So its just over a week and a half in a stuffy, uncomfortable hospital ward. But thankfully, I’m feeling well enough to walk about and escape the ward. Unfortunately this minor relief doesn’t quite make the food situation any better. I’ve made the same complaint about the food, quite angrily nearly every day for the last week and a half, but I’ve been particularly persistent the last three days. Then I receive this:
Yum, literally last nights left over pasta (I recognize from seeing in the staff canteen the previous night) & spaghetti hoops with what I can only presume was bonus mash potato.
So I reach my limit. There simply MUST be something they can do, or offer me thats better than this? No they keep saying. This is it. There are only so many times you can say the same thing to the dietician and ward staff.
But I know there are other options. On my casual strolls around Southampton General I find the Spice of Life staff and visitor canteen. Its owned by the same company, medirest, and yes they serve steamplicity food. However, they also serve food hot. And the canteen, shares their kitchen space with the ‘Diet Bay’ where my IFD[foot]Intestinal Failure Diet[/foot] menu is cooked.
So far the defence for my food being cold is, its brought up straight away. We can’t bring it up any faster – thats why its cold. (As if this is ok?) So I decide to take the initiative and as the old saying goes. If the Hot Potato won’t come to Jamie, Jamie will go to the Hot Potato. I arrange to go and pick my meals up from the kitchen – and remove the transport element. If they cant get hot food to me, i’ll just go pick up the hot food.
See just how drastically this improves my food when I pick up my first evening meal directly from the chefs hands tomorrow.
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:
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!