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Thursday, 27 June 2013

Typewriter Elbow

As Wimbledon enters day four and Richard Polt packs for London - though to look at Turners, not tennis - we can reveal a previously unknown malady: Typewriter Elbow*. This is what it looks like:
Technically speaking, it's a "partial thickness intrasubstance tear of the origin of extensor carpi radialis longus [which is] approximately 7mm in length". 
To the typewriter-loving layman, what this means is, "What happens when you have an extremely beautiful if rather hefty Hammond Multiplex on your lap, it starts to slide off, and you shoot your right arm down to stop the fall."
And believe me, folks, it's bloody painful!
Typewriter Elbow affects the Extensor carpi radialis longus, one of the five main muscles that control movements at the wrist. This muscle is quite long, starting on the lateral side of the humerus and attaching to the base of the second metacarpal bone (metacarpal of the index finger).
This evening I had ultrasound scans done on my Typewriter Elbow by Canberra Imaging at John James Hospital. Contrary to what my doctor and physiotherapist thought, I have torn the muscle. I won't be having a cortisone injection, because while this would ease the pain it would hinder the recovery.  The tear isn't long enough to warrant surgery.
So I shall soldier on, using "typewriter therapy" in the hope of speeding the healing process and getting the pain off my mind.
The hospital doctor said, "We're quite intrigued by how you did this injury. An Olivetti?"
"Olivetti be buggered," I said. "It was something really classy, a Hammond Multiplex!"
One typewriter I used tonight to aid my recovery is this gorgeous little Corona 3, an early model with a "Standard Typewriter Company" (instead of "Corona Typewriter Company") decal across the front under the spacebar.

The answer is that I promised to give this "transitional" Corona 3 to Peter Weil in Delaware many months ago. I feel it will far more appreciated by Peter than it is by me. For convoluted reasons which I won't bore you with here, instead of going to Delaware as planned, it temporarily went to Double Bay in Sydney. An art design display firm wanted to replicate an overseas Glenmorangie single Highland malt whisky window display for Moët Hennessy Australia at World of Whisky. This was the original display:
This is the Double Bay window display with my (or should I say Peter's) Corona 3 in it:

I had promised to loan the firm a Corona 3 for up to three months. A situation arose in which Peter's Corona 3 went, against my better judgement. After three months, you guessed it: there was no sign of the Corona 3 being returned. I contacted the firm and insisted the typewriter be sent back forthwith. After what smelt to me like some stalling tactics, duly the Corona 3 arrived, along with two presentation packs of Glenmorangie (I gave one to John Lavery in the hope of easing his back pain).
So now this lovely little Corona 3 can finally make its way to its new home in Delaware.
I had Corona 3 typewriters on my mind yesterday after driving to Yass to look at a replacement "Typer-Wagen" (as Miguel Ángel Chávez Silva has dubbed it). 
My son Danny's friend Emily had alerted me to this Nissan Pulsar Q hatchback, advertised for sale on her employer's social club site. The first Typer-Wagen had been written off by assessors on Tuesday. They said the pizza delivery man had caused structural damage (he'd rammed the boot section in under the car) and repairs would exceed the market value of the 1998 Mitsubishi Magna stationwagon (about $2500). The new Typer-Wagen will cost $1300 on top of the insurance payout.
The difference got down to that after I had inspected the car and told the present owner that I needed something I could pack plenty of typewriters into.
"My partner has a couple of old typewriters," he said, "Would you like to see them?"
"I never say no to looking at old typewriters," I said.
So he took me inside his house. First, out came a dusty Remington 12. Then, from inside a glass cabinet, a pristine, shining Corona 3 Special, with the crinkle front and side panels.
"I bet I can tell you where that typewriter was originally sold," I said, as I gently folded forward the carriage. "Aldwych in London".
Sure enough, the decal under the carriage revealed "Aldwych, London".
This machine was an all-black brother to my blue- and green-crinkle-panelled Corona Specials, also sold in Aldwych.
My hosts were suitably impressed by my intimate knowledge of their typewriter.
The price of the new Typer-Wagen came down.
"Always buy a Typer-Wagen from a Corona 3 lover," I told myself as I happily drove back to Canberra.
(For one thing, Corona 3s don't cause Typewriter Elbow.)
*Lateral epicondylitis, or lateral epicondylalgia, known colloquially as tennis elbow, shooter's elbow, and archer's elbow or simply lateral elbow pain, is a condition in which the outer part of the elbow becomes sore and tender. Since the pathogenesis of this condition is still unknown, there is no single agreed name. While the common name "tennis elbow" suggests a strong link to racquet sports, this condition can also be caused by sports such as swimming and climbing, the work of manual workers and waiters, playing guitar and similar instruments, as well as activities of daily living. Tennis elbow is an overuse injury occurring in the lateral side of the elbow region, but more specifically it occurs at the common extensor tendon that originates from the lateral epicondyle. The acute pain that a person might feel occurs when they fully extend their arm.


Scott Kernaghan said...

That's a gorgeous Corona 3. Peter is a lucky guy!
No surgery, no injections... Good! Are they at least giving you something to keep that inflammation under control?

You've really been in the wars lately. Glad to see you got to experience a bit more typewriter love!

And the Corona 3 is indeed a great choice, considering the left only double shit, which would no doubt give you something of a work-out.

Richard P said...

To Scott: Yes, Robert has something for the inflammation: Glenmorangie!

And I did not know that Coronas had scatological problems ... ;)

Spiderwebz said...

Good news! But how long would it take to recover?

Miguel Ángel Chávez Silva said...

A great choice for the therapy, indeed! Now I'll have to take my Corona 3 out of the closet for a quick spin.

It's good news that your arm won't need surgery. And that little Corona will surely help a lot.