I’ve had a weird week.
For a few months I’ve had a very, very faint tremor in my jaw, only really noticeable when I was in bed, and it was such a fluttery, tiny thing that I mostly thought I was imagining it. There was also a faint quiver in my thumbs when I’d swipe a page or scroll on my phone, but again, so faint that you think you’re imagining it half the time.
This week, I tried to paint for the first time in a while. Maybe it’s the first time I’ve had a chance to notice it, but the tremor is in my fingers, as well. I know that now, because I can’t paint details like eye lenses, belt pouches, or belt buckles, etc. (which, incidentally, Kharadron Overlord minis are laden with) with my hands shaking this much.
Weirdly, it’s easy to ignore 99% of the time, since it’s invisible to other people and it doesn’t bother me when I’m doing almost anything else. Cooking, writing, everything else – all good. But I noticed it in things like turning the pages of a magazine, and trying to get some painting done.
I’ll report back after my doctor’s appointment. All signs point to an essential tremor, which is both minor and controllable, but obviously I need to make sure. And even more obviously, one of the four of us is actually a doctor (which is unsurprisingly why we call him Dr. Mark – who you’ve probably seen from his Stormcast posts on this blog). He’s always reluctant to diagnose on behalf of my local sawbones, but noted that the signs pointed to something fairly unserious. So that’s nice.
I also asked on Twitter about it, if there were any other folks who carried on painting despite similar issues, and there were a surprising number of similar tales.
Hobby-wise, this isn’t great, but it’s also not the end of the world. I’m not a great painter, but I am pretty neat. Not that I’ve actually painted much in my lifelong generalship of grey plastic and bare metal armies, but when I did, I’ve been able to fake skill with neatness. I can’t wet blend and I don’t own an airbrush, but I colour inside the lines and don’t make a mess:
So if I lose my ability to be neat because of tremors, that… isn’t going to be great, since it was my one trick.
However, all is not quite lost. I could do an ink/wash-heavy army, like spectral undead. I could weather the heck out of a Chaos army, maybe. And there’s always scenery, which is all about covering your sins with weathering, and which I enjoy doing a great deal, anyway:
Anyway, hopefully I’ll have more info next week.
In the meantime, I promised in various places that I’d show some of my kitbashed Space Marines, to prove that I hobby a lot more than actually just failing at painting. Behold: