Adventures in Musteroling

Do germs get sick?  I hope so.

Getting well and staying well are two major driving forces in the world’s economic engine, but otherwise, I don’t see any purpose for illness.  I know there are people who contend that you can’t enjoy the good without something bad to compare it to.  Count me as dubious.  I, for one, would like to try enjoying good with no bad.

When I was a kid if you were sick and moping around home, my Aunt Nancy, who was a nurse, called that “musteroling,” after the mustard-based patent medicine ointment.  I don’t know if they still make Musterole; I don’t think so. is a website written in Arabic.  I don’t pretend to understand Arabic, but the website doesn’t seem to be selling ointment.

I’ve been musteroling for the past week.  It’s no fun.  Being sick is not a good way to use up all of your sick days at work either.  I don’t think what I have is serious, but I haven’t gotten any better, even though I’ve watched as much daytime TV as I could stand, and a little more.  I hope I don’t have to take the drastic step of eating hospital food to get well.  That would mean going to the hospital and I already know from experience that being hospitalized is a bad idea.

My adventures in musteroling started last Friday.  I had an infected ingrown toenail, so off I went to the podiatrist.  He told me I actually had two infected toenails, cut and pulled out little pieces.  Pulling your nails out probably was effective as torture when people used to do it for that purpose.  The podiatrist certainly over-estimated how much pulling of nails I could tolerate without local anesthesia.  Ouch is just one of the many four-letter words I uttered.

Then, over the weekend, my throat got sore, my head got stuffy and instead of performing the requisite food grilling ritual on Memorial Day, I was musteroling.  Soon afterward, I developed chest congestion, a post-nasal deluge and a horrible cough.  How bad is the cough?  It hurts!  My chest and stomach muscles are sore from coughing.  I’ve been sleeping all week in a reclining chair.  At least it took my mind off my feet. 

It’s not the worst cough I ever had.  For that one, it also hurt my back to cough.  If you cough so hard you pull a muscle in your back, try leaning against a wall to cough.  That seemed to help me.

On Wednesday, I felt a little better, but that was just the germs messing with me.  So on Thursday, I went to the doctor.  One thing I hate when I go the doctor is if anyone there says, “How are you?”  That’s what I’m there to find out.  The doctor gave me a rapid flu test.  I thought she said rabbit flu test, but no, it was rapid flu test.  There is such a thing as rabbit flu, but it’s much rarer than the swine flu that’s all the rage right now.  I don’t have the flu. 

So, I had to have a chest x-ray to find out if I have pneumonia.  Don’t know yet.  Hope not.  I’ve done that before and I don’t want to do it again.  My wife has pneumonia.  She had something very similar to what I have, but she had it first and went to the doctor first.  She caught the pneumonia just as it was starting and seems to be doing fine.  She will, of course, have another x-ray in a few days to make sure she is doing fine.  It’s important she takes care of herself.  If she doesn’t, how will she take care of me?

As I was leaving the doctor’s office this afternoon, the receptionist said to me, “Feel better.”

“Why didn’t I think of that?” I replied.

Author: Tom

I know my ABC's, I can write my name and I can count to a hundred.