I spent a couple of days in hospital earlier this week, with a bit of health scare. Luckily I was given the all-clear, and was allowed to go home after a 34 hour stay.
I arrived in hospital about 12 noon on Tuesday, having only had a small bowl of Bran Flakes that morning. As I waited in the A&E waiting room, I was too nervous to think about eating. But by the time that dinner time came around, I was starving!
So I was delighted to see the catering person pushing a squeaking trolley in my direction. I was less delighted, however, when they offered me either a pre-packaged ham or egg sandwich – on white bread – together with a cup of tea. And that was it! That was dinner!
I was so hungry, I would have gladly eaten the arm off the old lady in the bed next to me, and all they offer me is a two pieces of plastic bread and a slice of ham? The sandwich barely lasted 10 seconds, and if anything I was more hungry having finished it!
The Misses was duly dispatched to find the hospital canteen, but it was closed. The only thing open was a coffee shop, and the only food on offer was more sandwiches/wraps, crisps, and cakes/biscuits! So much for healthy eating in a hospital! There was not a sign of a piece of fruit, a vegetable, or a even a leaf of salad.
Due to the limited choices on offer, all thoughts of food optimisation swiftly left my mind, and I ravenously tore into a tuna and egg wrap, a bag of crisps, a flapjack bar, and a bottle of diet club orange. Not the best dinner I have ever had in my life, but it was better than nothing.
The choice for breakfast the next day wasn’t any better. I was given two small slices of wholewheat bread, some butter, jam and a (full-fat) yoghurt. I don’t really like yoghurts, but it was the only thing on offer, so I ate it.
I was then told that I was to be nil-by-mouth for the rest of the day, as they were trying to get me on a list for a surgical procedure later that day. So I had to lie there on my A&E trolley for the rest of the day listening to my tummy rumbling.
I did go and have the procedure at about 5.00pm, and thankfully it all went well, but by the time I got back to my bed, I had missed the dinner service. And the only thing the staff could offer me to eat was… more bread! This time in the shape of two slices of toast.
In the course of 30 odd hours in hospital, I had been fed 6 slices of bread, butter, a slice of ham, and a yoghurt – a very bread-centred diet I’m sure you’ll agree, and one that no-doubt added up to a lot of syns – not that I bothered trying to count them!
I was eventually released from hospital at 9.00pm on the Wednesday, and was still starving hungry. And at that time of night, having just endured two stress-filled days on an A&E trolley, and having only had about 2 hours sleep the previous night, the last thing I wanted to do was prepare a delicious syn-free healthy dinner.
I was on the phone to the chinese takeaway before we had even left the hospital grounds, and some 20 minutes later I was lustily tucking into a hot steaming bowl of prawn curry and boiled rice. My first hot food in 48 hours, and my first meal that wasn’t full of bread!