Monday, November 26, 2007


Thanksgiving came and went. I enjoyed it... mostly. I broke out in a severe attack of gout by Friday morning, though. I'm still trying to pin down what, exactly, I ate to bring it on. Right now the primary suspect is the duck breast we had on Wednesday night. Sigh. It struck me in the knuckle of the thumb on my right hand. It turned red, swelled up and hurt like hell. I couldn't sleep Friday night, the pain was so bad.

I'm going to have to start writing down my reactions to just about all foods now. This won't be fun. Not for me and certainly not for friends who do nothing more than try to feed me, God bless 'em.

For those of you who are unclear about gout, let me explain. Purines (the stuff that gout is made of) build up in the blood stream, abetted by certain foods which are notoriously high in them, such as asparagus, shellfish (every kind from clams to crabs, shrimp & lobster) and "game" (venison, wild fowl and, I suppose, duck). At a certain point the blood becomes so saturated with these purines that they look for a way to precipitate out of the blood by forming crystals IN THE JOINTS farthest removed from the heart. This is why, traditionally, the first outbreak of gout occurs in the knuckle of the big toe on the right foot.

The pain these crystals cause is excruciating. Worse than a raw nerve hit during a root canal.

There is a treatment for it. The immediate medicine is called Indomethicin, which is a heavy-duty anti-inflammatory. With me, it works within an hour or two to relieve the worst of the pain. The long-term medicines for it are Allopurinol and something called colchicine.

The problem was I forgot to pack the Indomethicin. So I suffered. A lot. For a day and half. Until I got home and took 2 capsules. That was at 10:55 a.m. By 1:00 p.m. the pain had dramatically subsided (so had the swelling and redness).

No doctor has ever given me a satisfactory explanation as to "why" I would contract gout. But I have a sneaking suspicion that it's all tied up with heart disease and diabetes.

That's the sort of problem I could sink my obsessive-compulsive teeth into.

I wonder if it's too late to become a physician, and is it a good idea for a recovered alcoholic to have easy access to prescription pads and narcotics?

I'll call my sponsor and see what he says.

I love ruining his day.


SteveSchalchlin said...

Green peas also cause gout. Jim has it and anytime he gets a few peas, it flares up.

Alan said...

i dunno. I've got the diabetes and hypertension and the problem in my joints is still arthritis (which is beginning to sound like a picnic compared to yours. Now that I am working, physically working hauling books around all day my arthritis rarely acts up and when it does Aleve fixes it.

Bev Sykes said...

Ouch indeed. Sorry you had such a hard time, but I'm glad you're feeling better. I haven't had the "pleasure" of gout, but I'm finding arthritis in strange places these days!

Ain't it fun to get old?

JoyZeeBoy said...

Hmmm. It sounds like we're all suffering from advancing ageitis.