In retrospect, the amount of driving I did today to get to my doctor’s appointment and back again may not have been the best idea for my feet, as my gout is hurting a bit more now than it was earlier today, in large part due to having to drive so much in stop and go traffic. I have a bit of driving planned for tomorrow, so it is quite possible my foot will be hurting a good deal after that is all said and done, depending on how the medicine I have starts working out, which I will begin taking tomorrow morning. We’ll see if that five-day regimen of steroids ends the gout attack I’m having as effectively as it will end my professional athletic career (just joking, you guys, obviously). I would like to spend some time commenting on my doctor’s visit and its implications and results, with the hope that it will communicate something of what it means. I also intend on updating this particular post when the labs come in.
At about 2:45PM this afternoon I arrived in Tigard at the Portland Clinic location near Washington Square Mall and signed in with the receptionist, where I was asked some entertaining questions, including my ethnicity as well as my employment status, which I managed to turn into the source of humor to avoid the awkwardness. After that I had to fill out some forms and then go upstairs and fill out some more forms while waiting for the doctor to see me. I went into the consultation room and the nurse took my blood pressure (108 over 80, pretty normal for me) after having recorded my height (5’11”) and weight (230 pounds), and told me to take off both of my socks as I was the next person the doctor was going to see. And soon after that, with only a bit of waiting, the doctor did come and she was quite entertaining. She commented that she was rather skeptical that I had ever had cellulitis as a young and healthy person, and commented that she thought that my foot pain was in fact three different gout attacks on different parts of the foot rather than being different and that my gout was in fact running amok, and needed to be addressed on a more serious and consistent level. She ordered labs (which I took after the visit downstairs) that included a look at the metabolic system to see whether or not there was kidney damage that exacerbated the dehydration that I often suffer from that greatly contributes to my intermittent gout attacks.
After the visit was done I picked up a copy of the notes for it and scheduled my next visit with her to see how things were progressing in four weeks, with the expectation that uric acid levels will be lower, for example, and that the inflammation will be less. A few things struck me about the notes that I received. One of them was the medicine to get, with a descending five day course going from six to two pills, more on that anon. The other was that I noticed some of the things that the doctor had commented about keeping up with health. I would have thought that with a BMI in the low 30’s that some attention to weight would be paid, as that would make sense, but instead there were comments about vaccines, which made me smile a bit. I happen to know a great many people whose hostility to vaccines is pretty intense, but it was interesting to see that the contemporary mania for vaccines on the part of medical professionals, even when those vaccines offer little or no health benefits to the general population, is not limited to children but includes demands for annual flu vaccines as well as keeping up other vaccines, like the DTAP vaccine that was listed on my visit notes. Given the general ineffectiveness of the DTAP vaccine, one wonders why they would push it for adults, except perhaps that they assume people are ignorant about them.
After I had dinner and went to the library to pick up and drop off some books, I went to get my medicine thinking it would be a no brainer that they would have it ready by that time, but no, I had to wait in a crowd of people that were waiting for medicines, including one person who was waiting for OxyCodene. After waiting for quite a while I went up to ask about it and had to wait a bit for the pharmacist to explain how to take the medicine even though there were directions for exactly when they should be taken on the very package itself. Are people who take medicines really that illiterate? Anyway, with all that done, it was time to go home and relax a bit, and hope that my feet would hurt a bit less in the morning.