. . as in disabled, handicapped, weakened, incapacitated – this getting older thing is really pissing me off! Before you jump in with, ‘Alan, mind your bloody language!’ I’d better explain.

When J and I got back into our early morning track-pounding routine a couple of weeks back, we had done barely four days before my knobbly knee felt utterly knackered! Days of rest made no difference – walking, standing, sitting, lying down, the discomfort got to be intolerable. Trust me, I do not do stoicism in the face of agony! This same knee had surgery five years ago when the cartilage split like sliced bread so I thought ‘Here we go again!’

Today it was an early appointment with my favourite bone surgeon before he sent me off to do the rounds of blood-suckers, radio-active ray gun wielders and resonating magnetic photographers. I have to admit that it is all pretty efficient and virtually instantaneous. Makes me glad I live in Turkey – (assuming it doesn’t get postponed, my sister will have waited 16 months for a second hip replacement in the UK!) By the afternoon we were back with ‘Bones’ for the prognosis – ‘I remember your knee. Look, it is still perfect!’ he proclaimed proudly. ‘No need for operation. You have crystals of uric acid in your knee joint – very painful!’

Now, uric acid was something that we ‘Toms’ in the British army used to good advantage for breaking in new boots.

urine in army boots

This from some obscure source: “The traditional method of ‘breaking in’ or softening boots was to apply polish without buffing, urinate in them just before lights out,  and leave them overnight. They were then worn the next day and the process worked wonders on the hardest leather. The routine was repeated until the leather was sufficiently softened.” The boots ponged for a bit and the flies could be a nuisance but the leather was like a baby’s bottom! I mean, in boots I get, but in my knee??


Don’t I bloody-well know that!

‘I forget English name’, continued ‘Bones’. Sounds like bloody gout I mumbled. ‘Yes! Yes!’ he exclaimed, ‘You have gout! I will write prescriptions and I want you to have complete, 100% protein-free diet and come back in one week. You will see, pain will be gone!’

Bloody hell! I mean, come on, gout is what old men get in their big toe for gawd’s sake! Gout! At my age!

Alan Fenn, (knackered)



16 thoughts on “Knackered!

  1. It’s good you don’t have to have another OP. !!!! But Gout, well wasn’t expecting that. Hope the treatment works for you, that’s something your going to have to keep your eye on. Bloody old ages. who ever invented that wants shooting !!!!!!!!!!

  2. I started getting gout shortly after I broke tib, fib, and ankle when I was 35. The break brought in on, but it seems I am a gene short of a full DNA. I take allopurinol daily and find that works for me. But it was tough getting used to it. I also cut out cooked tomato skins and seeds, but that is easy in Turkey, or any Mediterranean country.

    You have my sympathy. Only another sufferer can understand the sheer blood pain.

  3. Alan, Geçmiş olsun! What a terrible pain in the, er, knee! It is hard to deal with maturity-related problems, especially when they ambush you like this. Here’s hoping that the diet and pills work and you’re out on your rambles again soon.
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  4. Hi Alan. Sorry to read about the Gout. Seems a great many tests to diagnose it. It is painful but it comes and goes. Watch the diet. Am in Turkey but will not get to the valley this time, it’s just too hot. Best wishes. Mary

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