Teariki Tuiono

Teariki Tuiono

Living with Gout Arthritis

“Gout is a serious condition and I recommend everyone, particularly Māori and Pāsifika men to take immediate steps to avoid any long-term injury to their joints. A visit to the doctor and discussions about medicines and healthy lifestyle changes will benefit you and your whānau / a’iga.”

Written by Teariki Tuiono

Tēnā koutou katoa, Kia orana, Tālofa lava, Mālō e leilei, and Warm Pāsifika Greetings.

I come from Manurewa, South Auckland and I worked as a primary school teacher for six years where I taught students from junior to upper primary school levels. In 2016, I went back to postgraduate study and did a Masters in Education at the University of Canterbury. I specialised in bilingual education and the use of culturally inclusive practices. I really enjoyed my time at university and then enrolled in a PhD. My thesis topic examines the normalisation of te reo Māori in schools, businesses, and community organisations. I am working to complete my doctorate by mid-2022.

I suffer from gout arthritis and have had episodes of this condition over the past three years. Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood and is the second-most common arthritic condition in Aotearoa, New Zealand. It affects many Māori and Pāsifika men, owing to genetic factors, and causes painful swollen joints in your body. My uric level is well above the normal level and needs to be reduced significantly.

My latest episode of gout arthritis has been quite serious. I suffered severe exhaustion with an inability to concentrate on my university studies properly. At times, I was bed-ridden and needed crutches in order to move around the house and to the doctors. The gout was centred in my feet and right knee. I was on painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications. It was not a good experience at all.

Gout arthritis is a serious condition and I recommend everyone, particularly Māori and Pāsifika men to take immediate steps to avoid any long-term injury to their joints. A visit to the doctor and discussions about medicines and healthy lifestyle changes will benefit you and your whānau / a’iga.

Kia kaha everyone, the struggle is real. Bless.

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