Monday, August 9, 2010
Meat, Meat, Meat, Meat
Two winters ago, I tore some tendons in my ankle. While it was healing, I developed gout in the same ankle and my foot as well. Until that moment, I had always associated gout with the extremely elderly or people from medieval times. I assumed that nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the country were stock full of little old men and women with feet and knees reddened and swollen with the painful ailment. There was also an epidemic of gout in the 1200's which wreaked havoc on central Europe, maiming and disfiguring most of the population of Romania. I may have made up some of that, but it helps illustrate my though that gout was an old-timey sickness that did not affect modern, younger people.
Having gout was, undoubtedly, the most painful experience of my life. I could not move my foot without it feeling like shards of glass were impaling my toes and cankle. Even when lying in bed, putting a sheet on it hurt. The only thing worse than the gout was the treatment for it. The medicine my doctor prescribed to rid myself of this disease actually had the following directions: "Take one pill per hour until severe diarrhea or vomiting begins." What the Hell?!
It was after completing this round of medicine (which does, indeed, have the aforementioned side effects, but did heal me) that I rose up from my bathroom floor, similar to Scarlett O'Hara rising up in her frozen, dead garden, and stretched my arm to the sky, clutching my empty pill bottle, and said, "As God as my witness, I shall neh-vah have gout again!"
I began to research different gout websites. I read many of the user posts to find what other sufferers did to prevent a re-occurrence of this horrid plague. The two items that kept popping up that helped people more than anything else were keeping a vegetarian diet and stop drinking alcohol. Well, one of those two items was completely ridiculous. I enjoy my cocktails and happy hours, even if it means having to ride a Rascal Scooter which Medicare would provide to me a no cost, too much to give up drinking alcohol. I decided I had only one choice, vegetarianism.
I did really well for a year. I did not miss eating meat that much at all. Sure, a nice steak would have been nice every now and then, but I was strong. My gout had completely left my system, and showed no signs of returning. Eventually, I convinced myself that an occasional chicken wing would not hurt anything, especially if eaten during March Madness. Perhaps a little taste of a chicken finger at a party would be OK. I am not sure what actually happened that broke the dam, but whatever it was, it happened this week.
The past two days have been a blur of carnivorous activity. I have been like the Tasmanian Devil whirling through the house eating bacon, sausage, ham, and turkey. All of the meats have just been bites here and there, off other's plates or in the depths of the refrigerator. After my BLT at lunch today, I thought my cankle started twitching and mildly throbbing, but I am sure it was all in my head. I currently have my eye on the canister of rope pickled bologna that my dad keeps in his kitchen.
I have fallen off the wagon, and I don't think I can get up. I am not sure that I want to.