Sunday, October 25, 2015

High carb hospital food for diabetic patients? Get with the times!!

I usually am not picky about hospital food.  I guess I am one of those rare people.  I eat, therefore I am.  Not so with a recent stay at a community hospital in Cornwall, Ontario. 

If I could have sprinted out the door after surgery, knowing this … I would.  Luckily, I escaped on Day 3 … I had served my time, but not without having some of the hospital admins visit me, and I’m wondering if it’s due to my going public about how the surgery went (you can read about what happened at this link).

What really got to me was that being a diabetic, on insulin, I need to know what the carbs are in the food I am ingesting.  Yes, many of us guesstimate, but in my case, after talking to the dietician that day afterwards, what I was being served was the diabetic meal plan.  If I had gone with my estimate of what chocolate pudding was worth … I would have ended up in hypo fairy land.  Luckily, due to having abit of an issue with high blood sugars, and spewing my guts (I had not been asked about my ketones at this point by the RN, just a disgusted look from her as I spewed … oops … hope you are not reading this at meal time … if you are … this is it for the head rolling Linda Blair of Exorcist fame spewing).

Okay, now to the serious stuff on …. high carb food content in diabetics meals served to patients in hospitals.  I had a good talk with the dietician, who led me to believe that she understood diabetic diets, but it still left me scratching my head with the following:

72 grams of carbs for breakfast

Yuppers, that is over half of what I eat in carbs for a whole day!!!  Luckily, this meal never arrived, something else did in its place of similar carb count – but again, nothing showing carb count on containers except for “diabetic meal”).  I had asked the dietician the day before, why the regular Boost was being given to a diabetic, when there is a diabetic version of Boost available (I kept on getting the 36 gram version for some reason .... and no ... I did not touch it with a 10' pole). .  

She managed to find a diabetic Boost to help me at least get something into me (my appetite has taken awhile to return since surgery ,... and losing weight has been a bonus for me because of this). She said they didn’t stock much of and believe it or not, the 16 grams of carbs and 16 grams of protein according to the label ...  I spiked so high (yes … think of someone with a lot of gel in their hair), and stayed high, even with proper insulin coverage.  

I think where the food plan for diabetics in this hospital rests due to them following the ADA/CDA food plan which tends to be high carbs and aimed at the population of Type 2.  Sadly, even the CDE’s had questioned me when viewing my Diasend results a few months earlier  that I do not eat enough carbs and therefore my body can’t function properly.  It’s like, excuse moi, I’ve been eating this way for years … do I look unhealthy ... I rarely get sick except for as blue moon year?  Hullo!!!  I function well and know of many others that are the same  (no – not the Dr. Bernstein regime of 30 grams / day … I’m more like 120 grams / day … sometime more when I have a sinful slice of chocolate layer cake).

So perhaps dieticians, CDE’s of hospitals if they would take into consideration that not EVERY diabetic has the same eating habits as the rest – and perhaps be allowed to choose their meal plan while staying in hospital – then great.  In the 3 days I was in hospital, there was no protein (do budget constraints mean that a simple hard-boiled egg, slice of cheese, peanut butter aren’t possible for the patient?).  What was funny, my DH was bringing me my morning coffee from the in-hospital Tim Horton’s that actually sold hard boiled eggs.  He said it didn’t dawn on him to buy me a few …. Duhhhh … you can see who cooks in our house. 

So, next time, if there is ever another time at this hospital (or any hospital – I have a feeling they are all the same due to budgets, etc.)  I’m bringing my own cooler full of cheese, hard boiled eggs, sliced meats, etc.  And perhaps if you are reading this, and going in for surgery, hopefully you have a diabetic team at your hospital that will ensure you get the proper food plan, or at least listens to you.  Somehow, in my case, I think I slipped through the cracks …. it’s okay, I’m alive and writing about my experience so others can learn from my mistake!

NB:  Incase you’re wondering, if I had stayed longer … my lunch was ringing in at only 70 grams and dinner was 62 grams … and none of those meals contained any protein.  
At least he got some protein to slow down the carbs!!!

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