My name is Norman Foley, I’m 60 years old and suffer from gout. It has been eight years since it’s reared its ugly little head in my life, but today I’m in a good place with it. It’s not 100% under control all of the time, but I can say 90% with medication.
I actually knew what gout was, although I didn’t think of it as a form of arthritis. I knew that Queen Anne, Beethoven and Calvin had it. I saw 19th Century cartoons of demons clamping down on the feet of the afflicted. The Disease of Kings and Wealthy People. I never knew anyone in my personal life, who had it or as I later found out…. talked about it. Now that I talk about it, people come out of the woodwork with gout stories.
I never would have thought that I would be a candidate for this disease. I’m not the image of the lean modern man, that you would see in a Rodale publication, but definitely not the person that gets in the news clip about the National Obesity Epidemic. I have a very physical job, as a farrier and my personal hobbies are outdoorsy. Mine is a reasonably sensible diet, that is natural and organic. It does include meat, but less than the average American. I consume almost no alcohol… Maybe 6-10 beers a year, in the past. As child of the 50’s and 60’s…. I still eat some junk food, but less as time goes by. Guilty pleasures of the past… A cold beer, with a plate of scallops, on a hot summer day and deer liver. These are huge no, no’s now!
A very firm memory is the morning I woke up, with a very distinct pain in my big toe. The classic laying on my back and couldn’t stand the weight of the covers on my toe thing going on. First I thought it was a bunion or sprained toe. I was lame and it was hard to put my work boots on. I limped through a day of work and it got worse, as I had to go to a friend’s wake and my dress shoes were killing me. The receiving line at the funeral home was very long, as she was a very popular person in our small town. The next few days were really hard, as this became what I now know is… a full blown gout attack.
A trip to see my Doctor quickly confirmed, that it was gout. He prescribed Colchicine for acute attacks, Advil for pain and to hydrate more carefully. My diet wasn’t too bad, so I would cut out anything that I did eat or drink on the Bad List. Giving up whole wheat bread, was the worst! He suggested going on Allopurinol, but I resisted…. I would try to manage my gout first. This worked for about 6 years, with reasonable success. Hydration in hot humid weather is the key and even one little beer is a killer!
Next time I’ll talk more about how it’s progressed and where I am now with this pesty little affliction.
Please note that the content of this post reflects the personal experience of the blogger and does not constitute medical advice. Success or failure with a drug, medical procedure, personal fitness program, diet, or psychological outlook is individual. Readers cannot assume that they can replicate any success or failure they read about in a blog. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical condition or medications.