Tuesday, 16 July 2019

On The Mend (Fingers Crossed)

As I said when I last blogged, I chose to go for private treatment for my herniated disc as the NHS were not planning to see me for weeks and the pain was getting me down. I was drugged up to the eyeballs with painkillers and getting no sleep.

I am fortunate to have been able to buy private treatment and I am sure that NHS waiting periods could cause irreparable harm to less fortunate people in a similar position. The pain causes a downward spiral in health and fitness and spirits get lower and lower (yes, even for an upbeat bloke like me).

After a brief panic over extremely raised blood pressure (no idea what caused it but sitting around for three months can't have helped) I was given the go ahead to have the treatment and at eight o'clock on Thursday I was wheeled into theatre. I was anaesthetised in seconds and back in my private room within half an hour. The nerve root block appears to have been a success and after hobbling around on crutches for three months I can, at last, stand up straight and walk without pain. I hope that it lasts. The only remaining symptom is a fuzzy tingling feeling in my lower leg. I hope it goes and the pain stays away. I've been clear of painkillers for five days now. 

We're regular visitors to the excellent Dancing Goat Cafe here in Framlingham. Pull up a seat at one of the outside tables and you're guaranteed an interesting coffee break.

Now that the new sofa and rug are in the newly decorated lounge, we've started to hang a few pieces of art. We've gone for a local touch and both these original pieces are by local Suffolk artists.

It's been a big few weeks for sport since I last wrote. Son Paul took our granddaughter Catherine to the World Cup Final in France. This was their view.

I spent Sunday flicking between tennis and cricket. I don't follow either sport but have to say that both finals were exciting spectacles. Even Marion came to watch the final minutes of the cricket - and enjoyed it.

The eBay packing saga seems endless. Here's another disaster. I found this super Ironstone dish (which was made over two hundred years ago) for just a few pounds but yet again the seller used inadequate packing material.

I've been spoilt rotten by Marion during my long lay off so I treated her this weekend and cooked for her for the first time in months. The fresh lobsters from Darren on Framlingham market were delicious. Hopefully I will be back to doing half the work here again soon but Marion keeps stopping me from overdoing it and she's still doing the lion's share. I do appreciate it.

I was well enough to get out in the car at the weekend (Marion drove still) and we got to the lovely village of Orford.


I wasn't up to a long walk but had a tasty breakfast at the famous Pump St Bakery.

With the weather fairly unsettled we've managed to catch a couple of films. Yesterday has had a pasting from the critics but its been playing to huge audiences here in Suffolk where it was filmed and I see that the public ratings are very high. The Greatest Showman got a similar reaction from the critics but was a box office smash. I know that Yesterday has a ridiculous plot (some sort of cosmic event causes The Beatles to disappear from history but just one young musician remembers them. He recreates their music) but it is a pleasant and sweet love story with a lot of great music and, obviously, some fabulous Suffolk locations.

Midsommar is the polar opposite of Yesterday. The critics heaped praise on this overlong and weird story about a remote Swedish cult and their summer rituals and, with this sort of critical acclaim it will no doubt feature in the Oscar nominations. If you've seen The Wicker Man you'll get the idea except that The Wicker Man was genuinely scary, slightly sexy and totally entertaining. Apart from being beautifully shot in glorious saturated colours, this is a tedious and gory 140 minutes - give it a miss.

I'll close with a mention of framstuff.co.uk. We just bought these super enamelled mugs designed here in Framlingham and finely decorated with a scene of the castle from a lino print by renowned local artist Jem Seeley. Check them out. They've got lots of super local stuff.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Google Was Right

I said in my last blog that, with the help of Google, I had diagnosed my leg problem as a herniated disc. It's been troubling me since early April when Marion rushed me into A&E. I was in terrible pain but after a day of waiting and an X-ray I was told that it was a "muscle spasm". Thing slowly improved and an orthopedic  consultant told me that the cause of my pain was a mystery.  

At a second visit to the consultant I was booked in for an MRI scan. The scan was six weeks away and during the wait I had a return of the horrendous pain. Marion managed to get my scan brought forward and I went through the MRI machine in agony. I got a message that my results were in and I was referred to the spinal unit. I asked "when" would I see a specialist to discuss the results and was told late July or early August.

I reckon that I've taken almost a thousand painkillers in the last three months and the thought of another three hundred before being seen was unbearable. So I decided to go private. I know that this is selfish and unfair on the thousands suffering like me but we can afford it and life is too short to be spent in debilitating agony. I've done virtually nothing but sit in a chair for three months.

My private consultancy confirmed what Google told me weeks ago and I can wait for the disc to resolve itself (could be weeks could be months), have an injection or an operation. An operation is quite drastic and has a long recovery time so I've gone for the injection and will be having that next week. Fingers crossed it will do the trick. If I chose the NHS route for the same treatment it would be about two months. Wish me luck.

I've not had a lot of luck on eBay recently (although being housebound has given me plenty of time to try) but I really like this stylish little vase that I found and hope that it will sell well.

When I worked for Barclays it was a very stuffy and conservative business. How times have changed. I checked out my app the other day and it's now in the LGBT rainbow colors -well done. 

Although I said that I've been housebound and that led to us cancelling our private viewing of the Dior Exhibition at the V&A, there was one event booked that I really didn't want to miss. Marion drove me with friends to The Froize pub near Rendlesham Forest on Saturday evening.

We came to see this bunch. Merry Hell are the best band you've never heard of. We saw them last year in Snape and loved them enough to follow them on Facebook. When we saw that they were returning to Suffolk we booked straight away. 

We enjoyed a good meal included in the admission price in the sunny garden and then were entertained for over two hours.

Support act Hannah Scott proved herself to be a versatile songwriter and performer with some great melodies.

And Merry Hell gave us a set of unbridled joy. What a great night!

The rabbits may have gone but here is their legacy. About three of the thirteen new roses planted now look like this.

I haven't managed a single outing with my detector in 2019 yet. Fortunately my slipped disc has coincided with the time when the fields are full of crops but it won't be long before we hear the roar of the combine harvesters and the fields will searchable again. I made these three little displays for farmers to give them an idea of what I've been finding. There's hundreds of years of history in these little bits of metal.