Friday, November 29, 2013

Gout: The rich man's disease?

My foot looks like this only hairier.

“Ben Franklin and I…”

     Have you ever suffered from gout? Well you need to. I’m pretty sure it’s scriptural. In one of the Corinthians it says something about God helping us when we hurt so that we’ll be able to comfort others ‘cause we know how it feels. That’s the Mark Version.

    That being said, there is no way you can possibly identify with me unless you’ve had your toe or foot or other body extremity throbbing in pain due to excessive uric acid. Bottom line: You need to get your gout on.

    God gave me my gout experience because of what I did to my old teaching buddy, about 15 years ago. I came into Larry’s classroom right before school started and noticed that he had his shoeless right foot propped on a chair next to his desk. I pick up on little things like that.

    When I asked him why he was drawing attention to the fact that he forgot his shoe, he informed me that he was suffering from gout. Gout? That’s what I said, “Gout?” Then I said, “You do know that Ben Franklin died of that?” I followed up by saying that I thought gout had become extinct.

    Larry had no words for that, so I figured it best to leave him alone. As I made my exit, I just barely tweaked his toe. Instantly he let out a groan that about scared me to death. I apologized profusely. He said, “Not your fault. I should’ve told you that I had gout.” I learned much of my sarcasm skill from Larry. 

    Well, 15 years later I’ve got gout. Remember last week’s article about tripping on the step and tossing corn everywhere? Well, I did, and my article will no doubt save lives. The foot that I crunched is the one that’s now gouted. It looks just like a picture I pulled up on the Internet of a foot with gout. In fact, it could’ve been my foot.

    My foot was healing nicely from the fall to the point where I was happy as a clam in sand. Then on Day Five, I woke up with my foot throbbing due to the pressure of the sheet laying on it. “Larry!” I screamed. I’m joking. I instantly blamed the pain on Kroger.

    Last week, that crazy store had a big sale that I wasn’t even aware of till I stepped inside. They had so many people handing out free samples that I thought I had unknowingly ended up at Sam’s. While walking through produce I saw this giant washtub thing filled with of bags of pistachios. Normally, you can get ‘em two for seven dollars. But, during their big sale, they had ‘em two for three dollars. I left the store with 12 bags. I paid for ‘em first. They pretty much insist on that.

    I was planning to eat a bag a night. On the second evening, I chased a bag down with some mixed nuts. The next morning I was dying. When Kay came in from work, she took my groaning as long as she could. That’s about four hours. Then she ordered be back to Urgent Care, the place that x-rayed my foot from the fall… which is soon to be a movie “Foot From the Fall.”

    After an hour and half of waiting and listening to people’s names being called – patients who only thought they were in pain -- I was finally summoned. I assured the assistant doctor girl, that I knew I had gout because I saw it on the Internet and because I tweaked Larry’s foot. She told me that she knew I had it ‘cause she saw it on my x-ray last time I was in, but didn’t think it quite that serious at the time.

    When I told her about all the pistachios I ate, she told me that she was not aware that nuts caused gout. She blamed it more on red meat, sugar and other wonderful stuff. The realization that I could finish off my pistachios made me forget my pain for three seconds.

    I was written a prescription for something in a steroid and then a pain medication that works particularly on gout. I had no idea. I love science.

    Do you see what happened here? God made it possible for me to realize what pain Larry went through when I touched his toe. He made it possible for me to do more than merely sympathize. Now I can emphasize with anyone who suffers from the torturing disease spawned in the bowels of hell.

    When I got home I noticed that both pill bottles had printed on ‘em – “Take capsule by oral route.” -- I had never seen that before. I’m glad it was included on each bottle, because one of the pills was bitter as all get out. I hate to think what might’ve happened had I thought it to be a tiny flat and circular suppository. -- Lawyers are responsible for these insanely obvious instructions, you know?

    Oh, and I have since researched Ben Franklin’s death just to verify that he died of gout. Turns out, it mentioned that he had gout, but didn’t say that he died of it. It merely said that he died peacefully in his sleep on April 17, 1790.

    That is so much hooha. Franklin might’ve died in bed, but I assure you, he was not sleeping peacefully. Hey, I can feel his pain.     


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