Last October, I had gout.
Translation: October was the end of me enjoying food.
Gout, pronounced “gOWWWWWWWWWWWt!!!,” is caused by high uric acid levels which are elevated by the consumption of rich foods, being overweight, and happiness.
I discovered this when I tried to stand and almost fell over. I had to bum a ride home because I couldn’t drive. Before the night was over, it hurt to place my foot on a pillow.
I went to the podiatrist the next morning.
She examined my foot and said, “I think you have gout.”
“Gout?” I asked. “Isn’t that just for old guys in New York who eat a lot of pastrami?”
“No,” she replied, somewhat annoyed. “Do you drink a lot of beer?”
“No,” I said. “I don’t drink alcohol.”
She raised one eyebrow in unbelief after glancing at my belly.
“It’s true,” I said.
“Ok, do you eat a lot of red meat?”
My wife then inserted herself into the conversation.
“He eats way too much beef and pork.”
“That’s probably it then. Does he exercise much?”
You’ll notice by this point in the consultation, I’ve been reduced to a four year old who is not even addressed by the doctor.
“He has in the past but he basically lives a sedentary lifestyle.”
The doctor tightened her lips with extreme disappointment and shook her head at me for a long period of time. I felt like a dog at the vet, guilty of chewing up shoes and furniture.
“Don’t worry,” said my wife. “He will never be happy again.”
At least that’s what I heard her say. She later told me she actually said, “Don’t worry. I’ll make sure he eats right and exercises daily.”
I raised my hand and asked, “Can I still eat bacon?”
“Yes,” said the doctor, once again acknowledging my presence. “You can in moderation.”
“No,” said my wife, as she morphed into the alien from the movie Alien. “Red meat is no longer a part of your life, so forget about it.”
I took a deep breath and thought about putting my foot down, you know, as the man of the house, and overruling her last statement, but then I remembered my foot hurt when it touched the floor and she was my ride home. So I decided to go with her plan.
I started feeling better later that day and haven’t had gout pain since. I’ve also had to find things besides food to bring me stress relief, escape, and flavor. In the words of U2, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.*
*This song brought to you by the 1980’s, the best decade ever.
**Image courtesy of Unsplash