2014-10-10

The third attack of gout

Somehow I forgot the fact that I have a "landmine" called gout in my body as more than a year and a half had passed since its last attack (I experienced the first attack of gout in May 2013 and the second a few months later). It took me two days to recognize the swelling and pain on my right foot as a result of gout as it was not a big toe but an ankle that was attacked first this time (four days before Yom Kippur, which fell on last Saturday this year). But by the time I realized this, it was too late. By then I could barely move even inside my apartment because of the pain, so I had to live on what few foods that remained in the fridge for two days, until I decided to rent crutches and shlepped myself, though with great difficulty.

In a sense I was surprised that I didn't have this third attack of gout until now, as I had enough reason to experience it earlier because of my overdrinking of red wine. Though I'm rather ashamed to confess how much wine I used to drink every day, I'll do so only so that other lovers of wine may learn a lesson from my mistake. After I had the second attack of gout, I was supposed to have reduced the daily consumption of wine significantly, so I don't remember how it reached such a high level - one bottle on each of the five weekdays and two on Fridays and Saturdays totaling ten bottles a week in the past year!

Partly because of the timing of the attack this time, I've decided to repent and stop drinking wine - I'm not used to drinking any other alcoholic beverage on a regular basis - except on Sabbaths and holidays, and even then I won't drink more than one bottle during the whole Sabbath or holiday. I've been successful so far in keeping this self-imposed resolution. It was not until the day before yesterday, the first night of Sukkot, that I nervously sipped a small amount of red wine as part of the celebration of this holiday, fearing that I may have another attack of gout. This one-week abstinence from wine seems to have already made my body so sensitive to alcohol. I could finish one bottle quickly and without being affected very much, but this time I felt it was more than enough after I drank a third of a bottle.

Ironically, I'm grateful to my body for giving me this warning. Otherwise I might have continued drinking, thus causing other kinds of damage to my body. Actually, I was told by a good friend of mine to try alcoholics anonymous, but I don't think I need to try this solution. I was offered a very painful solution, but it seems to work very well.