Michael Boyle: My Experience in a Gout Clinical Trial

I have my own business and to be off work for a week, still answering the phone and having all the work back up sucks. And then when you do feel better, it’s like coming back from holiday with no holiday. I’m active, and I’m an aggressive skier, and I couldn’t ski very much last year.

In the last couple of years, it’s gotten from a minor inconvenience of a sore toe and limping, to being in bed for the day or a few days. It started to effect work, so that’s primarily the reason that I came in and started researching clinical trials for gout.

The medication I was on before was working, but it was very reactive and it was sporadic. I wasn’t on it all the time, only during flare-ups. It would take longer to subside when you had an attack – it would take days and weeks to get rid of it. It wasn’t effective.

Anytime you’re doing something and you’re having some success, but there’s room for improvement, you have to be open to it. The benefits are huge – a lifestyle change. Before, I never knew what my uric acid level was. Now, I can tell you within a couple of decimal points. I’m educated, and I know more about my condition, which has improved and has been consistently getting better as my uric acid level continues to drop.

If you had an incurable cancer, would you not seek specialists and exploratory techniques? Of course you would, you’d go outside the norm and try new things. The forms that I signed – I read all of it. You can back out any time you want; you don’t have to answer a question if it’s uncomfortable or for any reason you don’t want to. I can walk out of here today and there’s no obligation to come back again. I do it because I benefit. I would highly recommend it. If people are apprehensive, the key is: you’re not obligated and can walk away at any point.

The entire time, [the research staff] did exactly what they said they’re going to. The staff is friendly, the research assistants are great, and the nurse is terrific.