Think what you want

All I want for next Christmas is a brain, well, I clearly didn’t get one for this Christmas. One simple task, that was all I had to do last night and guess what, it went totally wrong. Mind you, it did introduce me, to the totally new experience, of sitting on the settee, holding a crystal glass filled with frozen peas, sweetcorn and carrots. You guessed it, I burnt myself. All I had to do was take something out of the oven, add a topping and pop it back in and I couldn’t even get that right, despite making sure I was holding a thick towel in my hand. The mistake started 15 minutes earlier, I had placed a bowl holding some camembert into the oven, but as I placed it on the tray, I forgot to take out of it the handle needed to bring it out of the oven. No problem, I thought, as I returned armed with the towel. The first thing I did, was to put the now incredibly hot steel handle on the counter, so it would be cool when Adam came through, to take the cheese out when it was ready. I opened the top of the cheese, removed the covering rind, then sprinkled the topping on. Then I reached over, picked up the handle, so I could put it safely back in the oven. Spot the mistake, yes, I picked up a roasting hot steel handle with my bare hand. Why? I haven’t the slightest idea, I had the towel sitting on the open oven door, but I picked up and clenched a piece of red hot metal. Clearly, it isn’t the best thing to do to any piece of bare skin and I can actually still feel a couple of the points where it made contact. I did the right thing and ran it under the tap for a minute or so, and it felt OK. It wasn’t until about 20 minutes after I had actually eaten the cheese, that it really, started to hurt. I don’t know if my hand had just been dead, earlier, or if my senses were suddenly doing one of their hyper tricks, but it was incredibly painful. Hence, the glass filled with frozen vegetables. Trust me, if you burn the palm of your hand, it is the perfect tool, as it reaches every part of it at once and stays frozen longer than a plain glass.

Memory is one of the dangers of cooking for anyone with brain damage, but it’s now the reason that I don’t normally cook anything. Without a shadow of a doubt, I will either burn myself, or forget an ingredient, or even the fact that was cooking at all, until the smoke spreads throughout the house and finds me. Last night, was a typical show, of how dangerous a cooker really is, when it comes to me using it. I was happy to do it last night as Adam was in the house, what could go wrong, he was there to keep me right. I had forgotten that doesn’t stop my brain from finding some way, no matter how unlikely, to make it go wrong. Looking back, I honestly believe that my feelings were numbed at the time. I have this image in my head, that says there was a delayed reaction, almost, as though it were my eyes and delayed memory, clicking in the facts, rather than my feeling the pain. My poor hands have been beaten, dragged of doors, smashed into walls, burnt and generally mistreated to badly in the last few months, I’m a little surprised, they willingly still do anything for me at all. Yes, they object, the knuckle joints pop out of alignment whenever they choose, and I wake every day, with them so stiff and unable to flex, that getting dressed is a trial, but they still work. With all the sensations now screwed up, my treatment of them has just got worse, because I no longer even know I’m hurting them. I guess that I need to start accepting that cooking is one step too far, but I am really finding that one hard to accept.

I thought that if I stuck, to things that were in the oven, or that I had to sit over, as in the frying pan, well I was safe. The oven is far more forgiving on a mind that forgets anything has been put in it, well, at least for a while anyway. If you frying things, you can’t leave the room, not even for a minute, not even just to do something online. There has been the odd mild burn, a wrist caught on the lip of the pan, or the edge of the oven door, but mainly it’s been safe enough. I didn’t see this one coming, I didn’t even consider it. Even though I know without a doubt, that the lesson of this accident is, either plan better, or just don’t do it at all. I bet you, I will be cooking something again within the next few days. It is without a doubt, one of the hardest things to totally give up. I can go for months without doing it, then I have some bright idea, and I’m off again, wasting more food than I eat. It is part of the problem of being on my own all day long. Adam will do anything for me, if, I let him, but he has to work. It is one of those facts of life, that I think of eating something that needs cooking, when he isn’t around, If you think about it, I am never alone for longer than 4 hours at a time, I could wait, but I never do. The problem is, I used to be a great cook. Part of me, just can’t believe that I can’t do it any longer. It’s that part that taunts me, saying things like “A 5-year-old could do that!”. That’s part of the reason I don’t leave my PC that much, you’d be amazed what a 5-year-old, thinks it can do, that I can’t.

Being an adult, used to be fun, now it’s one big danger zone. Clearly, I’m not ready to give up on the cooker, maybe I should be, but I’m not. I guess it’s like everything else, I will eventually just decide that it’s that time and it will go. You can be lectured by OT’s and family forever, the truth is, we know when the cost is too high, and that’s the point when it will happen and not before. Just as I knew, the time for the wheelchair had arrived, or that I couldn’t climb ladders anymore, no one told me, well that’s a lie, loads of people told me, but I decided, because I’m not as stupid as I look. It still seems to be one of the things that all the medical profession hasn’t quite worked out, we might have brain damage, muscles that don’t work and no balance to talk of, but what brain we do have, is still ours.

 

Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 26/12/2013 – A strange Christmas

I have no idea what was wrong with my yesterday, long before I wrote my post, in fact within an hour of getting up, I was in tears. For no reason at all the tears just kept taking over, I had no control over…..

Fire Hazard

Yesterday was the perfect example of the type of things that are made more difficult because of chronic conditions. I did my best to move around as it did ease the pain in my back but it is one of the constant arguments that go on in my life, ease one thing and aggravate another. This morning it is still hurting but a lot better than it was. Adam and I both thought that I might not be able to get up this morning without help, but I am so used to waking totally stiff that I had just as much trouble as I always do, my normal roll and slide worked fine. I have always found that when the pain anywhere is worse than normal concentration gets worse, I think that may well be normal for all of us but it is a long time ago for me to try and remember.

Remembering things really is a strange thing I have noticed, I seem to be heading in the way I always here of being connected to dementia or Parkinson type illnesses, I remember better 40yrs ago than I do two days ago. It really is the short term memory that is suffering the most. I have described several times the can’t remember why I am in a room many times but I am more and more aware because of the TV more than anything else, that it has stretched a little further. I don’t know how many times a day now I settle myself down here to write after selecting a program to watch to realise after 15 or 20 minutes that I have not only see the program, but I it was within the last month that I saw it. Not only is that annoying, as I have to get up and cross the room to see the screen well enough to read the on screen writing, but it doesn’t help with the short term memory either as I either get back here with no memory of what I was writing or doing, but often I wonder off just because I am on my feet and do something else.

I have also realised finally that my cooking when Adam isn’t here is becoming a bad idea, I have recently boiled dry and burned pans of pasta, rice and most recently potatoes. It isn’t until I smell the smoke that I remember I even put them one. I am just a little worried by that as I doubt any of them would have caused a fire, but I guess they could have done some smoke damage if I hadn’t noticed when I did, how long that would have been if I was asleep I have no idea. On one of the occasions I burnt the pasta I found myself in the kitchen to deal with it and really not being able to remember I had actually put it on to cook. Adam wasn’t here so it had to be me. I truly found that whole thing upsetting and still do slightly. It was the two sides of the brain argument logic saying I put the pan on and confusion answering back that I had done no such thing. I did the other week start setting my alarm to tell me when I had to check, but I have forgotten to set it since that one successful day. Treating yourself like a stupid child is a hard thing to do. Setting the alarm is an insult to the adult me, even thought I know it is the sensible thing to do. In a strange way it feels easier to be not just housebound but PC bound, as I can’t do any real damage if I don’t allow myself to move. It is hard to admit but as far as cooking goes I am now a danger to the house, the microwave is the only safe way for me to cook anything as it will at least turn itself off.