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To expect to order food myself from the hospital menu?

(25 Posts)
NoRoomForALittleOne Sat 06-Dec-14 12:30:27

To set the scene: I'm on the maternity ward. I'm told that they're not too busy at the moment. I'm 19 weeks pg and have hyperemesis plus a bleed. I was admitted on Thursday and hopefully going home later today. It is normal to be given a menu at breakfast for lunch and dinner choices to be made. I did question the fact that I hadn't been given a menu (as I know what foods are more likely to stay down and it's not necessarily obvious ones so I would prefer to choose). I haven't been off the ward so could have filled the menu in.

For some reason, one of the midwives filled out a menu for me and without telling me. I'm sure that she had good intentions but... Well let's just say parsnip and rosemary soup did not stay down well. I wouldn't order soup because I know that I can't stomach it. Similarly I've been given ice cubes to suck on rather than water to drink because they know that I can't stomach large volumes of liquid ie drinking water. I really hope that I don't have to stay in longer because I haven't kept dinner down. I can't help but wonder why they didn't just ask me if I could cope with looking at the menu or at least order me a full meal so that I could pick and choose?

Anyway, go on, tell me that I'm unreasonable, precious, ridiculous (and very hungry!)...

NewNamePlease Sat 06-Dec-14 12:32:45

How odd, have you been asleep a lot?

Are you sure she filled out the form and you weren't just given the only things left in the kitchen?

NoRoomForALittleOne Sat 06-Dec-14 12:33:41

I should add that drugs are now working well but I can only go home if I eat enough.

livelablove Sat 06-Dec-14 12:35:18

It does sound silly, but if you are going home today and feeling a bit better maybe you could buy something else from the hospital cafe to keep you going until you get home.

NoRoomForALittleOne Sat 06-Dec-14 12:37:13

I have the menu (it comes back up with the food) and been told midwife filled it in. And no to sleeping a lot because I spent most of the night being woken by staff and then all day by a crying newborn and it's loud (I presume) father. I want to go home!!!

Trickydecision Sat 06-Dec-14 12:37:24

You are none of those things. When you questioned the fact that you hadn't been given a menu, what did they say? Better make the point again in case you have to stay in longer than anticipated. Hope all goes well for you.

NoRoomForALittleOne Sat 06-Dec-14 12:39:11

Believe me, if I had any cash on me, I would buy something from the cafe! It's not that I think I'll never eat again, more that I want to be 'allowed' to go home!

NoRoomForALittleOne Sat 06-Dec-14 12:41:08

The maternity care assistant just shrugged her shoulders and walked out when I asked why it had been done for me.

CakeAndWineAreAFoodGroup Sat 06-Dec-14 12:44:58


You're pregnant and know what suits you best.

When I had my daughter in the person who had had the bed before me, had ordered meals (it was order today and eat tomorrow set up) and had ordered roast pork for lunch and a pork curry for dinner. Knowing they were going home.

I don't eat pork as I can't digest it and it makes me violently ill, very quickly.

You would think that I had deliberately set out to be awkward, the way they spoke to me about the "absurd fuss made over a bit of food" and that I must eat. I did, everything that my now ex brought in for me.

NoRoomForALittleOne Sat 06-Dec-14 12:52:20

The really frustrating thing is that I worked for 7 years as an HCA and the only time I would have ordered on a patient's behalf would be at their request or if they had gone off the ward for a few hours without their menu being done first (think very rare occasion, possibly life threatening event has occurred and therefore unpredictable). You get it drummed in to you that patient choice is so important (tastes change when ill, we're all different etc).

I've even had a doctor telling me to eat anything I like even if it is junk because eating at all is better than not managing.

NoRoomForALittleOne Sat 06-Dec-14 12:53:48

Oh and I always used to phone the kitchen to change orders if a new patient didn't like what the previous patient had ordered. It's not difficult and it really makes a difference to some people.

itsbetterthanabox Sat 06-Dec-14 12:56:46

Did they even ask if you had any food allergies or if you eat meat or dairy? So odd!

susiedaisy Sat 06-Dec-14 12:57:58

Yanbu. I look after ladies with HG and we always offer them a choice off of the menu usually they go for the blandest food or have toast. Parsnip and rosemary soup!!! Not surprised you brought it back uphmm

NoRoomForALittleOne Sat 06-Dec-14 13:01:54

I still get to go home!

And no they didn't ask about allergies/meat/dairy.

I have to say the food here is not good anyway and limited in choice. Yesterday was vegetable bake (think a bag of frozen veg with cheese on top) or chicken curry.

MrsHathaway Sat 06-Dec-14 13:02:13

Poor you.

