Heading to the hospital and wondering what you will eat there can be a worry when you're on a special diet. Erin shares her ideas on preparing for this eventuality. Just knowing what you will do can give you peace of mind!
If you have to be in the hospital while on the SCD, the idea can seem daunting at first. But as with traveling, if you do some planning ahead you should be just fine. I have had successful hospital stays while on the SCD to have all three of my children! Here are some thoughts and ideas:
My first concern when going in to have my first son was whether I could handle the glucose mixture in the IV that they routinely start when admitted to the hospital. I realized that since it was just in my bloodstream it would be okay, and handled it just fine. Another interesting thing to note was that because I was on this IV I didn’t end up being as hungry as I imagined I would be!
If you know ahead of time that you will be in the hospital, do some cooking ahead, making meals that can be stored in the freezer either at home for someone to bring for you, or to store in the refrigerator or freezer on the hospital floor where you are staying. I have found the hospitals to be accommodating of my diet each time, and agree to let me keep some food there at the hospital. Ideas: individual servings of meat dishes that can be heated up in a hospital microwave, legal cheese, or SCD yogurt to mix with honey.
Bring along snacks that you can keep in your room, such as legal dried fruit/nut bars, honey packets, nuts, dates, legal juice, etc., along with some plastic flatware and disposable cups, bowls, and napkins. (See our Corner Grocery Store for more ideas...) This might be a good time to order items from Wellbee's (see link below) or Liberated Specialty Foods to make everything easier.
Check to see if legal food items might be available from the hospital kitchen's menu, as well. Some ideas would be eggs cooked in oil only or a hard boiled egg (avoid scrambled eggs as they usually add milk products to them), fresh fruit, and crisp bacon. A dietician on the hospital staff may be able to check with the chef to see if meat options are free of marinades, sugar, powdered spices, spice mixes, injected broth, or other illegals.
If there is a restaurant nearby that serves food you can eat, have a friend or family member order that food for you and bring it by. For example, I enjoyed a Smashburger beef patty with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and grilled onions on top when I was in the hospital having my third boy! (See our restaurant page for more guidance…)
If you are anxious that you might end up in the hospital sometime unexpectedly, you might want to ease your mind by making a list of food you can eat in the hospital, and keeping it in a handy place. Let friends and family know where it is, so if you should ever need it they can bring you what you need and ensure you are served only the food you can eat.