This week I should have been in ICWOMA 2016 but instead I was grounded at home. The air-ticket that I had already bought will be forfeited with no chance of reclaiming. The reason was that I had difficulty moving due to what I had thought my bad back conditions and was advised by my other half not to go. The recent weekend had my other half going to a conference in Terengganu with my two elder kids. I was left at home with my youngest since he is schooling (they left on Friday and to return Monday). I was busy then trying to settle bills and other chores in time before my flight on Monday night. Did a lot of walking for this and taking my son for meals. That developed into my bad back with numbness and throbbing pain in my right leg, and at some point I was feeling a bit feverish. On Sunday, I dragged myself to the university to do the closing for a Mathematics Camp at the institute. Wasn't in the mindset to do the closing speech and I guess the audience can see me visibly shaken. It was on returning home, while I was trying to perform my prayers, I felt great pain in bending my right toe. Tried to ignore this and took pain killers, hoping it will go away the next morning. The pain did not subside and I discovered swelling in my right foot the next morning. You can see this in the pic below (excuse my dirty feet - just to show that it is true).
It was then, I decided not to go to the conference. Waited for my other half to come back (since I had difficulty stepping with my right foot and hence driving) and went to the hospital. My other half said it could have not been directly due to my bad back. Had my foot x-rayed to eliminate other causes. The doctor then told me that it could be gout or some irritation on the tendons. I am more inclined to believe the latter since I had excessive walking before. The former is also possible given that my last blood test showed that my uric acid was slightly above the normal level, but that was during Eid when we had a lot of meat and peanuts. I've cut these down after my angiogram findings and hence my earlier suspicion. Anyway will wait for my next blood test to confirm if the uric acid level is still high.
I was then given two-day medical leave and I will take further leaves to ensure that I am well-rested. In saying so, let me just say that I still do work at home and in fact probably even better with more focus. Felt a little guilty though that I had asked my student to go to the conference while I, myself am not going.