Blogging with Parkinson's

A personal perspective on Young Onset Parkinson's

Parkinson’s in the Kitchen

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As a stay-at-home-mother (not quite by choice, but that’s neither here nor there), it’s inevitable that I do most of the cooking, as well as the bulk of the baking (often with the children’s assistance).

I’m certainly not incapable in the kitchen; nor, I think, am I a danger to myself or anyone else (after all, my right hand is the good one), but there are a few things that I find rather tricky…

  • Tipping and pouring

This is only a problem if I try to tip or pour using my left hand. But sometimes you need your abler hand to wield a wooden spoon or another implement…

Tipping stuff out of a pan with the handle in my left hand rarely works very well because my wrist feels weak* and I seem to have lost the easy rotational movement I used to have. I usually have to put the pan down and adjust my grip before I can get anywhere near. The wok is particularly tricky as it’s a big, heavy old thing – but it’s a jolly useful thing all the same.

  • Rubbing fat into flour to make pastry.

This just doesn’t work any more with my left hand. Fortunately, I have one of those wire pastry blender things, a bit like this one:

… which allows me to do the job. Mine was a gift that I rarely used before, because I preferred to make pastry by hand.

  • Carving.

We don’t, actually, have roast dinners all that often. But when we do, I usually try to get someone else to carve the joint.

  • Opening packaging.

Some sorts of packaging just elude me. Fortunately, there is a plenitude of scissors and knives available in the kitchen. And when the troublesome packaging won’t yield to a sharp tool (jars, f’rinstance), there is always the time-honoured solution of the husband. If he’s there. (Usually the only reason that I do have trouble with jars and other screw caps is because he’s closed the lid unreasonably tightly – I don’t think that this is necessarily a problem I can lay at the door of Parkinson’s!)

I’m happy to report that I can still manage crisps and chocolate without the assistance of tools, however.

*My consultant assures me that this isn’t, actually muscular weakness; Parkinson’s, he says, does not cause such weakness. I’m still not entirely sure that it’s not a weakness caused by reduced use of the relevant muscles, however.

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One thought on “Parkinson’s in the Kitchen

  1. Re. my consultant’s comment about strength, I chanced upon a relevant article today. According to EPDA’s REWRITE TOMORROW, which covers “Parkinson’s in depth”,

    The strength of the muscle does not decline; muscles just react more slowly.

    The article is about Bradykinesia, or slowness of movement (a sign of Parkinson’s, not a symptom). The article also notes:

    As movements become slower and more difficult, the person tends to move less so mobility decreases and this can aggravate the situation. Reduced co-ordination (and, surprisingly, increased muscle tone) can be a contributory factor to bradykinesia.

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