I went to the doctor's yesterday. It wasn't the chap I saw last week. This was the lady who successfully dealt with my aching arm last October, and I thought a painful toe might be more her thing.
Well, she had a good look, and touched and pressed the digit. The redness and swelling indicated to her one of three things: an infection, arthritis, or gout. The first, an infection, was the most likely, so she prescribed a course of 28 Flucloxacillin 500mg capsules, one to be taken four times a day. This is an antibiotic containing penicillin which should deal with the infection, if it is indeed that. I began taking the capsules yesterday afternoon.
I'm thirty hours into the treatment, and to be honest there isn't much change yet. The toe still looks swollen and inflamed. I suppose it's now more 'dark pink' than 'red', and it's slightly easier to walk without pain, but any walking is still an awkward thing to do. I went out to the letterbox not far away earlier on, partly for some fresh air. A distance of just over half a mile, there and back. Walking in my roomy Dubarry boots was all right, but hardly comfortable. I was limping.
It's Wednesday evening. If there isn't a marked improvement by Friday I am to phone the doctor again, with a view to getting an x-ray at the hospital, so that they can look inside the toe.
My Dad suffered greatly from arthritis, but somehow I'd be surprised if it were that. I can easily bend the toe, and there is no sensation of a toe joint not being as it should be. The x-ray may reveal otherwise, of course.
As for gout, well I'd be astonished if the level of uric acid in my body were so high. But again, let the tests reveal.
I still don't see why only this toe should be affected, nor what might have brought the trouble on, beyond walking a longer distance than I usually attempt in ordinary flat shoes. And yet I wore the same shoes when walking around Edinburgh and Aberdeen last summer. I probably walked further then than I did on 8th February, when my toe first began to hurt.
I hope this doesn't turn into a saga without end. I want to be back to normal now, or, if those further investigations are necessary, then at least by the middle of March.