The Dangers of Hospital Food.


images-18Yesterday I think know I reached a new low.  I was working a shift in a busy ER, as I often do (shout out to all my Joseph Brant Friends!!), and I was hell bent on making sure my daily caloric intake was BELOW my goal.  I guess I have been more unhappy with the numbers on the scale than I had realized,and subconsciously decided to destroy myself speed up the process.  Needless to say, my lunch bag was filled with about 1500 calories worth of wonderfully healthful food, but my STOMACH wasn’t.  After working more than 8 hours, and taking in only about 500 calories, I was overcome with the sweet smell of the most delicious HOSPITAL FOOD!!  I was like, “What the F@*$ is wrong with me!!!”

Yes.  I’m willing to admit that this is fact.  Me, the guy who has made fun of doctors across all the hospitals where I work who finance their gorgeous cars with the frugality of scooping patient rations because of their love of arrowroot cookies, sandwiches and unclaimed patient trays.  I was enticed by patient gruel “rations,” the food I make fun of incessantly with patients.  The offerings from the “factory kitchen” which get reheated onsite, which no one ever finds appetizing made my mouth water like Pavlov’s dog.  In over 20 years of nursing, I have NEVER ONCE wanted to eat a patient meal. Yesterday however, was a different story.  The “steamed meatloaf and mushed green vegetables” were calling my name…LOUDLY.  In what can only be called a “lucky” split second of self awareness I had to excuse myself from the unit and sprint to the staff room, open my lunch bag and put something in my mouth before I had a complete melt down.  Thankfully my lean turkey deli meat slices, my greek yogurt and berries, the melba toast and hummus all worked their magic and a crisis was averted.  Let me be clear, no patients were deprived in the production of this post!!!

This is not the emotional roller coaster which I’ve been accustomed to (while emotional craziness does often follow me, it’s never been related to food).  Weirdly enough, it’s also the first MAJOR bout of such behaviour I’ve experienced, well except for the cravings I had when I first gave up my beloved Coca-Cola, but that doesn’t count…..  THAT was a true addiction…. ;).  I mean I have been told stories by many people across time.  Stories that sometimes with an unusually large total at the local grocery store cash register (shopping while hungry will get the best of us!) or a tablespoon and bottle of nutella while sobbing in the corner.  While no sobbing was noted yesterday, I have to admit that the incident probably shook me MORE than if I’d been found with nutella smeared from ear to ear ranting gibberish in the staff room.  In reality though it’s probably best that it occurred the way it did, as I suspect there a few coworkers who harbour secret desires to have me placed in seclusion and medicated (maybe one day THAT will become a blog post, but I doubt it….).

I guess what I’m trying to say is that there seems to be (for me at least) a fine line between will power, desire to control my intake, and speed at which change can successfully occur.  As children we learned to crawl, then stand, then walk and finally we were able to run.  I think maybe yesterday was a stumble for me.  Thankfully I recovered from it quickly.  But I think that for awhile longer I will simply rely on my trusty “app” and stick to IT’S goals, instead of trying to be an “over-achiever” and risk undoing what I have been able to accomplish so far.  That being said, for the foreseeable future, PATIENTS HOLD ON TO YOUR TRAYS!!!  Seems there’s a new nurse in town!!!

Duane

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