I have a friend whose body is stricken with a condition other than MS, but her struggles are similar to mine. She made a comment once about how she and I both “must repeatedly say goodbye to body parts”. Her wording explained so simply, yet so profoundly, the necessity of grieving losses. As our physical abilities decrease, our choices become more limited. We know that that’s the way it is with a progressive illness.
One of the things I used to enjoy doing was cooking. Cooking is, in a way, creating, and it improves with experience; so it’s both an art and a talent. Being a stay-at-home mom for many years, I had certainly invested a lot of time in preparing meals. Now, with MS having taken away many of my abilities, tasks such as cooking have transferred to others. As duties were being shifted, and still today, I was and am challenged with explaining in words, both simple and complicated tasks that had become second nature to me. It’s usually easier to do a task ourselves than to explain how to do it to someone else. Translating actions into words can be a challenge, especially actions that have been so repetitive and routine that they were done without even thinking. Describing actions, when the task cannot be demonstrated, stretches my patience.
When my eyesight and other abilities were changing, I decided to type and print my favorite recipes and put them in document protectors inside of a binder. The sheets can be taken out and put on the counter or hung from a cupboard pull. As I used them, I made notes to indicate how I personalized the ingredients and/or instructions.
The recipes are also in a file on my computer called “Kerri’s Cookbook”. Because of that, they can be changed or shared easily.
Mr. Legs and I plan meals together now. We use many of the same recipes I used when cooking by myself. Having them quickly available, and easy to read with notes, has been helpful. He has adjusted them to his liking, added his notes and made them his own. He finds healthier ingredients and has a special knack for presentation. It’s easy to give my compliments to the chef here.
I am grateful for the many years I could carry out tasks. And now, after I have said goodbye to some body parts and abilities, I have said hello to the new cook in the house and am grateful that Mr. Legs is so capable and willing to complete many tasks for us.