It's hard to cook when you are in pain!
Anyone with carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia or arthritis can attest to how pain limits daily activities. People who love to cook will often experience so much pain even when attempting to chop an onion, that they will stop making their favorite recipes. Pain shooting up into your shoulder or neck is something no one looks forward to having. But pain free cooking is possible!
The muscle pain doesn't have to win all the time. Over the last several months, I have attempted to buy cooking tools and utensils that will help me continue to do what I enjoy: cooking for myself and my family. Budget is always a major concern and I haven't spent a fortune. I have found knives that actually don't cause my hands to cramp up. My food processor is used daily to grate cheese (no way you can grate cheese with fibromyalgia, arthritis or carpal tunnel), chop vegetables and fruits for salsas, etc., and I finally purchased a stand mixer. I didn't have the money to get one of the higher priced mixers, but then I am not a professional, so I don't need professional quality. I just needed to have something so that I wouldn't have to hold an electric hand held mixer. That vibration can cause shooting pains that can last for days!
The products from Oxo are amazing! The most important thing to have in a kitchen (besides your stove, refrigerator, oven and dishwasher) is a good knife. Even though I have 2 very expensive cutlery sets, I took a chance and purchased an Oxo Santoku Knife. It was less than $20.00 and it is the knife I use for everything. No pressure on my hands, no pushing to get through tough meats or hard items and best of all, it cuts a tomato as easily as it slices a London Broil. It is by far the best investment I have made! I just sent one to my best friend who has shoulder damage caused by an auto accident and am sending one to my oldest daughter who has carpal tunnel. If you are a chronic pain sufferer, buy this knife and don't love it, I will be amazed!
The second product I have was actually a gift to me. It is an Oxo salad spinner. I don't just use it for salads. I use it to prepare vegetables and fruits for freezing. Anything that needs to be drained well and have moisture removed is ideal for this spinner. Don't get me wrong. It works great with salads!
The third and probably most often used product that I love is the Oxo zester I have. I am always adding lemon or lime zest to marinades or homemade breads. My hands don't register any pain when using this zester.
I probably sound like a walking commercial for this particular brand of kitchen tool, but pain causes you to give up so many areas of your life, that when you find something that helps you feel whole again, it is an exciting thing!
Cooking is back in my kitchen! Yes, I still have to sit for a few minutes between chopping the onions and mushrooms and I still have to pace myself, but illness and disease will NOT rob me of everything! I will still cook!
Oxo products that have helped me
Jenifer L from california on September 10, 2010:
I have carpal tunnel, too, and it is difficult to prepare and cook foods, unless you have good utensils that won't aggravate the pain. Great hub!