Three Strikes and You’re Gout

By Mike Ryan

                 I got the results from my blood test, the other day. It was good news as far as I am concerned, though the wife seemed a little upset. A little background is needed here. There is a strong history of cancer in my family, with a particularly high rate of prostate cancer running on the Ryan side. Being 44 years old, the wife has been riding me for years to get my PSA levels checked. She was perturbed when I didn’t get it checked at last year’s Healthfair, but she is a little out of line here. I went to the fair. I honestly did. Of course there was a line about a mile long so I just kept on driving, but I did go.

            This year was different. Once I found out that prostate cancer is a serious problem, and not getting regular checkups can result in a deteriorating sex life, I headed right down. Not because I may have prostate problems, but because the wife used the ultimate blackmail on me, (see above statement about deteriorating sex life). For all you concerned readers, my PSA levels are fine. Unfortunately for the harmony of my home, so is everything else. You see, the wife is sure I am a mess. She suffers from high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high anxiety so naturally my levels must be off the scale. She was actually P.O’ed when she saw I have an extremely low cholesterol level.

“How can that be,” she questioned.

“Must be the nachos and chicken wings keeping it down,” I foolishly replied. 

“If you’d eat more fast food and drink more beer, maybe yours’ would go down too,”

 I continued, not knowing when to stop. She claims she was pleasantly surprised by the results, but that look is not one I normally associate with the word pleasant.



               Of course my Uric Acid levels were abnormally high. For all you younger readers, this is a sign of Gout. I am already aware of this, as a matter of fact; my left knee is about the size of a grapefruit as I write this. I hope you appreciate that I’m playing through my pain for you. Good thing I’m not a baseball player, I’d be out for the year. I used to suffer through what I thought were sprained ankles and strained knees, thinking they were the results of my athletic lifestyle. Then the wife reminded me; I don’t have an athletic lifestyle. She says I’m the only person around who can sprain their ankles or strain a knee in bed. I took a lot of pride in that until she also reminded me that all we did was sleep last night, if you get my drift. She was the first to suggest Gout. I immediately denied the possibility.

           “Gout is a rich old guy’s disease,” I protested, “ and I certainly am neither.” I of course, refused to see a doctor, as any other self-respecting man would do. There is no way I am going to see a doctor for something that will heal itself in a few days, end of discussion

               So the next day at the doctor’s office they drew blood and sure enough, I have Gout. Now the look on the wife’s face that day, could be considered pleasant in a, “I told you so,” sort of way. The doc says I have to lay off certain things. Peas are a biggie, no problem. Shellfish are another, no problemo. I’ve always said, “If it’s from the sea it ain’t for me.” Eggs and dairy products I can also cut back on, because that cheese on the nachos isn’t really a dairy product anyway. I don’t know what it is, but it’s definitely not cheese. He did mention something about beer but hey, I need that to keep my cholesterol levels down, remember?
©Mike Ryan 2003

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