by Derrick Horton
(Monroe, GA USA)
I want to make this immediately clear: This is not a feel good story. I just want my fellow gout victims to know you are not alone. This is a really long story, but I will make it short.
I am now 40, but I started suffering from gout at the age of 26, initially in my knees. I would have these awful pains when I rode my bike (BMX) especially when I rode on a halfpipe. I visited the doctor(s), and for years they told me I had bursitis, or bone spurs or anything but gout.
When I was about 32ish, I awoke one day and had a major pain in my ankle which felt like a severe sprain. I could not recall injuring myself, but being an avid bike and skateboarder, I shrugged it off and figured I had injured it and didn't notice it at first. The pain continued to get worse as the day went on and that night I was attending a birthday party for my best friend. On the way to the party I picked up a 12 pack of Newcastle, my favorite beer, and figured I would dull the pain with a little alcohol. BIG mistake. I stayed the night at the party and about 4 in the morning awoke with undescribable pain in my foot. It took me 2 hours to sober anyone up enough to drive me home. I fell out the my friends truck into the driveway and climbed into my wife's van. She drove me to our local Kaiser clinic and they finally diagnosed me properly with gout. It took 2 morphine shots to dull the pain. I was convinced that pain could not be more painful than that. I was wrong....
Over the last 14 years the pain has gradually become worse. I have corrected my ph levels, changed my diet, stopped drinking alcohol and have done basically everything you can do to prevent gout. I still get it on a regular basis and right now I am in the midst of a 3 month episode of a gout attack. Up until this recent attack it has never lasted more than a week. For whatever reason this time it is different and my doctor cannot figure out how to get rid of it.
I have had well over 100 gout attacks. Some have not been that bad and have gone away in a couple of days. Others have left me sobbing uncontrolably in the fetal position on the floor. I have dislocated both shoulders, broken 3 ribs, my jaw, my nose, both feet and a toe. All of this pain combined does not compare to the pain I have felt from gout. I have had more than one doctor tell me that they have never seen gout so bad in a person. The current attack I am having is in my heel, but the swelling is so bad my leg is swollen up to my knee and my toes look like one big unitoe.
I have learned over the last 14 years, that there are lots of experts and all of them have different opinions. Everyone is different and have different triggers and sometimes your DNA just got screwed up somehow. You can do everything to prevent gout, but you are still going to get it, nature can be cruel.
So, the point is, know that you are not alone. I know that when you have a severe attack it feels like the end of the world, but if I can take it, so can you. Keep your head up.
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