This post is dedicated to my old pal Gort, who has been noticing cures for gout popping up in her Facebook feed lately.
ETIQUETTE: If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, it is perfectly acceptable to not shake a person’s hand when it is offered to you. You may choose to excuse yourself by explaining your situation, but if you are uncomfortable going into your medical history during an introduction, you can try taking their hand in both of yours. Alternatively, you can plan to hold something in your right hand in situations where handshaking is likely to occur.
There is another handshake being promoted by a a rheumatologist lately that involves you approaching the other person’s hand from the top rather than from the side, but it seems to me that unless you are a dowager queen this one could be tricky to pull off. Try to avoid lying about being germophobic, because this will likely make the other person curious about what you will and won’t touch and why… and it’s also just kind of bad to lie about having a medical condition you don’t have.
SUPERSTITION: If you suffer from any sort of rheumatism, you can either:
- crawl through the arch of a bramble branch that has taken a second root in the ground (this may be quite painful if you have rheumatism, however);
- ask a person who was born a breech baby to step on you with their bare feet; or
- place a buckeye, a nutmeg, or a stolen potato in your pocket.
If you suffer specifically from gout, you should rip the legs off a spider and put it on your foot, securing it with deer skin. You’ll be hopping around in no time.