After he came out of the O.R. following his heart cath procedure, the nurses instructed the Common Household Husband to lie flat and not move his leg for several hours. He was very hungry, since he hadn’t had anything to eat for 20 hours. That was because someone else had come into the cardiac O.R. with a more urgent case, so his procedure got delayed. His was not the only life saved that day.
When he got back to his hospital room, he phoned the hospital kitchen to order some food. He wanted to get finger foods – something not too messy, that he could pick up and eat while lying down. He thought with longing of the tiny bagel the hospital had served him the day before the procedure. He further thought that since he had skipped several meals that day, he could have two of those tiny bagels.
After those thoughts, there followed this surreal conversation with the hospital kitchen staff.
Husband: “I’d like to have two bagels with cream cheese, please.”
Hospital Kitchen Lady: “You can’t have that.”
Husband: “Why not?”
Kitchen Lady: “It has too much salt in it. You have to follow the heart-healthy diet.”
This confused my husband. He had been picking the 'heart-healthy' items on the menus since he arrived at the hospital.
Husband: “But I had a bagel yesterday.”
Kitchen Dragon Lady: “You can’t have a bagel. But you could have a sandwich.”
Husband: “Okay. I’ll take a turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato.”
Dragon Lady: “What kind of bread would you like?”
Husband: “Well…could I get that on a bagel?”
Dragon Lady: “Okay. Is there anything else you want on that?”
My husband was a bit shocked. Didn’t she just say he couldn’t have a bagel? But he thought he saw his chance, and pressed his luck.
Husband: “How about some cream cheese?”
Dragon Lady: “No, you can’t have that.”
My starving husband sighed.
Husband: Well, what can I have?
DL: How about some mandarin oranges?
H: No. I’m lying flat. Mandarin oranges are too messy. I have to have finger food.
DL: How about a banana?
H, breathing a sigh of relief: Yes, I’ll have a banana. Is there anything else you can give me?
DL: I can give you sweet potato chips.
H: Are you telling me you can’t give me cream cheese, but you can give me potato chips?!
H: Fine. I’ll take the chips.
The sandwich was on wheat bread. No bagel for you! No cream cheese for you!