How to cook with RA

A very real look on cooking with Rheumatoid Arthritis…

1) Look for recipe
2) Find shrimp scampi recipe on Pinterest that looks amazingly delicious and easy, (while instantly forgetting that it was probably easy back in the days before my disease restrictions).
3) Attempt to open fridge. Wow that magnet seems really strong today. Painfully bend down to vegetable drawer and pull out onions and garlic and a lemon.
4) Open up freezer and congratulate yourself once again for buying peeled, deveined, and tail off shrimp at Costco. Hurrahs all around.
5) Place frozen shrimp in bowl in sink to defrost.
6) Open cupboard under sink where pots and pans live. Swear multiple times for having stacked all the pots I don’t need on top of the one that I do. Swear again when I realise I also did this with frying pan.
7) Fill pasta pot with water and place on stove. Turn gas on and reach for salt to season water.
8) Attempt to turn salt grinder to salt water but hands can’t grip top enough to turn it. Consider putting in mouth and use teeth as a vice and then think better of it. Salt not necessary today.
9) Pull out chopping board and knife to chop onions and garlic. Right hand has become very swollen and can’t hold knife with enough strength to cut. Shit.
10) Throw away onion and garlic angrily and mutter obscenities under breath. Did not think this dish through.
11) Its ok. That’s what garlic powder and onion powder were invented for right. Start to make sauce sans onion and garlic.
12) Water is boiling. Add pasta.
13) Drain shrimp in sink and add to sauce in frying pan.

This doesn’t look right at all….

14) Taste scampi sauce. Needs lemon. Shit. How am I going to cut the lemon?
15) Chopping board makes second appearance.
16) Grab smaller knife from block in attempts for easier usage.
17) Fumble while trying to hold lemon with left hand that is now swelling. Swear repeatedly.
18) Push knife into lemon painfully, but can’t make sawing motion to cut through because I have no strength in my right hand to hold knife properly. Shit.
19) Pull knife out of lemon and attempt to squeeze what has been cut over frying pan. No strength in hands to do so. Using elbow, push down on lemon to get juice out. Juice squeezes all over kitchen counter. Should have thought that one through…

Sigh. So hungry. Kicking myself for not having a microwave.

20) Pasta is done. Reach for pot and realise it’s now to heavy for me to life without screaming.
21) Lift pasta pot over to sink while moaning in pain and trying desperately not to drop pot while watching hands shake violently from heavy load.

Did not think this dish through.

22) Leave pasta in colander in sink.
23) Take deep breath.

24) Attempt to pick up pasta filled colander and realise it’s too heavy to pick up. Pick up anyways while fighting tears.

25) Add drained pasta to scampi sauce and mix with wooden spoon. Hands are no so swollen I can barely hold spoon. Grip with fist and stir.
26) Open plates cupboard and try to pick up bowl. It drops from my fingers and loudly scrapes against the other bowls beneath. Round two: pick up bowl with both hands.
27) Painfully serve myself some scampi pasta.
28) With two hands, carry bowl to couch to eat.
29) Take a bite.
30) Swear.

Shrimp still partially frozen. Entire dish tastes disgusting.

31) With two hands, carry bowl to trash and empty contents into bin. Place bowl in sink.
32) With immense pain, carry frying pan full of gross scampi-like product to trash and dispose of into bin. Place pan in sink.
33) Cry at pain.
34) Open pantry cupboard.
35) Remove sleeve of saltines. Cut open plastic with kitchen scissors.

Dinner is served.



If you would like to help me financially please visit the following page: Christine Lilley’s Life Fund

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