Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Choose an illness, hell, choose two

If there's one thing designed to wipe out the smirk of over-confidence, it's life. Due to the immutable workings of sod's law, the first triumphant cry of "I'm king of the world" is sure to cause some massive bastard iceberg of a problem to start making a guest appearance.

It's gout, it's bloody gout. Gout is a condition that even sounds as if it belongs to old people. It's like flat caps and whippets. I can't have gout, I'm 26, I'm ... I'm ... young. Somehow, I always pictured sufferers of gout as having Yorkshire accents: I am accent-less! Please, someone, it's all been a huge mistake!

No-one is impressed by gout. You can laugh in the face of people with gout, it's socially acceptable. I pointed out that it was a form of arthritis and would you laugh at someone who had arthritis? This went down badly (hmmm, inflicting guilt, social acceptability level: low), but I comforted myself with the knowledge that they were a bunch of insensitive, politically incorrect fascists who deserved a good dose of guilt; when I pointed this out there was another lack of smiles.

Of course, I've realised now that I've hit that age where all those illnesses are going to start showing up. How many heroically suffering stars of sensitive documentaries make comments along the lines of "I suppose the first signs were when I was 26, and blah blah blah". By your thirties it would just be rude for a life-long condition to make an appearance, it would probably be disallowed on legal grounds; late teens / early twenties just doesn't qualify, then you are something (epileptic, diabetic, whatever).

Someone took the fatal step of sending me a link to the NHS-direct website. Any comfort derived from the fact that 75% of cases are believed to be related to genetic rather than lifestyle variables -- i.e. I have not suffered catastrophic organ failure -- was somewhat limited by the site's happy pronouncements that the precise reason for gout's development is unknown, the cure is unfound and the attacks will become more frequent and widespread until I will spend my days writhing in agony, all quality of life destroyed. So that was cheering.

Browsing the site also allowed me to diagnose that I have an under-active thyroid, an over-active thyroid, renal failure, blood disorders, liver damage and various post-operative side-effects (and who operated on me without my consent ... or knowledge?). Also, I have discovered that there is a disease called cretinism. I have made initial diagnoses in a number of people.


At 8:27 am, Blogger Rent said...

This leads me to believe that there should be a mandatory shluffing off of harmful things on inanimate objects. If you had the ability to say.. damn my ankle hurts today *shazaam!* Hah! Stupid coffee table.. take my ankle pain. It'd be a better world. If your recliner can endure your back pain for you. Or if that stuffed penguin that Aunt Em gave you when you were seven could take the cancer... people would live longer.. *snaps to her band of scientists..* I'll start work on that immediately. Til then.. Keep plugging away, I love your blog.. and my condolences...

At 12:26 am, Blogger laphroaig said...

I don't know, having my coffee table complaining at me in the morning that I don't know how much it suffers and no-one shows any sympathy and fine LEAVE if you HAVE TO, DON'T spend all day nursing it, BE LIKE THAT, IT'S NOT AS IF IT EXPECTED GRATITUDE ... could be fairly soul-destroying during the first hour of the day. I've often thought it would be good to be able to give people a taste of your pain (just in a quick "it feels like this" sort of way), but then they might be much more noble and brave about it and never take me seriously again.


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