Can you get gout from plastering a wall?

So for the last 14 days, I haven’t been able to walk properly. 14 days worrying that my big toe will drop off, worrying that every time my son or daughter come near me, they will knock my foot, kick it, drop a toy on it, or even just sit on it.

How many people do you know who might just sit on your foot without expecting them too? Apart from your kids, maybe your dogs, or cats, but certainly not your dad or mum, unless they fall over for some strange reason.

Anyway, it started with an itch, any itch could come to this. I’m sure that was a song. So the itch turned into a strange lump, a red one, which also itched. So I looked it up. It seemed to be a bunion, or a Juanete in Spanish, which I thought was funny, and I will try to use on any Juan’s in my classes in the future.

So, how did it start?

Plastering a wall? Should have tried that…Photo by Alexandre

I spent a week plastering a wall, filling in the cracks, with this bunion (it was actually wall filler, not a big dollop of bunion). The bunion got better, until last Saturday. After a hefty long examining session, it began to feel as if my big toe wanted to explode off.

So on Sunday, I ended up in hospital, as a patient, and a female doctor had a go at me when I said it was the 5th or 6th time it had happened. I felt like that time when I smashed a football through the medical ladies’ window. She gave me such a piercing stare that I could do nothing but cower away and mumble an apology.

She asked me if I wanted some painkillers, I said that I did and fainted about an hour later.

It’s a weird feeling, fainting. I was fine, until a guy with the bushy beard stuck a needle in my bottom. It was at the top, near my back, and it went all warm, then the guy said I could leave. I felt hot, then a shadow started forming in my mind. I went out shaking my head to my wife.
“No, no,” I said, and turned to go back in. As I got to the bed, to lay down, I must have nose dived, because the guy caught me.

Next thing I know I was lying on my back with a guy holding my legs up. It felt as if I’d been out for ages, but it was only a minute. The first feeling that I had was that I needed to fart, but I managed to hold it in.

What was the conclusion (not from the necessity to pass wind (haven’t said that for ages))? That I could have gout, or a weird type of arthritis. Either way it’s bloody painful, and also meant for my 38th birthday I was hobbling about like an 83 year old.

It’s amazing how much it hurts when your big toe is red, with a bunion type thing on the side. Jesus, it hurt to get in and out the shower, to sleep, and I almost cried when my son fell back and accidentally knocked it; the pain was excruciating.

From Tuesday, I have been able to walk, thanks to some hardcore pain killers, which I’m not even sure what they are.

On Thursday I had a blood test, to see if it’s gout, or just some weird type of arthritis, but after fainting at the hospital I was sort of dreading it. It’s something about needles, and taking a part of my body away from me, to be analysed by people who I don’t know, which sort of freaks me out a bit.

I was mentally prepared though.

On Sunday, when the guy with the bushy beard said he was going to stick something in my bum, he wasn’t joking, and he did it so quick. It was the shock and warm feeling in my lower back, upper bum, that caused me to keel over and almost smash my head open on the floor. Luckily he saved me.

So, on Thursday, as I sat in the chair in the doctor’s, at 9am – this is important because I’d been awake almost 90 minutes and hadn’t had a coffee, not something I’ve done for a few years now – I tried to explain, in my broken Spanish, that last Sunday I fainted after getting an injection.

My mouth was dry and clammy though, so she didn’t get me at first.

“I said that I fainted last Sunday when I had an injection.” As I said this, I pointed to my arse.
“I see,” she said, smiling as she tightened something on my bicep. It was blue, but I daren’t look down to what it actually was in case it scared me and made me feel faint. “What was it?” she said, grabbing my forearm.
“Oh,” she said, doing something, but I looked at the line of tubes of blood, then looked at my foot, anywhere else but her. What if the needle was long and pointy? “What was it for?”
“Oh, just my foot. It’s swollen, they think I might have gout, and…” I felt a small prick as the needle went into my arm. “So that’s why you are taking blood out of my arm.”
“Yes,” she said, nodding and smiling like a twisted robot. For a second I wondered whether she’d heard me correctly. Had she perhaps understood me asking if it was going to hurt and make me faint? My mouth got even dryer.
“But this is much softer. Anyway, all you need to do is just sit outside for a 5 minutes if you feel like you may faint. There, all done.”
“Yeah? Already?” I still daren’t look.
“Yep, it was only blood.” Only blood? Sure, it’s not THAT important.
“Wow, I wish you had been the one to have injected me last Sunday,” I said, looking down at the cotton wool taped to my arm.
I stood up, slowly. Firstly because I didn’t want to faint, and secondly because it still hurt when I stood up thanks to this damn gout thing I’ve got, or whatever it is.
“Have a great day now,” she said, opening the door.

