So this past week, I got my first serious taste of feeling “old.” Not writing this to complain or whine about the depravities of aging, rather to share a few insights and ironies encountered on the journey……….
Followers of the Mud Shack might recall a couple of years ago, accompanied by friends and family, we accomplished an epic adventure, the mountain bike ride on the Butch Cassidy trail. This feat was performed despite a ganglion cyst on my left foot. Said lump was removed that fall.
Unfortunately, earlier this summer it recurred. I couldn’t get a timely appointment with the podiatrist and the stupid thing ended up splitting. Good in that the lump was gone; bad because there was an open wound. Got to the podiatrist a couple of days later (why do bodily malfunctions always occur on weekends?) He played with it, described a treatment regimen, and things proceeded rosily along—-for about two weeks.
I awoke at 1AM on a Monday morning in utter agony. My foot was swollen, crimson bordering on violet. Took a pain pill left over from some previous procedure and sort of got back to sleep. Examining my foot in the clearer light of day, I figured it was a gout attack and pursued the recommended soaking and NSAIDs. Unfortunately, the redness proceeded up my leg and my temperature increased, spiking at about 102.8F. Infection!
The next day, after some family drama I won’t relate, I called my podiatrist and got an early afternoon appointment. He diagnosed the infection as cellulitis and I got a new menu of antibiotics and steroids. We figure the infection likely came from the chicken yard—-I usually wear crocs when doing chores and, the yard being a heaven for bacteria, picked up some staph from not having a large enough band-aid on the wound. Got a nice new pair of Wellies to solve that issue.
The gout discussion was funny. The usual less red meat, less shell-fish, then no red wine (purines). The doc recommended white wine. Now my primary care physician is an advocate of the benefits of a little red wine in reducing cholesterol and benefitting heart function. White wine is discouraged because of the nitrites and negative effects on the liver and circulatory system. Beer, of course, is only allowed in very small quantities, a couple of bottles a week. My podiatrist recommends scotch whiskey as being beneficial for avoiding the gout attacks!!! Just got to wonder at medical science sometimes……..
Anyway, spending the last week forced to use crutches, cane, and a walker led my mind into consideration of impending physical decline and recalled to mind Wordsworth’s “Intimations of Immortality.” I am pretty much up and about as I write this on a rainy Sunday morning here in the monsoonal Southwestern high desert. And I’m also really disappointed because I so wanted to end this post with a selfie taken in one of those powered shopping carts at Sam’s Club but I was feeling well enough to use the regular carts on our visit yesterday…………