Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Just to let you know, the reason I've been missing in action is because I have had a small stroke. It's affected my left side and I am currently in rehab and would appreciate any input from people who may have had to find ways to adapt to limitations in motion while cooking. Many thanks!


Blogger Sam said...

Oh no, Willa, that's awful. Is there are a chance the condition will improve, or will you be effected long term?

I will post over at food blog s'cool and see if anyone has any ideas for you.

My thoughts are with you


3:09 PM  
Blogger Callipygia said...

Hi Willa, I read about your need for some adaptive cooking techniques over at food blog s'cool. I say fear not, with some adjustments I think you will still be turning out some fabulous goodies in the kitchen. I have dealt with many years of adjustments to ever increasing weakness of fingers, hands, arms, legs- so I might be able to help. You can contact me with more info about how your left side is affected. My best to you.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Kalyn said...

Very sorry to hear about this and hoping for the best for you.

7:41 PM  
Blogger kitchenmage said...

Oh Willa! What awful circumstances for my introduction to your blog. I've got serious, recurring RSI issues with my hands and arms so I've had too do a trivial version of what you're doing now.

One great discovery of mine is how much difference there is between similar-seeming versions of tools and gadgets. As an example, I've got 6-8 vegetable peelers at the back of a drawer and two others that I use all the time. One of those neglected peelers gets pulled out when my arms (but not hands) are hurting, but the rest of the time I hate it. Odd, I know but I think you'll find lots of odd and unlikely things that work. I've been known to stand around a friend's kitchen fondling all of their tools and gadgets to see how they felt in my hands. That's pretty odd too, come to think of it. grin

I'd also suggest searching eGullet and searching for threads there; I know I've seen a few go by over the years.

Sending good thoughts in your direction. Be well.


10:45 PM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

Sorry to hear of your misfortune Willa. I hope you will have a speedy recovery. I have reduced strength and numbness in my fingers, a side effect of my recent chemotherapy treatment. It will eventually go but for the moment I try not to be too ambitious in the kitchen and stick to meals that are easy to prepare. Luckily I have a husband who is prepared to clean up the mess I leave behind...and believe me I do make a mess at the moment.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Alanna said...

All the best to you! I'll ask my aunt, who was hit by a kid on a bike a few years ago and after lots of rehab, had back surgery. I'm also amazed at the number of people who're already chiming in with their own adaptations to ailments.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Marianne said...

I'm so sorry to hear this and hope you make the speediest of recoveries.

11:27 AM  
Blogger David said...

You might want to play around with Via Voice, voice-recognition software which types for you while you talk! It takes a bit of time for it to get used to your voice, and I've have limited success with it (since I lose patience too easily) but you might want to give it a try.

Best of luck with your recovery, and hopefully you're still able to get to Graeter's for some black raspberry chip...yum!

12:24 PM  
Blogger drbiggles said...

Oh dear, so sorry to hear. Please take your time and be patient. There's tons of resources and aids for you out there. Between your blog, us and local places, you'll find what you need. It'll just take some time to get your bearings.

My mother had a stroke at 52 back in 1991 and lost the entire use of the right side of her body. Her speech is so bad one can rarely understand. Within the year she was back on her own and is still living on her own in her own apartment completely self sufficient. Her cooking is basic due to the severity. She found one-handed salt and pepper grinders. Large handled knives for easy handling, light cookware and devices to help slicing 'maters.
She's also got quite resourceful about asking for help at the market. She buys awesome crusty bread, unsliced. Then wheels over to the bakery department (who didn't make it) and asks them to slice it for her.
It's all about plan of attack and patience. You'll do just fine.

xo xo

3:11 PM  
Blogger Willa Frank said...

Dear Sam,

Thank you so much for posting your entry about my stroke on Food Blog S'cool. I've received a lot of traffic from that mention and am very grateful to our fellow bloggers for their suggestions and words of encouragement. I may be going home mid-next week if all goes well--they seem to think I am making progress, but I am still kind of off balance and at a disadvantage because my left hand cannot really distinguish exactly what it is touching unless I am directly looking at it. It is very strange. Also, I am afraid of picking up anything heavy with my left arm--I just can't sense the weight and the arm is numb and tingly. We are going to spend the whole session of my individual occupational therapy in the kitchen tomorrow, so I can see how it goes to try some things.


It is good to know that other fellow food bloggers have challenges too. Someone mentioned OXO as a company which makes great kitchen equipment that can be especially helpful for people with disabilities...


Thanks for sending along the good vibes. I appreciate that very much.


I like that suggestion about different kinds of peelers, etc. for different levels of difficulty. Also, I never would have thought about looking at eGullet for a thread about this! Great suggestion. Many thanks.


This numbness issue is really a trial, isn't it? They've put me on something called Neuroton (sp?) to try and lessen it, but the dosage needs to be upped. But we do what we can, eh?


It's really amazing how we find ways around these limitations, you know? And the we is the perfe t way to share them...


keep sending those positive thoughts my way. it really helps to know that people are out there thinking good thoughts.

and dear chocolate man,

i like your idea about the voice recog software, but doubt I could make a coherent thought that way.

as for the graeter's raspberry chip, how did you know that's my favorite? ;-) of course july or august is peach month and that flavor is a heavenly dream, all pale creamsicly-looking and studded with peaches.

but frankly, my newest favorite flavor is bourbon chocolate by a kentucky-based company called Valentine's Gourmet Ice Cream (valentinesicecream.com). check out the chocolate flavors under the super premium ice cream section! they also have a "kentucky bourbon ball" with bourbon, pecans, and Jamieson's chocolate chips! :-)))))

dear dr. biggles,

you give me hope and a big smile. your mama is an inspiration, too...

3:33 PM  
Blogger anni said...

Hi, Willa,
I send good vibes out and wish for you, a safe, strong and healthy recuperation. I will forward a separate email with suggestions for ease in the kitchen.
Be patient and take this time to renew, revive and regenerate.


12:26 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Got here from Food Blog S'cool. I pray for your speedy recovery Willa! May you have patience and perseverance to accomplish your rehab exercises.

6:32 PM  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Willa, my thoughts are with you right now, hoping that you are able to recover as much movement, feeling, and strength as possible with therapy. It must have been very frightening. Big kisses to you.

7:52 AM  

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