Sunday, January 15, 2012

A New Year, A New Beginning

Well guys, here we are! Halfway through the first month of a brand new year. And how are your new years resolutions? Are you like most people? Have you already petered out? My new years resolutions are many fold this year. First of all for me is to lose weight. Isn't that everyone's resolution? I am doing well so far. I am down 14 lbs. this year, and that is a great feeling! My second resolution is to get off of my blood pressure meds. This one is a little more dificult. In addition to eating better, I have been exercising. I am confident that I will be able to get off of these meds before the summer, and that would be great! My third resolution combines my first 2: better manage my gout. Be that a flare up, controlling my diet, or getting on different medicine, I want to know more about this thing!
My journey with gout started in December of 2009. I had just started a new job working at a coffee shop. It was the busy season, and I got this pain in my foot. I didn't remember stepping on anything or tripping, so I couldn't figure out why I was limping so bad. It got to the point that the day after Christmas, I had to borrow a boot from a friend who broke his leg the year before. After a week, I went to the doctor despite having no insurance. I first went to a walk-in clinic. After an X-ray, I was told I severely sprained my ankle and was given a prescription for some pain medication. A few days later, lo and behold, my doctor just happened to come in at work. He saw me in the boot and remembered that I needed more BP meds. He told me not to worry about the cost, he would help with the bill, just to make an appointment the next day. When he told me he thought I had gout, everything fell into place! My father and two uncles have gout! A few months later this was confirmed. (We waited for my insurance to kick in for me to have the blood tests run) Not only were my uric acid levels high, the were 3x the normal level! After 3 months, he doubled my medication, and still, my levels have barely dropped.
This leads us to today. A year after my initial diagnosis, I am standing here typing this in pain. I am now having a flare up in BOTH feet. (Not a good thing for someone who stands on their feet for 8 hrs a day at work!)
I am now on a mission not only to follow the gout diet, but to find what leads to flare ups for me and learn from this experience. I am also looking to help inform others who are told that regardless of what they do, they are just going to have to deal with flare ups for the rest of their lives!
SO! Let's learn together and more forward to a brighter, healthier, pain free new year!

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