A Gout Survivor's Tale

"He Wouldn't See A Doctor, But Just Drove Me Crazy."

Marvin Vilner* of Cleveland, Ohio was sure his toe was broken, but his doctor knew different: Marvin had a severe case of gout. Marvin had tried icing his toe, but neither the ice or over the counter anti-inflammatory medications seemed to have any effect on his swollen digit. Marvin's wife, Jane, had this to say, "You know men. When they get sick, they avoid like anything getting proper medical care. He wouldn't see a doctor, but just drove me crazy asking for tea and sympathy."

The Pain Was So Bad

At last, Jane put her foot down and made an appointment for Marv to see the family physician. "It wasn't so easy getting him there-he couldn't put a shoe on over that toe, but after a bit of a struggle I managed to convince him to just go barefoot. I guess the pain was bad enough to make him do what he had to do."

Marvin's doctor prescribed a regimen of medication that after some time made the swelling and pain subside. He also counseled Marv on lifestyle changes. The doctor told Marvin that if he made a few changes in the way he lived, he'd have fewer attacks of gout, and those attacks he suffered would be less severe were he to adhere to medical advice.

Marvin finds that in the throes of an attack, he can't enjoy some of his usual activities such as a good workout in the gym, or tossing a ball with his son. The pain just overcomes him, putting everything else on the backburner. He recalls the time his best friend got married. "There was no way I could dance at my best friend's wedding, because I was having a pretty bad gout attack. It was a miracle I could even get my dress shoes on and limp down the aisle as best man."

Marvin has also had to give up certain beloved foods such as liver and wine, but finds this a small price to pay for keeping his gout under control.

At the first sign of pain in his toe, Marvin heads for the medicine cabinet and takes a dose of the gout medication his doctor has prescribed for this purpose. Marvin figures his gout is a genetic roll of the dice. "My grandfather had gout," Marvin says, "and he had terrible attacks. I guess it's hereditary."