Monday, August 30, 2021

#MicroblogMondays: Why my weekend sucked

  • Woke up Saturday morning and noticed the big toe on my left foot was rather stiff and a little swollen. A few hours later I noticed it was very red, right where the toe joins the foot. I knew what it was immediately: gout. :(  
    • Gout is caused by elevated uric acid levels -- which my bloodwork has shown I have, for years. In my case, it's exacerbated by/a side effect of the medication I take to control my blood pressure. This is the first flare-up of gout that I've had, though (at least, that I've noticed -- although I've long suspected the stiffness and aches in my left knee might be partly caused by gout). 
    • Genetics are not on my side either: both my parents have had bouts with gout in recent years. 
    • My family dr had instructed me to call if/when I ever noticed the signs of gout. Of course, I didn't notice anything until after his office was closed until Monday (and with covid levels on the upswing, there's no way I'm going to a walk-in clinic or hospital emergency room right now...!). (I will be calling later this/Monday morning...) 
    • And so I've been drinking gallons of water, taking ibuprofen, elevating my foot, gently rubbing in essential oils (won't hurt, right?) and using an ice pack for a few minutes every hour. 
    • I'm also going to have to re-examine my diet... particularly my sugar intake. :(   
      • I got on the scale this morning for the first time in months... and I was up another four pounds since my last weigh-in earlier this spring. My heaviest weight ever. I've gained 20-30 pounds since losing my job and retiring 7 years ago... which was already 20-ish pounds higher than the upper end of my Weight Watchers goal range. Not good. :( 
    • Fortunately, my foot has not bothered me too much during the night. (So far?) This was good because we had other things to keep us up...!  (Read on...!)  
  • The weather this weekend (most of the past week, actually) was hot, hazy and humid -- at one point, 31C, 41C humidex -- that's 87F and 106 F, respectively.  (You know it's hot when you wake up and it's already 30C humidex outside...!) 
  • By mid-Saturday afternoon, dark, menacing storm clouds were rolling in. Shortly after we finished dinner and got the dishwasher started, the thunder and lightning started.  And then the rain. TORRENTS of it. It was difficult to see out the windows. 
    • And then the winds picked up. I saw the chairs on our balcony start to vibrate. I'm not going to lie -- I made a beeline for the walk-in closet near the door to our unit... and yelled at dh to join me, or at least get away from the windows. (Which is hard to do, given that there are floor to ceiling windows in all three of the main spaces in our condo.)
    • Things began to lighten up JUST a little. And then the power started flickering. I ran to turn off my laptop and dh turned off the TV set.  The power went off, and on. And off and on again. After flickering on & off like that for several agonizing seconds, it went off. And stayed off... for the next 7 & 1/2 hours.  :p  
  • Of course, no power = no air conditioning. Fortunately, it stayed relatively pleasant inside our well-cooled unit for many hours. 
  • By 9 o'clock it was getting dark. I didn't want to run down my cellphone's battery, so I turned it off and we went to bed. 
  • We woke up after midnight to the sound of intermittent beeps. Four short beeps, every minute or so. After hunting around in the dark, we finally pinpointed the source as the telecommunications panel inside the closet where I'd hidden out earlier in the evening. We figured it had something to do with the power outage. We also concluded there was nothing we could do about it just then, so went back to bed and tried to go back to sleep. 
  • The power finally came back on around 2:15 a.m. (Sunday morning). Dh reset all the clocks and we went back to bed. 
  • In the morning, I looked up how long food would keep in the refrigerator/freezer drawer during a power outage. It said 24-48 hours for the freezer (so long as full, and wasn't opened), so we figured that was OK. For the fridge itself, however, 4-6 hours was the estimate, so I took stock and threw out a bunch of stuff, mostly dairy products and a jar of mayonnaise that was already past its expiry date anyway (oops). 
  • The water pressure was weaker than normal -- not bad, but not up to its usual strength. 
  • And... the a/c was running -- BUT it was just circulating the air, not blowing cold. :(  Eventually, we saw a service truck in the parking lot. The a/c was finally restored at around 4:30 p.m. -- but not before the temperature in our unit reached 79F and the humidity 69% (a figure I'd never seen before).  
  • During the afternoon, dh went down the hall to put the garbage down the chute. We opened the door to our unit, and the hallway was like a steam bath.  
    • After that, he headed downstairs (via the stairwell) to check the mail... and discovered that one of the two elevators was not working. The one that was working was packed with people, none of whom were wearing masks (in violation of posted building policy). So he walked back up the stairs again too. 
  • So how was YOUR weekend??  ;) 
  • (Any tips on coping with gout?) 
You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here. 


  1. That is a lot of disruption and drama, yikes. I'm so sorry about the gout. My dad has had it on and off. In his case, it seems to be linked to his blood pressure and not eating certain foods. I think you've mentioned that you liked using Weight Watchers in the past. If you are interested in changing your eating husband and I have been using the app that you download onto your phone after weird metabolic changes related to aging (ugh) for a while now. We're eating much better and we feel better. Diet culture is definitely bad, but this has been sustainable and more about eating good stuff -- lean protein, fruits and vegetables. I like that the app is like a game where you try to make your points for the day. And it's fine for me to blow points one day on something I really want (like a Mai Tai or dessert), I just don't do that the next day. Anyway, FWIW. :)

  2. Update: my doctor is away this week, but I have an appointment with someone else in the office for Wednesday morning. :)

  3. So much going on. I've heard that gout can be super painful, so I'm glad you have been able to sleep. I hope you get some relief after your appointment on Wednesday.

    What an ordeal with the storm, the power, the heat, the elevator, and the maskless neighbors! That's a lot for just one weekend. May calm find you this coming weekend.

  4. Sorry you had all this to deal with in one weekend. Hope the a/c is working well now. I remember thunderstorms when we lived in Bangkok - they were always dramatic and exciting, but we never liked it if the power went out!

  5. Noooooo! Gout is the worst. My coteacher has it and when he has a flare it's awful. That storm sounds scary! I'm glad you were okay , but yikes. Terrible horrible no-good weekend indeed!