In helicopters, the Jesus nut is a slang term for a crucial link that holds the rotor blades of some helicopters together. Failure of this nut will, clearly, have catastrophic effects.
However, I wish to concentrate on another nut, one that is peculiar to the male of the species and is said to be situated somewhere around middle earth of the body.
It is called the prostate gland. It is crucial to excretory functions and good health and should be roughly the size of a walnut.
The size is determined by an urologist or proctologist and involves a rubber-gloved hand. Think of the James Bond theme, but Coldfinger instead of Goldfinger.
If the size does not conform, the doctor conducts a blood test which requires a reading of between 0 and 4. If the reading is higher, you are a likely candidate for that dreaded disease that affects many males over 45 years old. It’s called prostate cancer.
But do not be alarmed. It is manageable in much the same way that ladies monitor the possibility for breast cancer. Constant vigilance, a healthy diet and both chemical and homeopathic intervention can spare you much discomfort.
The reason for this dire topic this week? I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The information at first was shattering. I agonised through six weeks of tests and procedures until a few days ago, when this column was born. And my readers (both of them) know that I am not a prophet of gloom and doom.
Of the many cancers that can afflict the human, prostate cancer is the slowest growing. Doctors tend to reassure patients with the words: “You will more likely die with the disease than from it.” This is a somewhat dubious kind of reassurance but it helps. Trust me.
Early diagnosis is crucial for recovery. Many men put it off at considerable risk. Clearly, the later you leave it, the more complex the treatment and the more reduced the recovery ratio. This walnut-sized nut is the one nut you want to look after.
One would then be less reluctant to ask a friend: Are you nuts? Or label somebody a nut case. And being confined to a nut-house could change its context.
The game of cricket has for more than a century employed a “box” for batsmen precisely to avoid injury to the crown jewels.
Isn’t it ironic that it took about 100 years for them to evolve protection for the brain called a helmet?
It underlines the absolutely crucial role of this tiny gland that can cause either great joy or deep grief.
Home remedies include eating as many tomatoes as you can stand. I was also advised to eat lots of, don’t laugh, nuts. No prizes to guess what my riposte was. Yep! Nuts to you!
The writer of this weekly is a Cape Argus reader named Alex Tabisher.
*The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.
Source: Cape Argus