The first time I got a gout flare up was in 2017 when I was 41. I was at a conference in Las Vegas for my work at that time. Vegas was nothing new to me – I had been going to Vegas with my buddies every year for at least 2 decades. Like any other trip to Vegas, I was drinking heavily, but this time I went a bit overboard. I was drinking full cups of whiskey with a co-worker. But other than a bad hangover each morning, I felt fine. It wasn’t until I returned home that I felt something that I had never experienced before.
Here’s a photo of one of my flareups. I didn’t take any photos of my first flare up.
The following day, both of my feet began to swell up. I had no idea what was going on. That night I endured the most excrutiating pain I had ever experienced in my life. My feet were red, swollen and throbbing with pain. I could not sleep that night. The day after, I called in sick to work because I couldn’t walk. Laying on my bed was painful enough, but even worse when trying to use the bathroom. The pain was unbearable. I made an appointment to go see my doctor. After some tests, he told me it was gout. Up until that point, I had never even heard of gout before. He prescribed some meds for me. It was Colchicine. After I took it, the pain quickly subsided and the swelling went down. Within 2 or 3 days, I was back to normal.
After my first gout flare up, I didn’t get another flare up for another year or so. Since then, the frequency of the flare ups have increased. I have no one to blame except myself though. I’m a long time alcohol drinker and the volume had gone up significantly during the Covid pandemic. And working from home made it way too easy to drink too much.