As I recently spent two days and one night (all expenses paid by the Alberta tax-payer) in the Foothills Hospital here in beautiful Calgary I thought the least I could do was offer a review of this charming get-away.
When my appendix first started to pain me I gave careful consideration to which of Calgary’s hospitals I should like to have my patronage, and quickly decided that for central location and quality of view the Peter Lougheed hospital could be ruled out. That of course leaves Rockyview hospital and Foothills Hospital. As my appendix attack took place at work and Foothills is very near to both work and my home I decided it must be the winner.
The emergency reception area was quite well decorated and finely appointed with leatherette chairs and a motley assortment of other admittees to add to the hospital ambiance. One large television was present and fixed on Global. I should have prefered CTV but all in all it was an excellent room in which to pass the agonizing time during and after my abdominal rupture.
The nurse at admissions was helpful and friendly, and asked me to wait for testing in such a polite manner that I looked forward to the wait. After much poking and prodding it was determined that I would be ending the night like a bad edition of Shakespeare… sans appendix.
After a quick prep and little ado I was out and under, by morning I was resting in my common room with three other unfortunates in unit 102 of the hospital. Soon those warrior women of the Fighting 102nd were bustling around with food, drink, and pain pills. My first breakfast consisted of a mediocre ice water with a straw. I sipped it slowly at first letting the water play around the palette but alas it was simply too pedestrian a choice. My nurse quickly followed it with a Canada Dry Club Soda however which was a more bold choice and left an effervescent finish.
By noon I was ready for my first post surgery repast, which consisted of the unlikely pairing of chicken barley soup, cut pineapple pieces and a cup of tea. While the food was hearty and nourishing there was something in the pairing which neared, but did not achieve, it’s full culinary potential. For wine pairing I suppose a Riesling would be about the only choice considering the pineapple.
There was no dinner as I had blood tests to be done in the night so my next opportunity was once Breakfast came on the second day. It consisted of:
Plain Boiled Oats
Cup of Coffee
Cup of Milk
Cup of Juice
Now here is where I take issue with the menu. A blueberry muffin with blueberry jam? Why not send me marmalade for goodness sakes, what a pairing blueberry goes with… blueberry. The muffins were by no means exceptional muffins (like these, my favs) but a little thought on the chef’s part would have taken them from drab to fab in no time. The sharp cheddar cheese slice was a fine compliment to the fruit but there was no helping the boiled oats. The juice was apple so I can’t even recommend a nice champagne to go with the juice.
After the breakfast I was more motivated than ever to set myself free from this epicurean purgatory, and resolved to appeal to my captors for an early release. The maitre d’ however insisted that I sit for lunch at the least, and as such I did.
A fine lunch consisted of a turkey sandwich, a bowl of creme of broccoli soup, and a side salad. Now at the time I was thinking Chardonnay but if you could only afford corkage on one bottle for your stay I would recommend a Riesling which would have paired with both meals.
After my release, I returned home to Ms. Livingstone’s fine scallops in black bean sauce. I would have paired this with a Chablis had the pharmesist not informed me that any consumption of alcohol while on my antibiotics would immediately turn me into the Trevi Fountain of regurgitation. Fortunately, I am not off of my medication, and it is back to business as usual.
On a serious note, the men and women at the hospital did a great job on my emergency surgery and I want to thank them all for the care and attention I received while I was there. Calgary has a fine medical facility in the Foothills and I am very grateful they were there in my hour of need.