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The past weeks I suffered from gout. It started 14 years ago exactly the way it’s described on the internet: at night, during my sleep, in wintertime the pain in my big toe was hardly bearable. The blanket on top of it was already too much. Since then it comes and goes. Several times I could hardly walk for weeks and many clients saw me suffering. I tried medicines, diets (didn’t drink alcohol for years), Chinese tea (that looked like sludge) acupuncture, loosing weight, special water, no gluten, and many more things.

Usually I recognise the symptoms early and take medicines in time. But this time I was too late, and suffered from it in my knee where it doesn’t show up too often. Prednison was described and later another type of medicine from a different brand than usual. It took me by the balls. Slowly.

Without consciously noticing I got more and more in a dark mood. That was a strange experience in hindsight. The pain is pretty terrible but you can close yourself off, accept it or try to park it somewhere. You can scowl at it and pray that it will be gone soon. Take another pill and know that it will be a little less soon. But a change of mood that comes gradually is something different. Worries get immense proportions and little sleep prevents you to think clearly. Your head is clouded but without the awareness that it’s clouded.

I can empathise now that psychological suffering may be worse than physical suffering. It’s discomforting to notice how easy for all of us the chemical balance is disturbed. A different brand of medicine can do it.


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