Anyone who deals with this knows that when it hits (especially for the first time) it is not gentle and quiet. It is usually a full frontal ATTACK from what seems the very pits of Hell itself!
2 a.m. He is awake with what he thought was a broken toe. Cannot stand for anything to touch it. Cannot stand for me to even move on the bed, or across the floor.
When it was a more decent hour - he called his dad and was telling him about it. His daddy said - "Welcome to my world! Sounds like gout to me."
We did not know what gout was - nor how to treat it.
Rick's dad and mom drove 2 hours to our house, brought the medication that his dad had been using for several years - and Rick soon had some relief from the intense and excruciating pain.
22 years follow that morning ...
Years of reading and research.
Tweaking the diet - finding out what brings on an attack, and what keeps one away.
Learning how to live with this sometimes crippling disease.
He saw several doctors in those years - gout was affirmed and reaffirmed, many times.
Allopurinol was prescribed as a treatment to help keep the gout under control.
Indocin was prescribed as a treatment to help with the intense pain during an attack of the gout.
Never was a word said of the serious and life changing, life threatening, side effects that were possible.
Oh, we got and read the paperwork from the pharmacies thru the years.
We even talked to the pharmacists and the doctors about possible - probable - side effects.
But nothing was ever found or said about the severe side effects ... those that don't always happen, but CAN ... and DO.
1995 ... Rick pulled a hamstring at work one day. Company sent him to the doctor. Doctor found that his blood pressure was high, and sent him to his family doctor for a check up before being released to return to work.
Family doctor agreed that he had mild to moderate high blood pressure, but wanted him to try diet and exercise before medication.
During the course of examination, blood was drawn ... Doctor said that Rick had diabetes.
Sent us for diabetic teaching ... no medication if it could be controlled with diet and exercise.
For the next 12 years - diet, exercise, no medication. Not always "good" in what we ate. Not always regular in exercise. Not always good numbers. But ... sigh.
Around 2007, Rick went in to have a DOT physical so that he could drive a truck. Failed.
Blood pressure. Blood sugar. Both too high to pass.
We went to the doctor ... with much discussion and arguments - between Rick and me, us and the doctor - and after many questions and research ... medication was given and taken.
Lisinopril was given for the high blood pressure.
Glimepiride and Metformin was given for the diabetes.
And once again - nothing was said about the life changing, life threatening, side effects that CAN happen ... and DO.
Side effects that happen not so quickly.
Side effects that have the potential of turning your life upside down and inside out - quickly and surely!
So, with diet, exercise and medication - gout, high blood pressure, and diabetes ... for the most part controlled.
Rick's blood sugar to our knowledge never went over 250. Except for the twice that he had an abscess on his back. And then it was at 300 - 330 for about a week.
A1C's were not "off the chart". Not the best always, but mostly on the high side of "normal".
Bottom number was consistently between 65 and 85 ... very rarely going above 85.
Top number would range from 125 to 195 - depending on various factors, and whether he had taken his medication before the reading or not.
At one time, he decided to stop all medication.
Within 2 weeks he was feeling BETTER. And his numbers were BETTER. More stable and solid.
However, the numbers were not low enough without medication to pass the DOT physical.
So, in order to drive a truck and make a living ... back on the medication.
And we find ourselves where we are today ...