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Saturday, May 2, 2020

Dupuytren's Contracture and all that!


Autobiographies are questions we ask ourselves: how did I get to this point? how did this happen? who am I? In "The Millionaire Castaway", David Glasheen can't quite decide whether he is the Don Quixote or a Sancha Panza.

Autobiographies are usually honest but highly selective and never truthful, and David's is no exception. Despite the hugely discounted price of $12.99 within a year of its release, I was struggling to get my money's worth until I came to page 306 where he (or his ghost-writer Neil Bramwell) had written, "I also need a small procedure on my right hand's little finger, which has Dupuytren's contracture, a stiffening of the tissue in the palm which causes the finger to bend inwards."



BINGO! Dupuytren's contracture! Also known as "Viking Disease", it was named after Baron Guillaume Dupuytren who first operated on it in 1831 and is perhaps better known for having treated Napoleon Bonaparte's hemorrhoids. My interest in it wasn't caused by actor Bill Nighy's spooky handshake - he also suffers from Dupuytren's contracture which causes some of his fingers to bend in towards the palm which can make shaking hands with fans difficult - but because Padma, too, has a finger bend towards her palm which we had put down to an early onset of arthritis.

Now we know it's Dupuytren's contracture. A cheap diagnosis at $12.99.

Thanks, Dave! I think I've got my money's worth after all.

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