When it’s your turn to step up and spin the wheel of old man diseases, “gout” ain’t that bad a spot for it to land on.
See, I woke up some time ago, to my foot suddenly deciding it didn’t want to be walked on. Either I was kicking footballs all night in my sleep, or perhaps due to over-exploratory tossing and turning, my wife punched me – in the foot – repeatedly.
Hurting a part of your body in your sleep generally would point to some sort of overall laziness, but I actually set a precedent in the past for unconscious flailings.
Thankfully I’m not a sleepwalker, but apparently I am a sleep-groper.
I guess when I’m unconscious, I sometimes go to a default extra-touchy setting.
(This just proves more and more my theory that men are just walking testosterone robots.)
Having successfully diagnosed waking up to a bum foot as “nocturnal misadventure”, I decided to do what any other regular fella would do – walk it off.
Use a crutch? Who needs a crutch? Stumping around like a pirate with an extra-long peg-leg must add character. Sure, things got a little scaldy when I tried to carry two coffees at once, but I was hobbling around on an instant conversation piece.
“What did you do to your foot?” they’d ask.
“Who knows,” I’d say, as I slowly shuffle-hopped by.
My “letting my body sort its own crap out” plan worked out relatively well for the first week, until my foot swelled past the point of being shoe-able. Realizing I looked like an amateur student of semaphore every time I took a step, it was off to the clinic for me.
Well. The doc sure didn’t pull any punches.
The top three words out of his mouth for what might be happening to my gimpy foot: gonorrhea, diabetes or gout.
The first I was a little stunned by. I caught the “tsk-tsk” in the doc’s voice at him having to mention an S-T-D. My automatic guilt response made me blurt out, “B-b-b-ut, I’ve had the same sexual partner for six years…”
And diabetes? I have a meat tooth more than anything else. I don’t even dig M&Ms all that much.
Easily ruling the first two out, all roads led us to good ole gout.
Rather than suffer remorse at picking up a painful medical condition, I quickly realized I was joining a group with a pretty solid pedigree. This was gout, the disease of over-indulgent royalty! A condition of kings! Henry the 8th, Kublai Kahn, and even Nostradamus had gout (wonder if he saw that coming).
I get to share the company of such stumbling luminaries as Benjamin Franklin, Sir Isaac Newton and yes, even Jared Leto! (Swoooon!)
I’m okay with marking this as an entropic milestone. I’m scraping 40, which is a perfectly acceptable age to have things start falling apart. Plus – putting my feet up on my desk is now doctor-mandated. I consider that a win.
Rather than slow me down, gout has simply put me on the path of becoming the porch-rocking curmudgeon with a heart of gold that I’ve always wanted to be.
Besides, I didn’t want to have to hold out for glaucoma to sign up for the medicinal.