12 November 2005

It's 'gout' to be Winter!

If the pain in my toe could talk, it would be screaming "I'm baaaaaaaack!!!"

Last December, my right toe began hurting like the proverbial 'maternal fornicator.' I thought I'd somehow sprained it (as I'd done after a trip to Chattanooga several years back ... all the walking at Ruby Falls did it; one has to do some fancy footwork in those tunnels).

Not this time. The doctor took some x-rays of the offending toebone [apologies to Deputy Dawg], and ruled out a sprain ... instead, there was a lot of inflammation. She said I have gout. Gout is a condition where elevated uric acid levels produce some jagged crystals in the blood, and the toe area is where they like to 'pool up', so to speak, hence the (stabbing) toe pain. It comes and goes, but always seems to rage at its worst during the winter months.

You'd be surprised how much we rely on the muscles in our big toes. It's difficult to avoid big-league pain when doing anything but sitting down (and even then, it's not always comfortable).

Several factors contribute to gout. One of them is heredity, and Mom told me in no uncertain terms where it came from, then apologized. That explains why Mom sometimes gets moments where she has trouble walking. The other is diet - and it's said that red wine and red meat are the biggest aggaravators of gout. Well, I barely drink - and never wine at that - so check that one off the list. Red meat? Yup, guilty. Very, very guilty.

The gout began ebbing as February became March, and the weather warmed up. Throughout the year, my toes would sometimes get slightly sore, but nothing really major - and I'd pay it little attention. And, after cutting way back on red meat, I backslid in a big way - out of pain, out of mind, ya know?

Ah, but now we're pushing mid November ... and a cold front passed through on Thursday. Like clockwork, I woke up with a sore toe which made me want to take one of Seraphim's fancy knives and cut the bastard off. Only, this time it's my LEFT toe. The right one is blissfully ignorant of the turmoil currently bedeviling my left this-little-piggy-went-to-market.

If this is any indication of the Winter of discontent which faces my big podial digits, I might want to think about investing in a good walking cane.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Time to hop into the bed ... literally" Gleck

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