Sausages and Lemons

“…… Ring the bells of St Clements” was one of those very English songs that we, as children growing up in an independent, but still very much tied to Ol’ Blighty, New Zealand, sang at nursery school, long before The Beatles brought us A Hard Day’s Night and The Who gave us CSI New York’s,  Baba O’Riley.

Sausages and Lemons st-clements

Shouldn’t those Sausages rather be Oranges? I hear the more English and or more senior folk out there muttering and shaking their heads at my obvious typo error! Well yes, but……….!

In today’s post Industrial Revolution society, mechanised and computerised, but still very much focused on the dexterous skills via the hands of those operators at the controls and keyboards, our bodies have been challenged by having to develop new skills and the repetition work, it is claimed, causes many of us to develop CTS or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Sausages and Lemons motorcycle controls

1 The right hand controls the stop and go but the left hand has to clutch! Our limbs, ligaments and nerves are challenged at work and at play!

During the course of a recent adventure, travelling with a bunch of trainees, groupees and crazies, it became obvious that the numbness in the fingers of my left hand, I would often awaken with after my allotted 6 to 7 hours, was occurring during the day and the shaking of the wrist was not alleviating the sensation as it used to. Time to wake up and solve the problem!

Sausages and Lemons watch and shake your wrist

2 Now that’s an idea! Wear a wrist watch that answers your phone and relieves your CTS at the shake of your wrist!

Googling Gertie helped immeasurably with thousands of leads to medical sites that explained in great detail what was going on within the confines of the wrist of my clutch hand. A visit to my GP had me going for a bank busting MRI before I even got to the Neurosurgeon. Now what they wanted to check on my spine for goodness sake, is anyone’s guess but I had the satisfaction of knowing that they had to double take on that Magnetic Resonance Imaging as this ADD dude found it difficult keeping still in the confines of that MRI tunnel!

Sausages and Lemons MRI

3 You want me to remain still, for how long, in that tunnel? And how much is my Medical Aid not paying?

After the Neurosurgeon had listened to my story and asked me about my neck pain and I replied: “What neck pain?” He looked astounded that I had no neck pain and focused on the CTS problem in my left wrist! His assistant guided me to the torture chamber, where the Gestapo, disguised as a pretty Indian lady conducted nerve conduction tests, managing to send a shocking 112 mille-amps through that left Carpal Tunnel to get a reaction in the finger tips! The right, throttle wrist was still in good nick with a measily 1,2 mille-amps needed to shock those fingertips into life!

Sausages and Lemons Carpal tunnel

4 For those who haven’t heard about CTS, here is a left handed diagram that explains it all!

After checking through the results of Mata Hari’s nerve conduction tests, it was decided that a Carpal Tunnel release procedure, where the Surgeon hacks through the transverse carpal ligament to release the median nerve, would bring my fingers back to life.  Medical Aid authorisation was obtained and a table was booked in the dissection room at our local Medical Clinic or Hospital. It was a quick in at 6:30am and out at about noon the same day, a few days before the workshop staff left on annual leave, leaving me with a good right hand to get through to the end of December, and a bank balance that may or may not get through month end.Sausages and Lemons operating room

5 The dissection room, not a place one wants to get familiar with!

Having favoured my left hand for a month, worn loose fitting clothing and slip on shoes for obvious reasons, attending a glamourous wedding reception at Chez Charlene,

Sausages and Lemons Dave and Luschka

6 Dave and Luschka tied the knot at Chez Charlene in Pretoria. Wow, pretty much sums this picture up!

even a dance and some head banging, forgetting to floss as that duty had become impossible, visiting a Dentist who, again disguised as a pretty Indian lady, wanted to charge MRI rates to solve the food impaction problem, helping a thoughtful and reliable Michael Meiring who stayed at work to help out, to remove an engine and gearbox assembly from a vehicle, but were frustrated by closed suppliers and non availability of spares, driving manual gear change cars with knee steering whilst the right hand changed gear, keeping the swimming pool leaf free one handed, despite a massive hail storm that multiplied my right hand leaf skimming duties tenfold, conducting great Christmas times with the Famdamily, keeping the dressing on that wrist dry in the shower,

Sausages and Lemons sushi

7 Hello you! Sushi is the easy way to eat out when you are favouring your fork hand!

even remembering to take all the antibiotics and Slow-Mag that my Neurosurgeon had prescribed, I am sadly left, pardon the pun, with a thumb and two and a half fingers on my left hand that literally feel like sausages and as the expression goes, like lemons!

Sausages and Lemons car

8 When that car you bought doesn’t live up to expectations, you refer to it as a lemon!

As always, one remains hopeful and I’m sure my Neurosurgeon will eventually suss out why that median nerve remained in prison after so much effort to obtain its release!

Just in case you haven’t figured out where CSI New York’s theme song comes from: The Who from 1974 and Baba O Riley:

St Vincent School For The Deaf helping the hard of hearing to listen:

Down Durban way The Fulton School for The Deaf:

Abraham Kriel Childcare group, caring while we work:

The Avril Elizabeth Home for the Mentally Handicapped was opened in 1970, and for the amazing work they do for the less fortunate they deserve great accolades: