While mobility is my primary goal at this point, I’m always happy to find ways to recover other things in my life taken from me by MS. I’ve mentioned how liberating the acquisition of my Asus tablet PC’s been (I haven’t even begun talking about the restoration of my ability to play FPS combat games again using the Android paradigm!), but occasionally I’ll find something that will add another piece to the puzzle.
This week saw one of those somethings. Among other cognitive issues the flavor of multiple sclerosis I have brings, a particularly annoying one was the loss of almost all hunger signals telling me I’m hungry for the past several years. Yep, that means never having an appetite, a sore blow to my normally sensualist/hedonist appreciation of life; I’ve had to recognize I needed to eat by the logy, vague thinking and gloomy attitude that accompanies it.
Well, for whatever reason I’ve been hungry again for the past few weeks, actually enjoying eating foods I like and experiencing those missing hunger signals again. When my mom got a wild hair recently and ordered some steaks from Omaha Steaks, I decided I’d like one…it’s been years since I’ve indulged. Part of the reason for this is the lack of hunger signals I’ve mentioned but there was another reason, a dealbreaker until it was addressed: I’m left handed and my left hand’s lost about 90% of its function. Cutting up a piece of food is an exercise in futility. Try it sometime and you’ll see…there’s no reliable way to do this using one hand (especially with your non dominant, or weak hand!)…it was obvious I’d need a new adaptive aid to be able to do it.
A quick search introduced me to rocker knives, and it was soon clear that one of the better ones is available from good old Amazon inexpensively: the Alaskan Ulu Knife. It’s made in Alaska, looks attractive with its laminated wood handle and base and appeared likely to fill my need, so I jumped on it at just twelve bucks.
This thing’s a marvel of low tech! I found I could almost effortlessly cut a piece of steak with precision. The mass of the blade pins the meat down and won’t allow it to move, while the curved blade doeas the cutting as you rock it forward or back.
While shopping, I looked at pepper mills I could use one handed. While Peugeot makes a lovely electric mill, the cost at above $90 wasn’t suitable. I soon found that for table use, I could do a lot worse than the Vic Firth stainless steel mill:
I’m pretty sure it’s American made, and solves the problem. I must have caught a sale, it only cost me $11.75, but as you see that’s more than doubled since I ordered it. If the price comes down again I’ll probably grab another for grinding sea salt, I like it so well. If you have a relative or friend who’s been limited by age, affliction or injury,
I highly recommend both of these items to make a real difference in their ability to enjoy life.
Now, I’ve read any number of accounts of disabled people like myself who simply resigned themselves to eating food they could manage with conventional utensils. I can’t understand why that should happen in this day and age when a few minutes’ researching will solve their problem as it did for me. Yet again we see how the market is always there to fill a niche created by consumers’ need or desire…a postulate the Keynesians never have understood and probably never will!
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