I Got Bored Quick

Even if it was the menu from my Favorite restaurant having to pick from the same 10 meals for two meals a day is going to get quite boring quite quick. Especially delivered to you in this state:

Lets start with the Curry. Everyone out there knows that acidic tomato based meals (Think baked beans for the extreme of this) cause more gasses and bloating than others. So for someone with a tummy whose intestine has failed enough to put them on the Intestinal Failure diet, could do with avoiding any extra pain and uncomfort than what they suffer with anyway. So to order a Cream based Curry and be confronted with tomatoes causes more than a bit of heart burn. With the rest of the menu being things like Bolognaise & Shepard’s Pie, having a creamy curry should be some rest bite to the nasty acid. Alas.

The Sausage & Mash? Not very exciting. True. But as my Dietician said how do you make this look exciting and appetising? Its not easy. False.

Tesco Suasage and Mash(Credit to Tesco Real Foods)

This meal is exactly the same, Two Sausages and Mash. But the quality and appetizing appeal of it is massively different. Admittedly I hadn’t added my mug of gravy to the meal before I took the picture – but I’m sure you can agree why I didn’t jump straight it. The irony of the sausages I was provided was the poor quality of them too; My dietician was more than specific and explicit if you must eat processed meats like Sausages, make sure they are good quality, high in percentage of meat. The rusk and cereal in cheap sausages may cause you bloating. I can assure you – those sausages weren’t even of Little Chef breakfast style quality.

Which brings me to my final meal, a plate of cold soggy (In a overtly plain white sauce) carbs. Pasta is usually a big safe meal for me, carbohydrates are easy for any tummy to break down. However this is only true when they are freshly cooked. When the starch in Carbohydrates is cooked, it changes making it easy to digest, but it then changes again when it cools and becomes difficult for any tummy to digest. This is the predominant reason for me being on the IFD menu, because I really struggle with re-heated and cold carbs. The normal menu Medirest provides people at Southampton has around 40 meal options, but all are created off site, frozen and nuked on the ward for consumption. All of my carbs in particular needed to be freshly cooked and delivered to me hot in order for me to be able to eat and not have to deal with painful trapped wind for the following hours. I’ve now been in four days, and I’m yet to be served a meal that is freshly hot or hasn’t been re-heated.

The Dietician will be back tomorrow and I’ve kicked off to the ward staff who have arranged for someone from the kitchen to come see me too. Lets see if they can do anything to get me something hot?

And for those of you wondering why not just order a Sandwich? Check back at breakfast…

Dog Food Pie

Food. Sustenance. Energy. Probably the most important elements driving any potential recovery you can make. So being fed something you can eat that fits the strict diet set by the powers that be; Hospital should be the one place the gets this spot on, right?

Wrong – Hospital food is and always has been notouriously awful. Countless commitees, celebrity chefs and goverenment ministers have tried to implement measures to fix it. To No Avail. At this point I present you with Exhibit A:

2013-01-05 18.21.07

Its supposed to be a Shepards Pie, but the essentially ‘jellied’ like meat reminds me more of what a Dog Food Pie would look like. This is by no means the worst thing i’ve been served whilst trying to recover in hospital; But this is the meal that took my anger levels to a point enough of wanting to something about it. Having complained before and seeing little improvement, rather than relying on the Kitchen team to take pictures and share it with the Hospital heads of catering – I decided to take a picture of every meal I was served.

To be fair this picture doesn’t do the meal justice. It was also cold, the mash potatoes were soggy, and see those massive clumps of red? Those are barely cooked tomatoes. I can assure you, for someone on a Intestinal Failure Menu, from which this was ordered from, big – high residue – acidic – cheap tomatoes are not only un-enjoyable at the point of eating. But for hours and hours after.

I was in Hospital for a mere 3 weeks. And over the next 3 weeks I’ll be sharing more and more of the delicacies delivered to my hospital bedside, what protests I made and whether I ever did, get them to Feed Me Something Decent!

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