My Viking inheritance

Had a small op on my finger today to treat Dupuytren’s contracture, which causes the finger to bend.

It had got to 40 degrees, so it was time.

Instead of surgery to cut out the thickened cords, I opted for minimally-invasive needle aponeurotomy weakening the cords by inserting needles. The finger is then straightened, but requires a splint and physio for weeks.

It’s a genetic condition apparently only occurring in those of Norse blood (it’s also known as the Viking disease).

I didn’t realise I had any Norse blood. Typically, I didn’t inherit the blond hair, long limbs or blue eyes, just this. And, of course, their unflinching courage.

Actually, I did flinch a bit. And brought the missus along for moral support. Although I overheard her later on the phone telling someone: “It looked really painful, but was fun to watch.”

Unfortunately, the finger will begin to bend again in a few years and I’ll have to repeat the process.

PS: my father is a genealogist and found out that our name may come from Saelida: a nickname meaning seafarer or pirate.

The earliest recorded Sillett (or variant on that name) is in 1089. He is thought to be a relative (son or cousin) of Nigel the Physician, a Norman… so the Scandinavian connection may come from there.

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