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To think that many people say they have the flu when really they just ahe the cold?

(136 Posts)
OhFFSWhatsWrongNow Tue 02-Dec-14 21:54:18

I hear it quite a lot, especially from colleagues. "I shouldn't have come in today, I've got the flu", or "I can't stop sneezing, I have the flu"

I have only had the flu once in my life and I literally couldn't move from my bed. These people may have a horrible cold (and I do have sympathy for them, it's not nice) but they are able to walk, lift their heads, eat etc. i couldn't do any of these things.

I realise I a may be generalising here and basing this on my own experience and am prepared to be told so, but Aibu to think that the sniffles, sneezes and a runny/blocked nose is not the same as having the flu and the flu is much, much worse?

Bluestocking Tue 02-Dec-14 21:55:53

Of course YANBU. People are idiots and love to ramp up the drama. If they had flu, they wouldn't be at work droning on about it.

LumpenproletariatAndProud Tue 02-Dec-14 21:56:43


I thought I had fly a few times. Then I had proper flu and like you, literally couldn't move from bed. It was horrendous.

I don't think Ive had it more than that time. Ever since then, when someone bunged up says they have the flu (and they are walking around and talking) the first thing I think is that they have NEVER had flu, or they wouldn't be saying that standing.

gamerchick Tue 02-Dec-14 21:57:02

Yeah I have a pal who always has the flu when it's a cold.

I've had flu once in my life and I remember praying for death.

Course there will be those along soon who will say 'ffs there is such thing as mild flu' all indignant like grin

MammaTJ Tue 02-Dec-14 21:57:31

The flu test is if there is a £5 note on the floor and they could go and get it, they do not have the flu, if they can't, they have it!

CardiffUniversityNetballTeam Tue 02-Dec-14 21:58:08

I have had flu once in my life. It was fucking horrendous. I honestly thought I was dying! I have an abiding memory of sitting at home wrapped in a duvet, wearing virtually all the clothes I owned, still shivering and shaking. I could barely speak or see and it felt like my eyes were rolling round involuntarily in their sockets. Bloody awful.

They say that if you really have flu and you're lying in bed, if someone comes in and puts a fifty pound note on the floor, you won't get out of bed and fetch it. If you can get up and pick up the money, it's just a cold.

Oh, and people do actually die of flu sad not so much of colds.

Figster Tue 02-Dec-14 21:58:09


I had flu once I thought I was dying I didn't eat for 4 days lost 10lbs was signed off work pulled a muscle in my rib cage coughing actually thought id broken a rib and 7 years later it still hurts there in the cold. I threw up black stuff and couldn't stand seriously I've never been so Ill in my life!!

People Who haven't had it have no idea!!!

Lauren83 Tue 02-Dec-14 21:58:34

I agree I actually said this to someone last week, I had the flu once when I was 20 I was that ill my mum was checking my body for rashes incase it was meningitis she had never seen me that ill. I have had loads of colds.

DealForTheKids Tue 02-Dec-14 21:58:54

YANBU but I have actual flu right now and sniffling is the least of my worries sad the fact I can't stand up for more than a couple of minutes and I'm sleeping 16+ hrs a day is more pressing. Plus I wouldn't be buggering up a spotless sick leave record for an effing cold.

Sorry, I may be slightly over sensitive on the subject at the moment... As soon as I'm back at work I'll be with you 100% wink

OhFFSWhatsWrongNow Tue 02-Dec-14 21:59:36

Yes the money test thing is very accurate grin

is there such a thing as mild flu?

SantasBassoon Tue 02-Dec-14 21:59:44

I was guilty of this. Then I actually got flu and realised what a dick I must have looked, saying I had flu when it was just a bad cold.

I didn't think I was exaggerating those times, I did feel very ill. Don't be too cross with them blush

WorraLiberty Tue 02-Dec-14 22:00:04


I've had flu twice and it was really awful

My 82yr old Dad still swears he has "A touch of the flu" or is "Feeling a bit flu-ey" grin

Lomega Tue 02-Dec-14 22:00:20

YANBU. It's one of my pet peeves grin

I had flu once aged about 13 and spent a week bed-ridden, and then my chest was so bad afterwards nearly caught pneumonia, luckily my parents took me to a doctor. It was horrible and I can still remember losing my voice so couldn't call out for help to the loo/drinks as I couldn't get up. It really is a horrible thing and can be dangerous for the very young or the elderly.

And when someone comes in with a snotty tissue up either nostril going "Oh I've got flu" I am normally quick to put them straight!

Anyone else remember the year everyone had swine flu? I.e. there was some genuine cases but a LOT of people using it as an excuse for time off/for drama. One of my friends caught a cold and said "Oh no, I have swine flu, I need tamiflu" and trotted off to the Dr's, but then ended up more poorly from the side effects of the drugs..

