Thursday, June 20, 2013

3 days of hell ~ living with Gout / Flat Feet

Gouty arthritis.


The scourge of Humanity I believe is Gout. I've been holed up in my house for about 3 days with yet another Gout Attack (very frustrating), especially since the past 3 days have been so beautiful (temps in the low 70's and blue skies) and I have so much I need to do around the house. I've been getting the attacks since I was in the Marine Corps during the 80's (I also have flat feet... literally no arch and 7 years in the Corps destroyed them regarding impact exercising... to the point I could barely run 3 miles in 28 minutes by the time I got out). I was never fitted for proper footwear during my time in the Corps (and we ran with leather black boots... not the most comfortable as I was always getting blisters plus Plantar fasciitis). I usually sucked it up and just dealt with the pain. After I got out in 1988, I wasn't able to jog / run anymore as it would cause too much pain (which has affected my effort to fight my weight ever since then).
 
Right now my left foot looks like it had an anvil dropped on it. Every time I try to do extensive work around the house plus when I am dealing with stress, my feet start to swell (and if I bump my foot/toes on occasion, then the affected area starts to swell). I usually get a low grade fever at the same time (and sometimes it turns into a full on flu like symptoms).  

My left Big Toe and the toe next to it swelled up (including the top of the foot in front of my ankles which make it hard to bend the foot to walk). Essentially, the foot turns into a walking exposed nerve.

You can see the swelling in the left foot, and the bruising on the right foot (and what looks like a bunion on the right foot by the joint of the Big Toe is actually swelling of that joint).
 
I no longer drink beer (much to my dismay), I avoid pod like vegetables (anything which will increase my uric acid levels), and I only eat Turkey on Thanksgiving (and I avoid a large helping so I won't suffer the following week).
 
I used to take Indocin, but that horribly affected my stomach, so for the past 20 years...... I've been using Extra Strength Excedrin (250 mg acetaminophen / 250 mg aspirin / 75 mg Caffeine). When Naprosyn started being sold over the counter (Aleve), I then combined 1 tablet of Aleve with 2 tablets of E/S Excedrin (a cocktail of medication)... in addition, I would occasionally drink Black Cherry juice.
 
The best description I have read on this subject is as follows (from the wiki "Gout" entry):
 
In 1683, Thomas Sydenham, an English physician, described its occurrence in the early hours of the morning, and its predilection for older males:
Gouty patients are, generally, either old men, or men who have so worn themselves out in youth as to have brought on a premature old age—of such dissolute habits none being more common than the premature and excessive indulgence in venery, and the like exhausting passions. The victim goes to bed and sleeps in good health. About two o'clock in the morning he is awakened by a severe pain in the great toe; more rarely in the heel, ankle or instep. The pain is like that of a dislocation, and yet parts feel as if cold water were poured over them. Then follows chills and shivers, and a little fever... The night is passed in torture, sleeplessness, turning the part affected, and perpetual change of posture; the tossing about of body being as incessant as the pain of the tortured joint, and being worse as the fit comes on.
All I know is that it makes life absolutely miserable and it is evident when I walk into a job interview... which does not help show me in a positive healthy gait. 


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