At my hospital you do menus in the morning for the 24h following. When I was in for MM of MMC I was therefore given the choices of the bed's previous inhabitant (lunch, tea and breakfast).

I was miserable, bleeding heavily and ravenous. She must have been on a diet - lunch was a sandwich and an apple (both unfortunately dry), tea was sandwich and an apple, and breakfast ... a low-fat yogurt, at which I sobbed.

The HCA tried to find me something else but there was nothing. Given my food allergies I asked what would have happened if her choices had included my allergens. They didn't know.

Mw shouldn't have guessed for OP. It seems not to happen to long-term stays for obvious reasons, so the attitude seems to be "meh, she can eat at home later". But this is a nutrition issue OP is in for!

<shakes head>

Trickydecision Sat 06-Dec-14 13:18:39

I am not an NHS basher, but you should complain to the PALS people. This would be such an easy system to sort out at minimum cost. What if the meals ordered had been impossible for the next patient for religious reasons? Pork would be a good example, plus there is the allergy issue.

Mind you, I do like the sound of the parsnip and rosemary soup.

NoRoomForALittleOne Sat 06-Dec-14 13:39:13

If I tell you that it looked like a bowl of (curdled) vomit before I tried it...

SirChenjin Sat 06-Dec-14 13:46:27

Give feedback to the senior person on the ward before you leave and tell them you'll be following it up with a written complaint. That's not on - maybe easier for the staff than handing out the menus and collecting them again, but definitely not appropriate when you're in for hyperemesis (I remember it well - utterly grim...)

Lucyandpoppy Sat 06-Dec-14 13:54:26

YANBU you are fully capable of making your own dinner choices. Is there anyone that can run to the shop/cafe for you and get something?

NoRoomForALittleOne Sat 06-Dec-14 14:23:43

I'm being picked up in 15 minutes with food!

On a totally different note, I may have to be stabbed in the leg again before I go because the person who ordered my anti sickness meds from pharmacy thought it would be easier to order the IM vials rather than the IV stuff because she hadn't done her IV training yet hmm I've had an IV in the whole time I've been here (still do, actually) and it doesn't hurt IV. But my poor rear end is now covered in bruises! I have to say apart from that they have been very lovely here and far better than the gynae ward you have to attend until 18 weeks. There I had one nurse say "oh FFS" when I requested my anti sickness meds.

Floralnomad Sat 06-Dec-14 14:31:53

If the nurse hasn't done the training then you won't get the drugs IV so she has actually done the best she can in the circumstances .

LittleBairn Sat 06-Dec-14 14:40:26

Hospital meals can be a tricky business.
I know when I had HG I can only tolerate certain things so understand why you need to be in control.
Your poor rear, mine was black and blue after umpteen Anti-Ds & Anti-sickness, it toughened up my rear.
In regards to themix up don't be shy in questioning them when it comes to meds. One junior Dr almost made a serious error with mine twice thankfully DH noticed. Once was an accident, the 2nd time I started to wonder if she was trying to murder me!

I'm always hospitalised in pregnancy meal times are complicated due to my lactose intolerance. In my first it was not an issue one particular memeber of staff always made sure I got the menu to choose and given priority, they would also let me swap things.
2nd pregnancy a year later same hospital now just couldn't seem to understand LI so they decided not to feed me for about 3 days! When DH & Head midwife found out (I wasn't bothered had no appitite) they got a bollocking and then gave me meals but still couldn't understand it so would removing perfectly fine meals but subbing with something like rice pudding!
3rd pregnancy different hospital understand LI but it means they choose my meals. Thankfully only spent one night so far.

NoRoomForALittleOne Sat 06-Dec-14 14:41:09

She couldn't but there are 3 midwives on per shift and she did say that one of the others could have done it but she (in her words) just didn't think.

TheCowThatLaughs Sat 06-Dec-14 14:46:09

Personally I think it's very poor practice to keep giving a patient IM injections when there is an alternative. She could have got a colleague to do it. I imagine the midwives are incredibly stretched though, but you're on the receiving end of sub-optimal care. It's shit isn't it sad

limitedperiodonly Sat 06-Dec-14 15:15:07

Poor you. I'm glad you're going home soon. Bring the food, jabs and general attitude to the attention of the person in charge - though they might be elusive today; and you want to get home - and follow up with a complaint, if you feel able.

It doesn't have to be personal. You deserve proper care and so do others. And I guess you'll be going back there to deliver.

I had a very long hospital stay and they were fantastic over so many things - food and IV/jabs being just two amongst many, as it happens - but I think I was very lucky with the hospital I ended up in.

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