ART JENKINS • Guest Opinion
In my not inconsiderable time spent in an array of Nova Scotia hospitals, the only constant fear common to each, regardless of reason for my being there, was the sound of the dreaded food trolley ambling closer to my room.
Same for my recent stay at New Glasgow’s Aberdeen Hospital.
When presented with a breakfast tray, I knew, from experience, that the familiar small-lidded container contained a glued-together cube of cold oatmeal (that not one of many capable cooks I know could ever duplicate) requiring the assistance of a jackhammer to make edible. I knew the black plastic dome-covered eight-inch chilled plate would most assuredly hold two slices of toast sufficiently moist to be the envy of the aforementioned oatmeal.
So, there it was, saying: “Open me, sucker.”
Having not consumed anything in the past 24 hours, I was willing to force my angst back to a controllable level. I cautiously lifted the lid from the small container. Poof! I quickly returned the top, took a gasp of air and tried again. Yes, it was steam, and the expected blob inside was, in fact, a recognizable portion of oatmeal, hot, white and delicious looking. This was as it should be.
Buoyed by this discovery, I boldly yanked the dome up and there they were. Two obviously homemade, hot puffy round IHOP-enviable pancakes, which I rapidly consumed should someone appear at my room door to retrieve my tray.
Fully sated, I laid back and wondered had something happened to me in the past day to make me delirious? Nope. The next meal outdid the previous. Wow! Homemade bread roll, homemade piping hot, pleasing-to-the-eye large chunks of chicken stew with all the fresh veggies.
How good? God bless my nurse, to whom I had expressed my delight, who found me another bowl. Even the fresh-made Jello was loose and vibrant, not the normal dried-through rubber which sufficed in the past.
So amazed was I with this transformation that, on discharge, I phoned the Aberdeen Kitchen to compliment the staff and was informed they had taken food preparation back in-house and now patients are receiving the best of nutrition, freshly prepared tasty hot meals. A large contribution to the excellent care provided by the whole Aberdeen team.
On behalf, I am sure, of all patients, a large thank you.
Art Jenkins lives in Kings Head.