Gouty McGout Foot
I suffer from gout, have done for years now. First time it flared up we were still living at the flat so it would have been at least four years ago, probably longer. I had this searing pain along the right side of my right foot. I couldn’t even put socks on it hurt so much. I went to the doctors it was that bad, to get an idea on how bad something has to be for me to go to a doctor you should know that that was the first time I’d been since I was twelve and I haven’t been since.
They didn’t even really look at it, they glanced at my foot, said oh well you’ve got quite flat feet, you shouldn’t wear flip flops and sent me away with the advice to keep it elevated. Great. I know I’ve got flat feet and that doesn’t help anything but after wearing flat shoes like vans and converse for as long as I can remember I think I’ve pretty much fucked them up and I was already aware of that. I was wearing flip flops because I couldn’t put anything else on… and it was a nice sunny, summers day so why the hell not. So that was that, I did what they said and it eventually eased off.
Some time later I started getting aches and pains at the base of my big toe. Thats when I started putting it all together. I knew these symptoms, I’d heard Jon bitch about them for long enough as he’s suffered with it for over a decade and medicated daily to deal with it. (It turns out those meds actually fucked him up a lot worse in other ways but thats another story.)
After a few flare ups in that spot and consulting with a few people who suffer it was pretty obvious what it was. Thankfully I also knew how to deal with it. Dose up on ibuprofen to reduce the swelling, don’t eat or drink anything sugary, no beer, no red meat, no shell fish, plenty of water and keep it up as much as poss. It always works.
I don’t get too many bad flare ups these days, I can usually feel it building and am able to nip it in the bud before it really starts to hurt. Today though it was absolutely killing me. It was the worst I’ve had in a while. I struggled to get my boots on for work, any worse and I’d have had to call in. I picked up some strong ibuprofen though early on and started necking water, after the fourth of fifth pill it had eased off a bit and I wasn’t in constant pain.
The worst flare up I ever had was on our honeymoon. It started aching a little bit at the end of our time on O’ahu and by the time we got to K’uaui it was huge and killing me. I could barely walk. The problem is I’m a stubborn mother fucker when I want to me and ever since Sara injured her back and has had to be careful with not over doing it when we’re out and about we’ve kind of had a credo that we employ when we’re on holiday, ‘not gonna not.’ It’s our little phrase for when we know that what we’re doing isn’t exactly the best thing for us to do in any given situation, but we’re here and we’re not going to let a semi broken body stop us from doing something amazing. Example: “I’m not gonna not kayak down this river and hike through this amazing wilderness to an incredible waterfall just because my foot is twice its normal size and feels like it’s on fire!”
I was also in Hawai’i, you know what they have a lot of and is arguably the best in the world at? Shellfish. My favourite beers also come from Hawai’i and the burgers and steaks were too good not to try on my honeymoon too. Combine all that together and it was a recipe for a gout attack. Looking back on it now, hell even in the moment I knew it was worth the pain. It totally was. If I could do it all again but I had to have that pain the whole time I wouldn’t even hesitate.
Not Gonna Not.
Now you might be thinking, how the fuck, in this day and age does someone in their mid twenties (at the time) develop gout!? It’s pretty ridicules.
Well my dad had it, my brother has it and I have it. No, not The Force. So it might be hereditary, at least more susceptible, but the other thing we all have in common is lifestyle. My dad was a DJ until the day he died, my brother has been now for over half his life and I was for a solid decade. We’re all pros too, so for us one of the tenants of that was always being in the DJ booth as much as possible, this means that on any given night, lets say a five hour gig, where you’re constantly drinking something or other and holding it in at long as you can and only running off to the toilet if you’re latterly going to piss yourself, all the uric acid builds up and well, thats what gout is! Standing in one spot, with limited movement and not being able to pee when you need to for hours at a time, most nights of the week is a sure fire way to get gout. Add that on to an already pretty unhealthy lifestyle and a fondness for all the good stuff I mentioned earlier and it’s not really as surprising.
I’m happy it doesn’t flare up often and I can usually get through it within a day or two, but it does suck that it is something that I have to live with. Jon is much healthier now, physically, and hasn’t had a bad flare up since he quit drinking, so maybe one day it won’t be an issue for me anymore, but until then… I’m not gonna not drink!