Saturday, May 4, 2013

Hospital Food

Disclaimer, I talk about being sick to my stomach. Not in a gross detailed way but I do say throw up a few times. Also at the end is a picture of my stomach post-operation.
I have been in many different hospitals, never the patient though, until this year. I would go visit my mom while she was working. I've visited my sick friends, to give them moral support. Since I was just there for a few hours at most, I never felt the absolute need to eat from the cafeteria, I could just leave and find some place that had a place in my mind as being better. Most recently I can recall being at the hospital with my best friend while she was giving birth and when the support team got hungry we went down the street to Panera instead of eating at the cafeteria.

A few years ago my dad was hospitalized for weeks and I remember going down the street to Jimmy Johns instead of the cafeteria for lunches because it was quick and a little bit of a break from the hospital. During that time it was hard during meal times because I would be the only one making meals and I don't know how to make much. I do know how to make a few things from scratch but I never seemed to want to and when I did I would make the same things over and over again until I was tired of them. I would make my mom dinner on nights that she would come home from taking care of him and that would be scrambled eggs and toast. I remember one day that my dad was allowed to have pureed food and it looked and smelled disgusting. They had liquefied eggs and hash browns, I'm sure there were other items but I just remember those two, and I thought to myself "who purees eggs?" and "if I'm ever hospitalized and put on a soft foods diet I would never order pureed eggs."

This year has been a pretty rough year for me. At the end of December I was diagnosed with mononucleosis (mono) or the "kissing disease", not a huge deal, I could live with that. I was told not to go snowboarding because the spleen can become enlarged and if it gets hit really hard while enlarged it would rupture and I would most likely die from internal bleeding. I was fine with that, I could wait a year to go snowboarding. Toward the end of January, I was feeling pretty good, didn't have any symptoms that persisted and I went snowshoeing with my brother and his wife. I got a sore throat and was pretty sick with that for about a week, it just felt like the flu. Thursday the 14th of February I started to feel funky, I was running a fever and my tonsils had swollen up. By Saturday I was unable to swallow anything and went into the ER. They re-hydrated me, gave me some pain meds and steroids to help with the swelling, and sent me on my way.

A few days later I went in to see an Ear Nose and Throat doctor to see about getting my tonsils out. That was really hard to get scheduled, during the course of scheduling it was set up for three different days. They ended up taking my tonsils and adenoids out on the 28th of February. I recovered better and quicker than anyone thought I would. After recovering from that I started to have some left side abdominal pain, my primary care doctor thought that it might still be mono related and that my spleen was enlarged. She ordered an ultrasound to check. My spleen was fine, but they found that my gall bladder was full of gall stones and would need to be taken out at some point. I wanted to wait until after graduation to do it so that I wouldn't have to worry about taking any days off from school.

Saturday morning on April  27th I started to get some pain after eating, but didn't really think anything of it. I went about my day, even going into work and working a full shift. I was in a bit more pain when I came home that evening, but I went to bed and woke up with no pain on Sunday. I ate something and the pain came back, again I ignored it and went to work. It got worse throughout the day. My mom debated taking me into the ER, but consulted a friend that is stomach doctor. He said that it could wait and I should consult my primary care doctor in the morning. Monday morning I went in, and they drew some blood and felt my stomach. They sent me on my way and told me that if the pain got worse to go to the ER. I ate some food and the pain got worse. I ignored the pain and went to class. While in class the pain started to shoot up to about an 8 out of 10. I went home. That is when things took a dive for the worse, I started to throw up anything that touched my stomach. I was starting to run a fever, my mom decided it was time to take me to the ER.  By 1:00 am Tuesday morning I was admitted to the hospital and told that I would be having surgery to remove my gall bladder later on that day.

2:30 pm Tuesday afternoon I was in surgery.  I don't remember much after that until about 6:30 pm when I was finally allowed to eat. I ordered some chicken noodle soup with crackers and apple juice. The soup came in this heavy duty black bowl with a flimsy plastic lid to keep the heat in. It was much like the Campbell chicken noodle soup in a can, it might even have been out of the can. All I know was it was some of the best chicken noodle soup I have ever had, maybe that was just the fact that I hadn't had food in over 24 hours. Those pureed eggs might have even tasted good, who knows. The hospital discharged me because I was able to eat and keep the food down. I got to sleep in my own bed without being woken up every so often by nurses checking on me. I am doing pretty well, in some pain still but that is expected after surgery.

I really wanted to see my gall bladder after they took it out, but the surgeon wouldn't show it to me... oh well it probably would have grossed me out anyways.

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