That is one thing I like about camping with this group. I first camped with them just 2 years ago. I am still a novice. When things get weird, I follow the lead of the vets (Arnie and Ken) and help where I can. People know their role and all chores get done. It is pretty amazing to watch and then experience. There are times when you are hauling your ass around the site, whether it is to grab wood, hold something, or just get out of the way, and times when you just need to sit around, talk, and drink. Of course, I excel at the latter part.
When all is said and done, you have the weird stories to tell, most of which no one would truly get unless they were there (Can you picture it Janet?). And a smile when you think about it. What do you expect when you stay at a place call the Bong Rec Area?
But I wasn't smiling on Sunday morning. I had gone to sleep around 12:30 or so. I wasn't sure what time it was. Saturday had started out on the chilly side. But a nice Hamms was there to wake me up. What, you didn't know Hamms was a breakfast beer? It is when you are in Kenosha county. After breakfast, I had a couple Captain and Cokes before settling in on Miller Lite for the duration of the day. Some 15 or 16 hours later and it was 12:30 am and I was heading to the tent.
I wouldn't sleep well. I kept waking up to take a piss, and also noticed a sharp pain by my big toe. Every time I got up to take a leak, I had to hobble outside. Each time I tried to get back to sleep, I would have a hard time getting comfortable without putting pressue on that painful part of the foot.
After a restless night, I gave up when the sun was up. I noticed the pain was pretty bad now. I reached down to take the sock off and inspect the area but stopped when I got a nasty cramp in my calf. Ok, maybe I will check it later. I had a hard time putting the boot on over it and then limped around. It wasn't all that bad. I can move about and walk somewhat normally. It hurts like a sonofabitch though. I was having a difficult time figuring out what caused this injury. I don't recall any missteps from the night before. No twisting or sudden turning of the toe. Nothing that could explain me fucking up my foot.
When I got home on Sunday afternoon, I took a look at my foot, expecting to see if bruised, inflamed, or disfigured. Instead, it was just a bit swollen and red just below the toe. Where the big toe meets the foot. I figured I would give it a day and see if it changes color. I also would keep weight off of it whenever possible.
This morning I woke up and it felt a tad better. I can still get around but am curious to what limitations I may have. Will I be able to ride my bike later? If not, what other exercises would I be able to do to work out? That will be interesting. Being a guy, I won't go to a doctor and will try to walk through it and get on with life in a normal manner.
I got to work on time and ran into a co-worker outside in the parking garage. We talked about our weekends and I mentioned the foot/toe injury. She joked that maybe I have the gout. I think she pulled it out of the air because I told her I have no idea what the hell gout is (ok, it sounds better to call it "the gout". Sounds more ominous that way). She didn't either, so we joked about it.
Since the only kind of doctoring I truly believe in is what I can find online, I googled the gout and came to the conclusion that I just might freakin' have it. The symptoms are all there:
A gout "flare" (attack) usually strikes suddenly, at night, in one location (usually the large joint in the big toe). During the attack, the area becomes hot, red, swollen, and extremely tender. A fever may also be present. The pain, which can be excruciating, usually peaks within 24 hours.
They also say that one of the causes that brings it on is drinking, especially beer. Hmm... I have a hard time thinking my friend beer could do this to me. We will just have to see. This pain may bother me for a couple of more days and then be gone. But I will be enjoying more beer in a couple of days. Sounds like good vs evil to me.