Some good news! Having persisted with my sore toe for a week, in which the antibiotics made no impact whatsoever, I sought a second (and hopefully more competent) medical opinion.
The second doctor sent me for X-rays, so after a fun evening at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital, it was revealed that I have neither gout nor an infection, but a broken toe. The X-ray showed a fracture on the first joint of the toe. It wasn’t just a hairline stress fracture, but a significant piece knocked off the end of the bone at the joint. Hence the pain and swelling. I’ve broken toes before, but in this case I just woke up one morning in pain – I didn’t fall over or kick anything. I haven’t even been running for a while.
I’m relieved. It still hurts to walk, but at least it’s a one-off and explainable event. I don’t have a long-term problem.
Mostly explainable. One mystery remains, which has baffled both me and medical science. How the hell can I break a lump of bone off my toe without even noticing it…???