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Thread: Food in hospital. page

  1. #1
    Rattybag's Avatar
    Rattybag is offline Senior Member
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    Angry Food in hospital.

    Primal Fuel
    I was taken into hospital two days ago but self discharged last night.
    On arrival, they took a urine sample and said I needed to be put on a glucose drip. I was horrified but they insisted it was vital. Me not being a doctor but a Paleo newbie, I bowed to their knowledge and agreed. (Not that they were asking my permission!)
    Do I assume they detected ketones and panicked?

    Also, I have been gluten free for over 20 years as I am coeliac and from previous hospital visits this is a diet they cater very badly for! What were they going to say to a high fat grain free meal?
    I just asked for gluten free and got cornflakes for breakfast. I thought it better to go without than eat that - I hope I was right to think that?
    As for lunch - well it was a fish pie with a thick sauce (probably not gluten free even though they told me it was), and a lump of grey mash. No veg). Dessert - vanilla ice-cream.
    I refused all this too and saw this is a forced fasting!
    However, they kept on with the glucose drip. I felt they were undoing all the good I had done over the last month or so.

    What do Paleo people do when admitted to hospital?
    I am in the UK so I can appreciate that other countires might treat their patients a bit differently.

  2. #2
    Turnstone's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your health problems.
    My DH needed to stay at the hospital for 4 days after a surgery. He could chose what to eat, but "gluten free" was not an option they offered. He isn't primal, so he was not totally unsatisfied with the food, but one day he just got potatoes prepared in I-don't-know-what-it-was, a really tiny bowl of salad (with beans and corn, of course) and some artificial jelly desert. I hope I never have to go to the hospital, I guess I would starve or get sicker than before.

    Forgot to mention... I am in Germany!
    Last edited by Turnstone; 02-20-2012 at 01:38 AM.

  3. #3
    Rattybag's Avatar
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    Definately not a place you want to go unless your on deaths door!

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    Englishman in Oz is offline Senior Member
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    Er, not sure what's going on with the first reply. Did you just get spammed?!

    Anyway, yes, hospital food in the UK is atrocious. My father was in hospital last year (frail and painfully thin due to alcoholism and depression), and when I visited him I was appalled at the food being served. Soggy shepherd's pie with minimal veg, and rhubarb crumble with custard. Not optimal nutrition-wise, but as the nurse on duty pointed out, he needed calories, and fast.
    I left pretty disappointed with the state of food on offer, but at the same time not really surprised. For a start, patients need to eat so I guess they have to serve what people want to a certain degree. Secondly, there's so much red tape around what can be served in institutions like the NHS (see also school meals pre-Jamie Oliver involvement), that it'll take more than a few patients spouting the words "Paleo" or "Primal" to a few overworked and underpaid medical professionals. Hospitals are pretty much churches of CW, so expect short shrift if you're looking to debate the merits of sat fats and low-carb.
    And finally, of course, money talks. Budgets aren't getting better in any public sectors in the UK, so expect cheap, mass-produced anti-nutrition as standard.
    In answer to your question, I don't know enough about what's in the glucose drip to comment, and neither am I sure how refusing a recommended treatment would affect your position. Best advice I can give regarding food is to get a friend or family member to go to the shops for you and stock up on Primal foods and keep them by your bedside. Grapes, Lucozade and Dairy Milk need not apply.
    I'd doubt that food standards are any better in much of the Western world, maybe some of our American, Canadian, European and Australian friends can shed some light on this.

  5. #5
    Pookie's Avatar
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    The food I was offered in hospital was beyond revolting. Im in the UK

    The insane salt levels in most of it prevented me eating anything, why on earth they ruined fresh (not frozen), and not even overcooked carrots with a gallon of salt I dont know. I was only offered fruit at breakfast every other day.

    For people who are sick, recovering from surgery like me... surely the food should be simple, nutritious... plain simple fayre, easy to cook and provide the most benefits.

    I guess peoples desire for things like cheese pie, or butter pie and fruit hidden under... yup more pie... means you get fed high salted crap.

  6. #6
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    Of course it depends on which hospital, but I don't think there's much variation in the public system. My stepfather was in hospital with a fractured hip, in Melbourne, Australia. I was with him when his meals were being organised. He was in a lot of pain, and reacting badly to medication, when they asked if he wanted corn flakes or bread, or both for breakfast. He asked for toast, but 'no hot food for breakfast'. I asked could I bring a toaster in for him? No, that'd be a fire hazard. Poor bugger nearly cried.
    Fortunately, he was quickly out of there and in rehab where the food was much better.
    Dh and I have agreed that if any of us are in hospital, we'll be bringing broth and kefir and kombucha, and whatever else the patient wants.

  7. #7
    emmie's Avatar
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    I'm in the US, and hospital food is deplorable here, too. The 'glucose drip' is standard in most hospitals and is probably the least of your problems.

    They supposedly have 'nutritionists' to plan the individual menus, but they will never cater to anyone's personal WOE. They often fail to follow the doctor's orders! I was admitted once for a suspected gall bladder attack, so the doctor ordered no food for 24 hours (no problem for me), and THEN very low fat so as not to stir up the gall bladder again until all tests were completed.

    The first meal they brought me was very high fat. When I told them that the doctor had ordered low fat, they just shrugged and said that it was what the 'nutritionist' had planned for me. I nibbled on the items that weren't high fat and ignored the rest. Fortunately, I was discharged before the next meal arrived.

  8. #8
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    This is exactly why I am putting myself through the effort of getting diagnosed with whatever issue is causing my reaction to gluten/wheat. I want to have at least some backup when it comes to being fed the junk they have. I am in the uk, but from family and friends experiences it's the same everywhere. And food is the least of the problems a lot of the time.
    The one time I was unlucky enough to be admitted I got a firsthand view of how little care there is. If you used the call button too often it was simply turned off, no matter the reason. One woman was too ill to feed herself, but got no help the whole week I was there. Meals were simply put down, and taken away again untouched.

    IMO the best advice regarding hospital is : stay out if at all possible, make sure you are resilient enough to survive the experience if something acute makes hospital unavoidable. If you suffer from something chronic you absolute must prioritise self care to stay out. Similar advice goes for nursing homes, possibly excepting assisted living where you still get a good degree of autonomy.

    As for your personal experience and how much damage it did, I think as long as its short, you can recover. After all people recover from CW after years and decades.

  9. #9
    Rattybag's Avatar
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    I wonder if the diet side of things would be better if I went private and in a private hospital?
    I cant afford to so I guess I'll never know!!

  10. #10
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    My stay in a UK hospital after my motorcycle accident was fairly good, except for a drugs mix up (a foreign nurse put my charts in someone elses place), and a rogue doctor mistaking me for someone else. The food wasn't great but what do you expect from limited resources!

    One thing to note about the UK hospitals - you can get people to bring food in for you. As the food I was given was not substantial enough for me, even though I was not considered overweight or fat, my family would bring in various soups. They checked if this was ok and the nurses practically encouraged them. I do think the nurses know the food is rubbish but there is not much they can do about it. All they can do is ensure you eat what you are given. If you don't eat the food it is reported.

    Now that I have changed my diet it will be a different matter when I go back to hospital. I have a follow up in the next 3-8years for further surgery and by then my diet will be very fussy. I know they will not be able to follow my diet so for the sake of a week I will just have to bite the bullet. I will probably be able to stay wheat/sugar free but I will have to just eat what may be available and have family bring in the good stuff!

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