Latest fun fact about me, myself, and I: Without intending to, I’ve managed to visit more emergency rooms for the past three months compared to most people.
Simple — Because I am not like most people; a subject so broad it requires a separate blog entry, a wiki, or — God help us — a two-volume autobiography filled with full-page color photos and peppered with testimonials of media personalities like Orlando “Jing” Garcia. [See: Jing Garcia]
A few years ago, when I reached a certain age, Jing told me: “You have reached an age when you begin to feel your body fall apart.”
He was speaking from experience, having gone past that certain age and witnessing first hand the effects of having too much rock and roll — and the other two nouns that generally come with it — when he was much younger.
I remembered Jing and his insight when I checked myself into two different hospital emergency rooms in December and March.
Late last year, after struggling through a coughing fit that lasted longer than the Game of Thrones series — SPOILER ALERT: I am not a fan — I checked myself into an emergency room of a well-maintained hospital.
After a nurse took my name and tied an ID strap around my left wrist, I was made to lie down on a bed that was cleaner than any item than I had back home, save for food, water, and underwear.
The nurse then drew the curtains, leaving me to my own devices: an iPod (seventh-generation), a smartphone (office-issued), and an intellect (barely-functioning).
Minutes later, one of the hospital’s staff members volunteered to get me supper, because he thought I looked famished. I was flattered and impressed (because I thought — perhaps mistakenly — that I’ve lost so much weight that I now look emaciated.)
Thanks to that pleasant experience, I made a mental note that next time I ever found myself down with any condition that warranted a medical check-up, I would do so by visiting an ER. Not only was the process efficient, it was open 24/7.
That time came soon enough.
In March, I suffered what may well be my first but nevertheless mild case of gout.
Although I could still ride my bike to work, I was partially immobilized and was reduced to limping around the office like a restless pirate with a peg leg.
When the pain refused to go away on the third day, I biked to another ER — slightly closer to the one I first checked in — and got myself some temporary relief.
Three hours, three heart attack patients, and a blood test later, I got confirmation of what I knew all along.
The swelling on the area below the toe of my right foot — about the size of a ping pong ball but with a noxious odor — was caused by twice the generally acceptable uric acid levels found in my blood.
The doctor later told me that I should drink more water and abstain from eating beans, meat, and pork because these help increase the levels of uric acid, which result in gout.
This now explains why for the past weeks, I have managed to avoid eating beans, meat, and pork.
I’ve also drunk more water — at least two liters a day — for the past fifteen or so days.
Let’s hope this abstinence program works.
Because besides beans, pork, and meat, the doctor also told me to stay away from beer.
And you and I know that that’s next to impossible.
But then again, that’s another story.