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!