Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tophi, Gout and OMG! Why did I Google That???

I have gout.  It is hands down the most painful thing I have ever experienced.  If I had to list the 5 most painful things I've ever experienced this is how it would go

5. broke my wrist
4. 4 C-sections
3. 24 hours of labor with contractions starting at a minute long and coming 1 1/2 minutes apart.
2. 2nd degree burns from finger tip to elbow on both arms when a pressure cooker exploded
1. Gout  - about twice as painful as the burns.  I never considered having my hands amputated, but the thought crossed my mind with my ankle a few days into the first attack.  Sleep was out of the question and Vicodin didn't even dull the pain a tiny bit.

My first flareup a couple of years ago in my right ankle.  I've had two more flare-ups in that same ankle, often coinciding with either a bacon binge or the change of the seasons.  This year I had my first flare-up in my toe on the same foot.  It was mild and taking cherry extract + drinking lots of extra water seemed to take it out before I hit the worst stages.

Tophi are related to gout but I didn't have them so I didn't worry a lot.

But now I do.  Because one formed on my left thumb.  They don't show up just where you have gout.  They go where they want to go.  Knew what it was so I googled it it.  My eyes are still hurting from what I saw.

I'll spare you any links to the photos.  Mine is like this - still mild.  On my thumb, not my ear.  Google worse ones at your own risk.

Ok, so now what?  I already don't drink, and I do exercise, so the only things left are diet and medication.  I want to avoid medication if I can.  I have read much about the benefits of a vegetarian diet and gout.  So now I am a vegetarian and will transition to vegan soon.  I do love meat, but not as much as I fear gout.  I picked a good season to switch.  Spring is coming and I can stock up at the farmer's market.  

It's not easy at times.  The family is not vegetarian yet and that chicken I cooked yesterday smelled so good.  I resisted though.  Vegan will be harder to achieve.  I do love cheese.  So much so that I have to keep block cheese out of the house because it's a trigger food for me.  If I have it, I will eat it.  Chocolate and chips can hang around for weeks without me going on a binge.  Cheese has hours if it's lucky.  

So it's veggies and veggies and more veggies.  Not mushrooms though.  I hate them.  In any form.  Same goes with celery.  I wish people didn't think portbella was the go to substitute for main dishes when dealing with a vegetarian.   ewww  Eggplant people, think eggplant.  It's tasty.

Weeks 1 & 2 have passed in my new life as a vegetarian.  Not always easy, but doable.  My goal is to be vegan by week 6.  Give myself time to transition.

wish me luck!

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