While we get caught up on vitals and drugs and procedures on inpatients, it’s easy to forget thinking about basic things they need. Baths and toothbrushes. Exercise around the unit with physical therapy. And most of all, diet orders.
Eating is one aspect patients will always care about. And you’d be surprised how little things like food can really make their day.
Mr. T, who had lived in the hospital for months now, was on palliative care and requested a sandwich. Specifically a breakfast sandwich with egg and canadian bacon on an English muffin. So the team tried get him his sandwich. The cafeteria staff and kitchen manager laughed, and said “Nope, not at this hospital!” Given budget cuts and funding issues combined with a surplus of uninsured and undocumented patients, the hospital could barely keep up with regular meal orders. Sadly, it’s a reality here.
As the days went by, Mr T deteriorated rapidly and couldn’t eat solid foods anymore, but really wanted fudgesicles. Food is one pleasure I think everyone should have, so I went to the grocery that night and bought a box of fudgesicles for him. He died not long after, but at least he had one little comfort.
I think my one of my most memorable patients was Mr. L, who was hungry and ate everything in the ER. – everything except the hospital food (or any actual food for that matter). From toilet paper to grass to sandwich wrappers, he just preferred those instead.
Ok, I know hospital food isn’t always the best, but I guess it’s a low when the sandwich wrapper is tastier.
I’d take that over eating grass, paper, wrappers, or hospital food any day!
Local Food’s Roast Beef Sandwich
Recipe originally posted 3/2014
1/2 cauliflower head, torn
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
6 slices roast beef
2 sharp cheddar slices
2 slices wheat bread
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Toss the cauliflower with olive oil, curry powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Place in a tray and roast for 25 min, or until desired doneness.
To make the sandwich, spread horseradish on each bread slice. Layer curry cauliflower, roast beef, and cheese. Add olive oil to a pan and heat sandwich on both sides until cheese is melted and bread is golden and toasted.
Local Food’s Kale Side Salad
1 1/2 cups kale
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup golden raisins, plumped in red wine vinegar (or water, wine, or fruit juice)
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 oz parmesan cheese, grated
pepper, to taste
Soak the raisins in a small bowl with red wine vinegar (just enough to to cover all the raisins) until plump for several hours or overnight.
Mix kale with olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, and olive oil. Toss with pine nuts and cheese. Add pepper. Adjust flavors to desired taste if necessary. Marinate the salad for an hour to let the flavor develop before eating.