Only a day after writing the blog post – “Twenty Ways To Enjoy Cooking Without Pain “ a blogging friend sent me a link to the BBC on an article entitled “Fibromyalgia and pain: How cooking gave me my life back”
In the article Bryony Hopkins BBC Ouch, wrote that Fibromyalgia sufferer Ian Taverner said “When he turned to his cookbooks while managing fibromyalgia, he found the timings unachievable and the expectation of the photos overwhelming.”
“The pain was so bad I couldn’t hold a knife, I couldn’t stand up to cook, I couldn’t carry anything,” he says. “I almost gave up before I started.” “Ian spent years “existing” until the NHS referred him to the pain management programme at the Bath Centre for Pain Services – the last form of treatment available to him.”
Initially, he took to the kitchen alone, but found he needed the support of his wife and girls to make it happen.
“To start with, I thought, ‘I’m not really cooking, because they’re doing it’, but actually the point was we were doing something together.
“We tried some really simple things like boiling an egg and I needed help with the hot water pan because I would drop it. I learnt it was okay to make a mess – the key point was not to give up.”
Slowly, Ian developed methods to cook and realised others could benefit from what he had learned and came up with the idea for a cook book he called Cookfulness.
The recipe book focuses on cooking with a disability or chronic condition. It doesn’t contain any photos of the finished dishes and the timings are adapted to allow a realistic cooking pace.
“I don’t want people to feel there is a ‘success’ criteria,” he says. “Whatever you come up with – it’s right.” Ian now cooks every day.”
“Ian’s top tips are to keep pre-chopped vegetables in the freezer, batch cook, prepare your utensils in advance, use all your space in your kitchen and dob’t be afraid to ask for help. “