Coping With Gout


Coping With Gout

By Christine Craggs-Hinton

Sheldon Press – £7.99

”The gout sir,’ replied Mr Weller. ‘The gout is a complaint as arises from too much ease and comfort. If you’re ever attacked with the gout, sir, just you marry a widder as has got a good loud voice, with a decent notion of usin’ it and you’ll never have the gout again. It’s a capital prescription, sir. I takes it reg’lar, and I can warrant it to drive away any illness as is caused by too much jolity.”’

                                                                      Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers

The above is quoted in the second chapter (‘Getting help from you doctor’) of this concise and all informative book, which, to all intents and marginally disagreeable, if not misinformed purposes, sheds much light on a subject that still appears to be shrouded in juxtaposition. Yet, so far as the overtly accessible Coping With Gout by Christine Craggs-Hinton is concerned, one couldn’t wish for a more clear and comprehensive analysis of this nigh disabling form of arthritis – that unfortunately appears to be on the increase (particularly among women).

What I found especially pleasing about the book was it’s down to earth approach, and its non-judgemental, emotional perspective, which authoress Craggs-Hinton more than accurately elaborates upon in the final chapter, ‘Emotional help’: ”Of course you feel afraid when you develop an illness for which there is, as yet, no safe and absolute cure. Fears tend to centre around the future, and what will become of you. You may be afraid of repeated attacks; afraid that they will be more painful each time; afraid of the long-term effects of medication; afraid to tell people of the nature of your illness; afraid of being laughed at; afraid of being unable to make the necessary changes to your diet and lifestyle – the list goes on.”

Such writing hints at the reality and the subliminal embarrassment of gout, which, apart from reaching out, suggests a cohesive and considered empathy. As such, this very helpful book comes highly recommended – especially if you suffer with the ghastly gout.

David Marx


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