Sue and her husband, Alan, have both had gout. Sue initially took colchicine, but now manages her gout by taking allopurinol. She has not had an attack since she began taking allopurinol.

Sue was sitting at her desk at work when her big toe suddenly started increasing size and became red and painful. Her colleagues took her to the minor accident unit at the local hospital, where she was told that she was wearing the wrong shoes and that her toe was inflamed. She was given anti-inflammatories, and the swelling did go down, but some weeks later, Sue’s toe became swollen and painful again. She went to her GP, who diagnosed her with gout and prescribed colchicine.

Sue’s father had gout, so she was aware of the condition and how painful it was. However, Sue believes that a lot of people see gout as a joke and do not realise the implications of the pain that people with gout experience.

Sue describes how she would experience a slight twinge in her toe and if she did nothing it would gradually increase in size and become very painful. During attacks, Sue found walking very difficult, even indoors around the house. She describes the pain as a very distinctive burning, throbbing sensation which was absolute agony’. The pressure of bedclothes on her foot was too painful to put up with at night in bed. Sue also remembers how it would take her much longer to do everyday tasks such as hanging out the washing.

Sue began to get attacks more frequently, and eventually was getting them every two or three weeks. After about four months, her GP did a blood test and prescribed allopurinol for Sue to take permanently. Since she has been taking allopurinol she has not had another attack of gout.

Sue’s husband, Alan, also has gout. Sue feels that gout is a frustrating condition both for the person with gout, because they cannot do their normal activities, and for their partner, because it affects the activities they have planned to do together. Sue does not feel that gout has changed her lifestyle, but in the past her gout has stopped her from doing what she wanted to for two or three days at a time. Now she no longer gets attacks of gout herself, but her husband’s gout attacks sometimes do impact on their activities together, such as preventing them from going out walking on holiday.

Sue has regular blood tests to check her uric acid levels. She believes that her levels are still high, but under control. Sue intends to continue managing her gout by taking allopurinol every day, and believes that as long as it remains under control, then it will not affect her in the future.

Sue started taking allopurinol when her attacks became more frequent. She had no problems with the medication and no longer has attacks.

Age at interview 68

Gender Female

Sue thinks that many people see gout as a joke without realising how painful it is.

Age at interview 68

Gender Female