Michael Zucchi

 B.E. (Comp. Sys. Eng.)

  also known as zed
  & handle of notzed


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Sunday, 05 April 2015, 13:14

shitty internet & shitty stuff

Well my NBN is still down. Not even a response from internode after a service request 2.5 days ago. It's Easter which is a big holiday in Australia and I don't particularly begrudge the lack of response, but I see from whirlpool posts they are still working. I see from others it might not be something they can fix anyway.

So i'm using my old ADSL - the one I thought i "switched" from; but alas they just kept both running and billed. I think it's because i used their crappy on-line form to request it and it's been a drawn out collection of misunderstanding and mistakes since. For an internet company they seem pretty poor at doing everything over the internet.

Yay more shit

So I got hit with gout a couple of months ago as a nice birthday present which pretty much screwed up any tentative plans I had for that let alone the future. After the first couple of days of pain it just turned into another sore foot; I can hobble a bit by putting weight on the outside edge but even walking around the garden too much has consequences. Surprisingly, cycling is worse than walking and may hint at the trigger. It sometimes swells a bit but without shoes that isn't very noticable. A couple of weeks after an attack it starts to get to the point I can ride a few km or go to the supermarket but it still gets sore afterwards. For the most part even at it's worst the pain was mostly annoying - certainly painful but still able to sleep with drugs - although after the second attack I had to go to the shop to get groceries and walking in shoes was one of the more painful things i've ever done to myself; I should've waited for the ibuprofen to kick in properly and probably just gone bare foot. As I live alone I would have had to go eventually though.

What is most frustrating about it is that after a couple of months of summer doing pretty much nothing i was ready to get a bit of exercise and mix with humanity again; so i went for a 2 hour ride (took it mostly easy but pushed a little for the exercise), got drunk at the pub, then came home and had some biscuits and cheese for "dinner". Then suddenly it felt like i'd broken my big toe and i wasn't really sure I hadn't ... But I knew instantly it was gout (i think i'd looked it up before due to my other foot trouble). And that was pretty much summer and exercise (and life?) all over. Getting so bored sitting around at home is a big reason I started hacking code again. We also had a notably mild - and completely dry - summer this year so it was doubly frustrating I couldn't really enjoy it. As an aside some of my initial searching turned up a similar story of a guy the same age as me going for a "moderate" bike ride before his first attack.

It was a pretty depressing read looking up information about it on the internet: pretty much everything i eat was "off the list", pretty much everything i do for fun was "off the list". Then I started to notice it was almost all exclusively old wives tales full of completely contradictory information. Even the limited medical information is contradictory: e.g. it's all about the purines, well, except when they're in vegetables when they apparently don't count. Even beer which is the worst thing for gout doesn't have much in the way of purines. Also surprising that there seems to have been so little in the way of hard studies done for such a common ailment. What few medical suggestions are available seems to be targeted at the obese: it is unclear for example whether sugars, fats, and oils are bad for gout or just bad for fat people and being fat is bad for everything. I would consider myself overweight but plenty wouldn't these days due to their distorted sense of "normal" and efforts not to "offend" (typical family greeting however: when did you turn into such a fat cunt? - as it should be). The recognition in the irony of suggesting lots of exercise when you can't even walk or cycle is not terribly comforting.

So my initial readings pretty much put me off eating almost everything at the start; and now i've lost most interest in food. When I went to a doctor a couple of weeks afterwards he said meat should be ok but I've barely had any since; doing a roast just seems like asking for trouble. Pangs of hunger come and go but are easier to ignore, and small meals and snacks seem to fill me up much faster and for longer. I've lost nearly 1Kg/week so far so now i'm interested in seeing how far I can go. At this rate i'll break through 80 in another month and if i can do that at least it will be something gained from this sorry episode.

So now after a bit of time and experiments i've kinda worked out that tons of water is about all I can do to help. Together with ibuprofen if it's too sore or swollen. Conversely the main problem seems to be dehydration or more particularly a lack of urination. I usually drink plenty of water unless i'm too busy to notice, especially when cycling, but I also sweat profusely when doing anything physical so maybe it just isn't ever enough. I can have some wine and beer if i drink a lot of water - but it often gets to the point of being only slightly intoxicated while being waterlogged so it isn't remotely fun. If i feel it coming on (a pricking on the toe) absolutely drowning in water seems to prevent it going further but doing that together with visiting the dunny all night is starting to get pretty obnoxious. I'm having tons of coffee - some evidence suggests it reduces the chance of gout but again no study to say if it helps it - but at least it's something i can safely imbibe (i don't really get any buzz from it; it stops me sleeping properly if i have it too late is all). According to the internets (green) tea is supposed to do wonders but the medical evidence says otherwise: i concur with the latter. It does however have one important potential use: it lets you drink much more water without exploding. I prefer green to black without milk anyway, and black with milk doesn't seem to agree with me anymore. The doctor said no red wine but red seems to be better than white and wine better than beer. I really miss being properly beerly-drunk.

No doubt the beer and food over a lifetime helped it on it's way but I think the trigger was probably dehydration. In that 4 hour period of the bike ride+pub I had ~2L of beer and ~2L of water but only urinated once I got home. Maybe i've also just got a naturally high level of uric acid. It's unlikely to be family related; they all drink like fish - more often and intensely than I do.

I had another attack Thursday night and didn't feel like fighting it with water. It ended up fairly mild but my foot's still swollen and it feels like it's reset it's 'state' to two weeks ago. It's not like I was walking around properly anyway so hobbling a bit more is quickly becoming a matter of "so fucking what".

Since i'm pissed off with my internet too, despite having access to it, it's probably time to sit in the garden reading as i've done the last 2 days. With a bottle of water. And maybe something a little stronger - in small amounts :( It also needs a mow and other maintenance but my foot needs more rest.

Tagged rants.
less shitty internet and more shitty gout | another variation on histogram equalise
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