Archive for Food

In Hospice, MAC Isn’t About Comfort Food

Mac & Cheese is comfort food, but sometimes . . .

While discussing a new admission, the hospice medical director reminded the patient’s nurse to get a mac.

The nurse immediately nodded. Complete agreement.

A mac? What did the doctor mean? They couldn’t mean a Macintosh computer from Apple, could they? That didn’t make sense. But thoughts of digital apples made me think about real food . . . did they mean Mac & Cheese? Though not a big fan of that packaged pasta and cheese, it is one of my wife’s favorite comfort foods.

My food wondering continued. What about a “Big Mac?” Could the doctor have been recommending a fast food burger? (When younger, I loved McDonald’s flagship burger. The Big Mac debuted, with fanfare and a high calorie count, around the time I started college. If I could scrape together a few extra quarters, I’d always go for the extra all-beef patty and special sauce!)

But we hospice professionals couldn’t have been talking meal deals . . . right?

Ever ignorant, I asked the doctor, “What is a ‘mac?’” Read More →

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Food Matters for Hospice Patients

DietDuring patient care meetings, a hospice nurse would report that a patient had started on “a mechanical soft diet.”

What was that?

My serious side guessed something happened to the food for easier swallowing and digesting. But I confess to imagining expensive equipment—with complex moving parts—processing a meal before it arrived on the patient’s plate. Maybe the food was delivered from a secret laboratory to the patient’s home?

Don’t astronauts require special preparation and packaging for dining in space? The U.S. military has the MRE—Meals Ready to Eat—for troops in locations without portable or permanent mess halls. I’ve hiked with freeze-dried food stashed in my pack. Whether orbiting the earth or exploring wilderness, weren’t some “mechanical” steps taken to create those meals?

I asked a nurse.

She explained, “It’s when the food is cut into small, bite-sized pieces.” Read More →

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