Sunday, January 2, 2011

Apropos of nothing in particular but Dismay

Three or four years ago I had my gall bladder removed, which was to be an easy-in, easy-out outpatient procedure. I ended up 3 days in ICU.  I went home with my brother, who had come to stay with me. The next morning, trying to get out of bed, I tore my rotator cuff, and my mobility worsened as days passed. 

My brother had gone back to Florida, and I found myself losing my balance, falling often... and unable to manage working in the kitchen. Social Services was providing a home-care person for OT/PT once a week, and finally they signed me up for Meals on Wheels.

Let me tell you, it was a godsend... until I tried eating them. The meals came frozen, 1 meal a day (kinda), total of a 10 day supply every 2 weeks. (I guess the other 4 days are supposed to be fasting? No lunch, no breakfast?) There was absolutely NO nutritional information on the packages, and even portion names were vague... but I did finally find a phone number on the cardboard box.

I placed a phone call to the outpost who package the meals for several counties; they use local handicapped services (which I thought was wonderful) but they had NO data on nutritional values, as the food comes to them from the USDA (or FDA, I forget now); they merely package it in portions for delivery.

Not only could I not get any nutritional values from them, they could not direct me to anyone who could. I knew just from taste that everything was too high in sodium, but there was little else I could discern. Most of it was tasteless, and totally unappealing or even filling. A single sandwich plateful to feed me for 24 hours. Mystery meat, sometimes but not always labeled 'chicken' or 'beef', and questionable side portions. The single bagged slice of wonder bread was always recognizable. After the second batch of 'meals' was delivered, I decided I'd rather starve so I discontinued the service and asked them to pick up the box of frozen meals.

My point in all this is that we are being sold a Bill of Goods on the National Nutrition Program. If you know someone getting Meals on Wheels, do them a favor and take them a real meal occasionally. The folks who deliver the Meals on Wheels are all Volunteers, and deserve a big hand for their efforts. It is just too bad that in this country where food stamps run rampant, our shut-ins have to eat so poorly.


  1. I've always been absolutely stunned at the inadequacy of our federally administered social services. This just confirms my continuing dismay. I wish I knew someone receiving Meals on Wheels just so I COULD take them a nice hot meal from time to time. But now I wonder if our area even has it.

    {{rolling eyes}}

  2. What started me thinking about that was discussing with a friend who is having to put his mother in a nursing home.

    IF that should happen to me (and it could since I have little Family and far away), my health and well-being would go downhill FAST, because what they will feed me won't be the foods I judge to be good for my health now.

  3. Hate the idea of leaving my garden someday... having to eat commercially prepackaged foods... & the noise! Good lord, I don't know how anyone can live out a year in those places. }=-p

  4. I wonder how many actually don't live out a year, or not much more than that?


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