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A Curious Case of A Man With Crutches

August 2, 2012

It started with mild pain, as if a tiny ant bit my left ankle. Soon it became excruciatingly painful, as though a tiny shark bit my whole left foot. When I had to crawl my way to the toilet, I became more confused. What’s happening? I didn’t remember having a tragic accident or a clumsy fall out of bed. It made no sense at all. Well, my left foot was once fractured 16 years ago, but I didn’t think it just came back again out of blue. Dismissing all the X-files theories in my mind, I thought it was probably because I had been “lazy” these days, sitting down in front of my MacBook the whole day and writing up a painstaking thesis that my body couldn’t take it anymore.

When I called Ummi, she said it could be a symptom of “nnyetok”, a Kelantanse term for body pain due to inactivity which causes nerve injuries and blockage of blood flow. As much as I was fascinated with Ummi’s diagnosis, I would love to hear it from a scientific point of view. So, after much struggle (and forcing a kind friend to carry me like a little baby), I saw a medical doctor, did a blood test and ran an X-ray. When the results came out, the doctor said that everything was okay and there was no sign of broken bones. The only thing that looked “suspicious” was the level of uric acid – it was slightly elevated. When asked what the hell that was, she said that I might be experiencing a classic case of one of the oldest disorders known to human race – Gout.

I digested the information as if getting gout was the most natural thing to happen to me at my current age. I informed the doctor that my big brother was also having a similar experience a few years before, to which she replied that gout does appear to be hereditary. When she said that it is more common in men especially between the ages of 30 and 60, I felt someone had just hit my face and shouted out loud: “You’re getting older, Hilmi!!!”

Feeling ever more confused, I got out of the clinic later, bought some prescribed medicine and rented some over-used crutches. Within a couple of hours, the drugs did its wonders and the pain was gone – I could stand up and walk again like nothing ever happened. It’s hard to believe that the drama started and ended so quickly. It was like a “midnight sneak preview” of what it was like losing control of something I always take for granted, of greater tragedies and sufferings out there that I couldn’t possibly imagine.

There is of course a possibility for the return of gout attack, but until then, I would not forget this “touch-and-go” experience. After all, I have just joined the list of some well-known gout victims like Alexander the Great, Michelangelo, Martin Luther, Isaac Newton and Benjamin Franklin. So high five, guys! haha

As for the crutches, I was only forced to use them for one day, but the impact they had on me would definitely last for a lifetime. I actually “enjoyed” using these crutches because they made me feel so “alive” (not that I was looking forward to using them again.)

No, people. I’m not sharing this story because I look cute with crutches. I’m sharing this story because it’s a reminder of how fragile life could be. So love your life ‘coz I love mine!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 2, 2012 7:05 pm

    my parents have problem with uric acid just have a balanced diet and exercise it would all ok 🙂


  2. August 3, 2012 3:59 am

    Ouch! You’re still so young for gout, Cekmi. Usually there’s a lot of pantang associated with it. Perhaps you can consult your parents or something. I guess anything that would increase the uric acid level would be taboo. Hmm….lamb? Seafood? Take care……har har har *sad laughs*


    • August 3, 2012 6:33 am

      The doctor is not 100% sure that it’s gout. It’s only the tendency towards gout. But of course, it goes without saying that I gotta be more careful in my (already) dieting life. Thank you, dear Angie.


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