Daily Archives: June 27, 2011

How To Make The Sick Sicker

Hi! I’ve written a few important posts lately, so if you haven’t caught up yet you can start here first, then here, and finish here.

Today’s post is all about a very serious aspect of staying in the hospital.

The food.

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Now, I know hospital food is notoriously bad, but I feel like the stuff they serve at the Moncton Hospital is exceptionally bad. I’ve never seen anything like it. Me, who will eat pretty much anything, won’t even go near some of these dishes.

As a long-term patient, I get to choose my food in advance from a menu. On paper, it looks like some pretty decent options.

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But then it arrives and it’s the worst piece of shit I’ve ever seen. Most of the time unidentifiable and empty of any taste, texture, or nutrients.

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These are the scrambled eggs I got on Sunday. Made in a cup maybe? The were really spongey and I didn’t eat them. My sister Jane says it looks like it came from a can. Is that possible? If it is, the hospital would probably do it.

The serving sizes are also incredibly small. I think it’s because they are geared toward the sick and elderly. I mean, I know I am a 25-year-old who still has the metabolism of a personal trainer, but I also know my 88-year-old Nana could not survive on these portions.

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Saturday, my sister whipped the lid off the plate to find one lonely boiled egg. A piece of cheese and orange on the side. We laughed and decided the hospital must be trying to starve the cancer out.

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This is what I get for coffee with my breakfast. About 50ml filled in a 125ml cup. A splash of coffee, essentially.

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Thankfully, they offer unsweetened hot cereals, but the cream of wheat is more like cream of wheat soup.

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Yesterday’s supper: I’d ordered a sub sandwich and received unidentified lunch meat on a white bun. At first I thought it was bologna, and then I tried a nibble of it, and I think it was spam!!! Barf.

Sometimes though, something edible will come up.

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My jaw dropped when I saw fresh vegetables on the plate. With a little scoop of egg salad, a piece of bread, a little bit of (gross) potato salad and some (good) apple crisp. It’s hit and miss. 97% of the time a miss.

Thankfully, my family has been showering me with food everyday. To the point where I’ve had to order them to stop bringing me food, because I am only one person and can only eat so much! So far, I’ve just been picking at the edible stuff on the hospital food trays, and supplementing it with food people bring me.

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Soupy cream of wheat made better with fresh blackberries.

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Homemade veggie pizza from good family friend Mary (who will also be acting as my advocate).

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Dad’s been bringing me big tupperware containers of greens and I throw random things on top with balsamic or hummus.

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Homemade red quinoa salad with black beans and asparagus from a family friend.

Now that I know I’m sick, I’m taking extra extra care to eat better. Nothing that will feed the cancer. It’s an issue we all take seriously after my uncle had brain cancer.

I’m cutting waaaaay back on processed sugar, no artificial sweeteners (byebye Diet Coke), and washing my fruit really well. I’ve upped the anti-oxidants with things like green tea, goji berries, acai, etc etc.

And yes, I’m giving up coffee for green tea.

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Okay, so I’m still drinking one cup of coffee a day. But going from 3-4 cups to 1 cup is huge! I only had one day of really bad caffeine headaches, but now seem to be okay with just the one cup. And then 15 cups of green to compensate for the caffeine ;)

Honestly, I am kind of horrified by the kind of food sick people are served here. It’s not even food. The ingredients are canned, frozen, or come from a powder. All high in sugar and salt, low in protein and whole grains. Eating good quality food so far has been key in keeping my energy levels up, I can’t imagine how sick I’d feel if I was left to subsist on just what’s available at the hospital. The Globe and Mail just this weekend had an article on changing the way hospitals serve food. I couldn’t agree more.

Of course, there are some things I must ingest that I have no choice over.

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A giant dye smoothie for a cat scan. It actually wasn’t too bad. I mean, compared to some of the other things the nurses have brought me ;)

Bone marrow exam and meeting with my oncologist again today. Scared for both but keeping happy thoughts!

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