Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Acquired empathy

Our case for today is a professional gentleman in the first flush of middle age. He has been favourably compared with Daniel Craig* with respect to his chiseled good looks, and likes to think of himself as pretty healthy. In short he is your humble narrator.

“Whatever then can be the matter?” I hear you all ask.

I thank you for your concern, but pleased be assured all is well, or at least soon will be. For now though it appears I have been stricken by a comedy ailment. You know the sort of thing, ailments that are a source of amusement to all but the poor victim. The boil on the bum, or dose of the piles; the glowing scarlet hooter of acne rosacea or alcoholic liver disease; or as in this case the throbbing agony of the hammer splattered thumb or gouty toe.

Yes, ladies and gent’s, your poor old interlocutor has been stricken with the gout. It’s not the first time to be honest. In fact the last bout was only just around Christmas time, though the one before that was a good few years ago. So here I sit, like the plethoric squire in a seventeenth century cartoon, foot held aloft, wincing and any slight movement within three hundred yards whose trajectory might imperil the affected hallux. The good news is, from past experience, both my own and that vicariously obtained, I know it will be gone in a few days and do not then expect it to return anytime soon. Better yet, it seems still to be responding to good old Indomethacin, so no need to seek out the apothecary monks for their Colchicine…

Happily it affects but a single joint, and yet, in so doing, I am given a glimpse into the daily reality of a number of my regular customers who have far more widespread and longer lasting inflammatory joint diseases. And such an insight makes it easier to appreciate just why so many of them are so keen to continue their painkillers, even when it becomes apparent that the anti-inflammatories are slowly but surely rotting their kidneys.

I can’t help thinking they are all an awful lot tougher than me. Arthritis really isn’t for wimps.

* Readers are encouraged to ignore the off camera sounds of Milady spluttering into her tea mug in disbelief… a lad can dream after all.


BenefitScroungingScum said...

Oh no! I'm very sorry to hear you're suffering again so soon, here's hoping it stays away longer next time.
The thing about pain like that though is that over time the body does adapt to it, well, there just isn't a choice. You'd probably be surprised just how tough you might be if you had to be.
Having said that..I'll dislocate all over anyone who tries to take my pain relief off me ;)
Feel better soon BG x

Elaine said...

Oh you poor soul. Can it be infectious (not contagious as the cases I know of are too widespread?)

I know better than to make any jokes about port as a lovely lady here who is well on in her eighties has gout and never touched a drop of alcohol in her life.

orchidea said...

So here I sit, like the plethoric squire in a seventeenth century cartoon,

Gout's had no effect on your turn of phrase, which is unchangingly above par.

Take good care, Dottore J.

Oldgit said...

You most certainly have my sympathy. Gout is extremely painful as I can testify. Funny, when I get an attack, how my wife always seems to want to aggressively hoover close to my Dr Jest
gouty foot.
When I’m forced by the pain to hobble around to my GP she tends to cluck a bit in a disapproving sort of way (she does, of course, prescribe medication) and suggest my red wine consumption should decline somewhat and also to lose a kilo or two. I do mend my ways for a while, but the attacks return when I slip back into old habits. If there is a hell/purgatory gout will be one of the devil’s tools.

Doctor Jest said...

bendy girl-- "Having said that..I'll dislocate all over anyone who tries to take my pain relief off me ;)"

I must say that sounds a trifle Pyrrhic to me, but each to her own... just how long have you had these Massochistic tendencies if you don't mind my asking? Still I think I know what you're saying. Happily for me things are aleady a lot better so I can stop being brave now ;-)

elaine-- happily gout is neither infectious nor contagious. It's purely a chemical process to do with a slightly wonky metabolism.

orchidea-- *blushing* as ever you are too too kind,but "whore for praise" that I am I will of course lap it all up.

O G -- *wincing* "my wife always seems to want to aggressively hoover close to my gouty foot."

I believe wars have been declared over lesser causes ;-)

steveg said...

Eyup Doc (My best Yorkshire greeting).

I too suffer from a "Comedy affliction" - Tennis Elbow - which of course wins me lots of jocular comments about how many years it may have been since I last graced a tennis court etc etc (Har har). yet anyone in the know about this thing is that it can become so painful at times I can hardly lift a mug of tea! Thankfully the anti inflammatory's prescribed by my GP hit the spot exactly and I generally have no problems at all. It does however help me to deeply empathise with your current situation.

Get well soon I hope Doc

Best Wishes


Elaine said...

Ummm, thank you Dr Jest. The enquiry about infectious/contagious was meant as a lighthearted joke (jest???) as for the first time I am hearing of several widespread cases. Betterness soon

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Oh I'm not so sure about phyrric..what to you may be a major medical event to me is no more than a blip occuring, probably every few moments if I'm honest.
Being able to just flick your hip in and out of it's socket at will kind of alters your perspective...now as for the masochistic, I really prefer anything like that to be confined to the bedroom...but as you ask so nicely....;)
Glad to hear you are at least recovered from being all gouty!