Readers of a certain age may recall that line from one of the late great Gilda Radner’s characters, Roseanne Roseannadanna.
As the line applies to me, it means that the impact of kidney disease is not limited simply to kidney function. Because the kidneys don’t fully perform the job they are supposed to, certain other problems arise. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are well known and well controlled by medication. However, last night I was reminded of another problem that is usually under control, but not always.
As last night wore on and became almost entirely devoid of sleep, the joint that connects the big toe on my right foot to the rest of my foot, began to throb and grow increasingly sensitive to touch, including the touch of the bed sheet. I resorted to hanging the offending foot over the side of the bed so that it wasn’t touching anything but air. Eventually, I drifted off to sleep at about the time I would normally be thinking about getting up.
I have some drugs prescribed for this sort of occasional flare up, but it’s going to take a few days before this whole thing goes away.
I was a bit hesitant to write about this. I really don’t want to come across as someone whining about his situation all the time. As unhappy a situation as kidney disease and dialysis is, because I have access to excellent medical care, I can make my way through this. It’s not quite accurate to say that this is a “first world problem” because people in all corners of the world deal with kidney disease. But, because I have the supports in place to help me to live despite the very poor function of my kidneys, I have the luxury of complaining about gout. Someone without access to adequate health care would simply be preparing to die, instead of waiting hopefully for a kidney transplant.
I don’t necessarily have a prayer I recite daily to get me through this, but if I did, it would surely be, “Lord, help me to maintain perspective.”
With that prayer in mind, here are a couple of comics about gout: