Wow - that hurt....
Author: Mike Date Posted:10 October 2019
The very first time I went out on a training run delivering our pre-made meals in and around the sunshine coast and the Northern suburbs of Brisbane, I was shadowing Darryl, the former owner of what was Meals4U at the time. I shook lots of hands and asked people why they were using a home meals delivery service.
In total I met approx 30 customers and many explained that they used the service every so often just for convenience. Others were having a one off delivery to help them get over a bad patch and others could not face cooking in the summer heat!
But of all the conversations I had I remember the words of one customer in particular that Easter weekend in 2009.
Yvonne explained that it had taken a while to come to terms with ‘not cooking’, after all - it was a job she had done for the family for so many years and it was hard to give it up.
She had tried a few and had settled with Meals4U as we were the closest she had found to her own style of home cooking (not an exact match but very close – she was always pert and you always had to be on the ball).
Earlier on Yvonne had recognised that her hands were getting more and more arthritic, to the point where it had become dangerous to attempt to grip anything heavy for any length of time, let alone hot. So - after discussions with the family and several trials with several food companies, Yvonne became a regular customer of Meals4U and purchased from us for the next 6 years. Eventually health got the better of her and she moved into full time care.
Yvonne's story illustrates the reason why many people start using us and whilst I thought I really understood her plight as I was speaking to her, I think the reality of what she had faced did not really hit me until this week.
On Wednesday night I put a griddle pan in the oven at home to roast some veg off. I lifted it out of the oven with oven gloves and placed in on the cook top I then lost concentration for a moment and grabbed the griddle handle with my bare left hand. The pain was intense.
Fortunatley Dawn knows a thing or two about burns and I dunked my hand into cold water quickly. I tried to lift it out of the chilled water, but the pain just kept coming back.
Dawn fixed me up with a bag of frozen Aldi brussel sprouts (we must clean that freezer out at home) and I rested the palm of my hand on it as I tried to eat a delicious looking fillet of Lamb for dinner.
It was a frustrating process and eventually Dawn came to my rescue and cut the meat into small pieces for me.
Yvonne’s words resonated in my head. She had explained to me how she needed soft food as she had difficulty holding onto a knife, but I now realise that it’s not just the inconvenience and frustration of not be able to cut up food that stings, it’s the strange impact that having someone do something for you, that has been so inherently natural to you for so many years, has on you. I found it strangely embarrassing - even though it was Dawn helping me out. I felt totally helpless.
The bag of frozen Brussel Sprouts eventually warmed to room temperature and a pack of solidly frozen peas continued the big chill. My hand was perfect the next day.
It was a painful lesson and I took from it these three things...
- Trust your instincts.
As I placed the griddle pan in the oven and closed the door I instinctively knew there was something wrong.
- Learning is a forever thing
I guess out of every cloud comes a silver lining and if this event brings me a few steps closer to really feeling the phyical and emotional pain our customers have to adapt to as they age - well that can only be a good thing.
....and finally - Vegetables are good for you in many ways!
A lesson learnedBy: Jessica Matthews on 11 October 2019Thanks for sharing the story. It is a lesson for each of us to take on board, don't be distracted. Also never be too proud to admit you need help, accept it gracefully. I will be 85 in a few days, have always been independent, but I have come to realise I can't do all that I could do, even 10 years ago. I am so thankful that I live in this day and age where so much help is available. I am also so thankful I live in Australia and in particular on the Sunshine Coast where most help services are easily accessible.
Thank you for the wonderful service you provide. Trust your hand is healed. Thank God for frozen vegies - just think they weren't available 100 years ago.
Top Nosh Meals Response
So true Jessica. I'll be a little more careful next time :-( Mike.