Titsalinabumsquash Tue 02-Dec-14 22:01:19

I was always told that you know it's flu rather than a cold if you're offered £100 to walk to the end of the road and back and it doesn't make you stir. grin

I've had flu, I've also had swine flu, that's a whole new ball game.

It's the same though with people who write on Facebook or mumsnet for instance that they have a bad migraine and have still gone to work... Um no, you have a bad headache, if you had a proper migraine you wouldn't be looking at a screen of any kind.

(Bitter several day, none moving, vomiting, migraine sufferer typing)

Hulababy Tue 02-Dec-14 22:01:22

I have had flu once in my life. It was awful and coincided with me having nasty water infection resulting in a night or two in hospital (for the later mainly) I could hardly move from my bed and the flu meant I was unable to get myself to hospital to treat the infection = my one and only ambulance ride.

DH has also only had flu once. Again he states it was a very long week or so of being very poorly.

Luckily 12y dd has never had flu.

We have all had heavy colds and other bugs that have had us off our feet But I can definitely say that I knew when it was flu and when it wasn't. Likewise when I had pneumonia I knew it was different to flu - no better, but different.

But yanbu - I hear people claim they have flu regularly when they are up and about and at work. Unless they appear to have a vile mild dose then it is far more likely to be a cold. And yes, a heavy cold can be horrible - but it is not the same as flu.

Wolfiefan Tue 02-Dec-14 22:01:33

I've had proper flu twice. Couldn't have got out of bed if the building was on fire.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Tue 02-Dec-14 22:01:58

YANBU this irritates me, the one time I had proper flu I was laid up in bed for a week to ill to move never mind go to work.

I can remember 3 things about that week......
1/ crawling along the floor to the bathroom because I couldn't stand.
2/ being convinced my wardrobe was the gateway to narnia.
3/ begging dp to turn the light off before my head exploded.

the rest is a blur.

Anyone capable of saying "ive got the flu" whilst standing upright hasnt and is an idiot.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 02-Dec-14 22:03:50

I was utterly terrified I was going to die the one time I had flu. I'd have welcomed death with a big sloppy kiss if he'd shown up too - worst thing ever.

I've had horrible colds too but they usually reach a peak at the worst after about 5 days, with flu I didn't think I would get to the peak ever. And I was fragile for about a month, I would wince walking up stairs.

Fcukfifa Tue 02-Dec-14 22:04:38

One of my friends always says she gets flu all the time, and I always reply with stop talking shit! grin

I had it once and I remember wanting to ring 111 (nhs?) but my battery had died and I could not get up to put it on charge. I was also so so thirsty bit couldn't get up to get a glass of water.

I was pregnant at the time and had picked up the flu jab from chemists and hadn't got round to booking in with the doctors to administer it.

Then when my friend sniffles and exclaims she's got flu AGAIN, I want to throttle the nicest way grin

Titsalinabumsquash Tue 02-Dec-14 22:06:30

It's similar to people that have a dicky tummy but tell everyone they have food poisoning.

scrappydappydoo Tue 02-Dec-14 22:08:09

YANBU - the other one is 'I have a migraine' no actually you have a bad headache which I sympathize with but you would not be sitting in a busy cafe with a proper migraine.

sanfairyanne Tue 02-Dec-14 22:08:35

i cant remember hearing anyone say that. i hear 'i've just had the flu' but not 'i've got flu'. i would be antibac. spraying them grin

i've had flu once and i think perhaps also swine flu. swine flu was not as bad but i was more ill afterwards - pleurisy then pneumonia. someone told me it might have been swine flu as often it is initially milder

anyway, i would always pick 50 quid up off the floor grin

WorraLiberty Tue 02-Dec-14 22:08:55

Remember the great storm in 1987?

I was 17yrs old and had such an awful dose of flu, I couldn't get myself off to I slept on my parent's couch.

There was a really bright street lamp right outside the window, that lit the room through the thin curtains.

Anyway, the storm meant there was a power cut but I was coughing so hard, when the lights went out I thought it was because I'd gone blind! grin

Shit the life out of me blush

Mia1415 Tue 02-Dec-14 22:09:23

It drives me mad. Flu is a million miles away from a cold! As several of you have said you literally can't move with flu

PacificDogwood Tue 02-Dec-14 22:10:24

Ach, it's just shorthand for 'bad cold', isn't it?
But YANBU - anybody who's ever had 'proper' flu will never mistake a cold for it again grin

The misuse of 'depression' annoys me more - there's unhappiness and then there's depression. And your favourite band not getting the Christmas No 1 is not 'depressing'. Humph.

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