So how is my big foot? Well, it's still big. Not as big as it was but definitely still bigger than the other one. The great thing is that it has opened so many doors for me while socialising. My big foot is a positive ice-breaker. Over the last week I've barely met anyone who hasn't asked "How's your big foot?" while smiling broadly at my pain. I'm fine with that (I'm not) but do they always have to follow it up with "It's gout"? Every time my big foot is mentioned someone will always say "gout". EVERY TIME. "You have a big foot? That'll be gout". "Your foot is sore? Gout". "Fancy a drink? GOUT". "Tickets, please. YOU ARE A MAN WHO HAS GOUT". "I now pronounce you man and GOUT". "Have you seen The Social Network yet? GOUT". "Do you have a Nectar card? GOUT" "Gout". "Gout". "GOUT".
Stop saying gout. Gout is a horrible condition that happens to really old people who eat meat, not cool teenage vegans like me. Plus the three medical professionals that have looked at my big foot have said it's not gout. Ah, shit. That means I have gout, doesn't it? The fact that it seems to target psoriasis sufferers who like drinking beer might have been a good clue. Ah, balls. I've got gout. That's your fucking fault, that is.
But the doctor doesn't think it's gout. Gout wouldn't be scary enough for him. He had other ways of terrifying the shit out of me and he did it in the good old fashioned Vincent Price kind of way. He appeared welcoming and cheery and then BITCH-SLAP! As soon as I walked into his room he said that he was looking forward to seeing me. That's nice, isn't it? Lewisham Hospital have been reading my blog so maybe all medical people in SE London think it's the coolest thing on the internet just like you do. Yeah, I felt pretty good about myself although I played it down due to modesty. "Really?", I said.
"Yes. According to my records, you're 1.8 centimetres tall".
Ah, the competence of Woodlands Health Centre kicks my ego in the gut once again. But we're not here to fix my ego. It's my big foot that's afoot. I took my shoe and sock off and he looked at my big foot. Actually, he stared at my big foot. I don't blame him. It's a very hypnotic foot. But he stared at it for ages. I mean a long time. Too long. My foot started to blush and avoid eye contact. Then eventually the doctor spoke.
"Is there a history of prostate cancer in your family?"
I said no while a massive nuclear bomb exploded in my anus. WHAT THE FUCK? It's a foot. Why would he mention prostate cancer while looking at my foot? Is that where the prostate is? I'm fairly sure it isn't but I don't know how wasps fuck so could I be sure that the prostate isn't in the right foot? WHY DID HE SAY PROSTATE CANCER? I'm too sexy to have prostate cancer. I have to die in a car crash or a drug suicide with Megan Fox. I can't go out via a long drawn out cancer. Why did he say CANCER?
He kept looking at my foot to the point where I thought he was falling in love with it. Great, I thought, I'm going to die and this git is going to run off with my foot. The silence was too long and loud, I had to break it. "Why?"
"No reason. No reason at all".
He smiled, shrugged and suggested a blood test. I would need to go to another health centre and make an appointment and I should stop doing the exercises they've given me because if we don't know what it is then there's no point aggravating it any more, plus I should keep taking the painkillers for now. Of course, I didn't hear this. All I heard was CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER. From the thin layer of sweat on my brow and the amount that I was crying the doctor realised that the cancer thing needed to be explained. He just wanted me to have a Wellman check and sometimes it comes up positive on prostate cancer even when it's not a concern. "Most men over 80 die with prostate cancer but not from it". He smiled again while I did some of my best staring. "It's not gout though", he said.
GIVE ME GOUT, YOU BASTARD! I want gout. I've really thought about gout and I've decided that that's the one for me. My foot will swell, I'll be in pain, I'll complain all the time. That is classic Legge. Give me gout. I don't like this prostate cancer. Even mentioning it in passing has made me taste my grave. No. I'm going for gout. You were right, everyone. I have gout. My gout. Michael Legge's lovely non-cancerous gout.
I went for my blood test two days later after my cancer scare. Admittedly, it wasn't a real cancer scare. In fact, it was just a cancer word. But I didn't expect it. Everyone was scaring me already by saying gout constantly. I wasn't expecting even the mere mention of anything scarier. Admittedly, the doctor could have maybe given me advice on a Wellman check a little easier than he did. He may as well have looked at my foot for two minutes and then said "Ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?" It just wasn't what I expected. I wasn't taking any chances with the blood test. I knew that they would take 5 pints (well, vials) of my blood and I'd have to sit there and just let them do it. When I sat in the chair, I said to the nurse "I'm going to close my eyes. When you've finished will you tell me that I was brave?". She did just that. I like her the most.