Mealtime Mess

The Problem

Meal time can be a stressful time for anyone with a family, but of late MS has made meal times a thing I could just live without if it wasn’t for having to take Tecfidera while eating.

I am always so tired I really have to force myself to get going cooking wise. Force myself to eat. Force myself to do anything really.

There was a time, I remember it fondly, when I used to revel in cooking – I’m actually pretty good at it. But now between slicing my fingers with potatoes peelers and breaking countless items of crockery because I can’t keep hold of them, unless it’s something very easy or pre-prepared me and cooking have largely parted ways, leaving me relying – yet again – on my Gary (long suffering husband) and in a lesser, but no less important capacity – my daughters.

The New Problem

I am finding more and more that eating is becoming a big hurdle. I love food, I always have. I would even hazard a stab at calling myself a foodie. But I have realised that watching me eat must be pretty entertaining if not somewhat tragic.

This was brought into the stark light light of day for me yesterday.

I went out for lunch with family. I normally order the soup of the day at this particular establishment, but yesterday they had one I wasn’t terribly keen on, so in the knowledge every dish was good there I settled on a favourite. Scrambled eggs with salmon on toast.

Nothing challenging about that right?

That’s what I thought. But it was becoming more and more challenging to scrap the eggy mix onto the granary toast with each bite. Felt like there was a hole in my knife and the food was particularly unwilling to be herded into my open mouth. I eventually gave up. This was particularly annoying as it was really tasty and I was enjoying it but it was just taking so long and making me very frustrated and anxious.

Mealtimes are supposed to be relaxing.

Cut to tea time. I made a lovely spaghetti with meatballs, an age old family recipe – Tesco readymade pasta sauces and Tesco Swedish meatballs – yes, I did successfully fill and carry a pot full of water, actually boil the spaghetti without burning myself AND carry the pot full of the finished dish to the dining room table without losing my grip.

This dinner was a great success. Until I started dishing up. There was spaghetti and sauce everywhere! I’m laughing while I write this, but I did not find it funny at all last night. But of course my always jovial better half and our two copies had plenty to joke about.

Have I just not noticed these little idiosyncrasies before? I know I am prone to spilling things down my front, all the time, particularly boiling hot things, have I just chosen not to see things as they are until confronted with situations I can no longer ignore?

Of course I have! I think at least 95% of a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis is living in a state of denial, burying your head in the sand and choosing not to see things or admit them to yourself.

Or possibly that’s just me. My scary coping mechanism of just burying the truth from myself.

Introspection, Is It A Good Thing?

If choosing not to see the world in all it’s gory truth is your coping mechanism is that so bad? Or is a shady detachment from reality a dangerous gift not to be taken lightly? What else am I keeping from myself? Do I even want to know?

Thing is, whatever you need to get out of bed and function – be it healthy or not, gets you out of bed and able to function for another day. A whole lot of small victories in an otherwise dark and scary world, are what they are, victories.

Food is just something to sustain us, mealtimes a good time to catch up with family and friends. As long as there is love and warmth at the table, we can overlook MS initiated incidents, together.

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