Happy New Year everyone! If I’m being honest, the start of my new year hasn’t been great. I returned from a mountain retreat on New Year’s Eve, and I caught a cold in the process. The retreat had the perfect recipe for catching a cold: big crowds, people coughing, cold weather, and lack of sleep. This is probably the worst cold I ever had. Although I didn’t have a fever or body chills, I did have a mean sore throat and coughs. The sore throat only lasted a few days, but the cough is still lingering. As soon as it feels like it’s gone, it comes back usually at night time.
To make matters worse, I was hit with a gout flare up like 3 days into my cold recovery. Needless to say it’s been pretty uncomfortable dealing with both at the same time. I was caught off guard by this flare up. I may have been overly-confident with my diet and what has been working for me.
Unlike my usual flare up location (toes), this one started at the ankles. They’re both equally painful, but there is a difference. You can still kind of walk when its on the toes because you can twist your foot so that most of the weight is placed away from the toes. When the gout is on the ankle, it’s basically not possible to walk on it because your weight has to go through the ankles. The pain level was probably around 7 or 8 at its peak but luckily the meds helped lower the pain. The flare up hasn’t gone away yet and the ankle is still swollen, but most of the pain has subsided. Now it just hurts when I put my weight on it.
As you can see, the left ankle bone and other details of my foot are not visible due to the swelling. This was after I took my meds. Sometimes the swelling increases a little more after you take the meds, but the pain goes down. I took Colchicine for 3 days, so now I have to wait another 3 days before I can take it again to fully get rid of the flare up.
What was the cause this time?
As with each flare up, I try to figure out what caused it. The more you understand your body, the better you can take care of it. If you’ve been following my blog, you already know I drink alcohol. But was it the cause for this flare up? Not this time. I hadn’t drank alcohol for about 9 days prior to this gout attack. I think what triggered it this time was eating too much sweets. As I was recovering from my cold, I started to feel better and was enticed by all the chocolate bars and desserts laying around the house. A day or 2 after that, I got the flare up. It was easy to figure out considering sweets aren’t a part of my normal diet. Throughout my adulthood, I’ve known sweets weren’t good for my diet, but it was never clearcut because I was drinking every week. This time, I was pretty sure alcohol didn’t play a role in the flare up.
During the week of Christmas, I celebrated pretty heavily. I drank 5 days in a row. This is common thing for me during the holidays. I like to party and socialize with friends and family. The plan was to party hard and then give my body a break leading into the New Year. After returning from the mountain retreat, I thought that I would have enough time to recover from the cold and get some rest. I was wrong. I’m still dealing with a cough and a gout flare up. Hopefully I learn from this. I’m getting older and I need to take better care of myself.
Short term goal
I will take on the Dry January Challenge to avoid drinking alcohol. I figure I’m already 2 weeks into the month, so I’ll continue to give my body a break.
Long term goal
I will try to avoid eating any kind of sweets.