Saturday, 24 July 2010

So six weeks without a drink......

The anti-inflammatories have largely done their stuff and the various pains have subsided into the odd twinge here and there - the pains in my legs are pretty sporadic, essentially it only hurts when I walk. I've had a full spine MRI (thank God for private medicine) and I have a number of herniated discs. Essentially I can hope that is it and the pain goes away for good (which is unlikely) or I can opt for a set of injections in my spine, or I could have a full surgical procedure (that neither my consultant or I are too keen on) to replace the discs with metal plates. I'm still thinking about the caudal epidural injections - I know epidurals are given to women having babies every day but the thought of having needles put in my spine is somewhat giving me pause for thought, and it'll take six weeks or so to tell whether it has alleviated the problem (and these injections aren't a permanent solution).

Anyway, I've largely finished the drugs I've been taking and the side effects are wearing off. Working for a wine importer and not drinking has been something of a shock to the system - I've been excused tastings (one of my favourite aspects of the job) and have avoided going to the pub after work as I cannot stand orange juice and lemonade....and don't get me started on non-alcoholic lager. So on Wednesday it was my wife's birthday and we went to Texture in Portman Street for dinner - the account manager had made the booking on my behalf and it was rather nice to find that he had set me up with a bottle of champagne on the house. I thought I'd give the champagne a try as I was almost off medication..only to find that my mouth wasn't tasting properly (normally I have quite a good palate) - the food tasted marvellous but every wine I tried (the sommelier was making a bit of an effort because of who I work for) tasted a bit off - not corked (and every other indicator apart from flavour was bang on) but not on song.

It was rather embarassing because the sommelier was obviously thinking I was a bit of a prat for not appreciating the wines he was putting in front of me properly. Apart from this it was a marvellous meal and I would highly recommend Texture.

Anyway the next day we had some Alsace wines open at work and I went through them with our MW comparing my notes to hers - everything seemed a bit dull to me. I've been repeating the experiment on a daily basis (we generally have something open every day) and I'm relieved my senses seem to be returning - although I'm mystified as to why I seemed to be able to taste my food at Texture without problems but found the top-end champagnes hard to taste properly.

So, what does this mean for my model soldiers? Well my hands are settling down and I've been doing some basing, prepping soldiers for painting and so on. I'm thinking another few days and I can pick up the brush and do some detail work again.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Okay, So I've Been Ill....

Since my last statement of good intentions a couple of things have intervened. First, my wife and I went to Malta for a week (I'd highly recommend it, good weather and lots of things for people like us to look at) which was great. I spent lots of time clambering over fortifications watched by my long suffering wife - and Valletta must be one of the most fortified cities on Earth.

Anyway, while I was there I started to experience a pins and needles sensation, mostly in my left leg. As this seemed to be mostly associated with exercise, I put it down to being essentially unfit and decided I'd get it checked out if I still had the symptoms when i got home and returned to my normal sedentary lifestyle.

Upon returning to London and work the problem continued - in fact I started to develop pains in my arms as well. I went to see my GP, who said I'd pulled a muscle - essentially he mis-diagnosed the problem entirely as when I took advantage of my company's health insurance scheme and visited a specialist I learnt I had a problem with my spine (actually I have several problems but most of them don't hurt). Now you wonder how a bad back and pains in the legs can translate into no painting or updating of this blog?

Well....the drugs he gave me to reduce the inflamation have a few side-effects (most of which are highly anti-social but have no bearing on this blog) one of which is that my hands now tremble - and this isn't because I'm not drinking alcohol. legs are now mostly okay but I'm still getting severe pains in my right arm and shoulder - my spine is pressing on the nerves that control my arm and so far the drugs have only been of marginal benefit.

What this means is that, apart from being very grumpy (partially the no wine / beer thing but mostly because I can't sleep in a bed because lying down is painful) I've been finding it difficult to type, let alone paint toy soldiers. So here are some painted by DPS of Hong Kong that I picked up on Ebay some time ago.

I have enough figures for six 32 figure battalions of Russian line infantry (although they need to be based for GdeB) and have a few other other odds and ends including an artillery battery and some casualty figures. I've got to say the quality of painting is pretty damn good for the money that DPS charge for them.

So, as I haven't been getting much sleep I've been doing a lot of reading and generally grumping around the house - my wife says I don't deal very well with pain. Anyway, apologies for the lack of posts.