Stick Miller: … and the Boogie Woogie Flu

Published 2:00 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2016

For almost two months now I’ve been under the weather in one degree or another. For the last three weeks I’ve mostly been on the sofa, or should have been. I have what my sainted mother would have called the Galloping Hypnosis or the Epizootics.
It began in January. I was at a motor home rally and I distinctly remember having a “funny” taste in my mouth. I figured my box of wine might have gotten old and thought no more of it. The funny tang developed into a deep cough from which I suffer until this day.
In fact neither of us is up-to-snuff. Even though I’ve pulled out the seersucker PJ’s, I’m just not feeling it. We are one step above being bed-ridden and we are both sick and tired of being sick and tired.
My bride and I have different doctors; therefore we are approaching this pestilence with dual medical opinions. My doctor, Willard Feelbad, MD, has tested me for everything but pregnancy. I’ve had blood drawn five times. They don’t even have to put a needle in my arm anymore. I just walk into the small room and start bleeding. My phlebotomist, Nurse Draculene McGillicutty, knows more about my family than I do. (I have to talk while the needle is doing its thing or I’ll pass out.) All I need is a concussion.
I’ve had a chest X-ray and I’ve had a CT scan (is that the same thing as a CAT scan?) If so I’ve been told I’m not having kittens. I’ve had the test for Legionnaires Disease. I told them I’d never been to Morocco, much less served in the Foreign Legion. Nurse McGillicutty smiled and promptly gave me a test for pneumonia. I’ve taken so much medicine, I’m almost afraid of what might be going on in my body.
That got me to speculating about drug disclaimers and how my mother would react to such nonsense. I think her thoughts would be something like this:
“Warning: Castor Oil may cause a severe reaction. Stay close to the bathroom and have plenty of reading material handy. This medicine is working if you have any of these signs: severe stomach cramps, sweats, difficulty walking; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat; jitters; anxiety; bloating. Castor Oil will not make you fall asleep. It might make you wish you had never been born but it will never induce sleep. Never take this medication during your normal sleeping hours, unless you have an understanding wife or dependable domestic help. As always, it’s never good to take a laxative and a sleeping pill together.
“Some people using this medicine have engaged in activity such as convulsing, driving, eating, or making phone calls and later having no memory of the activity. If this happens to you, stop taking Castor Oil and talk with your mother about another treatment. (Yeah, right!) Castor Oil can cause side effects that may impair your ability to walk. You may feel exhausted shortly after taking the medication, and for hours thereafter. Until you know how this medication will affect you during waking hours, be careful if you leave the house while it is raining. Olympic Long Jump tryouts are discouraged. Taking Castor Oil before piloting or embarking on a trip in an airplane is ill-advised. Only do those things which require you to be awake and alert. Do not drink alcohol while you are taking this medication (or ever in my momma’s house.) Besides, alcohol can increase some of the side effects, including certain activity. Castor Oil is not habit-forming and should be used only by a person with severe mental problems or as a last resort. Castor Oil should never be shared with another person, especially in a one-bathroom house. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. (This includes you, Momma.)
“You may have very pleasant withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking this medication. Do not stop taking this medicine suddenly without first talking to your mother.   If you are still alive after taking this medication for several days, chances are you are cured. You have successfully purged all illness and everything else. Your body is now a clean slate … an empty tomb.”
Yep, that would be Momma’s take on drug disclosures.  I haven’t tried Castor Oil but the way I feel right now, I may just try her remedy.
What could it hurt? Wait, don’t answer that.
Look out world, here I come.

Boyce “Stick” Miller is an award-winning columnist living in Americus, Ga. Contact him at