Monday, April 09, 2007

The Big Toe Tale

So. Richard has Gout. Sorry, need to share that private fact because it sets the scene. So Gout has been a topic of conversation at recent get-togethers.
Then one night at about 2a.m., I woke up with a hot, throbbing, red big toe. Taiwan has been full of toe issues for me - after I fell down the stairs last August, I lost my painted red right big toe nail in the middle of yoga class and another teeny tiny one in the hot springs. Then my right big toe nail started growing back wrong so I had to go to a doctor to fix it. This is not a very riveting story yet...but it does get better.
The sore throbbing toenail was my LEFT one this time and it hurt so badly that I couldn't sleep or let the duvet rest on it at all. So being remarkably self-sufficient, I looked up GOUT on a medical website and my symptoms matched perfectly.
  • attacks happen in the middle of the night
  • I eat a lot of asparagus, seafood, dried beans and spinach
  • the toe throbs, is red and hot
  • I don't drink enough water

But, I'm not male, post menopausal, under unusual stress or trauma, nor do I eat a rich meat diet. So poor Richard got frantic text messages asking for confirmation and sympathy for my Gout. I was going to be the first ground breaking, test case for women under 40 getting gout.So I went to the hospital, by myself, to cure this gout immediately. I was fast tracked through registration and escorted to the Renal & Colon Surgeon. Ummm, did I mention it was my toe?!?! I sat down, took off my shoe and showed the 'surgeon'. He pushed and prodded and looked and confirmed, in his limited English, that ..... my shoe was too tight. I suggested my diagnosis and he said "No. Your shoes are too tight and you walked far." Right then - just a tad embarrassing. So I took the prescription for anti-inflammatories and pain-killers and left hastily. Do you think I can ask for time off work?

My toe was, and still is, fine - almost immediately after he stated his medical opinion, it stopped being red and throbbing. But then I was wearing more comfortable shoes that day. Not my brightest moment. And Kim has milked it dry - I think everyone knows...and now, you do too! If you can't laugh at yourself...blah, blah, blah...

On a lighter note - Darren took me on his scooter up into YangmingShan - I was completely underdressed, so I froze but it was still very serene and great to be out and about. My legs hurt from the walking and my butt hurt from the scooter ride but it was so worth it.

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