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  • Writer's pictureKonky's Creative Kitchen

Carving Out Of Necessity

Updated: Feb 20

Thai carving is a thing of beauty. What some folks don't realize, taking on this craft is what actually helped save me from myself. When people complain by saying "who the hell has the time to do this shit?", I tell them that this is what saved my life and it is a form of Pain-Management for me.

New Hampshire is known for their unpredictable weather, especially in the winter time. They could call for six inches of snow and we end up with a Nor'easter. We could have a potential rain storm that converts into hail. Then, there's the ice storms. And, it's the reason why I took on trying to learn this art.

In February 2014, I was found unconscious just outside my car. The remnants of a major ice storm the night before left thick layers of ice and a fresh coating of powdery snow on the ground. What I didn't see was the vinyl sign from the café I had worked at, under that snow.

As I was heading to my car, time stopped and I blacked out. To this day, I do not know how long I was unconscious. The co-owner of the cafe found me outside. I slowly woke up hearing him say "no, no, no, no..." He never offered me an ambulance, he never even called for one. But, the ropes around my feet came from this vinyl sign that I did not see when approaching my car. The co-owner took the vinyl sign and pushed it aside. It must have taken me a good 20 minutes to try to stand up. I saw a small dent on my car while the "egg" on the left side of my head was screaming. I could not breathe well at all and could hardly walk. I was angry that no one thought to call 911 when they found me on the ground. I told the owners that I needed to get medical attention.

My entire left side was so battered and bruised. I broke two ribs, massive contusions on the entire left side, my head had made impact with my car and again on the ground where I landed and blacked out. My left eye was swollen and the left side of my head was in excruciating pain. I tried to return to work after a few days of being medically ordered out. The last day of being out, I had received a call from the co-owner who found me outside that I had been let go. I was so angry!

As a result, I have been left neurologically disabled. At the time, I was performing in three different symphonic groups as a bassoonist. I can no longer handle loud music nor could I sustain an embouchure to play the bassoon. I developed a condition called Trigeminal Neuralgia, or also known as #TN. I had already suffered from Chronic Migraines and this just amplified things. These two neurological conditions made finding employment extremely difficult in either healthcare or culinary. Within six months, I developed a condition called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome, or also known as #MCS. Even the most subtle sniff of cigarette smoke sends me into a neuro-respiratory meltdown. Items such as perfume, cologne, hair products, lotions, certain cleaning chemicals, cigarette/cigar/marijuana smoke, and other common inhalants, I have the most dreadful reaction. And, it makes things worse with my neurological disabilities.

For the first two years, I suffered the most inhumane level of pain ever. I had lost a lot of my quality-of-life and was significantly crushed into a maddening depression. I could not find a position that would accommodate for the disabilities that I have. When one job was going well, a monkey-wrench was tossed in to the picture and then my conditions became "a problem" for the employer. At one position, the HR Manager had the nerve to ask me "so, when do you think things will get better? If it doesn't, we will have to continue recertifying you that you still have a medical condition." My Neurologist was fit to be tied! When the paperwork came in for certification, the medical provider wrote a rather direct and nasty note "she will never be free from Trigeminal Neuralgia, Chronic Migraines and will never be able to handle perfumes if you dont enforce your own work-place policy." (insert a VERY big smile!) I had to fill the void of not being able to enjoy performing as a Bassoonist. I cried for weeks that I could no longer play. Most of my days were spent in a blacked-out room, no sound, ice packs and hot-water bottles while listening to ASMR to try to meditate and get through this horror show of unspeakable pain. I found a Thai woman from Australia by the name of Mutita from @MutitaEdibleArt . I found such great comfort watching her carving videos online. I realized that with the calming music, the relaxed approach she took with carving fruit and vegetables really helped me deal with the pain. I found myself very interested.

The years spent playing Bassoon had caused some bending and crooking of my fingers. It's rather funny to see them! When I was not dealing with such dreadful pain, I spent time trying to learn how to hold the carving knife, constantly rewinding the video to see just how Mutita was able to get the knife to do certain cuts. In the beginning, my hands hurt like hell! A big bowl of ice water and another bowl of hot water were often used to alleviate the pain I had in my hands. My first watermelon carving was three hours long. OH MY GOD, my hands hurt, my face hurt and I was still so determined to complete the project at whatever cost - but I didn't give up!

Mutita kept doing more and more videos. I would reach out to her with questions and she always replied back. That woman was and still is my savior. She continues to answer my questions when I run into a road-block and also has been such a positive influence in my life. When I told her how I came into Thai carving, she was emotional and overjoyed. While we may not have met each other in real life, I feel like we have such a great connection. Thai carving was an essential source of rehabilitation for me. Thai carving helped fill the void for me.

I really hope you will enjoy the photos of my work. If you are interested in learning more about Thai Carving, please visit my good friend Mutita EdibleArt at

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