Sunday, December 16, 2007

I End Up in the Emergency Room

Gout is considered a form of crystal deposition arthritis, hence the name, gouty arthritis. Uric acid, a chemical that is found in the serum component of our blood, is the key to understanding gout. Excessively high levels of uric acid lead to the deposition of monosodium urate crystals into joints and certain subcutaneous spaces in the body.

Most acute gouty attacks occur in the late hours of the night. As we sleep, our bodies tend to focus on the primary metabolic functions such as digestion, breathing, etc. The extremities, such as the feet tend to cool as a result of this 'lack of attention'. As they cool, and if the dissolved amount of uric acid is high enough, the result is the change of uric acid from a liquid to a crystal. The hallmark symptoms of gout is the acute onset, usually at night with severe pain.

The symptoms of gout usually appear at night and come on like a freight train. The weight of the bed sheets is often intolerable. One joint or several may be involved. The most common site is the first metatarsal phalangeal joint (big toe joint). The pain is described as crushing and excruciating. Attacks tend to last several days.

And YOU WISH SOMEONE WOULD KNOCK YOU COLD SO YOU WOULD BE UNCONSCIOUS FOR THE DURATION!

Yes, I was struck down on Saturday morning with gout -- and the symptoms and the incredible pain continued until 10 p.m. when Hubby bundled me to the E.R. for diagnosis, some pain pills which did nothing to alleviate the pain, and eventually an IV filled with antibiotics, because my white count was very high, anti-nausea medication and heavy-duty pain meds. Finally sweet relief.

I've been loopy all day -- but the big toe on my right foot is improving and I can stand -- if not completely upright -- at least I can once again shuffle along.

Gout is awful. The pain has been incredible. And I lost the entire weekend before Christmas vacation -- a weekend that was supposed to be filled with all kinds of errands and activities and church and packing for Christmas. But I'm recovering. Blessings all around.

1 comment:

snugpug said...

Owie! Hope you're feeling better.