My name is Deborah and I am the creator of Spoonie Foodie. I am the mom of four wonderful children ranging in age from 8 to 25. I spent the majority of my life working in the medical and social service industries, but since childhood, food and cooking have always been a passion. I remember as a child, my Nana teaching me how to make Welsh Bake Stones. Getting my hands into the bowl and mixing the dough just seemed to connect me with the food. I continued cooking and baking like that well into my adulthood. I kept things simple. No stand mixers, no tools. Just my hands connected to the food. Unfortunately, in 2006, that changed. My hands were no longer able to mix dough or knead bread. At some points, even holding a knife was difficult. Cooking and baking was no longer an easy task for me, but I refused to give up. Cooking and baking was a part of me and I was not going to let my diseases win.
In 2006, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. After receiving the diagnosis, I searched the internet for information and support and stumbled upon a website offering both. But You Don’t Look Sick hit every nail on the head. The site answered many questions and seemed to understand everything I was going through. After reading the Spoon Theory, I finally had a way to explain to my friends and family how my life had changed and how I lived every day. I found much comfort in that and have considered myself a “Spoonie” ever since. When it comes to cooking and baking now, I evaluate my spoons and have found tools and tricks that help keep my spoon supply flowing.
Since 2008, my diagnosis has changed and been all over the board. I followed a treatment plan for RA for 2 years before a new doctor thought it was something else. I underwent testing for MS and many other conditions over the next 10 years, with near nothing for treatment and worsening symptoms. I had doctors say well, maybe its Fibromyalgia? But they weren’t really convinced and, with my research, I knew there had to be something else. It wasn’t until early 2016 when I finally found a pain doctor that, after getting some abnormal test results, knew I had something bigger causing my issues. She didn’t feel that I was benefiting from pain management without knowing what was causing the pain. She referred me to a new rheumatologist that agreed that it was more than Fibromyalgia and knew I had some other autoimmune condition or conditions. A lip biopsy finally confirmed Sjogren’s in October of 2016, but doctors still believe there are other underlying conditions, including Crohn’s disease. In addition, my other diagnoses include Raynaud’s, Degenerative Disc Disease, Spinal Stenosis and anterolisthesis (I need a multi-level fusion but keep putting it off…not sold on the surgery idea yet. Already had one that didn’t do much good), muscle atrophy, chronic fatigue, severe brain fog and a collection of gastrointestinal and esophageal issues.
I battle pain every day, as well as a myriad of different symptoms, but I have learned to not let it define who I am. I push myself more than I should and often overestimate my spoons, but I am determined to live my life as best as I can and not let the diseases win.
While my methods have changed over the years, my passion for food has not. That is the point of Spoonie Foodie. While your hands may not work as well as they used to, or your energy level may not be up to making a big feast, being a foodie and staying in the kitchen is still possible with a few changes. Unfortunately, I will always be a Spoonie, but that will never stop me from being a Foodie!
This is my oldest daughter Kaitlyn. She is an inspiring photographer and the girl behind the camera for all of Spoonie Foodie photos. A couple years ago, I purchased a DSLR camera to take pictures for my article writing, but Kaitlyn asked to try the camera and that was the last I saw of it. She has a natural eye and, at 18 years old, has a bright future ahead of her. Last year she completed her associate degree in photography and upgraded her camera to the new Pentax K1. She is also my kitchen assistant and when it comes to decorating and frosting cupcakes or cakes, she is the creative one! A big thanks to her for everything she does! Check out her website at Kaitlyn Evans Photography.