Since becoming legally blind, I have had trouble eating without spilling food down my front or getting it on my face. This has been quite embarrassing, particularly when having to eat in front of other people. I was quite sensitive when people commented on the way I ate, however as time has moved on, I have got better at eating and am less sensitive to what other people think now.
There are certain foods that I have a lot of trouble getting on the fork. I have learnt the hard way with this. For example don’t eat a Japanese pancake with a plastic knife and fork, it just ends up a disaster! When I was eating this in the food court, I had a lady come up to me to tell me that it looked like I hadn’t eaten in weeks! Poached eggs are a disaster as well! They are slippery little suckers and miss my mouth every time! Poached eggs are something I just eat at home now.
When I go out to a restaurant, I always order something that I can eat without causing too much mess now. Pasta in a bowl is good, risotto, a simple meat and veg meal, salt-and-pepper calamari or finger foods like pizza. When I can I normally look up the menu before we go out so I can choose my meal easily. If I am just with my husband he will read out the menu to me as well. When I go to barbecues and social events, I have trouble putting food on my plate when there are large amounts of platters and food on the table. I tend to hold back and just wait until the rush has gone so I can do it more carefully. My husband is really good at helping me out quietly when I need it. I don’t like being made a fuss over, I will ask someone next to me quietly if I need a hand getting something out of the bowl. I guess the bonus is that I don’t pig out at barbecues now!
One time at mothers’ group one of the girls made a Nutella cheesecake. For those that know me, know that I love cheesecake. I was going on about how I couldn’t wait to have a piece of cheesecake all morning. I couldn’t see the cheesecake on the table and didn’t know that it was being served. I didn’t want to ask because I didn’t want to come across as greedy. When we went to go home I asked my friend what happened to that cheesecake? She said you should’ve said something I would’ve got you a piece. Oh well I guess it did my waistline a favour!
I have trouble with colour contrast. I have to have different coloured plates for different foods. For example, I cannot see a poached egg or yoghurts in a white bowl or on a white plate. I have to have them served on a black plate or in a black bowl. I do not like stir-fries served to me on a patterned plate or in a patterned bowl. A plain bowl or plate is fine. It is the same with preparing food. I would not chop a tomato on a red board. However, I can chop them on a green board just fine.
I have got much better at eating now. My occupational therapist gave me some hints for how to judge how much food I have on my fork and ways in which I can manage eating easier. Since my vision has improved slightly, it isn’t a challenge as such anymore. It is only when I have food served to me on plates with similar contrast. I guess the bonus is that I don’t pig out as much at barbecues and I am eating a lot slower which is making me more full with less amounts of food!