Gout: Don't Suffer in Silence!
ThirdAge: Did you go through with your performance?
Jim: Yes, but I was leaning on a stool the whole time and I only had a sock on my left foot. Even a light touch was agony and I couldn't put my shoe on. I'm usually very aggressive on stage so that was when it hit me that the gout was getting in the way of what I love most. I had to do something. I called a rheumatologist and went for a check up. He put me on a medication that has worked very well for me. I haven't had a flare-up in years. I'll be 59 in June and I'm as active as ever. Right now I'm getting ready to tour with my band, The Sacred Hearts.
ThirdAge: You're also involved with a gout awareness program, right?
Jim: Yes, it's called "Check Out Your Gout" and the web site has a lot of good information. My message is that you shouldn't put off getting help. You're compromising your quality of life and the gout could also lead to bone and joint destruction.
ThirdAge: Does anyone else is your family have gout?
Jim: My sister has it. It's not for men only. Also, my aunt had it before she died.
ThirdAge: Do people need to go to a specialist?
Jim: Definitely. A rheumatologist will know exactly what level of medication you need but a primary care doctor might not. Taking too much can cause fluctuation in uric acid levels. If the level drops too quickly, that can actually bring on an attack rather than prevent it.
ThirdAge: Is there anything else you'd like to tell people?
Jim: If Belushi can do it, you can do it! Women, tell your husbands that! I'm as male a guy as you'll ever run into, but I got past my ego and now I wish I had done it years earlier.