Is Bob your uncle?

I’m sure you haven’t been able to stop thinking about who Bob is. Wish I could tell you. That last post garnered no comments, no true confessions, not even any Bob impersonators. So I have decided on one of two explanations: one of my friends is indeed a psychopath (my diagnostic skills must be rusty); or, Bob left his eggs at the wrong house. If Bob does choose to reveal himself, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Thank goodness identifying Bob has been my greatest concern this week since the next few days I’ll be in medical mayhem. I have appointments with three specialists, including Dr. Radi-O, and I’ll find out whether I’ll be getting that special glow again.

Remember how I absurdly told you that I’d prefer radiation to a new medication? As if radiation were less toxic than a little daily pill? Well, I didn’t want to leave you with the impression that I’m completely anti-pill. In fact, there’s one medication I pine for every time gout rears its ugly head, which is every couple of months lately.

When I was in the ICU a few years back with multi-organ failure–doesn’t that sound exotic, kind of like a tropical vacation?–the doctors weren’t exactly sure what was killing me. They thought my chemo and my liver might be duking it out, but they also questioned the role of a highly effective but toxic medication I’d been taking to prevent gout. However dangerous this medication was, it worked. But after my organs came back to life, my relationship with this wonder pill was severed forever.

I pine for this pill sometimes. I’ve begged the doctors for a prescription, but each and every one has said: “No way, José Annie.” So instead of taking this dangerous preventive medication, I have to take a different highly toxic pill whenever gout strikes, which is much more often than it used to. I hate this new medication and have resisted taking it for years, but as I’ve resigned myself to its place in my life, I’ve learned it really works. Unfortunately, in the process, it makes me sick. I won’t describe the side effects since they’re not fit to print, and I’m trying to keep this blog G-rated (G ≠ GROSS).

So I have a choice between feeling pain and feeling gross. Which would you choose? Well, despite my chickeny nature, I have a curiously high pain threshold. Paradoxically, I am an abject failure as a chronic pain patient. Sure, I’ve had episodes of pain, sometimes lasting a lot longer than I’d like, but these episodes have always resolved over time, with or without medical intervention.

So I now choose a week of feeling gross over a longer episode of intense pain that hangs on day and night. Others might make a different choice. In some ways the cure is worse than the illness, but that’s sometimes the sickie’s reality. Side effects, even unpleasant ones, are a part of staying well. This sickening pill is my lesser of two evils. And feeling gross won’t kill me, right? It hasn’t thus far.

Wide-eyed man with pill in hand and glass of water


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