Every morning I would find him lying on his bed, crying, or talking to himself or to his dead brother. It was obvious that he was in emotional pain. I would greet him with a smile and try to engage him to a few minutes of discussion. I felt that I was comforting him from his thoughts. At the same time, I was actively trying to assess his mood, his flow of thoughts and detect any changes that I had to report to the attending physician.
Afterwards I had to give him the medications and make sure that he would take them. Mr. D had a Foley catheter installed, so that he didn’t have to get out of bed often. It was dangerous for him to get up unassisted, because he could fall, due to orthostatic hypotension. I always checked the catheter to make sure it was in the proper position, avoiding urine retention. Then I would check his temperature, pulse and ask about symptoms such as pain or discomfort at the lower abdomen, to make sure that he did not have a urinary tract infection (Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network 2006). I would also check the intravenous line, observing for signs of thrombophlebitis or skin inflammation at the catheter site.
Afterwards, I would assist him to step on the scales, as I kept a constant watch over his weight, both for nutritional and fluid overload reasons. He would always ask me to help him move around the room, and sometimes it was obvious that he was in pain, mainly due to his severe hip osteoarthritis. He would ask me to hold him as he was standing at the window and stared at the view. At those moments, I couldn’t help thinking how lonely he was and how much pain he must have been experiencing, both emotional and somatic.
I would then help him sit and eat the breakfast, as I was carefully and tactfully checking his room for dangerous items that he might use to hurt himself. I would come back one more time at noon, to check on him and help him eat lunch. I had to make sure that he would eat