Ok, I have been thinking about this for some time and I have to get this done. I want to say wonderful things about the Sharp experience at the hospital. All of it, is what they said in the commercials. They were fabulous. I definitely got and felt, the SHARP experience.
Their food however was a different experience all together. I have multiple allergies....gluten, (which many of the food staff had no idea what that was) corn (which is in everything including canned FRUIT) and it's byproducts, milk and it's byproducts and my newest major allergy....citrus....heavy sigh. Smaller allergies to bananas, walnuts and other things I would overlook. So I know that I was not the standard "person" to feed.
Knowing that anything they serve is made off the premises is an alert to all, including boiled eggs; scrambled eggs come in a box that have gluten in them. The list goes on and on. How can you serve regular canned fruit to diabetics? (I asked what kind they serve them and they said the same can as other people get..really?) It has tons of corn syrup in it for heavens sake, no diabetic needs that. Hospitals are supposed to be a healing centers.
Even though I tried to work with them on what I could have, they were too far busy to accommodate me properly. I had also notified them of my allergies ahead of time and still usually ended up with something on my plate that I could not have, contaminating the rest of my "meal", which was only fruit or rice made me shake my head. This was absurd to me. I had my sister Eva, go and buy me FOOD so I could eat. Lost a bit of weight though so that was helpful. Not exactly the way I would want to lose weight though.
I would like to see Sharp re-vamp their meals or at least have a sign hung up on the wall in the kitchen saying what gluten free foods others can have. They ALL should be trained about Gluten Free options. How to make sure there is NO contamination or cross-contamination when putting the food together. Out of the hundreds of patients at the hospital, I am sure there are more GF people besides me.
So here is my advice. Have someone (advocate of choice) bring you your food. If you have to be on a liquid diet be sure to tell them it MUST be gluten free at each individual meal. But my advice is to bring some boxed broth and keep it in a cooler by your bed. When you are able to eat regular foods, have your advocate bring one of your pre-made lunches/dinners to you and have them heat them up at the nurses station. Yes, they have plenty to do already but it's not YOUR fault or THEIRS that the facility can't accommodate you. They are usually very willing to do this although you might have to wait a bit if they are busy. Keep some snack bars next to the bed just in case.
I offered to revamp their "gluten free" foods list for them (for free mind you) but I got no response. I don't think that would have cost them much more to accommodate a doable gf menu. We will just have to wait until one of their board members needs a gf menu and complains; then we will probably see changes. I find that's how it sort of works. But hey, I am alive and I can walk pain free again and that's what's important.
I appreciate all the hard work from the Doctors and staff at the hospital, they were great. I cannot say enough good things about them. If this is the only negative thing I could find, I think they are doing well. We all hope that in the future that they will take more into account gluten free patients one hospital at a time. I hope Sharp will be the leader.