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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:09 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:49 am
Posts: 122
Location: USA
How do you handle food allergies and hospitals? What about with alcohol allergies? Have you ever faced discrimination due to food allergies or food allergies with mental illness?

I know that at the hospitals in my area, some were very good at accommodating food allergies that the mentally ill had, and others were horrible and discriminatory (many anecdotal stories from many different people). And, the hospital nearest me, has a kitchen that closes for the night that makes it dangerous for diabetics/hypo-glycemics with food allergies who need "real" food to really stabilize.

If I ever marry and he wants kids, we'll use a surrogate mom, as I don't dare get pregnant, just in case there is complications. Doctors are just not used to alcohol allergies, and my allergy doesn't result in hives, I actually get the infection. Recently I found out that I have to avoid anything with vinegar in it because even a tiny amount contains too much alcohol for me. :lol:

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Asthma, SHF, GF, EF, Allergic: Meat, Poultry, Laurel, Mustard, Gras, Mallow, Plantain, Flacourtia, Pine family; ETOH, Vinegars, CremeTartar, Cucumbrs, Fenugrk, Most of Lily, Myrtle, Parsley, Nightshade, Composite familys. Pomgrante, Litchi, Starfrt


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6490
Location: Ottawa
I think you really need an advocate when you're in the hospital! That goes for everyone, not just those with chronic conditions.

I'm not a nurse but I suspect that hospitals would feel that they could manage a patients blood sugar with medical intervention (glucose drip/insulin injection etc).

I had to take my daughter in for an anaphylaxic reaction a few years and the Children's hospital was great!

I really suggest contacting your local hospital and findng out what you can expect before an emergency hits. If they don't have a great allergy awareness program for the food service, you can suggest improvements.

For those with uncommon allergies, you might want to make a list of what you can have and include this in your hospital bag. It's difficult to think of these things when you are under stress.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:11 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
Allergic_Vegetarian wrote:
How do you handle food allergies and hospitals?


Some people have said that their hospital used a specific coloured bracelet to identify allergies.

When my daughter was at emerg for anaphylaxis, a meal was requested free of her allergens but it had two of them - one was obvious and when I went to tell the nurse she realized that there was a hidden allergen as well. The hospital gave us a voucher to use in the cafeteria but hard to find food there too.

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me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:49 am
Posts: 122
Location: USA
They have the colored bracelets here too, but if your food allergy list is too long or includes rare foods, they tend to not take you seriously, but that might have changed now (at the hospital I'm thinking of.) My sister agreed to advocate for me. But, my doctors recommended that I avoid hospitals. :rofl 12 years and going strong. :D

It is funny how so many hospitals and people think that low blood sugar just requires glucose. In my case, glucose is only a temporary fix and I still need to get "real" food in a short amount of time, or my body stays out of whack, and I tend to fall over sideways. :rofl

The cafeteria: :rofl :frightened Everything contains Onion, Meat, Poultry or Gluten. I'm not sure, but I think even their salads contain cabbage. :rofl

I should really go and update my info on what the local hospital does currently. They can't get any worse, which means they can only improve. :D

_________________
Asthma, SHF, GF, EF, Allergic: Meat, Poultry, Laurel, Mustard, Gras, Mallow, Plantain, Flacourtia, Pine family; ETOH, Vinegars, CremeTartar, Cucumbrs, Fenugrk, Most of Lily, Myrtle, Parsley, Nightshade, Composite familys. Pomgrante, Litchi, Starfrt


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:30 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6490
Location: Ottawa
I have a hosptial bag form my daughter (most of her allergies were from dh or I feeding her...)
-huge receiving blanket (comfort and to protect her from surfaces)
-books, toys, crayon and paper for her
-book, pad of paper and a pen for me (I make significant event audit type notes while it's fresh in my mind, as well as writing down notes from the Dr's)
-water, chapstick etc
-sweater for me-why are hospitals so cold???
-can opener-because sometimes the cafeteria is closed and then dh has to go and get something for dd to eat. She has snacked on crackers, cherry tomatoes and canned ham. It might not be the best meal but in a pinch, it'll do!

Can you make a hsopital bag? What would you put in it?

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:49 am
Posts: 122
Location: USA
My hospital bag:
:rofl alcohol free, scent free lotion I can afford. (See uber expensive shea butter that is not affordable)
Laptop
Thai GF Rice Noodles (soaks in hot water for 10 minutes to cook)

Ready-to-eat Salmon packs (if I can find vegetable broth free salmon packs; kirkland brand possibly)
OR Soy Protein powder, and just mix in the soysilk.

can opener
Bragg's Liquid Amino (and I'd put it in my lunch bag.)
Lunch bag with blue ice
Spices mix (ginger, nutmeg, sweet basil)
kosher sea salt
tellicherry black pepper (luxury item)
fresh or canned spinach (super food, fresh is best)
baby sweet bell peppers
roma tomatoes
mushrooms (whole, keeps better)
Nori (great for B vitamins)
Rice Chex (GF, and have not had issues with cross-contamination with cinnamon yet.)
Soysilk
bottled water (I can't stand city water's taste, its me.)
allergy free personal products
Graph paper
Mechanical Pencil
large ziploc plastic containers
Black insulated bag
Hot/Cold First Aid bags (I'd nuke them to get them hot and then put in insulated bag for keeping the water hot when soaking the noodles).
Tostito's Corn chips


However, in the Mental Health ward:
You aren't allowed to bring in anything because it could be a "suicide" item. And, anything they keep for you in the fridge is likely to be stolen. Those who work with the mentally ill encourage them to have on their medical alert plan instructions to take them to Riverwind and NOT the hospital, where I live if they have the wrong food allergies.

If I had a food dehydrator (I'm saving for one), I'd dehydrate my veggies and bring them.

_________________
Asthma, SHF, GF, EF, Allergic: Meat, Poultry, Laurel, Mustard, Gras, Mallow, Plantain, Flacourtia, Pine family; ETOH, Vinegars, CremeTartar, Cucumbrs, Fenugrk, Most of Lily, Myrtle, Parsley, Nightshade, Composite familys. Pomgrante, Litchi, Starfrt


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:23 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:55 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Quispamsis NB
Being in the hospital either as a room patient or out patient is challenging. While in out patients (emergency dept) for many hours they brought me a meal tray. Tried to explain to nurse I could eat or drink nothing from the tray due to my ana allergies. On meds that will block the epi-pen too. She could not grasp it. What is wrong with an apple or tea? Cross contamination in the kitchen where they prepare seafood chowders etc. and a smidgen on the outside of that apple of on the tea bag or tea pot could do me in. Same problem in my room after stents put in coronary artery. Not only did they not grasp the problem in the cardiac ward but the tray they brought me was ladden with fat....meat, cheese, gravy etc. Hubby brought my food in for me and a snack and a nurse tried to take my snack away because it had salt on it. Re: my heart procedure. I refused to give it to her stating why should I when you fed me fatty foods right after my procedure and this is the cardiac ward. Her answer.....We have no control over what is sent up unless it is a diabetic diet. So there you go....No control within the hospitals. I even told the nurses it was "their own Dietician in their hospital" that told me to stay away from the restaurant, cafe and hospital kitchen at all cost due to cross contamination. Now I have the protein in steam issue to deal with. Another story. You would think that all medical staff would have proper knowledge of our anaphylaxis needs - after all - it is 2012 not 1930. Sorry this is so lengthy but my dander got back up when I read the title of this thread and just had to vent. :verymad

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Sue
Adult on-set anaphylaxis - penicillin, shellfish, crustaceans


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:49 am
Posts: 122
Location: USA
susieQ: I am outraged that in the Cardiac Ward, the diet is heart killer. They should know better! Hospitals should feed their patients healthier meals regardless of what ward they are in. I'm glad your husband was able to bring food in to you. I didn't have that luxury.

I see that this issue is more wide spread then I thought. I think it is time we pushed for changes in law all across the world to make Hospital staff Allergy aware. And, we need the kitchen staff to be trained in how to cook for those of us with allergies, how to avoid cross-contamination, and how to provide nutritious meals to all people in hospitals regardless of what they are in the hospital for. It is sad that in North America, the rule is ignorance of: nutrition, proper diet, allergy aware, and cross-contamination issues. You would think that they would know better with all we know about nutrition and allergies.

_________________
Asthma, SHF, GF, EF, Allergic: Meat, Poultry, Laurel, Mustard, Gras, Mallow, Plantain, Flacourtia, Pine family; ETOH, Vinegars, CremeTartar, Cucumbrs, Fenugrk, Most of Lily, Myrtle, Parsley, Nightshade, Composite familys. Pomgrante, Litchi, Starfrt


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 932
Location: Oakville, Ontario
When our son was hospitalized for a few days when he was 18 months old due to a virus, he could not eat any of the hospital food either... it was during SARS in 2003 (remember that??) and only my husband or I could be with our son, but the hospital allowed one of us to bring in food from home. I could not believe that we are in a hospital, surrounded by all this medical staff, and there was no safe food for our son to eat!! We were very new to food allergies... only 6 months since diagnosis, so it was a very scary eye-opener that, here we were, in a medical facility, and our son wasn't safe to eat. It all worked out in terms of bringing in food, but I certainly never expected that situation...

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, peas, carrots, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:49 am
Posts: 122
Location: USA
Update: Due to a new Federal Law (USA) that got passed a while ago (the one that requires Emergency Rooms to feed their patients within 3 hours) had a very positive effect on Kitchens in Hospitals - they now have to be open 24 hours a day. And, the one nearest me, has a new food service that is much better and more accommodating.

Because I had an unexpected overnight stay (they didn't keep the catheter in long enough), and had just had my appendix removed, and one tube removed I didn't dare eat much for breakfast except plain Rice noodles. The portion serving was small. However, you can get whatever they have in stock served to you. I had no adverse reactions to the food. I also was dismissed in time to eat lunch elsewhere.

_________________
Asthma, SHF, GF, EF, Allergic: Meat, Poultry, Laurel, Mustard, Gras, Mallow, Plantain, Flacourtia, Pine family; ETOH, Vinegars, CremeTartar, Cucumbrs, Fenugrk, Most of Lily, Myrtle, Parsley, Nightshade, Composite familys. Pomgrante, Litchi, Starfrt


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6490
Location: Ottawa
Wow, that's a big change from when you first posted this thread.
Glad to hear that you are out of the hospital and that everything went well. :D

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:49 am
Posts: 122
Location: USA
_Susan_ wrote:
Wow, that's a big change from when you first posted this thread.
Glad to hear that you are out of the hospital and that everything went well. :D


Thanks! Thanks also goes to the wonderful people at AFAA and everyone else who helped lobby for changes. :thanksign

_________________
Asthma, SHF, GF, EF, Allergic: Meat, Poultry, Laurel, Mustard, Gras, Mallow, Plantain, Flacourtia, Pine family; ETOH, Vinegars, CremeTartar, Cucumbrs, Fenugrk, Most of Lily, Myrtle, Parsley, Nightshade, Composite familys. Pomgrante, Litchi, Starfrt


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