If you have ever had to spend time in hospital, whether celiac related or not, what did they give you to eat? And most importantly, was it gluten free?
When you are sick, the last thing you need is to be contaminated by non gluten free food. Presumably hospitals have the resources to cater for all kinds of food allergies and intolerances, or at least they should. Hospitals should be a place where celiacs don’t have to worry as they should be surrounded by people who care and understand how important it is for us to stay strictly gluten free.
I am lucky, touch wood, to have never spent extended periods of time in hospital so I don’t have personal experience of eating there. It’s something I’ve often wondered about and after speaking to a friend last week I’m more than a little concerned. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like all hospitals cater for, or even care about, their patients serious dietary requirements.
A scary story (when there is gluten involved it’s always pretty scary!)
A friend recently told me about an experience her celiac mum had when staying overnight at a hospital in the UK. When I first heard what I’m about to tell you I could hardly believe it.
The patient (my friend’s mum) is 80 years old and was just diagnosed with celiac disease a couple of years ago. Last week she suffered a mild heart attack and was forced to spend a couple of days in hospital.
When meal time came the patient was presented with a meal consisting of ground beef and pastry. Gluten alert!! My friend told the nurse her mum was celiac and therefore required a gluten free meal. How was this little detail of her serious autoimmune disorder and her need for a special meal completely glossed over?
They were told that, NO, the hospital don’t have gluten free meals available and this is all they have.Â HRMMM?? This is a hospital! How can they not offer gluten free meals to patients who need them??
It gets worse.
The nurse then said to my friend in relation to her mum eating the gluten filled meal she was given, “But what difference is it really going to make anyway?” Are you kidding me?!?!?!?
So not only did this hospital not have gluten free meals available for celiac patients, the nurse looking after them seemed to think that there is nothing wrong with eating gluten filled pastry when you have celiac disease. Please tell me that this is a unique, dreadful experience and that this kind of attitude isn’t common place! I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this.
How are your experiences of eating at hospital? Were you given a safe, gluten free meal or left to fend for yourself?
Do you think hospitals should offer patients with food allergies/intolerances a safe alternative? If airlines can do it….