Living with gout and other conditions
- Age at interview:
- Eric is married and has two children. He is retired, and previously worked as a Manager for an energy supply company. Ethnic background/nationality: White English.
Because of other ailments they’ve fitted the house out, with this chair, I press a button and it stands me up, we’ve got a chair lift that takes us upstairs, we had, I had a shower downstairs, so that my wife can bathe upstairs and I shower downstairs, we’ve had handles fitted to all the doors so that I can use my arms instead of having to use the foot especially when I’ve got gout, so there’s - we pretty well helped ourselves as much as we possibly can. I’m a bit of a forward thinker you know, forward planner and I’ve always recognised that as I get older I’m going to need more help, so I’ve put these things in place.
And do you find that they - I know you said you’ve done some of them because of other sort of issues you’ve got - but do you find that they do help with gout when you’ve got gout as well?
Yes they do, oh yes. Even sort of going to the loo and things like that, we have arms in the loo compartment. Well pretty well all the aids - oh I’ve got a - in the bed, in hospital you have these, what do they call them, sort of, to stop you falling out of bed you know, you have these things - well in my bed, there are two small ones that fits under the bed and then it comes up so when I want to get out of bed, if the gout’s particularly bad or the other problem’s bad, I can put one hand on each and pull myself out of bed, so we’ve fitted the house out really.
- Val is married and lives with her husband and three of their six children. She is retired, and previously worked as a school Library Assistant. Ethnic background/nationality: White English.
At the same time, the very same month it started, I actually sustained a neck injury with… called wry neck and so I felt I’ve got this bit and I was actually in a collar. I’ve got this bit and I thought, “It’s just not fair”, you know, as well as everything else in between that’s gone wrong like my spine and hips and I thought, “Oh it’s not fair”. You know, and it did seem a pretty grim time of my life actually. I was in a lot of pain from my neck.
People’s other health problems sometimes affected the decisions they or their doctors made about gout treatment.
Alan believed that his GP might be worried about him taking ongoing preventative treatment for gout because he takes a number of different medications for his heart condition. A few people had checked with their GP or specialist that their gout medication was compatible with the medications they were taking for other conditions. Jill’s allopurinol dose has also been agreed between her renal consultant and her rheumatologist to make sure that it is suitable for her heart and kidney problems.
- Age at interview:
- Jill is divorced and lives alone. She is retired, and previously worked as an Infeeder for a manufacturing company. Ethnic background/nationality: White English.
I have a renal doctor, I have a gout doctor, I have a heart doctor, they all three speak to each other, and I'm in the middle of them all, and it's just - it's like always fine tuning of a car, tweaking this, tweaking that, to keep things running.
So you feel that the communication between the different experts is quite…?
Definitely, yeah, because you - whichever doctor I see I always have a letter back, and you can see that they're clearly talking to whoever about me.
John believed that there was some confusion about his symptoms and treatment when he went into hospital with severe pain from a gout attack, because he had also just had a stroke. Jean has two artificial big toe joints which caused confusion initially about whether it was possible for her to have gout.
It is thought that operations can sometimes trigger attacks of gout and a few people had attacks when they were in hospital for other conditions. Other people had operations and did not get attacks. A few people had conditions or treatments that made it more likely for them to get gout, such as kidney transplants. Some noticed that they were more likely to get attacks if they had a cold. (For more see ‘Causes of gout’).
- Age at interview:
- Shirley is married and lives with her husband. She has three children. She is retired, and previously worked as a teacher and social worker. Ethnic background/nationality: White English.
And so on any of those occasions when you were in hospital for various different things, did you ever – sometimes people find that their gout reoccurs when they’re in hospital?
I think it did, certainly on the last occasion, because I was in hospital for a long time. And, although I took my prescription thing in with me, so they knew what drugs I was on, I’ve a feeling they didn’t always give me the allopurinol for some reason best known to themselves. And I think it did recur slightly at that point, but once I came home and got back into my regime I was okay.
Last reviewed December 2016