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Two dreaded lurgies

Having finished our cruise on Ventura, I have had some of the perils of cruising brought home to me.

I knew I was sniffling a bit the last day of the cruise – all those exotic germs brought onboard by all the *other* passengers, of course – but as expected it turned into one of my ‘express’ colds that my wife gets upset about – day 1 is sniffles, day 2 is a nose like a dripping tap, day 3 is the coughing day, and day 4 is – well, by day 4, apart from sounding a bit hoarse, it’s over. (Why does she get upset about them? – because for her, a cold lasts a good two weeks and she feels so awful that several days have to be spent in bed.)

But the real problem became obvious on way home. The joint on my right big toe was hurting….. yes, it was the dreaded gout, which I’ve had once before. At first (Saturday) I thought it might not turn out to be too bad, but by Sunday it was hell. I swear I didn’t sleep a wink on Sunday night, nor Monday night – it was just impossible to find a way of lying (or sitting, or standing) that was not constantly, exceedingly painful. Ibuprofen and Co Codamol did no good, so on Monday & Tuesday it was ice packs and elevated feet, and on Wednesday morning I got a prescription for some industrial-strength NSAID tablets, which started to improve matters. I was able to sleep from Wednesday onwards and now (the following Monday) I’m feeling a lot better, although my foot is still swollen and I’m still not walking properly.

So what caused it? Well, a major cohort study in North America has suggested that red meat, beer, and whisky in particular can trigger an attack; and guess what I was eating and drinking on the cruise. Next time I shall eat fish! – or at least chicken.

One good thing – red wine, blamed often in the past for causing gout, seems not to be a culprit. Phew….

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