Tuesday, September 12, 2017

mōmsal (몸살)

I currently have a classic case of what Koreans call mōmsal, which refers to generalized body aches, pains, blahs, and other nasty, mind-dulling symptoms often associated with colds, flus, and so on. You can think of mōmsal as a sort of syndrome, i.e., a suite of symptoms and conditions all arising at once. In my particular case, the mōmsal is a stew of fever, a slightly (but not alarmingly) mucus-y cough, fatigue, joint ache, and a sudden wave of lower-back pain for no apparent reason. The latter pain makes it difficult for me to bend over and pick anything up off the floor, but I assume this is temporary. It's more annoying than actually debilitating, but it's sapping my will to do any exercise. I'd much rather just lie in bed, under a blanket that protects me from mosquitoes. I haven't lost the will to go to work yet, but we'll have to see just how bad the condition gets. In theory, I'll make it through the week.

I've got Comtrex-style cold medicine to combat the problem, along with aspirin and vitamins. We'll see how that goes for the next few days. It's unfortunate that this is hitting me during a week when I'm expected to produce a lot of food this coming Friday, but I have no choice but to shamble on through it.

Wish me luck as Friday approaches.


TheBigHenry said...

Good luck, Kevin.

Best, Henry

Neil Barker said...

When in doubt, go with the nasty tasting hanyak (한약) & a few bottles of Vita 500 & Red Ginseng. I swear that mix was as effective as anything whenever I was sick with mōmsal (몸살.) Those small ground powdered packets of hanyak taste awful, but it tends to clear out the sinuses and mucous in a day or two.

John Mac said...

The symptoms sound awfully familiar. In my case the diagnosis is the dreaded A-G-E syndrome.

Hope you feel better soon!

Kevin Kim said...

Thanks, all.

Charles said...

Hope you feel better!

(Although the bar over the "o" made me start wondering what the word might indicate without that. Perhaps the legendary weight put on after giving birth?)

Kevin Kim said...


Thanks. I recruited the help of Monsieur Macron because I don't trust my US readers to know that the romanized "mom" is pronounced "mohm" and not "mahm." Admittedly, I don't apply the macron consistently, but the moment I wrote "momsal," the fanciful pronunciation "mahmsull" popped into my head (i.e., the "mom" sound of "Mom" and the "-sal" sound from "sisal") and grew into a paranoid fixation. Et nous voilà.

Am currently coughing up some nicely dark, foul-tasting mucus, just FYI. No more fever and no other cold symptoms, but my back still aches, and I've still got a cough. I'd better not be sick like this next week, as I'm planning to walk 66 km in 24 hours starting on Saturday the 23rd. Longest 24-hour walk ever, I think—even longer than the Portland-to-Cascade Locks walk in 2008.