Three years ago, Mike and I went on a family vacation to the Outer Banks with his dad’s side of the family. There were 30-some of us in a big beautiful house, far far away from civilization in the 4-wheel drive area. While we were there, we got to spend some quality time with his relatives from far-away lands, such as Florida and California. Some of these relatives I had met before a number of times, some only at our wedding, and some never at all. It was a great trip, because of the time spent with family, but it was also great because we learned all about gout.
Mike’s uncle Denny, from California, has gout. In great detail he explained to us the causes, what aggravates it, how it feels, and how to treat it and live with it on a daily basis. I was shocked at first. Only old people get the gout, right? (And I love how it’s always “the” gout. Maybe it should be capitalized. The Gout.). But Denny was probably only around 50 at the time, if even that.
A month later, I had a great birthday trip planned for Mike and I to drive to Norfolk, VA and see the remaining members of The Doors with Ian Astbury from The Cult in concert (non-refundable tickets, of course), along with a non-refundable hotel reservation, dinner at a swanky restaurant, and backstage passes (you guessed it, non-refundable) for after the show. A few days before the trip, Mike woke up in utter pain, saying his toe hurt. Whatever. Hours later, he was almost in tears and could barely walk. A few hours after that, he was even worse.
It was The Gout. And thanks to Uncle Denny, he knew what it was even before going to a doctor. Once again, don’t only old people get The Gout? Apparently not. Mike had just turned 33.
To top it off, there are only a few prescription medications that can be used to treat gout, and Mike had an allergic reaction to the one he was given. Ever had severe diarrhea when you can barely walk to the bathroom without help? Not pretty.
So hours of internet research later, I ventured to GNC with a list of herbal pills that he could take–not as immediate pain relief, but to lessen future attacks. He’s pretty good about taking them, and for the most part they’ve worked. The most important thing is to watch what he eats, cut back on alcohol consumption, and stay far away from any aspirin-based product.
Needless to say, we never made it to the Doors show. The Gout also prevented Mike from running in the Indy Mini last year. It’s debilitating, not curable, and painful to even watch.
Mike woke up a few days ago with a pain in his ankle that felt like the beginning of The Return of The Gout. He’s taking Advil by the handfuls, but it’s still there, and getting worse. Here we go again.
One of the risk factors of gout is genetic. I’m blaming Uncle Denny:
It’s all in the genes.