My initial diagnosis with MND was in 2018. Caryn & I were advised there was no treatment and we accepted that.
What we didn’t realise or couldn’t fully understand was the symptoms I might experience and how this would influence me, and us. There was plenty to think about and change was on my horizon.
For me, it was the weakness in my shoulders and arms that were the first signs.
Caryn felt that with no treatment, the next best thing to do was look for ideas and equipment to create solutions. Things that would help me with my independence, dignity and would allow me to keep doing what I’ve mostly done.
By 2019 our life had been subtly changing, things were becoming just a little harder. It was early 2019 when Caryn saw a fresh idea online; OBI – a little robot “that with the touch of a button could assist me with my meals”.
Naturally, my first instincts and first words on the subject were “I will manage without”. However not long after an OBI arrived at the house for a trial. With a chance to try OBI out – I was curious. I found it easy to use. It quite impressed me with how it allowed me to eat our normal food and recipes, without me relying on others during the meal. The only change that Caryn cuts up all my food and places it in the 4 OBI bowls. All I needed to do was touch the button and I was eating.
OBI spoons each mouthful and brings it up to your mouth. I did learn quickly not to overfill the spoon or bowls with food. Now when I “Open Wide” it’s all for me, not my shirt. Cutting up the food into manageable pieces – is the secret. And gravy or sauce is a good glue!
As my arms weakened further, OBI became a daily helper at the dining table. Caryn and I could just enjoy our meals. Because I did not need to “be fed” before or after Caryn ate hers. Nor did we need to play the other game – 1 for you – 1 for me.
Before family and even our grandchildren would sometimes help me with eating. That was a good game – but having OBI made me realise what an asset it had become in my life. A recent trip taken without OBI quickly brought that back to me.
OBI gives me a chance to eat for myself. And allows me to enjoy meals as a couple, with family and friends at home or away. I enjoy my mealtimes and the normality it gives me. OBI packs up easily for outings and holidays.
If anyone has a similar problem when it comes to mealtimes. If their arms and hand control are causing eating issues, then I would highly recommend OBI
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