Saturday, June 6, 2009

Fuzzy Gets Medicated

I made a trip to the Doctor's Office to get a new prescription for indomethacin for my gout, and he strongly recommended that I finally go on a daily medication. I've been reluctant to go on daily medications in the past because I have an irrational belief that doing so is the acknowledgement that I am officially unfit to live. If my own body chemistry can't cut it on it own, then I should just roll over and take up less space and oxygen for the healthy people. But Doc made an persuasive case:
  • Attacking the Source > Treating the Symptoms
  • Continued gouty arthritis attacks can lead to permanent joint damage
  • The same uric acid that causes gout can also cause kidney stones
About that last one. I'm going to tell you there's no aliment that has the potential to scare the bajezzus out of me than kidney stones. I've never had them, but I want to keep it that way. If you told me that diets low in dog excrement was linked to an increased risk of kidney stones, you might see me the next day stalking stray dogs with a bottle of ketchup and a spoon.

So, now I'm taking allopurinol, which is supposed to reduce the amount of uric acid in the blood stream. Sounds good, but there's some interesting caveats with this drug. It also dissolves any crystallized uric acid that may have built up in your joints (the cause of gouty arthritis). While this sounds like a good thing, and in the long run it is, this puts the dissolved crystals back into bloodstream before it's flushed out. If you already had a high build up of uric acid in your blood, this might reform into crystals and actually invite a friggin' gout attack, or worsen one if you take it during an attack (note: don't take this stuff during an attack. srsly). 

In order to minimize this, you have to begin low doses and work up to higher between the period of a few months or up to a year. Right now I'm cutting 300mg tablets into quarters and going from there. I'm hoping I'll be able to go up to half tablets after my vacation this month, and be up to the full dose by the end of July. Any more attacks, and I'm stopping the allopurinol, popping the indomethicin, and going back on a lower dosage of allopurinol after the all clear. Like Westley building up a tolerance to Iocaine Powder

Doc tells me that after I get up to the recommended dosage and maintain that, my gout problems should be finished, as long as I keep taking the pills. Here's to a better life through chemicals!


David Stillwagon said...

I have started to have stiffness in my fingers and there are hard knots forming around the joints. I'd hate to think that there is a medication that just loosens the uric acid and puts it back in the bloodstream.

Tiff said...

Dude, kidney stones are the suck. I had one in March (on vacation, no less), and let me tell you: When I saw that thing, and it was smaller than my pinky nail, and I realized that it had kept me AND Tom up all night with my writhing in pain and agony and the several shots of morphine that did NOTHING, let me tell you, I was insulted. And as a girl, I had it relatively easy- passing it was no big deal, and once that was done, I felt better instantly. As a possessor of different plumbing, it would suck even worse for you. So yeah, take the medicine.

Fuzzy said...

Eventually the uric acid is passed out through urine, but it still needs to a brief trip through the bloodstream to do that.

New crystals won't form unless the the old ones are released into an a bloodstream that already has a high conecentration of uric acid. I hope...

Is your arthritis caused by the same thing?

Laedelas Greenleaf said...

I am curious to know how the drugs go. I may be tempted to join this bandwagon, if it meant I could act my age and ignore my rheumatiz.

mark said...

Like any other illnesses, there are certain dos and don’ts when you suffer from gout. There are dietary requirements with this type of illness. Though you may not like the idea, those who are suffering from gout should follow these to make sure that it will be gone forever. Cure may not be instant, but it is worth it to see that the pain is gone.

Gout Cure and Comfort