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Erik had been diagnosed as suffering from a pulmonary disease and was receiving medication.

He
expressed admiration for the hard-working pulmonary care personnel. Erik had also had a peripheral
vascular leg ucler for some time. He had been able to take care of the ulcer himself when at home by
using a special oinment, with good result. On the rehabilitation unit, he particulary felt that the stuff
ignored his personal competance in the care of the ulcer. They did not listen to him at all, even when he
explained that he used a special oinment for healing the ulcer at home. Instead, they simply replaced
the oinment with the other one, which was not effective. This had resulted in a serious setback in the
healing of ulcer. In retrospect, this had not only caused him unneccessary suffering but had also actually
prolonged his hospital stay. The stuff did not allow him to walk to the toilet on his own, althought he
was perfactly capable of managing his own personal hygine. It appears that the stuff had reasoned that
they did not want to trust his own self-reliance because, according to Erik, they considered him to be
just like the other old man in the unit, who were cognitively impaired and usually unable to decide what
was best for them.

During his stay in the unit, Erik shared a double room with a fellow patient who shuffered from dimentia
and with whom there could be no social exchange. Erik was often remainded of and thought about his
situation as a cognitively intact person among of cognitively impaired fellow patients. These patients
received more nursing care than he did and, without other means of communication, he sson realized
that he would be forced to live with people with whom he had no meaning contact. Initially he tried to
speak to them, but he discontinued this quite soon because he found he could not ‘reach them’. Neither
did he expect them to start a conversation and he decided resolutely to be content with the fact that
the only said ‘hello’ back to him. During his stay in the unit, Erik experienced a lack of social exchange
and he felt hurt and very much alone because the stafffailed to talk to him. On the rare occasions when
staff took the initiative actually to approach him, it was usually with regard to the daily routine of the
unit it self. He reasoned that thei behavior was marely the result of having too little time for the patients.
Erik therefore spent more and more of his time being qiute ioslated and he often wondered if the
doorkeeper would talk to him so that he could overcome these increased feelings of being alone.