Airing Dirty Laundry

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Get out, gout! January 15, 2008

Filed under: family — airingdirtylaundry @ 4:35 pm

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:

two peas in a pod

It’s all in the genes.


6 Responses to “Get out, gout!”

  1. I so feel Mike’s gout pain. Ready for this? I was diagnosed with Gout when I was going into 11th grade. You read that right. . . talk about not being your typical 50 year old male 😉

    My doctor would not even test me for it. I had to go to a clinic where my mother begged them to since I was unable to walk. Sure enough my uric acid levels were wacky. Silly me, I spent the summer eating turkey sandwiches and mushrooms every day (both high in uric acid). My mother and her father both had gout, so I know the genetic luck with it.

    I took low dose meds to keep it under control until I was pregnant the first time. Since then I had not had a flare up. I am careful not to eat too many mushrooms.

    I hope Mike’s flare-up does not last too long. It really stinks that he can not take the meds. I know my mother was never helped by them anyway.

  2. Karen MEG Says:

    All I know about gout is all the pain it causes! I worked for a drug company that was developing a drug for hyperuricemia, which I guess increases your chances of having gout.
    I hope Mike doesn’t have to deal with these gout episodes too often, sounds so debilitating when it hits.

  3. Joan Says:

    My husband has had gout since his early 30’s. He had multiple flare ups at first, and Colchicine was used to get it under control (yes it gives you the runs). But once under control he was put on Allopurinol and he hasn’t had an attack in years and years. We tried a lot of herbal rememdies but none of them worked for very long.

    I hope he gets med’s he can handle.

  4. Mahala Says:

    I get to take Colchicine three times a day forever.. woohoo! I hope he gets relief soon, it’s such a painful condition. I’ve got FMF.. sort of like “The Gout” all over.

  5. Amy Says:

    I am a 34F who has had gout attacks since the age of 17. I don’t drink and I dont eat red meat. I am truly one of the lucky ones…lol! I tried colchicine only once. I couldn’t stop vomiting and broke all the blood vessels in my eyes, let me tell you, it was a fabulous experience.

  6. Lowell Says:

    I have gout, had my first attack at 21 (kept being diagnosed with tendonitis). It hurt so bad I couldn’t out my foot on a pillow. Most of my attacks have been in my knees or my left ankle. The normal meds failed to keep my uric acid level bellow 10.2. I am not over weight (170 lbs) height 6’2 and I don’t drink (I stopped in 1994), We have no family history, and I am not a big meat eater. In my case I don’t fit the stereotype. Now at 38 a nephrologist put me on uloric, and new and exciting drug. Less than a week later my right ankle and big toe have both gone off at once. I hope this is a sign that my uric acid level is leveling off.

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