A doctor’s advice; What to expect if you leave a man with a cold at home.

By Jennifer Kirkman Heinicke


If you leave a man with a man-cold home, he might decide he is dying and think about calling 911.

But he really doesn’t need any medication. He’s fine and no, he’ll just keep persisting with this theatrical and highly affected cough…

And he will leave a trail of wadded up, used Kleenex so that his wife can find his final resting place when she returns from work.

To his astonishment, he’s still alive at the end of the day.

After you feed the kids, facilitate the homework, and arbitrate the q15 minute bickering, he will ask you to make him something to eat. If you ask him what he wants to eat, lo and behold, he cannot make up his mind… until you are ready for bed and then he would like double noodle chicken soup (which you offered previously, more than once.)

When you make him the chicken soup, he crawls out from his childhood blankie wearing his winter hat, rag wool slipper socks, and puffy coat. He hasn’t seen you all day, so he sweetly would like to visit in-between tuberculous coughs and expectoration while you lovingly gnash your teeth and think about your 14h day tomorrow.

After he begrudgingly agrees to take some cough medication and in expert martyrdom-mode, he announces he is sleeping in the office, on the floor, despite the perfectly good guest room and bomber immune system of said wife.

You tuck him in amidst the Kleenex (that’s his deal) and he falls asleep.

Then, a carefully curated series of illogical fears, accrued based on unfortunate and anecdotal patient outcomes, requires that you check his breathing every two hours.

Until the sun rises and you stumble out the door, leaving him alone for yet another day…


Jennifer is a doctor, wife, and mother living in southwest Colorado. Any similarities to her, or her beloved and highly respected man, are purely coincidental— yet slightly exasperating.

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