I have a bum knee right now. It's the left one, the one that's had surgery twice. Thursday I twisted it getting into T-Hoe, and by Thursday night, it was throbbing and swollen and made a squishy sound when I moved, and was almost impossible to walk on. I really missed The Pony (at his academic meet) to carry my tuna salad downstairs.
I swear that knee hurt even more AFTER I took my nightly aspirin as a blood-thinner. Even laying in bed, it hurt. Felt like it was on fire. By Friday morning, the pain was so severe that I felt vomity. But I went to school, because I had work to do that only I could do. It's never convenient to use one of those 96 sick days when you need them. Around 8:00 I took an acetaminophen. I don't like to take medicine so close to my regular morning meds. Then at 11:30, I reluctantly took an ibuprofen. Besides, a teacher can't drink too much, or that will require a trip to the bathroom too many times. A bathroom shared by too many women. It's kind of like we're on restricted fluids from 7:30 to 3:00.
Farmer H probably didn't even notice my difficulty. When I mentioned the pain, he said, "Huh. Maybe you have gout. You should go to the doctor." That's his answer for every illness. Go to the doctor. Not a shred of sympathy. Go there and get pills or an operation so you can serve me, Woman! That's what it seems like.
I knew I had twisted the knee a little, but I didn't know why it hurt so much. In fact, both knees had been screaming since Monday, but it was bearable. I figured that I had been overworking them, what with duty before and after school on Monday, and walking back and forth to the computer labs with four of my classes on the hard, unforgiving, tile-over-concrete floors of Newmentia, wearing my old almost-cushionless worn-out shoes, from Tuesday through Friday. I had thought my knees might feel better. I have recently dropped 10 pounds, and find it SO UNFAIR that my knees actually hurt MORE.
Sunday, I got to perusing the innernets. "How long does gout last?" I asked my off-and-on BFF Google. Huh. Three to ten days. I did see a very slight improvement on Sunday from what it had been on Friday. I took another bite of my tuna salad, my new favorite protein-rich meal. And for the side at lunch, I had a can of sardines in mustard sauce. They just sounded good. In fact, they bumped an apple from the menu. I continued my gout research.
Mmm...those sardines were tasty. My dad always liked sardines in mustard sauce. The rest of the family, not so much. Nor Farmer H. I have to put THAT can in a baggie like the tuna cans, so his delicate nostrils are not offended. Oh. There were some reasons for gout. A list of factors that can cause uric acid buildup. That's what makes the crystals that cause the painful gout. Kind of like kidney stones in your joints.
WAIT A MINUTE!
Nine Triggers of Gout Pain!
Aspirin (I have to take one every night, but it's better than that devil medicine Xarelto)
Diuretics (Um...that's built into my blood pressure pill)
Dehydration (Can't drink at school!)
Extra Weight (Guilty as charged)
Fasting (No, but I HAVE cut back considerably, thus the loss of 10 pounds)
Menopause (It's about that time)
Injury (Twisted my knee Thursday!)
Uncomfortable Shoes (YES! But my feet don't feel like gout. Just the knees.)
Family History (Nope. Not me. I must not have gout after all!)
Well. Eight out of nine ain't good! So I looked at another site, and found out that TUNA and SARDINES are high in purines, which cause the buildup of uric acid, which causes gout! I put down my fork and sealed my sardine can (with a couple of small fishies left) inside their baggie.
So there I'd been thinking I was doing great, alternating between my leftover meatloaf and tuna salad, eating protein and lowering carbs, cutting back...and that's what causes gout attacks!
Still, I have not been to the doctor. I have not been diagnosed. Farmer H gets gout. He has some emergency pills for when he has a flareup.
After my fact-finding mission, I told Farmer H, "You might be right. I have been living eight of the nine triggers of gout pain." To which Farmer H replied...
"You don't have gout. I had gout. I was in the hospital for four days. Your knee would be all swole up and hot and red, and you couldn't stand to touch it."
"Oh. Okay. Like my knee was all swollen, and hurt laying in bed, and I had to use the cane to get from the bed to the bathroom, and Friday the pain made me want to throw up. The nurse when I had my gallstones told me I had a very high pain tolerance, as did both nurses when I had both babies without painkillers. But I must not have gout, because now you don't think I do."
"I have a high pain tolerance!" Said the all-about-me man who declared his throat was closing, and went to the ER to be diagnosed with a virus that gave him a sore throat. The same man who cried that he had a brain tumor, and went to the ER, to be diagnosed with an ear infection.
Yeah. I probably don't have gout. But I'm laying off the tuna, drinking more water, and getting another pair of shoes. Oh, and trying not to injure myself.