My dream chronic illness restaurant
This week I went out for a meal for Mr 18 as it was his special birthday. The night was perfect, the restaurant is a simply local family favourite for soirees of this sort.
Before I was ill I would just select a restaurant for their food and service. I now need so much more from a place than just a full happy tummy and a smile from waiting on staff.
With illness a buzzing social life is not really feasible. I have in many ways become a hermit, I won't deny it. A party to me is a bowl of sweets and a good Netflix line up on Saturday night with a blanket and a boy to snuggle.
It is so lovely though to wear a nice frock and be out, but the thought of sitting at a table for 3 hours leaves me in distress as it is so painful.
After a day of nursing my sore back and exhaustion it left me thinking of ways to make restaurants more spoonie friendly.
I refuse to do an open letter as there are enough Dear him, Dear you, Dear her over there open letters to keep Postman Pat in business for life.
Instead I am doing a "My dream chronic illness restaurant" in a hope that anyone who owns a restaurant may read it and think what a clever thing to know, I will add some of these implementations to my place.
Birthday meals are something to enjoy to the maximum. They are special times when we sit around as a family and share laughter, food and a bottle of fizzy pop (Prosecco) I love getting dressed up pretty and being together but my back always lets me down and I often think our family times like this turn into the Vanessa show.
If I owned a restaurant I would want to make it the best eatery in the world for chronic illness people. These are the people within society that don't get out much so why not make their experience magical?
Here is what I would have in my chronic illness restaurant:
- We offer a specialist booking service to accommodate individual needs. Simple things like knowing prior to arrival that extra space would be needed to accommodate a wheelchair to avoid the drama in front of our guests, special eating requirements etc
- We have a quiet room for people with sensory overload. Guests could reserve this location and have the noise from music and other guests to a minimum.
- Migraine guests could have a selection of lighting options. No bright lights or flickering, no fluorescent lighting.
- We offer a Goldilocks chair service. Every guest needs a chair that is just right for them. Seating is mixed comfort, we have chairs with adapted lumbar support could be offered. We have cushions available for added comfort.
- We offer well ventilated eating areas as many guests have problems with hot and cold flushes.
- There is an option to have food served on a deep edge plate, a suction bottom on the plate, adapted cutlery, cups etc.
- If you they need the meal in smaller pieces for independent eating, we will do this in the kitchens before serving.
- Special diets are not a problem we will tailor our menu to accommodate.
- We offer gluten free bread.
- We offer a variety of dairy free alternatives.
- We offer a hot water bottle service. If you need staff to boil a kettle to reheat your hot water bottle for your back, no problem.
- We have the menu in large print for the ease of reading and also a plain no fuss dyslexia one black ink on white or blue background.
- Our toilets are stocked with vending machines for incontinence pads.
- All our meals come in regular and smaller portion sizes.
- We have mugs of tea available for the non alcoholic drinkers.
- We sell heat patches at the bar.
Wouldn't this be wonderful?
If you can think of any more things that would be useful to us folk please let me know.
My night could have been so much less painful with simple additions. I was lucky as my sister found me a better chair and my niece found me a cushion so this helped a great deal. Prior to this I stood in the toilets after a hour and could have cried. If anyone had watched me they would have thought I was in labour. That is what it feels like the horrendous back pain you get during labour of a child.
Even with the chair and cushion I was thankful to get back home and get some relief.
There is no place like home.