|It's still Dr. Mom!|
Fast forward to the 2000's, and according to a recent survey sponsored by the Bayer Corporation, things haven't changed. Dr. Mom is still taking care of everyone when they are ill. Paul Iannini, M.D., the Chief Scientific Advisor for the RTIalert, is also the Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, CT, and Professor at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT. When asked about the survey, he said it was done because this hasn't been looked at since the 1950's when most families were in single earner households. Today, most families are in two income households, and more kids are in day care facilities. Bayer was curious if these changes had any impact on what happens when someone gets sick.
The RTIalert Survey, focused on Respiratory Tract Infections (RTI). These include bronchitis, sinus infections, ear infections, and pneumonia. According to Dr. Iannini, "the research supports the stereotype of Dr. Mom managing the healthcare needs for her family." Since many of these moms are also working outside the home, they have an added burden when illness hits.
Without good communication skills, this added burden could negatively impact a marriage. Bottom line, if either one of you is suffering from a cold or flu or just feel miserable for a few days, talk about it. Let one another know your expectations. If you are sick, do you just want to be left alone? If you are the healthy one, do you have the time to pamper a sick spouse? Without sharing feelings and thoughts right away, a couple can have unnecessary misunderstandings and arguments.
Although 65 percent said they take care of themselves, more women than men seem to do this (69 vs. 58 percent). Of that other 35 percent who said someone else takes care of them when ill, 26 percent noted that it was their spouse or partner. Additionally, when sick, a plurality of respondents (46 percent) said they depend on their spouse or partner to look after day-to-day necessities, work, or family needs.
Conducted by Opinion Research Corporation International, the survey of 2,022 Americans, revealed regional differences in managing RTIs. Apparently if you live in the North Central and South, you just want to be left alone. If you live in the West and Northeast, you say 'rest' is your favorite treatment when sick. Totals however showed that 73 percent of those surveyed prefer to be left alone when they have an RTI, while only 25 percent like to be pampered or cared for.
The majority of respondents with RTIs prefer to sleep when home sick (51 percent). Other activities included watching TV (20 percent), reading (13 percent), working (6 percent), and surfing the web (3 percent). It wasn't a surprise to see that 'feeling lousy' was named as the worst thing about being sick (61 percent). Second was 'can't take care of the family' at 14 percent, and 'missing work' came in third with 13 percent. However more than twice as many women than men chose not being able to care for their family.