Monday, July 12, 2010

Ouch! Or Round 2

It's been raining a lot here in the heartland. It's also been very humid. This kind of weather proves ugly on arthritic geriatrics -- which, as much as I wish I weren't, I am.

This weekend I didn't want to cook, so Hubby and I ate out twice. Once I had crab legs and once I had buttered shrimp, boiled shrimp, fried shrimp AND crab legs.

Can you guess where this is going?
Two years ago I ended up in the emergency room being pumped full of heavy duty pain meds after ending up sobbing hysterically because of the pain caused by -- gout. Gout caused by arthritis and sometimes, the eating of certain foods -- like seafood.

Good grief. Gout. Only old men in Regency romance novels ever got gout. Certainly I couldn't have it.

But I did. And the pain was simply unbearable. If I could have, I would have cut off my foot -- anything to have stopped that endurable pain. Once the opiates kicked in, I still had the pain but didn't care so much that it was there. In fact, I had such a heavy dosage that I could sleep right through the pain for the next 24 hours.

The cause of the first bout of gout (poetry!) was judged due to arthritis and an infection that settle in the joint of my big toe. Plus eating a lot of sea food. So to cure it I took anti-inflammatories and antibiotics. Once the gout was gone I never had a recurrence.

Until yesterday.

Gout arrives while you are asleep. The doctors tell me this is because your heart will keep that blood pumping while you are up and around but things slow down while you are sleeping and your feet, which are farthest away from your heart just don't get enough pumping blood and gout settles in around your arthritis.

Saturday I just didn't feel right. So I took a nice long afternoon nap. Sunday I didn't feel very good either so I took another nice two hour snooze but when I woke up I knew that the gout had struck again. I tried like crazy to tell myself it was just arthritis because my right big toe (the one afflicted previously) was not hot to the touch nor was it red. But it did hurt pretty badly.

This morning I knew. The red band circled the toe. The steam rose from it in the nice cool air conditioned house. And the pain had doubled.

I called my doctor at first light and requested relief. You don't talk to doctors anymore on the phone. You talk to automated routers that shift you from front desk to office nurses -- but none of them are people either. Instead you leave lots of phone messages. I tried very hard to be succinct and complete, stressing I had ended up in the emergency room last time this happened and I was again in a great deal of pain and wanted to avoid at all costs another $2500 bill.

By the time I had to leave for my group class meeting to complete our Problem Assignment due tomorrow I still had not heard from anyone. I left both my home phone number and my husband's cell as he was driving me because I could not put pressure on the foot to accelerate the car, much less brake it. On the way home from the meeting (we did finish the paper), I stopped at the Walgreen's Walk-in Clinic, hoping they could give me a prescription. After a 75 minute wait they told me they never prescribed for a "chronic" illness.

"This isn't chronic," I complained. "I've only had it once before."

Never-the-less, no prescription. I could, however, go to the urgent care clinic another five miles down the road. So off Hubby took me. Except it was only 5 p.m. and they wouldn't see anybody until 6 p.m. and there were already two people ahead of me.

I went home. And there on my answering machine was the message that the doctor had called in the script and Walgreens had it ready -- and all I needed to do was eat a meal, drink a full glass of water, and take a pill (twice a day).

Damn foot. It had better heal quickly.


Margaret said...

Big ouch!! I have arthritis in my right big toe joint also. I need to be better about wearing my orthotics. Gout is an unusual problem; my dad's friend has it too and it's very painful. I laughed when you talked about Regency romances. I'm a secret fan of some of them.

snugpug said...

Oh dear. Hope you're feeling better.