Life, it seems, can get more freaky.
A week ago I stubbed my middle-toe on a chair leg. Quite amazingly clutzy when you consider I actually only have one thing in my flat that could reasonably called “a chair” but nevertheless I managed to find it with my toe, unexpectedly, accurately, painfully. A few short swearwords and a bit of hobbling later and I was fine.
The following day – a nice black blood blister. To quote a friend: “owie”. But no pain, all good; the body doing its self-healing thing.
Then, on Friday, I woke up with my “big” toe *really* hurting like I’d stubbed that one too. Slightly weird because I didn’t recall doing anything to it – I had first noticed it being sore maybe on Wednesday at the earliest, far too late in the day to be related to stubbing the other toe. A slight limpy walking style was required in order to not make girly “ouch” noises in my head. By Friday afternoon my foot was throbbing with nastiness. Cue a weekend of hobbling and I woke on Monday to discover that my foot was definitely swollen, sore and it was now necessary for me to definitely limp and turn the sole of my foot to one side to avoid the ball of the big toe from touching the ground. Not…..good…..
By this morning I knew I was going to have to get a Doctor to look at it. The other toe still had its little black blood blister on it but felt 100 percent fine but the big toe looked like I’d had a toe transplant and the donor had been 8 sizes bigger than me with very chubby feet. The whole foot felt like it had been pumped up and the skin was straining to hold in the contents. Ewww.
So I got one of my colleagues to drop me off at A & E in our local hospital. Thankfully I thought to bring a book with me, knowing that despite it being a problem to me the foot was not *really* up there in the league of “quick Doctor we better do someting before she blows” and therefore could be in for what we term in the trade ‘a bit of a wait’. [Pseud’s note: the book was “A portrait of the the artist as a young man” by James Joyce – an odd but interesting book and prosaic style].
So, triaged within ten minutes, and then a loooooong wait for an A & E consultant; a jolly Jamaican (or maybe Trindadian) who wore a lovely purple shirt that I secretly admired and some outlandish braces to hold his trousers up.
Lots of prodding. Lots of flexing of painful toe. Needles. Blood taken (I am ghoulish and like to watch them do it, a process I never find scary or painful which I think might be a little odd). Then off for a digital X-ray to show the toe is not broken and to confirm that I have…..gout.
GOUT! I thought this was something Henry VIII had; an affliction of rotund 1950s pipe-smokers who swill Congnac and huff about truffles in their ‘club’. Not 21st century computer programmers. So much for Berocca.
So I have now Googled Gout and discovered that 2 million Americans suffer from it – women and men – none of whom are currently occupying the Tudor throne and many of whom, one assumes, are pefectly normal weight and do not gargle with expensive brandies on a regular basis. According to the A & E consultant there are more and more people getting gout. Really?
One of the contributing elements towards gout is vitamin B in the form of niacin. A bit interesting since the Berocca tablets (fizzy disolvable vitamins) contain shedloads of vitamin B as does….Marmite (or Brown Sludge to apply the correct taxonomy according to a friend from Nebraska). Red wine is bad too and red meat. So are rich cheeses like French cheese…..