As I write this today I unfortunately find myself in a hospital. A routine surgery I had last week has produced a massive infection in my ear (where the surgery wad done). The infection got so bad, I came to the emergency room at roughly 5 a.m. and am now being kept overnight here in Evanston Hospital.
After spending about four hours getting some excruciating treatments done in the ER, I was moved to a room and hoped to be able to eat since I’ve been up since 4 a.m. I quickly learned words mean something different here, unfortunately. I spoke to the only nurse who has visited me for the last five hours and she said she ordered me food.
Ordered me food actually means authorized me to get food, in hospital-speak, I discovered. When she returned an hour later and I asked about my food, she informed me she would get a menu I could review and then call for my meal, taking another 45 minutes.
Scanning the menu I saw burgers and other items I assume will be too high in fat and salt for me, so I wanted a salad. Unfortunately the salad only comes with two prepared dressings which, while likely lower in salt and fact than other commercial brands, are likely still too high for me.
So I opted for a plate of celery and carrots, plain, instead. It comes with some sort of dressing too! I left that in its little packet. My main course is a chicken breast, with no light mayo as the menu says it normally comes with.
The lesson when you’re forced to eat in a hospital is the same for other times you eat out — carefully, carefully scan the menu and cut the usual salt, fat and sugar.