“I’m Henry the VIII I am…”

I’m Henry the eighth I am
Henry the eighth I am, I am
I got married to the widow next door
She’s been married seven times before

Lyrics to Henry VIII I Am, Herman Hermits


(detail of King Henry VIII by Hans Holbien)


(man suffering from gout while his friend enjoys champagne /ranker.com)

So the other night, as I was readying for bed, I noticed how achy my left foot was feeling…
or more precisely, really how achy the area around my big toe felt.
I rubbed on a little arthritis cream and called it a day.

After having spent 31 working years as a teacher, living on my feet,
by the end of each day, I was more than accustomed to having achy feet.
And the older I’ve become, the harder it is to find a good pair of comfortable
“knockabouts” that don’t exacerbate my already achy feet.

It was in the middle of that night that I was woken up by a nagging and persistent pain
in that left foot…more aptly… in that same joint area of the toe.
It actually hurt simply having the sheets touch my foot.

“What the heck????!!!!” I was grousing in a sleepy painfilled head.

At about 5AM, after tossing and trying to find some sort of comfortable position,
I took 3 Motrin.
My go-to pain reliever.
Of which I’m really not to be taking as it does a number on my GI system and liver…
but desperate times always require desperate measures.

When I couldn’t stand it any longer and got on up out of bed, I immediately noticed
that I could not put weight on my foot.
The pain was excruciating.

“What the heck???!!!”

Now you should know, I know pain….physical, bodily pain.

I birthed a baby before they could administer the epidural.
I’ve broken bones.
I’ve had stitches for various slits, slashes, and gashes.
I’ve lived with migraines.
I’ve been stung by both bee and scorpion.
I’ve known cramps from Charlie horses and hamstrings on down the line…
I’ve ruptured discs…
but nothing was like this foot/toe area pain.
Plus I saw how my foot, toe, ball of foot, were way swollen.

What the heck????
(and you should know, by now I wasn’t saying ‘heck’)

And then it dawned on me.

What with my recent autoimmune diagnoses…this pain was not so mysterious but in actuality,
it was freaking gout and this gout was part and parcel of my latest issues.

Henry VIII came immediately to mind.
As in I have turned into Henry VIII!!!

I’d rather be his daughter Elizabeth I but instead, I was like her aging father…
minus the syphilis thank heavens.

For my love of history reminded me of dear ol’ Henry…
because the older he’d gotten, and the more rotund he’d grown, he suffered terribly with gout.

My saving grace is that I am not rotund…
but rather I’m simply living life with a recent diagnosis of Sjögren’s syndrome.
Thank you, Doctor Sjögren.

I also happen to like wine, shellfish and all things salty…all no’s when
dealing with gout.

But a quick google search of the history of the disease seems to drop me down into
the middle of some fine company.
Not only did poor old King Henry suffer but his distant kin, Queen Victoria also anguished
over such.
Leonardo da Vinci and Alexander the Great to name but a few others.

According to the Independent, a UK publication,
“Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a build-up of uric acid in the blood after the
kidneys fail to deal with it.
This results in needle-shaped crystals,
which form in and around joints, particularly the big toe, causing severe pain.”

“Historically, the disease was linked almost exclusively to wealthy people,
who could afford the luxury of a fine lifestyle.
Famous members of the gout sufferers’ club include Henry VIII, Isaac Newton,
the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson and the US founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.
Nowadays, though, the disease is no longer the preserve of the rich,
with an estimated one in 70 UK adults suffering from symptoms.”

I’ve always said misery loves company.

My reason for my said “attack” is due in part because my kidney functions are off–
so says my recent bloodwork, and that is why I have an appointment next week with
the urologist as well as with the GI doc tomorrow.

So my mystery continues but I was prescribed a prednisone pack today which
I trust will bring down the swelling enough for me to be able to put on a pair of shoes
without withering in pain!!

Stay tuned, but until further word, please enjoy this brief interlude
featuring Herman Hermits:

30 comments on ““I’m Henry the VIII I am…”

  1. hatrack4 says:

    I love the song, and my wife is having a bout of gout at the moment. Her uric acid is in the high to borderline range, but it seems she is sensitive to it. She usually gets it in one big toe or the other, but this time it travelled to her heal and ankle. Besides taking medicine, carefully selected to not damage the kidneys, she uses elevation and ice. We’ll be praying.

    • I did the elevate and ice thing Tuesday to no relief— the steroids are helping but leave me wired and sleep was not good — but we shall see— thank you for the prayers Mark— as mine continue for your family

  2. atimetoshare.me says:

    You are right up there with the royals aren’t you. Steroids can work wonders but also can effect your autoimmune system. Be careful. I remember the song vividly. Our son was about 7, I think when it came out. He thought they were singing, “I’m Enery the HRM.”

  3. Salvageable says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your latest medical challenge. I hope and pray that you get the help you need. I remember that song very well. While it was a number one hit for Herman’s Hermits, it actually has been around a lot longer–it was written in 1910 by Fred Murray and R. P. Weston, according to Wikipedia. J.

  4. David says:

    Painful – hope it soon goes Julie. I was diagnosed with pseudo-gout once. That was painful. Not sure why it was pseudo. I just know it hurt. And it also started in the night.

    • Pseudo or not— it was awful-the steroids have helped as I could actually wear a shoe to day and walk!!!!i don’t want this to come back!!!!

    • Oh— how go the election results thus far— looks like conservatives are fairing well according to exit polls

      • David says:

        In Nice at the moment Julie and missed the election. I voted by mail. But yes it looks like they have quite a majority. A lot of vitriol around from those who wanted a different result even if it meant turning the UK into a carbon copy of Venezuela. Funny how the vitriol only goes in one direction!

      • I wish I was in Nice— instead I’m in rainy dreary cold Atlanta— the news is saying that with Boris’s win those here yearning for a socialist change, God forbid, should sit up and take notice- we’re pulling for Trump again as there is absolutely nothing better out there— it’s certainly the time for national prayers!!!!!

      • David says:

        Nice was very wet this morning Julie! Currently at airport waiting for flight home – it will be the early hours of Saturday before I am tucked up warm in bed!

  5. Harold says:

    Gout is a curse. I had severe painful attracts for three years. I started taking “Allopurinol 100mg “daily and haven’t had an episode in several years.
    It controls uric acid level
    I haven’t had any side effects from taking it.

  6. oneta hayes says:

    I self diagnosed via online a couple months ago; decided I had gout mostly because of the big toe pain. I was thinking of that while reading your symptoms but I thought no you weren’t old enough (not rich enough) to have gout. The doctor smiled indulgently when I told her. 😀

    • Gout and I got the the steroids— it’s because of a build up of Uric acid- eating and drinking foods heavy with purines the body breaks that down into Uric acid— if the kidneys are impaired or overloaded the Uric acid settles in the joints- mainly the big toe at first— you are also prone to kidney stones— which I think I’ve also had— more info will come after visiting the urologist next week but the GI doc thinks I have overlapping connective tissue disease associated with the autoimmune Sjögren’s— and foods I eat and like are high in purines 😩😑

  7. SLIMJIM says:

    Wow praying for you that’s a lot of pain

  8. You have my sympathies. I, too, suffer from occasional gout. And I actually remember the Herman’s Hermits (LOL)!

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