Email Gluten-free is Life

Gluten-free in a Hospital

This past week we had an unexpected trip to the hospital.  Hannah fell while playing outside in flip flops and ended up breaking her arm in 2 different places.  She had to have surgery on Thursday and 3 pins put in to help her arm heal.  Check out the before X-ray below.


If there had been any doubt in our minds, and there hadn’t been, there certainly wasn’t after seeing this.  The after picture with the pins:


She is now in a cast and sling for the next 4 weeks.  At least we already got our vacation out of the way earlier in June. 

While we were at the hospital, I needed to eat several meals.  My first trip to the cafeteria proved to be sufficient, as I was a basket case and wasn’t able to eat much.  There was a corner that said “Gluten-Free Zone”, but was poorly stocked with a few Schar cookies and a single NuGo Bar.  There was a board that advertised gluten-free bread, bagels, etc upon request, so I set off to investigate.  Turns out all they had was a couple of frozen chocolate muffins that were more like a dessert than breakfast or lunch.  I have to tell you that I was a little disappointed in this, as why bother advertising a “Gluten-Free Zone” and the above mentioned items if you don’t stock them?  There were other gluten-free items such as Rice Chex, fresh fruit, peanut butter, eggs, etc.  I picked up the one only NuGo Bar, a very green banana, coffee and Rice Chex. 


I tossed the bar in my purse for emergency purposes.  I normally keep my LaraBars or Luna Protein Bars in my purse for times like this, but had removed them so they wouldn’t melt in the heat.  Figures, right? 

Lunch time rolled around and Hannah was in surgery.  Though I wasn’t hungry, I knew that I needed to eat.  I once again headed to the cafeteria.  The bar was my back up, as I wanted something “real” if I could find it.  I ended up getting a baked sweet potato and salad from the salad bar.  They had a lot of options on the salad bar, but I stuck with the ingredients that weren’t close to any gluten ingredients.  I looked for yogurt, but they only had Dannon and Dannon doesn’t claim any of their yogurt is GF except the plain.  I stuck with my salad & potato and Diet Dr. Pepper.  I don’t normally drink pop (soda), but I was tired of coffee and they didn’t have caffeine IVs offered on the menu. 

Since the fall happened at 8:30 PM, we were up all night and surgery wasn’t until 11 AM the following day.  It was some bizarre miracle that I was still functioning at this point.  I snacked on some Sour Skittles to keep my mind off of Hannah being in surgery – another rockin’ choice, right? 

Good news is that we are home now.  Hannah is still in a lot of pain, but improving slowly.  We got her hair cut yesterday so that taking care of it would be easier, as she can’t get the cast wet at all. 


On another note, it was so hard to not break down in front of Hannah.  I was terrified for her, but couldn’t let her see that.  As soon as they wheeled her back for surgery, I broke down.  The staff was wonderful on keeping us posted about Hannah’s progress and taking care of her.  I just wanted to take the pain away from her. 

Now we are playing lots of board game and watching movies.  Found out one of Hannah’s good friends had broken both of her wrists recently and is also incapacitated, so they can spend some time together & commiserate. 

16 comments to Gluten-free in a Hospital

  • I'm so sorry about Hannah and pray she has a speedy recovery!

  • Lisa

    Wishes and hopes for a speedy recovery for Miss Hannah!!!

  • I know how scary that can be! Hope she gets better soon!

    • gfreeislife

      Thank you! She is slowly feeling less pain. As if being in a cast isn't bad enough, but to be in so much pain. I just ache for her!

  • Oh, it's so tough when our kids get hurt! I'm so sorry she's in pain, too, and is going through it all. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way.

    BTW, the hospital food here is abyssmal for the gluten free. I've survived on chips and candy bars in the past. But like you said, when you're upset, you're not that hungry. Sometimes that's a blessing.

    Hugs to Hannah and you all,

  • Donna

    Life simply stops when our kids are hurt or sick. Said a prayer for Hannah today. Hang in there!

  • gfreeislife


    Thank you so much! Sorry to hear that your daughter went through the same thing!


  • Bonnie

    It's not easy for a mom to watch her daughter go through any kind of illness or surgery. My daughter had surgery last October to remove a very large cyst on her right ovary as well as her appendix. After one week in the hospital she came home but a few days later ended up back in the hospital with an infection (this hospital was one closer to home). Both hospitals were awful in the food they served my daughter who has Celiac Disease. I had to monitor what they brought her every meal. I was shocked that they just did not understand GF! When she ended up in the hosptial the second time I stocked her room with GF foods but still monitored what was brought to her. It's outrageous.

    • gfreeislife


      Sorry you had a hard time when your daughter was in the hospital! Food should be the last concern when a loved one is sick or injured.


  • Hi Kimberly,

    I'm so sorry to hear that Hannah broke her arm! I can completely relate as my husband broke his hip and needed three pins in it as well. You are right — the hospital is not the place to be gluten-free. My hubby is vegetarian and sometimes they had no meals for him. Seriously? How about a baked potato and salad?? Luckily I had some frozen homemade veggie chili that I warmed up and put in a thermos. I wound up eating the two Larabars I carry around in my purse. You would think a hospital would have more healthy food options. Anyway, hopefully you can relax a bit now, an Hannah is finding ways to enjoy the summer. Take care — Tina.

  • Christy

    Prayers for a speedy recovery!! Poor baby!

Leave a Reply