What’s up? I’ve been poorly – that’s what. It’s not much fun having a summer cold – but add to that asthma – a fairly common condition and nasal  polyps – not rare (but honestly I did have the largest polyps our doctor had ever seen until they were shrunk using steroids last year – honestly he was impressed!) and having to sit up in bed so you can breathe and slipping down the pile of pillows you have erected, only to wake up with a sore neck; living on lemons and Manuka honey for days on end; streaming eyes caused by inflamation due to posterior blepharitis (an interesting condition in which too many secretions cause dry or itchy eyes and sometimes get blocked causing small cysts which are removed with use of a green needle – not as scary as it sounds) a sinus headache and bad cough causing pulled muscles…

You think I’m exaggerating don’t you. Well I’m bloggin’ well not! In fact after the starvation and lemon diet enforced on me by the virus and after one goodish night’s sleep back in my own bed, I woke up with

a broken foot.

Well it felt like it was broken. Four toes that would only flex with excruciating pain so that I couldn’t put my left foot to the floor without wincing.

Luckily I have a trusty stick (a gift from when I slipped a disk some years ago – I have been in the wars though haven’t i?) and an even trustier husband (he’s used to it by now) who examined the swollen appendage, flexed it, tapped the toes, prodded leg and ankle and pronounced that it seemed to his trained eye, I was suffering from gout.
‘GOUT?’ said I.
‘Gout.’

The waters at Bath I thought. Nothing will do so well for a gouty constitution. I immediately thought of my friend Jonathan Pinnock and his wonderful book. Later – September 14th to be precise! Alas Bath – lovely city is way doon sooth. So I had a glass of tap water instead.

Back to my saga…
I hirpled about all day on my trusty cane (it’s one of those nice flowery patterned ones that’s adjustible to suit height – or lack thereof in my case. It’s blues and greys, lemons, creams and russets suit any outfit.) At length I agreed to pay a visit to the surgery.

I’m always reluctant to seek medical advice because I know that I’m very over-weight and that is the first thing the doctor will think even if they don’t say it. On this occasion the stick insect who saw me didn’t mention it but instead drained some blood to be certain that, that indeed was the diagnosis. I chatted merrily not even glancing at the turnoquet on my arm or the deep red gloop issuing from the vein. She did it very well by the way!

Did you know that steroids can make you susceptible to small fractures?
Did you know that post menopausal women are more like to suffer from gout – a predisposition that runs in families? And did you further know that the condition is exasserpated by foods high in PURINES such as meat, game and fish? (No PURINA is cat food.)

You see how fascinating it is to be ill? One learns so much in so short a time, it’s almost worth an inch of blood.

Anyway, having ascertained that it is gout what is the treatment? Oh I think you know, don’t you? And so do I. So armed with my Purine’s Chart I aim to lower my uric acid levels over the next few days and then manage them.

It was going to happen. It was only a matter of time. I’m a natural wine drinking, cheese eating, carnivore and I’ve gotten away with it well into middle age. So I can’t really complain – can I!