Living with Gout

I started this page, because I have gout.  I started it because I wanted others, who also have gout, to know there is help.

I am not 100% gout free.  I will never be truly gout free.  If I take medicine, like Allopurinol, I can disrupt my body’s production of uric acid.  But that also means going to the doctor every 6 months to get my prescription refilled.  That hasn’t always been possible in my life.

As a result, I’ve gotten pretty good at managing it on my own.  Diet, of course, was the most important factor.  If I changed my diet, I could, theoretically, reduce my gout flareups.

This last 30 days or so had been tough.  I fell off my diet, and had a pretty bad flare up.  My left foot swelled up, and it was obvious to me it was one of the instep joints, and not the toe or somewhere easy to reach.

As usual, I used ice, and wrapped it, and tried to avoid walking as much as I could.  I am fortunate to work from home, so getting around the house wasn’t terrible.  It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible.

In previous years, I worked at fairly large buildings.  In Arizona, this meant long walks from parking to the entrance.  As you might expect, when I had a gout flareup, walking was the last thing on my mind.  As a young and stubborn man, I simply gritted my teeth, and used a cane to take some of the pressure off.  I took ibuprofin throughout the day, and brought ice packs to work.  Of course, sitting at a desk was never as good as laying down on a couch or bed, so it’s not like I was doing myself any favors.  But I lived in the US, so I had to work, even when hurt.

In sales, you can’t afford to take a day, or two, off.  If you don’t hit your numbers, you are GONE!  So, I felt the need to show up, instead of going to the doctor.  Not that most of the corporate health insurance plans were any good, but that’s not the point.

So, going from a long, difficult, painful walk, and then trying to be a friendly sales person, and interact nicely with your co-workers was always a challenge.

Now that my office is right next door to my bedroom, I’m able to walk a lot less, and therefore live with a lot less pain.  Icing my foot is a lot less embarrassing that trying to do it in an office environment.  Here, only my girlfriend and pets are here to laugh at me.  Sure, maybe no one would have laughed at me, but the embarrassment would have been the same.

The bad part about icing my foot at home is the new puppy we got this year.  He’s a real biter, and loves to shew on things.  Including ice packs.  So I have to be really careful when I leave my ice packs around.  I’ve already lost one!

Eventually, I got back on diet, slammed my system with cherries, strawberries, blueberries, milk, celery seeds, turmeric, and all the tricks I’ve suggested on these pages.  It helped, and it relieved the pain as well as helped reduce my overall attack.

I just have to stay on diet better.  Too much bacon, too many burgers, and I suffer.  It’s a tough lesson to learn….because I do love me a good hamburger.

I ran across this article on “spoon theory”, and it really struck home.  I wanted to share it because I think it makes a lot of sense to those of us who deal with chronic pain on a daily basis.