I was 28 and skiing in Val D'Isere, France, and had a particularly heaving night drinking in Dicks Tea Bar. I eventually made it back to my apartment and fell asleep. I woke later that morning with a very sore foot. I put this down to I must have slipped and twisted my foot on my way back to the apartment in a drunken stupper. I suffered the rest of the week squeezing my foot in and out of my ski boot which is difficult at the best of times but with gout you can imagine the effort! I did not know at that time that this was actually my first gout attack. I returned home and life carried on as normal. A few months later it happened again. My foot started to swell but this time I didn't have a heavy drinking session and I didn't fall over. I couldn't explain it. It was very painful, I could hardly walk and it lasted a week. I ended up putting my foot in very cold ice buckets and wrapped in ice towels all week until the swelling went down. The second attack ended. Again, a few months later it reoccurred and then again and again with attacks getting more severe and lasting longer. I went to the doctors on two occasions but they insisted it wasn't gout at my age. I continued to put up with the attacks until the next Christmas I was in Manchester with my friends having a Christmas drink when in the space of 15 minutes a sever attack occurred. I literally watched and felt it happen. I couldn't touch the floor or hardly move. I had to flag down a cab which cost me £55 to get home. This was when it started to get serious. I was probably 30 by now. I continued to put up with the attacks until I could take no more. On my last occasion my attack literally came on in less than one minute. Yes I mean literally one minute. One minute I was walking around the house the next I couldn't walk. I sat down on my couch and to my amazement it started in my other foot. Within an hour both feet were swollen like footballs and I literally couldn't move. My wife was out with friends and I was sat there unable to move. Eventually I decided I have to get to the toilet and bed. If you can imaging a 6 foot 3 inch man try and get upstairs to bed by moving with not letting his feet touch the floor or anything. And I mean anything. I tried to shuffle along the top of the couch like a gymnast. Not easy. I then had to slide along the floor to my door and open it. Again feet in the air. I then had to slide backwards up the stairs to bed. It took me over an hour to eventually get into bed. Oh and it got worse and worse if you can believe that is possible. If I could have sawn my feet off I would have. My wife eventually came home and I got her to call an ambulance. They arrived and said they were taking me to hospital but I told them not to touch me and eventually they gave me morphine which was like magic. The next day the doctor came out and he prescribed me on allopurinol. My wonder drug. I am now 52 and although I get the occasional twinge I do not get the severe attacks at all. The morale to this story is DO NOT suffer and put up with gout it is completely treatable and I am testimony to the power of allopurinol. Kind Regards Mike D.