• Why am I on crutches?

    It’s been 9 days since I fell off my bicycle fracturing my pelvis in multiple places. I know more about pelvic bones than I ever really wanted to know! I’m mostly using a walker though have learned how to use these lovely crutches.

    What is the prognosis?
    I saw the orthopedic doctor today and here’s the good news: it’s a common fracture, it doesn’t require surgery (I knew that already), it hurts like h-e-double-toothpick (how corny!), I can’t hurt myself by putting weight on my legs, I should be up and around walking on my own within a few weeks if not sooner.

    How have I managed to eat safely while in the hospital and also while recuperating at home?
    I was in the ER for 15 hours before they admitted me. While waiting for x-rays, CAT scan, consults with attending physicians, interns, residents, orthopedic surgeons etc., I got hungry. My daughter and her husband went to Shaw’s (nearby grocery store) and bought Cedar’s hummus, baby carrots, vacuum-packed (I think Hormel) roasted turkey breast, and corn thins. Peter and I “feasted” on this for the better part of the time in the ER.

    They admitted me and I sent Peter home to get a good nights’ sleep. Upon his return, he brought he some other goodies from home (I totally am blanking, but needless to say, it was safe).

    How did the hospital deal with Celiac?
    Here we are, folks, September 2008, and most healthcare professionals still don’t have a clue. Amazing. They’ve sort of heard of it, but still don’t really know what it is or how to deal with it. The “catering” staff (aka hospital dieticians) sent a printed gluten free menu up to my hospital room. When I saw that, I thought, how cool, I’m home safe. But upon closer inspection of the menu, you could tell that they’re still in the dark ages. I can’t remember the specifics, I just remember thinking they still don’t get it.

    Did anything specific happen to cause me to be distrustful of the food?
    I was brought scrambled eggs for breakfast. I asked the young man who brought them to me whether they were from real eggs or not. That was my first mistake. I should’ve gone right to the top to find out. He assured me they were from real eggs. I asked him to call the kitchen and make sure. He walked out of the room and came back in five seconds later. I know he didn’t call. He just pretended to. And he returned to tell me that yes, the scrambled eggs on my plate were made from real eggs. He left and I then asked the nurse to find out for me. She sat right down in my room, called the kitchen and found out that they weren’t real eggs (they were from a carton) and then ordered two hard-boiled eggs instead. The kitchen couldn’t guarantee whether the scrambled eggs were gluten free. When the young man returned to give me my two hard-boiled eggs, I wagged a finger and said “you fibbed to me”. He swore up and down the pike that he didn’t, but I already knew better.

    Bottom line: always check and doublecheck, go to the person who you know will give you the right answer, make sure someone in your family or circle of friends can bring you gluten free food while you’re in the hospital, unless you’re absolutely certain that what they serve you will be safe.

    What did I do when I got home? Did I cook?
    I came home from the hospital on Tuesday, late afternoon. The next morning, Peter made me scrambled eggs at my request. I asked him to sprinkle a teaspoon of flaxseeds over the finished eggs. When he brought them to me, you couldn’t see the eggs for the flaxseeds. It snowed heavily. Flaxseeds on my eggs.

    Thankfully, we have a very loving circle of friends who came to the rescue. Each of them lives in a gluten free house and so we knew that the food they were bringing us would be safe to eat. Peter was completely focused on helping me with getting in and out of bed, up and down stairs, going to the bathroom, showering (he literally carries me into the shower, plops me down on a plastic shower bench, and stays in there with me, since I can’t really stand without my walker and I can’t fit my walker in the shower stall). He’s been able to make me breakfast and lunch, and in a pinch could make dinner, but we’ve had dinner brought to us every single day since the accident.

    When will I be able to get back into the kitchen?
    Hopefully within a week or so. Meanwhile, I just stand on my walker in the kitchen and boss Peter around:). Only kidding. Sort of.

