I have gout. I first got it because I made a bet about eating all the shrimp in Las Vegas. The shrimp won. So now, I have tiny twinges about once a month, but then I get big flare-ups about twice, maybe three times a year.
It’s during these big flare-ups you might see me limping about or sometimes I just disappear. It may be too painful to walk for a day or two and/or, to be perfectly honest, too embarrassing to be seen limping about.
Now, let’s talk about gout. Lots of people have it nowadays and I know several people in the improv community who have it as well. It’s extremely embarrassing to talk about for me. I hate discussing things of a personal nature in public. I mean, I never talk about my Nobel Prize. It’s embarrassing. I’m no doctor, I know what (usually) works for me. If you want to know more, encarta “gout.” (good lord… do NOT image search “gout” holy cow it’s gross. So here’s a happy pic of Jesus playing basketball)
Is it painful? Quite. Sometimes an entire foot will swell up, as if a cartoon mouse stuck a garage air hose into it. When that happens it’s very painful. A bedsheet, the air from a fan, wiggling your toes, all are extremely painful, much less putting your weight down on it and trying to walk. Sometimes, it might be a relatively small dime sized protrusion on the heel which doesn’t really hurt to walk on except if you wear shoes. Once in a while, my knee will swell and then it only hurts if you bend the knee (which I will never do, Lannister!!)
I used to live quite close to iO, my place of business and social activity, but now the walk from the subway to the theater is further than I’ve ever had to walk from my home to the theater. So, that sucks.
I hate public discussion of personal matters, so why am I posting this? As way of public apology to be honest. I’ve missed birthdays, dinners, and other fun events because I’m laid up at home. I never tell anyone why I suddenly disappeared, because I’m embarrassed. Trust me, I’d much rather be with friends then home hopping about.
Also, I’ve been a bit of a prig lately… as I walked with a limp people ask “Are you alright?” and I’ve answered, Yes this is a fun fake limp. Or it’s weird if someone asks if I’m in pain and I just stare at them and say Yes.
So, I’m sorry, everyone. I’m cranky. We’ll be returning to our regularly scheduled merriment soon enough.
For years, I collected sword canes. I had about six really cool sword canes and then God/Destiny/Fates/Random Coincidence/Alanis Morrisette decided “Oh, you like canes? What if you HAVE to use one? Moooo-ahahahahahahah!!!”
I have gout and it’s embarrassing. I hate it. I hate having people know about it. But why hide it? It’s a medical condition. Accepting help, especially asking for help, is tough for me. So was writing this. Thank you for your patience.
If you thought it was hard for me to write this what till my inevitable essay on my manic depression. Hhahahaha. I hate myself. Hey, let’s look at Jesus b’balling again.
I looked up “famous gout sufferers” and all of them are crazy and/or fat. (Dick Cheny, Luciano Pavarotti… and Ansel Adams.. so he’s neither. He’s pretty cool.)