said.
The next seven hours seemed like a lifetime. Feeling achy and nauseated, I entertained Mini with a range of ‘sitting-down games’. I let him join me as I sat on the shower floor, trying to warm my aching joints. I laid on the lounge floor bribing him with Cars and Cars 2 until I couldn’t stand them anymore and I crawled out on to the deck and let him draw all over anything he could find and climb all over me.
This time I really don’t think I’d ever felt so relieved to hear his ute pull up.
"I didn’t think you could get man flu," he said as he walked through the door with a grin (and I swear, a slight heroic swagger).
Luckily for him I was too weak and too grateful to throw anything. Needless to say, I’m working really hard on my sympathy for next time!
Our Miner's Girl also has her own website: check out her blog here at http://minersgirl.com/
And here's lots more from Sarah on Mining Family Matters:
- It's been 14 months, and I'm still not satisfied
- A new mum's naughtiest fantasy: snuggling, lounging and relaxing
- DIDO work roster makes for weird and wonderful first Christmas for our Mini Miner
- Playing Mummy and Daddy
- Making new friends when your partner works away and there's a baby in tow
- Amid the chaos of early motherhood, making time to give thanks
- Pre-baby jitters and nervous nesting, DIDO style
- The trials of trying to conceive when your partner works away
- Exhausted? Sometimes it’s OK to say just say 'No'
- Don't fall for Facebook fantasy. Step away from the socials and get into life
- When the FIFO shoe’s on the other foot
- 'Quality time' is any time we're together
- Who's more tired? Who cares – just help me out!
- More sex, less nagging? Sure, I'm happy to try that...
- When opposites attract
- Life lessons from a Wonder Woman who knew what was important
- It’s not all about the money!
- Shaved legs, painted nails and sexy PJs: it's fly-in day!
- Beating the loneliness blues when your partner works away
- Why I'm sick of 'cheating miner' stories
- Listen up boys and I'll tell you the secret to the first-night-home loving
- Things that go bump in the night
- FIFO does get easier – here’s why!
- 2014 – my year of positivity
- Burns survivor Turia Pitt on staying strong, the love of family and the importance of goals
- Work hard, smile and join in - how my parents prepared me for life
- Three-word phrases for simple communication
- The guilty pleasures of a woman left alone
- Help - I've started to nag my miner about marriage
- Goodbye is always the hardest word
- Don't be lonely when your miner's away. Enjoy precious 'me time' instead
- How to handle food intolerances when you work FIFO
- Lost that loving feeling? Go back to where it all began
- The great escape: holidaying out of a relationship rut
- Time for a DIDO relationship spring clean
- Reliable, flexible, super-organised ... 10 reasons why mining wives/partners ROCK
- How to make friends and really irritate them
- Relationship rules for DIDO DINKS
- Curse of a DIDO girlfriend: the fear of missing out
- After two years, a DIDO relationship is still love on steroids
- Body clocks and DIDO rosters: a rather stressful combination
- How anxiety counselling changed my life and prepared me for Mr Miner
- Making new friends - an essential tool in mining life
- Here's why I don't talk to Mr Miner while he's away at the mine site
- Sex confessions of a DIDO miner's girlfriend
- Roses are red and DIDO rosters make me blue
- Mixed emotions and my first mining Christmas
- All you need is trust
- How to make your own Prince Charming
- The guilty pleasure of 'man moaning' about my Mr Miner
- Down days and risotto
- How I met my miner
- Making your own life in a mining town
- So what's Orange really like?
If you've got a question for Sarah or would like to tell your own tale about mining life, we'd love to hear from you. Click here!