Unknown Risks

Just as I think our list of lifestyle changes with Mom’s MS is set for awhile we get a new one we didn’t expect. When I called Mom today she sounded a little flustered but didn’t want to tell me why at first. When she finally did she said, well I had put some meat on the stove to warm up and left the room to do something real quick; but, while I was in the other room I thought to myself that really isn’t a good idea because I can’t get back there quickly if needed. Nothing bad happened and there was no panic situation- Mom’s food may have been a little browner than usual but that’s okay.

But this just reminded me Mom is still adapting to her own limitations because of MS. We are all still adapting. Simple things I used to take for granted like warming up a meal are complex and come with real risks that need to be thought through. I was thinking how do we approach the risks that come with different tasks, how do we prepare for them and know what to expect? In some ways you can’t know or don’t know until after something happens. But taking some time to stop and think to the worst possible outcome of an activity can help determine what the risks are- that is just scary sometimes to think about. I can’t live life in fear but also can’t live life pretending certain risks don’t exist. Something as simple as cooking meat now comes with a risk.

It’s hard in these conversations because while it is good for Mom to process all of this it is also tough to hear the slight defeat in her voice of “things aren’t how they used to be.” I was silently very thankful this topic had come up at all in her mind. The thought of Mom cooking or what could happen if she left the room and wasn’t able to make it back had never occurred to me. It scared me a bit to think about and then scared me that these risks had never occurred to me. I have been thinking of other situations that we may be missing- while they may seem obvious to others they are not obvious to us. It just goes to show we are all still adapting as a family and still adjusting to our new lifestyle with Mom’s MS in the same way she is still adjusting herself.

Have you ever been startled when you realize something could happen that you didn’t expect? How do you deal the unknown of risks in everyday life? What does everyone have planned for the weekend? As always I am very happy it is Friday! Have a great weekend!

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Don’t judge me but…

Would you believe I am afraid of the blender? Not a lie. I am afraid of most major kitchen appliances and since I got married I am also now the owner of most of these kitchen appliances. Why would I register for them if I already knew I was scared and never going to use them? Because your wedding is the only time you have the opportunity to get these items and that’s what you are supposed to do. For instance here is a list of items Husband and I now own that I have yet to use after almost 2 years of marriage because I am afraid of them: blender, waffle maker, KitchenAid mixer, and food processor. The last two really freak me out. Go on, laugh or judge.

In the past day I have been thinking about why I don’t just jump right in and figure these things out. They can’t be that complicated to use. What is holding me back. Why do I even have this silly fear in the first place. I realized I have inherited this from Mom. In Mom’s own way she avoids things she is uncomfortable with…and with her MS this has been a big issue. I realized this especially last Saturday when she admitted herself she is pretty much avoiding dealing with MS. But the point is whether it is a big issue like MS or a small one like kitchen appliances, I am doing my own dance with avoiding. Avoiding the unknown, avoiding failure at using these, avoiding having to figure them out. They aren’t something I am comfortable with and in large part because I don’t come from a big family of chefs- kitchen appliances were not readily used a lot growing up. I don’t knock that. In a similar way I have realized Mom’s family growing up was not very aggressive about health issues. It all contributes to fear and being uncomfortable dealing with the unknown.

The point though is I am seeing random qualities in Mom’s handling of bigger issues like MS that may have begun on a smaller level, for example say in the kitchen. I know children pick up traits of their parents. They just do. Sister K even has her own levels of avoidance involving other things in her life. One of mine just happen to involve avoiding kitchen appliances.

I don’t want to phrase this as I don’t like this quality and want to change because I was given this quality somehow from Mom. By knocking this trait I am knocking her and that’s not what I want to do. But in wanting to be different from your parents is that wrong? Is that insulting? And how do you even go about doing it when it is all you know? When the person you could ask for advice to begin with is the person who you most likely got this trait from? I don’t know. But I know I should probably try. And I should probably start by attempting to use the blender.

Are there qualities you have inherited from your parents for good or bad? Do you ever seek to change things about yourself? When you are afraid of something do you dive right in to tackle it? Do you think it is absolutely insane I have a fear of kitchen appliances? Did you register for things when you got married that you have never used?