Anyone who’s been paying attention to my posts of late must have noticed my frequent mention of illness, and though I don’t believe I explained the cause of it, I do remember also mentioning my pulled back. These two things together have lead to an amusingly grand set of troubles such that it would seem the plot of a bad fiction.
I have chronic gout. I know the common associations with the illness: portly 18th century British upper-class do-nothings, made round by too much feasting on Fatted Lardies and Puddinged Tallow-Pips (ok, I’ll cop to it, I don’t actually know the names of any historical British food); or the other figure, an equally rotund old mensch overstuffed on gefilte fish, manischewitz, and lox platters. But rather than either of those, I’d like you to consider the actual manifestation of the ailment: acid crystals forming in the blood. So rather than thinking of me as a paunchy over-eater, think of me in the entirely more metal guise of someone so ascorbicly hardcore that he has xenomorph blood and can convert his existential rage into solid form.
So, here’s the story and the reason I brought up gout again:
Having been sick for weeks, I’ve run out of capital, physical and emotional. To get myself through the day, to lure me out of bed, I offer myself small treats, like going to coffee shops or eating out. My diet has become rather indulgent.
Having been ill and busy I missed a good bit of kung fu. With the added stress of an exercise deficit, I am even more impatient than my normally not at all patient idiom would allow, thus, finally back at kung fu after weeks of sporadic attendance, I sought to make up for six weeks of missed kicking practice in an evening, the result being, as my doctor would later tell me, that I pulled not a muscle, but the connecting joint between my pelvis and spine. Thus, no muscle relaxers and not a great deal of good to come from stretching, nothing really to do beyond waiting.
All of this was appreciably distressing. The personal epicurean indulgences grew more decadent while simultaneously becoming less effective. I ate out more regularly but got less pleasure from doing so, rather the thought of eating at home became depressing rather than seeming the norm.
Now that food had lost its power, I turned to alprazolam. To be clear, I take it regularly, but infrequently, so you needn’t worry this is the beginning of some sap-weepy confessional. The alprazolam worked fairly well, but as with most drugs, my tolerance sky-rocketed almost immediately. Still, I wasn’t taking handfuls and what I was taking I didn’t every day, so I wasn’t much worried. There did seem a nagging reminder at the back of my head for something indefinite I couldn’t recall.
Near a week had passed since I’d first dislodged my spine from its proper place. Moving, and worse not moving, had become frustratingly painful. The muscles above my sacrum had begun to ache for the rigid way I’d been holding myself, so I finally had use of muscle relaxers. I also had reached the threshold at which I could justify to myself the use of the pain killers I’d got for my upcoming oral surgery. The horse pill doses of ibuprofen weren’t enough to deal with the whole of the pain, but they handled the muscular bit. The hydrocodone managed the rest. Not wanting to waste all of my pills before the surgery for which they were meant I began looking for a way to extend them through pill combinations. I remembered alprazolam’s muscle relaxing side-effects and so through them into the blend. They had the added benefit of making my mind less how crap I felt.
Not until yesterday, that is after three days or so of ibuprofen, hydrocodone, and alprazolam bundlings, did I recall the trouble of too much Xanax: it inhibits my gout medication.
So there you have it. Pretty much everything hurts and I can’t do the things I’d like to do to distract or overcome the pain as they’d make things worse in the hours after. No more sushi and dumpling dinners for me. No more chemical amelioratives. No more fun at all.
Cue the sad fog horn.