One of the side effects of this hospital stay is, I have become a proper Englishman. I say this because every single meal has come with a cup of tea. And to make matters worse, it’s been decaf. I haven’t had coffee in three days, and my pounding head is reminding me of this fact. I like tea just fine, but don’t go out of my way to drink it. Then yesterday I realized the “lemon juice” option under beverages was not straight-up lemon juice, but a little packet to squeeze into your tea. Yeah, I’m a little slow sometimes. Once that dawned on me, I started drinking the tea instead of pushing it aside. Now I actually look forward to it. How bloody cheeky of me, eh, chap?
I haven’t had any spotted dick, though.
(Thank god. Diabetes is bad enough).
Speaking of hospital food, I just have to rant a little. I know people don’t come here for fine dining, and there are usually dietary restrictions (especially for those damn diabetics), but there are things they could do differently. A few observations/comments…
- Quit trying to make the menu sound better than it is. “Spinach mushroom mozzarella scramble” and “hot open-faced turkey sandwich with rich brown gravy and a medley of fresh seasonal vegetables” sound a lot better than they actually are.
- I know it saves money to combine three menus on one sheet, but when you’re on a liquid diet and you see that they are serving hamburgers to other patients, that just hurts.
- There are two cooking techniques in the hospital: “well done” and “more well done.” It’s not necessary to cook a 4 oz. portion of meat for 60 minutes. I have never longed for “medium rare” so much!
- You guys sure do love mashed potatoes. I’m surprised you don’t serve ’em with breakfast, because they accompany every other meal. Don’t get me wrong, I like ’em, too – but the single bland scoop dished up here does not make my mouth water.
- Knock it off with the “chef’s seasoning” already. It is not a substitute for salt, no matter how pretty it is (thanks to paprika, maybe?). No proper chef would ever season his/her food with this stuff.
- Margarine? Really? That stuff will kill you faster than whatever you came in for.
- I don’t consider melons, melons and more melons a “fruit medley.” Even if they were cantaloupes, honeydew, and watermelon. Let’s see some mandarin orange and banana slices in there. Some apples. A pineapple chunk or two.
- Fat free cream cheese reminds me of spackling paste. In both texture and taste.
But enough of the negatives. There were a few bright spots. The “classic meatloaf” I had last night was pretty decent (though that might have had something to do with my mom sneaking me in a salt packet…shh). And the low-calorie syrup I put on my french toast yesterday morning was surprisingly flavorful. The best thing I’ve had to eat this entire time, though? The salsa I put on my eggs this morning. Compared to everything else, it was packed with flavor.
Better still? My wonderful daughter took the bus here last night to bring me a small bowl of black-eyed peas and ham. These are supposed to bring good luck if you eat them on New Year’s Day. They worked for me back in 2012, to the tune of $47K. Tara made a big batch yesterday, but came down with a bad cold and couldn’t bring them to me, so Audrey stepped up to the plate. She’s pretty special, that one.
But enough about food. I’m going home today! They’re discharging me around noon, which probably means 2 PM, but I’m not complaining. Three days here is quite enough. I feel great – full of energy, able to see again. My nurses, time and again, have complimented me on what a nice guy I am, great attitude, excellent sense of humor, etc. It was my goal coming in to be the patient that everybody liked, and I think I’ve pulled that off.
“We need more patients like you,” a bunch of them have said, which makes me wonder whether most patients who wind up in the hospital are grumpy and insubordinate.
Must be all the hard to chew meat.