I’ve watched my mother cut a cantaloupe. She makes it look so easy! We’ll be in the kitchen, chatting, maybe snacking, and she’ll decide the cantaloupe is ripe enough to eat, so she’ll pull out a knife and quickly cut it up. Simple. I just cut up my first cantaloupe of the season and I can tell you, that’s not how it works for me.
My process starts at the store. After I decide that I want the cantaloupe, I do a quick body assessment. How are my wrists? Will I be able to cut it? How about my back, knees, toes? Will I be able to stand long enough to cut it? I’ve tried sitting, but it doesn’t give me enough leverage to compensate for my wrists. How’s my appetite? Will I be able to eat the whole thing? And cantaloupes are heavy. Will I be able to carry it into the apartment? Next, I consider the weather. How hot will it be this week? Will it be too hot to spend time in my kitchen while I cut it up? Is the pre-cut cantaloupe on sale so I can buy that instead? Based on all of those answers, I may actually buy the cantaloupe.
Once it’s ready to be cut, I consider all of those same issues. Assuming I feel up to cutting it up, and my kitchen isn’t too hot, I pull out the cutting board and my good knife and I get to work. I go slowly. I have to be careful not to cut myself. After all, with brain fog, distraction, clumsiness, muscle kinks, and balance problems, it’s easy to let the knife slip. Some cantaloupe always ends up on the floor. So at some point I have to be bending over to pick up what dropped and to clean up the sticky spots, and that involves more aches and pains and use of energy. Afterwards, there are dishes to wash and a sticky counter to wipe down. The trash will smell soon from the rinds. It will also attract bugs. So I’ll have to take it out soon.
This time I was lucky. I got the entire cantaloupe cut up with only a few pieces dropped, only one nick with the knife that was too small to draw blood, and no major incidents. The trash will be dealt with later, but the cutting board and knife have been washed. I have some extra pain now, of course, but nothing too much worse than what I’d expect. So all in all, it was a success!
Not too many years ago, before I took Plaquenil, I couldn’t cut up a cantaloupe at all. This is definitely progress. It’s not as effortless as it seems to be for most people, but at least I can enjoy some nice summer cantaloupe.