In case you’re wondering I’m still in hospital.
Frustrated is the only word for it. I genuinely have no idea what’s going on, what caused these problems and why I’m still in this bloody place.
People keep telling me to relax, take my mind off it, use it as a chance for a break. Why not write your novel or sort out some of the trips you always talk about – yeh, because penning a best seller surrounded by people vomiting, pooing and machines going off 24/7 on two hours sleep is totally achievable, right?
As you can tell I’m beyond fed up, which means I am getting better.
Yes I’ve still got pain (I would no discribe it as discomfort) and I feel like crap, but I’m not ill enough to be taking up a precious hospital bed.
As far as I can see the reason I’m in here still is my ostomy output is liquid as soup. But that’s mainly because, as per usual, the NHS simply cannot understand my intolerance enough to feed me.
I’m in a total catch 22 dilemma. My output won’t go back to normal until I eat normally, but I can’t do that while I’m in here, which is something I can’t seem to get into anyone’s head – it is genuinely like I’m speaking in Chinese.
The fact is that despite being diagnosed lactose intolerant in a hospital they have never ever coped with it – something about having an allergy makes no sense to the health service.
To make it worse as my Stoma has been playing up I’ve gone back to my low res diet to help it, something they simply don’t understand.
Many of the sandwiches are brown bread and have sweetcorn in them, and curry is usually on the menu – despite the fact this is a surgical ward and many people have just had Stoma surgery!
Seriously the mum opposite me was handed her first meal after having her Stoma and it was lentil soup – I told her not to bother.
While resturants have adapted to intolerances and allergies over the years hospitals have thrown their hands up and said, “well, their relatives will have to feed them”!
But what if you’re on your own (like me)….well you simply starve.
Starving might be a little bit over the top, but after 52 hours of being nil by mouth my choices in the Cardiff hospital have been quite frankly ludicrous.
In the past few days while everyone else has had the choices of sandwiches and three hot dishes and a pudding, the poor catering staff has approached my bed like a sniper picking out his target, saying:
Me: (trying not to laugh) is that all I can have?
Him: “cauliflower with gravy?”
Me: (giving up and taking pity on him) ok!
Me: can I have something with that?
Yesterday tea time:
Him: “boiled potato?”
Me: no, can I have some Rice Krispies and soya milk?
Basically since I’ve been able to eat in here I’ve survived off Rice Krispies, the dry insides of tiny jacket potatoes, boiled potatoes and gravy – oh and on one occasion some very dry fish which made me sick.
I’ve even been offered in a moment that made me laugh so hard it brought me to tears (tears of total frustration) “boiled potatoes and chips” – I reached cracking point then.
It’s not just in Wales, England too stares opened mouthed at me in horror at my intolerance – I’ve been fed dry tuna for days on end – but they did have menus for you to choose and plaster LACTOSE FREE across it so the kitchen at least knew. Here it’s cooked on every ward and you have to eat what you get.
It simply makes no sense. To me a key part of being well is my diet, in fact it is what makes me well and is often the element of my life which is keeps my bowel working and makes me happy.
I can get better without the right food, I can’t heal, and I can’t put on weight. I’m forcing down ensure drinks to keep myself in shape, and I’ve already lost all my hard work from the last six months of gym work and training and I’m back to 7.6 – down from 8st 1 a weight I’d never achieved before.
I’m angry, it upsets me, it drives me around the bend. I simply don’t understand how they get nutrition so damn wrong and find it so hard.
Yes we are not expecting caviar and champagne, but simply a bowl of pasta would suffice. Hospital food is never going to be Michelin star but it should be edible and nutritional and not be an eat this or starve situation.
Today’s lunch was the first proper meal I got, yes I hardly managed any and the chicken was tough. But it was welcome, even if it was too little too damn late.
I think that the NHS needs to seriously look at the problem of hospital food. If they got it right they would save a fortune – after all people would be stronger and getting out quicker not lie wasting away in beds.
Draft in Jamie Oliver I beg of you – but please not that Heston bloke I don’t want to be eating food that covers me in smoke or spits at me.