My son was really interested in why I had a cotton wool bud taped to my arm. I tried to imagine telling him that a woman took some blood out, or that Spiderman put it there, but I’m not sure he would have understood. So I just said.
“The doctor put it on there.”
“Why daddy?”
“It’s going to help my foot get better.”
He frowned, and I was waiting for a follow up question, but all he said was.
“Can we go to the park now then?”
“Sure, once I get a coffee.”
I’ll remember that next time I go for a blood test then; it’s definitely not as painful, or shocking, as having ibuprofen stuck in your butt. Let’s just hope the results are okay and it’s not gout.

I was reading about gout more yesterday. Turns out that it could be alcohol related, so I did a quick check on what are the correct units you should drink a week. Turns out 14 per week. To give you an idea, if you don’t know as I didn’t, a pint of beer is 2, a glass of medium wine is also 2. So I worked out how many I drank in a typical week, and turns out I am over the limit, just a bit mind. So, I am contemplating having a dry July; giving up the booze for a month, getting in shape for when we head to the beach in September, and also seeing the affects it has on my body, brain, and bank balance.

Have you ever had a dry month? I did it once before, in Australia. I gave it up because I’d been drinking far too much and had been thrown out of a few bars in Sydney. So I thought it was time. So I did. I gave it up for a month. It wasn’t that hard because I had no friends there and didn’t fancy going out much. But after a month I cracked, drank almost a box of wine, and ended up falling asleep in a bar in Sydney, and subsequently got chucked out again.

I’ll try do it differently this time, if I do it. I have two bottles of wine in the fridge and they will have to go before I start. The other alternative is to have one glass of wine per night, instead of a few beers and a bottle over the weekend, and the odd one, or two glasses in the week. Bad habits must be beaten. Here’s to a dry July, and soon some running. I still have a wall which I need to plaster as well.


5 thoughts on “Can you get gout from plastering a wall?

    1. It was funny to be fair. Got my results back, now gout. I’m blaming it on the bloody wall!

  1. I hope you read my other posts on Spain. I’m really enjoying it here. Love your posts too. I’m following you now so hope to read more!

  2. I have been fighting a losing battle with drinking too much over the past 30 years. I have decided on total abstinence as the best solution. I manage this with varying degrees of success and enthusiasm at times, usually I can stay 100 % abstinent for between 30 – 90 days. I have managed a year here and there. Snap, managed to get myself thrown out of many bars in Sid-knee. Figured it was my cultural duty as a young Londoner there on gap year. Anyway, needless to say there is a heavy enough drinking culture in Glasgow, I have joined a local support group to meet other people choosing to live 100 % booze free though it can be stifling/boring, (It is honestly not that much fun) – I have met a few really cool people and we meet up occasionally in coffee shops to bore each other to tears. . I have been living with Arthritis since a life changing injury aged only 23, now aged 46 I am very familiar with the utter misery it causes. I like to drink and above all I love pubs, but as a Gout merchant myself I am personally finally convinced that in my own case I will try to get as many 30-90 days per year as I can – not realistic for me to never drink, will never happen, but I am trying to reduce it down to rare and special occasions, or when I honestly feel like the gain would outweigh the pain, visiting friends etc, – too much booze in the UK, at least in Spain there is always food around, and that totally changes the drinking situation. I usually drink in Spain when on trips there, but never that much and always with food. So that is my take on it, But standing in Glasgow pub and knocking back twelve to fifteen pints on Saturday night and losing half off Sunday is not that great an idea anymore.

    1. Hey Mike,

      Sorry it’s taken a while to resond to this. In the end it wasn’t gout, I think I sprained it. But it did make me look at the amount I drink anyway. I cut down a lot over the summer, apart from a short period while my wife was ill, but I’m back on track now.

      The food definitely helps in Spain. It’s more intelligent to eat as you drink, especially if you’re knocking back 15 pints. I’m quite a light weight these days anyway and there is always some food about if I have a beer.

      Best of luck.

      Thanks for writing.

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