What we would say to dietitians if we could

Listen to us and know that one size does not fit all

Be non-judgemental and problem solve with the patient

Remember that we need you badly

You have a lot of power in the hospital

When we understand you,

We appreciate you massively

Test us with food that doesn’t revolt us

No overripe bananas, please

We have nightmares about hospital purees

Some of us are happy to use Fortisip and Ensure

Free food!

Lots of us are revolted by them

Even when tube fed you can taste them in the back of your throat

We’d all prefer natural food

For one it was like eating a bag of lollies

Others struggle with “proving”

Proving they can drink six bottles a day

Our stomachs can play up

Diarrhea, nausea, heartburn

These can be worse with Fortisip

The first one isn’t funny 

Hospital is hard for some of us patients

Nil by mouth in a room with eating patients

No meals or drinks to break up the day

Don’t lose weight, you say! We’ve never heard this before

Explain why we need to keep our weight up

See us before treatment

If we are light we might try to put on weight before treatment

But don’t lecture us too much about calories

We know you have to, but …

We are struggling with taste, texture and swallowing

Be aware of our culture – HNC doesn’t discriminate

We lose our natural hunger signals sometimes

Food becomes a duty

We have ulcers

Mouth and throat surgery or scarring from rads

Dry mouth is a horror show

Radiotherapy burns the lining of our mouth and throat

Anything in the mouth causes pain

Eye-watering pain

But don’t put us on a tube unless we really need it

After treatment our food can get stuck!

Coughing fits

Fear of inhaling

Can  legal cannabis products increase appetite?

Tell the hospital not to give us sandwiches

Not when we are first admitted

Not if we can’t eat properly 

TLC required in massive doses

Some of us are socially isolated

We can’t eat out

Food and drink are core to our social lives

But some of us can’t 

Some of us are elderly and alone

The peg!

How to use it – and a day pack to carry it

We are lucky when a dietitian can help us with our tubes

Some of us can use real food 

Real food to blend and put down our feeding tube

We appreciate this 

But one size doesn’t fit all

Recipes for mince and moist

Recipes for one are hard to get

A big thank you to the dietitians 

The dietitians who play a big part in getting us through

Encourage us to work with you

To problem solve with you

Job satisfaction for you

Happier and healthier patients