Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Unintended Weight-Loss Plan

Since there were no snacks on the ward (see How I Stopped a Stalker for details), the only food I got was what came on my tray three times a day, and a small snack at bedtime  (usually a piece of fruit). These portions I carefully guarded - they weren't much. When I looked around the room, everyone else seemed to have more food, and a greater variety of things. But I was sedated, and didn't feel like complaining.

The nurses weighed me after my first three weeks as part of a general check up. I was pleased to see that I had lost ten pounds. I was getting fit! But they were concerned.

"Are you eating all of your meals?"

"Are you kidding?" I replied. "The food is crap, but I'm hungry all the time."

"We're going to make an appointment with a physician and a dietician to find out what's wrong. This shouldn't be happening, even if you are walking a lot"

"I think I'm just not getting enough food," I said. But procedures had to be followed.

First a doctor gave me a physical, and everything looked fine.

It was many days before I was seen by the dietician.

She showed up with a file. "So, Mr. Stainton, what would you like to see me about today?"

I told her about losing weight, being hungry, and the blandness of the food.

She made some notes, and looked in the file.

"Well according to the doctor, you've been diagnosed with a bit of a heart condition. So this is an appropriate diet; and losing a few pounds through exercise will certainly help."

My mind reeled. I felt dizzy. Suddenly I noticed that my heart DID feel funny. Oh my god.

"Is something wrong?"

"Nobody told me that I had a heart condition," I stammered.

The dietician left the room and went to the nursing station. She returned with a different file.

"I'm sorry. Some files got mixed up. We had you on a strict cardiac diet. We'll give you more and better food now."

After that I ate better, although I wondered if the jolt of that news had given me an actual heart condition.

And I still wonder if there is a cardiac patient out there with the last name Stainton who, for three weeks, ate better than anyobody else on his ward.

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