I can empathize with you GreeneHunter. The first time I got gout was also in my big toe . The pain was excruciating. I remember trying to sleep with my foot dangling off the bed because like mowin said the weight of the bedsheet was too painful. My doctor prescribed Allopurinol 300mg once a day which is a godsend. When I do get a gout attack , which is rare , I take a couple of Indomethacin 25mg that I have. They say that if you eat cherry's and drink cherry juice , it helps avoid getting the gout.