Yesterday morning my husband informed me that he has gout. And then he showed me. Sure enough, he did.
That was not the first time it was brought home to me how old we are.
As I watched my husband hobble to the sofa and collapse – but not before he had the tv remote firmly in his hand – I realized that this was something that we couldn’t merely wait out . . . like the flu . . . or rush hour on 540. I called the Family Health Center and got Carol Tims on the line.
“Did he eat anything unusual in the last few days?” she asked. Immediately my mind went to the children who eat the pretty red berries while lost in the woods.
“A couple of cold cuts.” I paused, not wanting to tell the skilled wife of a nutritionist that together Randy and I had just polished off a roast the size of a Fiat. I relented. “And a roast. We haven’t had one all year.”
“That will do it.”
Just how old are we? I thought. We are on the underside of 50, and already red meat renders us immobile. What was the next step? Perhaps it was a good thing that David Arnold had just emailed me the 4 warning signs of a stroke.
“What does he need to do, then?”
The list was succinct and comprehensive: no animal products, no coffee, plenty of digestive enzymes, and bury him in green vegetables.
Going from roast and potatoes to unseasoned spinach soup was like going from Godiva chocolates to a tub of room-temperature tofu. I was suddenly glad that gout wasn’t contagious.
I had to go shopping. We keep vegetables in the house, but not that many. I decided to visit Ozark Natural Foods as well to pick up a bottle of concentrated cherry juice – something that is supposed to blast gout into oblivion.
As I was driving home, I stopped at Ultra Studios. Three friends of mine had invited me to their art reception there, and I thought I could at least take a quick peek at their work. As I stepped out of my car I met up with Nathan Beatty, one of the featured artists.
“Where’s Randy?” he asked.
“At home with gout.” I’d inadvertantly made it sound like gout was a sick relative.
“Gout!” Nathan’s tone was stunned. “Gout? That is so . . . so . . . Henry the Eighth!”
Exactly, I thought. Trust us to get a middle-age disease in our middle – age.