Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hospital Food

I read with interest this article about Kaiser's desire to change over to more locally produced, fresh produce in their patient care menus. I think this is a great idea...really, who could use good, healthy, fresh food more than folks on the mend?

Unfortunately, 'hospital food' reminds me of a story that makes my blood boil a bit. Last summer, my mom had surgery at UC Davis Med Center. The care she received was 90% wonderful. Her surgeon was wonderful, the nurses were mostly great, etc. However...when it came to food, I found them lacking. My mother is border-line diabetic, meaning she can control her diabetes through diet, and doesn't need to take medication for it. When she was in the hospital for her surgery, they knew of her diabetes, and yet, what did they serve her for breakfast? French toast, steeped in syrup. How is that appropriate? Idiots. However, that's not the worst part of the story. My mom was trying her hardest to take care of herself, and when presented with French toast in syrup for breakfast, asked if she might have something more appropriate for a diabetic. Oatmeal, perhaps. The nurse was gone for quite awhile, and came back with a packet of instant oatmeal, which she gave my mother. Did you catch that? A packet of instant oatmeal. No bowl. No spoon. No hot water. No way to eat it. She's confined to her bed, can't even get up to use the bathroom by herself yet, and the idiot nurse gives her a packet of instant oatmeal. That's as good as saying, I don't give a shit if you eat or not. See if I care. (I wonder if she was charged extra $$$ for that packet of oatmeal? Was she just supposed to open it and pour it into her mouth, and beg for water?) That still pisses me off. It exasperated my mom, but she had bigger issues to deal with, like recovering, so she pretty much let it go. Not so, me. I could stew on the stupidity of it all. The nurse was caring in other ways, and was perhaps overworked, as most nurses are, and probably had to rifle around in the employees' personal stash for the oatmeal to begin with, but could she not have either done better on her own than giving my mother an impossible solution, or perhaps, PERHAPS called the food service department and asked them for a more suitable meal?


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