6.6.05

Hospital meals.

It's a well known aspect of being in hospital that the food sucks. When I was in there last month, it wasn't so bad, I managed to have fresh salad most of the time. The main problem I think, was that there wasn't enough of it altogether - and that sentiment was shared by my fellow patients. I lost well over 5lbs in a week, doing nothing but sitting around killing time between meals waiting for surgery.

So, the remarks made by Conservative Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley in this article piss me off, oh, just a tad. They can be summed up by this sentence: "He said nurses should be made responsible for ensuring patients eat properly."

Point one: if people aren't eating food in hospital, don't you think this might have something to do with the fact that they are in hospital? They're sick! They might not want to eat.

Point two: every day they make you tick a menu of choices so that they know what food you want to eat the next day. Sometimes that food isn't available, so a lot of the time, you're left choiceless and therefore with food that might be the equivalent of someone shitting on a plate and serving it up with watery gravy.

Point three: nurses can't make anyone eat anything. In the second hospital I stayed at, there was an old lady in the cubicle next to me. She didn't want to eat, and anything she did eat... well, lets just say it didn't stay in her for long, and there are things far worse than vomiting. Her family tried to make her eat. For hours. The nurses tried to make her eat. For hours. End result? She ate when she decided to, and not before. We are human beings with the ability to make our own decisions, let's not forget that.

It's not like the nurses couldn't care less about the people they care for - one morning I woke up with extremely low blood pressure and they made me drink a litre of water straight down, no protesting allowed. So it's not really a matter of them not doing their jobs. Any government suit that has the nerve to try and make out that they are lousy at what they do, day in, day out, with everything that they have to put up with in their line of work... well, they deserve a shotgun blast to the crotch. During my stay in hospital, the nurses were the most fabulous, kind and efficient people I have ever met (except the one who shot heperin into my goddamned muscle... ow). So it's nothing to do with that. It's all down to the crappy, claustraphobic, boring atmosphere; the lack of choice; and really, just something as simple as people being ill.

I am so goddamned sick of politicians taking a crack at people who work their asses off to take care of other people. No wonder we have so many issues with the health care system in this country.