I’d had a mild version of something similar a few weeks ago, and put it down to an unnoticed collision or whatever, so I was a bit surprised to wake up last Monday morning with the area of my big toe, left foot, sending me signals. Ah well, I thought, it’ll go away.
By Wednesday morning, it hadn’t. Instead it had developed in size (cherry tomato), colour (ditto) and, of course, pain. I realised I’d spent much of the night half-consciously finding sleeping positions that avoided any contact with the bedclothes, which had taken on the texture of over-zealous emery paper. Uh-oh, I thought, and went to NHS Choices in search of something beginning with ‘G’.
Now the good news (to adapt a Bob Monkhouse punchline) is that I’m not a hypochondriac. So I was ready for what I found. It seemed that they had snuck unnoticed into my house, taken a hi-res photo of my foot, and published it. And I could have written the list of symptoms myself. So I have gout.
Interestingly, it can apparently be caused, or exacerbated, by over-consumption of beer, fortified wines (including, yes, port) and neat spirits – none of which I indulge in to any extent – but not wine. It didn’t say how much wine didn’t cause it, though.
It’s gone away now, just like doctor internet said it would. There’s no point in my going to my GP and saying I think I had gout last week, is there? They’ll just tell me to come back when it does. Then there’ll be yet another pill to add to my collection. Meanwhile I have an old Flanders and Swann number worming away in my ear, to compete with the Rodgers and Hammersteins left over from yesterday evening.