29 December 2008

Ho Hum... hospital food

It's rather boring in the hospital. At least in finding new things to blog about. Haven't seen a doc yet today, but I have had breakfast. We could talk about hospital food while my Vancomycin is running. I won't be going anywhere anytime soon. Two hours for the antibiotic and then I may still need to get a platelet transfusion.

The first morning I was here they brought me pancakes, which were actually good. Pancakes have not been a menu choice since. Too bad. These people just cannot do eggs. Blech! I should be grateful I have food to eat. I know that. But could we just teach hospital cooks not to scramble the eggs for 10 times longer than they need to be cooked. Tough, dry yellow crumbles are not something I really want to see on my morning plate. OTOH, the grits they brought this morning were OK. The oatmeal they brought yesterday was OK. If I am still here tomorrow, I think I will stick with hot cereal and just not circle anything on the breakfast entrée section.

Now in the hospital they bring you a menu one day to choose food for the next. I've discovered that these menus are like The Pirates' Code - merely guidelines. For instance, in bread choices we have a number of things, but I have chosen wheat toast for the last two mornings. I have yet to receive wheat toast. Yesterday there was a biscuit covered with gummy gravy. Today there was white toast.

And speaking of toast. Toast indicates taking a slice of bread, and putting it near or under a heat source to crisp and brown the sides. Toast = crisp. Toast should not equal soggy. But invariably the toast is put on the plate with the yellow crumbles and covered with a thermal plate cover to keep the food warm. I am on the 7th floor. From the time the food leaves the kitchen and gets to me it is probably 45 minutes or so. Toast under cover with yellow crumbles for that amount of time is soggy. Even the piece of bread before toasting would have had more structure.

I don't eat beef. This is on my chart. I don't choose anything beef on the menu. I write NO BEEF on the menu. Friday night and Saturday night, wanna guess what they brought me? Beef. Had to re-request dinners. Both of the specially prepared trays were much better than what was originally sent. Fresher, etc. One night they sent me a very good tuna salad on a plate with a huge pile of fresh spring greens. That may have been my best meal here so far.

And I have to wonder, why do I never see these fresh spring greens when I request salad? I get iceberg or romaine and one cherry tomato. Hmmmm.

Condiments are listed separately on the menu. One of the things on the list is lemon wedge. Now when I think of a lemon wedge, I think of a wedge of fruit. A piece of this:

But if you choose to order a lemon wedge here, what you get is a little plastic package of processed lemon juice. After the first day, I didn't bother.

Life is always interesting. I really am grateful that I have food to eat. I'm even more grateful when it's prepared well.
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RainbowDishes said...

My only hospital meal was when I had my appendix removed. I was admitted around 7pm with the surgery at 10 or 11pm. I was released early the next day, but I did get a breakfast. The nurse I had that morning made my choices for me (she was so nice...and that was said with a very sarcastic tone). She brought to me scrambled eggs (cooked beyond recognition, very much like yours), toast that was just as soggy, malt-o-meal, apple juice and coffee. The coffee was basically hot water that they had poured through coffee grounds that had been used 10 times...in other words extremely weak! I drank the apple juice and tried to pretend the coffee was okay. The rest of it just sat there. She wasn't very happy with me, but I really wasn't up to eating at the time. Luckily I checked out soon after that. I don't think I would have liked the lunch and dinner choices very much after seeing the breakfast.

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and I have a-plastic anemia. I also get transfusions when I have an episode of low blood counts. I can't believe that your hospital allows you to eat fresh greens when your white count is so low. When mine drops really low like that I am not allowed any greens or fresh fruit or veggies. I can only eat canned or cooked. Glad to hear you are feeling better and good luck with getting your blood counts up. I know it can be very frustrating and tiring.

Becky said...

Craig, it's almost like they all go to the same school. Or all have been absorbed by the same Borg! Sheesh. Other institutional places do so much better with scrambled eggs. I don't know why hospitals have such a hard time.

Peggy, last time I was in the hospital they put me on a neutropenic diet, but I wasn't admitted by my doc. I asked him about it, and he told me the "no fresh fruits and veggies" is an old protocol and that it's never been shown in studies that fresh fruits and vegetables really are a problem. He does not normally order a neutropenic diet for his patients. If you like I will try to find out the name of the doc who's been doing studies on this.

Thank you so much for your empathy. I hope you also will see improvements in your counts this year.

Anonymous said...

I would very much like to know about those studies as I miss my raw fruits and veggies. A neutropenic diet is very boring and I would like to show the studies to my hematologist. Keep up your good spirits. You have a very good attitude and my doctor says that is half the battle with diseases like ours.