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for the Blind

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Need Advice -- Blind Wife has Anxiety about Cooking

All,

I am happily married to a blind woman. We've been married about three months, but have been together for over two years. She is completely blind in her left eye (cataracts) and severely impaired in her right. Generally, she can see well enough to navigate daily life, although she has her ups and down.

However, she has serious anxiety issues related to cooking: like sobbing because the mashed potatoes didn't come out perfect or breaking down in tears trying to open a can of tuna. She says cooking makes her feel inept.

I'm just trying to figure out what I can do to help. I like to cook, but I'm usually not home from work early enough to do it. Eating out/ordering all the time is expensive and unhealthy. Anyone have any ideas? I know there are cooking classes but I think she may have been rejected as "not blind enough" (or at least she thinks she might be rejected).

Anyone have any thoughts? I'm looking for practical advice (i.e., how to get dinner on the table) but I'm also looking for advice on helping my wife get through this.

Thanks,
Jon

jonathan (dot) henry (at) gmail (dot) com

There are currently 5 replies


Re: Need Advice -- Blind Wife has Anxiety about Cooking



Jon,
If there is a vision loss center near you, I would encourage a visit. I am not "blind enough" and have visited our local site I also plan on doing a cooking class. I've taken on the attitude that whatever I learn will benefit me; I may meet some people like myself or get a great recipe out of the experience. Also, there are several adaptive devices she can get through low vision stores that make life easier for her. Crazy, just received my cane and I find that to be empowering.
Good Luck to the both of you
Angela


Re: Need Advice -- Blind Wife has Anxiety about Cooking



Jon , I agree with Angela from the last post.There are many internet sites that sell adaptive equipment as well, but most of all i find better than that is i ask friends or family members to stop by and they help me, We have good laughs no stress . and safety is my number one priority. I hope this helps and i wish you and your wife all the very best!!


Re: Need Advice -- Blind Wife has Anxiety about Cooking



Jon,

I have dealt with blindness since birth (twenty-eight years now). I was the only one out of four siblings who had blindness. I have no sight in my left eye and approximately 20/2000 in my right eye. My mother had no idea how to teach me to cook, so I went through a big part of my life eating canned foods and microwaveable items. this was definitely not ideal.

It was not until I moved to Modesto, California (whee I currently reside) that I was able to really participate in a center where I was taught by a totally blind woman to cook. It really has been life changing. Now I can cook everything from steaks, mashed potatoes, and hamburgers to desserts like cookies, pies, and homemade peanut brittle. It took that push from my cooking instructor to show me that I really could do it.

I used to have that anxiety as your wife does. I was afraid to turn on a stove top burner or to even turn the oven on. I was always afraid of completely ruining things or burning myself. But once I was taught the right techniques I given the ability to be able to cook meals for my wife and oldest son (who is now three years old).

You can try to help her to learn, but (and I do not say this with any rudeness or ill intent) some things get through much easier from someone who can relate, and so a center where independent living skills can be trained to blind individuals is definitely a great place to find help.


Re: Need Advice -- Blind Wife has Anxiety about Cooking



Thanks for the replies, everyone.


Re: Need Advice -- Blind Wife has Anxiety about Cooking



I know how she feels. I changed my diet so I eat raw foods instead or eat out.

Donald The Blind Webmaster
The US Blind Resource Directory
http://www.theblind.us/


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