* * Anonymous Doc: A Hamburger, Fries, and a Heart Attack

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Hamburger, Fries, and a Heart Attack

I stop in to check on one of my patients in the hospital.

"How are you feeling this morning?"


"Well, that's terrific.  You're in good spirits, for sure."

"The surgery team just came in and told me to eat whatever I want!  They said I should have someone bring me a burger and fries!  Can you bring me a burger and fries?"

"I can't at 8 in the morning... but also I'm not sure I should... or that anyone should.  You're sure they said burger and fries?"

"They said I needed more calories!"

"Right, but you don't need the salt and the fat... maybe they could get you some more Ensure?"

"That stuff is nasty."

"Maybe, but I don't know if they were looking at the whole picture.  Burger and fries may have just been their way of saying you need more nutrition.  I can take a look in the system at your labs and give the surgeon a call to check in...."

"Are you ruining my good news?"

"I think I might be.  I just don't want to see anything go wrong from a cardiac perspective.  I know the surgery team wants you strong for the procedure, but I'm just not sure those are the perfect dietary choices.  Besides, have you had a hamburger from the cafeteria?  They don't look good."

"I didn't want one from the cafeteria.  There's a McDonald's like three blocks away."

"I know.  And that's probably even worse."

"You are spoiling this great day, doc."

"I don't want to spoil it.  But I also want to make sure we don't inadvertently cause any problems.  I'll talk to your cardiologist and see if he can connect with the surgery team and make sure everyone's on the same page.  If they're cool with the burger-- I'll see what I can do."

"Bacon cheeseburger?"


"Worth a try though, right?"



  1. How about Chinese food, a lot of nutrition, but low calories...haha

  2. When I was on my CT surgery rotation, I routinely saw post-cabg patients eating ice cream with (their unhealthy) lunch while still in the hospital post-op. I was shocked.