    Any final thoughts?
    If you eat gluten free, you need to have an emergency plan. Even if it’s just a list of foods that friends and family can bring to you as needed. Make the list and post it somewhere, maybe inside a kitchen cabinet. Of course, that presumes that you’ll either remember where it is or make sure that someone in your family knows where it is. Already prepared foods that you know are gluten free would be ideal, like the foods I mentioned above (hummus, baby carrots etc.). It would also help to speak to friends and family in advance – people who you know can prepare food for you in an emergency.

    Any final final thoughts?
    Don’t fall off your bicycle!
    • Betty Jo

      I zipped by for a moment yesterday and read of your accident. I’m so sorry but glad you are doing as well as you are. I wondered what on earth you did in the hospital. Thanks so much for sharing this as it was very helpful. I hope you continue on to a speedy and complete recovery. xoxo

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the Hospital info.-never
      know when it could be needed. Your
      husband sounds like he is really trying to be a big help for you. What
      a sweetie. :) Glad nothing is broken
      -know it still hurts- I hair-lined
      fractured my elbow (yep in a bike
      accident yrs. ago) and took a good
      while to work it out. Hang in their.
      Be careful while your healing.
      Take Care,Eileen

    • Diane-The Whole Gang

      You are one strong woman. That is really great advice about the emergency plan and list of foods. Even something as minor as getting sick at home and not being able to cook for yourself to something very significant like what happened to you. It’s truly amazing that hospitals just don’t get the whole food intolerance thing. You really need to look out for yourself and it sounds like you were on top of it. With all of the information given out when someone first finds out they now need to eat a different way and avoid gluten they never give out the great advice you have. It should be included somewhere along the way. Thank you for making that point. I am off to my kitchen to make my emergency list!

    • ByTheBay

      I’m so sorry about your accident, Ellen. Glad to see you are up and getting around, if not easily. A refua shleima – Many best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    • Kaz from Worcester Love

      Yes. Thanks for the reminder- hospital food can kill you! >:-(

      Sorry about your accident. I hope you have a speedy recovery.

    • jill elise

      UGH I know just how you feel. I got in a bike-bike accident and spent 5 days in the hospital, and despite actually meeting and talking to face-to-face with the dietitian, still was served things like pancakes and cream of wheat for my meals. You’re lucky though, my bike accident has me on crutches for 3 months and then I have to get a cane, and I had to have surgery, I hope you have a much faster recovery than I am having!

    • hollygee

      Hi,
      I wanted to tell you to use caution on the deli roast turkey. Many producers use a baste that includes gluten, so make sure that the turkey is only turkey.

      I know just what you mean about the hospital kitchen not getting gluten. I was given Cream of Wheat in the hospital!

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Betty – I managed in the hospital, mostly due to being alert enough to ask my daughter and husband to get food for me outside of the hospital. Thank you for your good wishes for my health!

      Eileen – Peter (husband) is a major sweetie! He has been nursing all parts of me including my fractured pelvis and my slightly wounded spirit. But I’m rarin’ to go and can’t wait until I’ll be up and around which should be soon according to the doc.

      Diane – good luck with your emergency list. And you’re right, best to think of it before you need it!

      bythebay – thank you for your good wishes! They all seem to be helping and I am so grateful!

      kaz – thank you also for your good wishes! Are you from Worcester, MA?

      Jill – oh boy, sounds like we’re in similar boats, though your injuries sound like they’re more extensive and for that I am so sorry. Please email me privately at birdwoman5151 AT yahoo DOT com and we can commiserate!

    • Li loves David

      Great tips for the hospital. Scary that those people are responsible for our well-being. Hard-boiled eggs – how long before they find a way to slip gluten into those? LOL!

      Glad to hear you are in good spirits and that you have a good recovery plan!

    • I Am Gluten Free

      I imagine gluten could be injected into those little eggs without nary a person noticing. But would they do something so evil? Oy…..

      Thanks for your good wishes, Li!

      ~Ellen

    • Spelling Mistakes

      feel better dear!

    • Kate

      OMGOSH!

      I SO hope you are feeling back to your old self (or should I say YOUNG self!) soon!!!

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