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I have gout . 

It came on last night as the Australian election results came in. 

I always thought it was alcohol or cheese or tomatoes. But, for me it is stress. I am now crippled with a big toe inflamed and my toe is full of fear. 


When I heard the results of the election, I could feel my toe tingling. By midnight it was roaring with rage.  Stress is a bugger and when an election is lost and a government defeated, poor Shaydee gets a bit overwhelmed.  

I hadn't eaten any cheese. No tomatoes. Yes, some vino but no more than my normal medicinal amount as prescribed by Dr Dan. I had a few glasses of wine. 

But was it Dr Dan? Or was it the stress of what was happening? 

Dr Dan is my beloved Doctor and he normally serves me well.  


I can only crawl. An election has brought me to my knees. 

My brother sent me an email suggesting that it was a shame that I didn’t capture my crawl on video and post it online – he assures me that it would go viral. But I suspect it would be removed as offensive. His wife has gout at the moment but she is also plugging for an insect bite… somehow, to admit that you have gout is like standing up in a support group and saying “ Hullo, my name is X and I am unhealthy slob.”

No. It is not like that. 

You see, unless you eat sprouts, smashed avocados on toast, run 10 km to the gym every day, throw a slab of tofu on the barbeque and swill it down with a gallon of kale and blueberry juice, you are a very bad person.

Or so say the new members of Australian Parliament. 

The prospect of people enjoying life is - well - unforgivable. 

For myself, I try to do something quite rare these days : enjoy what I eat, drink and do.

My daughter works out at the gym. She talked me into joining her a few times. We were on our respective treadmills and she was gasping for breath, sweating, red in the face and looking absolutely terrible, all the while calling out to me “ isn’t this marvelous? Don’t you just love the pain?

Well, no, actually I hate pain. I declined her next invitation to join her at the gym and proudly sat down at the computer to play Plants v Zombies for an hour.


Plus I remember, when she was pregnant with her first child, she told me that she was going to do it all au naturale...

She admitted that it was not long before she was yelling " Drugs! Give me drugs! "

Anyway, getting back to my toe…. It is slightly better. In fact, I think I have a chance of making it to the shower. Happy days!

I used to live alone with my cat. She and I were  both a little " cuddly " and of more mature vintage. We mucked along quite nicely together as we were both very private creatures and didn't tend to play nicely with others. Bridget is gone but I still do not play well with others. 

It is rather marvelous to live alone. You can get up when you want, go to bed when you want, eat what you want and watch whatever TV you like. No one steals the remote control and you can have that extra slice of cake or glass of chardy without someone tut-tutting.

However, when you get sick, it is a very lonely and difficult time and, as much as I loved my cat, she was hopeless at making a cup of tea or lending a hand with the dishes or vacuuming. And she flat out ignored me when I asked her to open her own can of cat food.

 cat with can opener

When I had to get down on all fours and crawl to the bathroom ( it seemed the most logical thing to do at the time) I forgot the bit where I had to then stand up again.

Redhead rang me to offer to come up and look after me. “ No! “ I quickly replied. If she could see the state of my home right now, she would have a fit. Dishes not done, bed not made, vacuuming not attended to and me smelling a bit pooky…. Plus she is SO bossy. “ No thanks I said, pleasantly, but emphatically. I’ll be fine. I’m used to being independent. “ She accepted my rejection of her assistance and I promised to go to bed and take a nap, having not slept well last night. 

Mum called later after lunch.  I had fallen asleep. The phone woke me. I reached over to the bedside table and picked up my empty tea cup. Realising my error, I put it down, grabbed the phone and then pressed the answer button. The TV turned on. Third time lucky, I grabbed the phone handset and it worked! Apparently tea cups and TV remotes don’t function as telephones… you learn something new every day.

Later, I wondered if maybe I was developing dementia and had simply forgotten that I had dropped a 10 kg Acme weight on my toe. Perhaps I might call my Doctor on the tea cup and see what he thinks.

This is our life today.

We are in pain. 

We miss what we had. In my case, my beloved feline companion. 

And my thoughts of a conservative government. 

But we must never forget that the pain of gout is just a symptom of our deeper distress.

It is not necessarily anything we have eaten or drunk. It could be as simple as stress.

And we are in stress right now.

I miss my darling Bridget. My cat. I miss her demands and her purrs in my ear.

It seems to me that we are going to be flat out looking after ourselves and the last thing a new fur baby needs is someone who can barely look after themselves.

I know, from past experience, that cats tend to be rather self indulged.


In the meantime, I have gout and it all came down to stress. 

No. I think I will keep to my gout and crawl to the toilet and stagger to the bed and ask myself " how the hell did the Nation get gout? "

We are on our knees and are now about to beg. 

These politicians are shit. 

Cats tend to be honest. Politicians? Not so much.

I am off to take a painkiller. 

Gout is a symptom of stress. And, by God, we have that in bucketloads. 

Tomorrow, let us hope that we can get back to some normalcy.

I suspect that it will be a lot more " I remember when... : "

I am on my knees. But I will stand. 

In pain and in triumphant despair, I will bloody stand. 





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