Cooking with Challenges

Normally, I would blog about a recipe, but today, I’m going to talk about the challenges I have with cooking.

Several years ago, I was diagnosed with a very common ailment. Essential Tremors. In the beginning, it wasn’t so bad. I had only consulted my physician after many people asking me “Why are you shaking?”.

What are tremors?

A neurological disorder that causes noticeable and frequent trembling of part of the body, e.g. the hands or head, but is not life-threatening. My head and hands are the worse, but sometimes my legs and feet will shake too. This causes some major neck pains too.

After having an MRI, I was told I have Essential Tremors and that it was common and not to worry about it. So, I carried on about my life. I was doing fine until about a year ago when they got worse. I went to see another neurologist who had me start a medicine for the shaking. I tried this medicine for about 8 months with no relief. I wasn’t happy with the doctor just wanting to increase the dosage again and again. I went back to my physician who referred me to a different neurologist. This neurologist scheduled me for another MRI to ensure there were no changes from the last one I had. Which, there weren’t, thank goodness.

I was still rather frustrated that a “matter of fact” explanation couldn’t be provided for why I have tremors nor why they are worse. My new neurologist is very thorough mind you. She did a full panel review of my blood work.

But first, she told me to cut out caffeine completely. UGH! No caffeine! There goes my coffee, diet dr. pepper and can only have very limited chocolate. Some of favorite things gone, no longer. Man, this was going to be a hard transition. I haven’t had coffee since that day. I’ve had one Pepsi and boy that was a mistake. Definitely could tell it had an impact on the tremors. And begrudgingly, I’ve had no chocolate!

The doctor’s office called me a week later regarding my blood work and said my Vitamin D levels were very low as well as my B12. I could get the B12 over the counter, but I had to be prescribed Vitamin D to really get it into my system. If you know me, you know that I really despise having to take more pills. But these were vitamins, so I guess it’s OK.

I went to my follow up this week, and the neurologist did tell me there were no changes from my previous MRI, so that is awesome news! But…………… she proceeded to tell me that my sugar levels were very high and I’m bordering diabetic! WHAT!?! Diabetic!?! Of course, I’m’ thinking the  worse and that I’ll have to start insulin, etc. But she told me not to worry, I don’t have to start insulin (now). But that I’d have to omit sugars from my diet and reduce my carbohydrate intake. Double whammy because I always get a sweet tooth at night and I love LOVE my breads, pasta, rice, etc.

So, my challenges in cooking with tremors: Well, I have to be really careful with knives. I tend to take my time chopping veggies, etc. I really have to slow down. When the tremors are acting up, my hand could “jerk” while stirring, flipping, mixing, etc. This can also make it difficult to eat as my hand could again “jerk” causing  the food to fly somewhere or totally miss my mouth. But even worse, causing the fork to jab somewhere inside my mouth! OUCH!
Part of the reason that I am very blessed that my family can cook if needed and will jump in if I need them to.

So now, throw in the mix that I have to watch my sugars and carbs. This part is new to me, so I’ll be studying up, going to the drawing board for new recipes (mainly for myself – wouldn’t want to cheat my family just because I’m the one with the issue) and of course, will probably be getting new cook book soon.

Don’t get me wrong though, this will not break me or take away my love for cooking. I just have to regroup, and take this challenge head on as I would any other.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *