My name is Joy Aldrich. I have CMT and I’m a food blogger. I’m so thrilled to partner with Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation by writing this column where I hope to inspire you to enJOY making healthy and simple, yet elegant meals. Along the way, I plan to share tips and tricks I use in the kitchen to make cooking with CMT easier.
My mom received her diagnosis in her early 40′s, so I was tested soon after that and received my diagnosis when I was in my early teens. My symptoms actually began when I was even younger. As a child, I had a lot of leg aches. I tripped and fell a lot. Gym class was a real struggle because I just couldn’t keep up. The arches of my feet were impossibly high and my hammertoes rubbed on my shoes forming painful sores. My weak ankles kept me side-lined at skating parties, and I suffered my share of sprained ankles. When the doctor would test my reflexes with that little, rubber hammer I was always curious that nothing happened. No flinch. No kick. Nothing. But, he didn’t seem concerned, so I guess I thought everything was okay. Soon enough, I received my diagnosis and had an explanation for all my symptoms.
I have recently started having to limit my activities and have had trouble walking, so I have started to wear Helios AFO’s – leg braces. They provide me support and stability while I walk my dog, work out with my personal trainer, and stand for long periods while working in the kitchen.
I’ve started losing strength in my hands and arms, too. After cutting, chopping, and stirring a big meal, I find I need some time off to let my hands rest and regain strength. Working on my food blog, A Passionate Plate, with my wonderful friend, Mary, has provided an amazing opportunity to do the cooking I enjoy while I still can.
One of my favorite recipes so far has been White Wine Pasta. It’s simple, yet elegant, and so tasty! I find myself craving this garlic-y, chees-y dish at least once a month, and I know you’ll love it, too. It makes a lovely lunch dish for a group of friends, or for a nice family dinner try adding grilled chicken breast. EnJOY!