Morten is the type that uses his words with caution and thoughtfulness, but he also expects the world around him to treat him and his life with the same affection. There was no doubt that this elegant and calm man, that immediately filled the room with a tranquil atmosphere, was filled with passion and opinions. His piercing blue eyes gave one a glimpse of his huge embedded drive to understand the world, and in his situation, his disease down to the very atoms. He was told not to google his condition when he was diagnosed with leukemia in the summer of 2015. Which Morten complied with for about a month but he is by nature drawn to understand and he started to read scholarly articles about what was happening in his body medically.
With a Ph.D. in psychology, he uses his knowledge to unveil the layers of ones’ state of mind in becoming and being critically ill. He feels that talking about death is a taboo in the social rings of the hospital.
Death is a reality and shouldn’t be a taboo.
He felt a need for this topic to surface, but did not feel room for it.
Despite his medical and psychological interest Morten found it hard to be at ease and comfortable at the hospital and tried to be there as little as possible. He got most of his treatments at home where he could spend time with his boyfriend and have a normal day to day that made him feel less sick. Morten mentions that one of the best things about taking the treatment at home is to not constantly be disturbed by small tests or questions. There is an unclear line between being in a private or public domain at the hospital and you are constantly on guard, sometimes even being woken up for further tests. At the hospital he was typically admitted in a two bed rooms, where the privacy was limited. Morten voiced a wish to define a line more clearly where one could signal when one needed privacy and when one was ready for tests and questions.
Morten also elaborated on the feeling of moving around in the hospital:
The hallway is like a public street, so i would always be dressed in my own clothes if i had to move to another room.
We started talking about what kind of room would be worth the travels down the hallway. After a long thoughtful pause he nods and says:
A predictable atmosphere with warmth.
So many things in life are unpredictable and being able to move to a room where you know what to expect would be comfortable. There were two facets or rather levels to his ‘predictable atmosphere’. The first being more transparent between rooms. “In one of the social rooms at the hospital you never knew if there was full or nobody at all.” Another facet to that challenge was when Morten’s family came from far away he never knew if there was room for all of them. So we concluded that there was need for a room that could be booked before hand in a specific period of time for these situations.
‘With warmth’ Morten is referring to being sensitive to cold, which is a very common reaction to chemotherapy. He mentioned that at night before going to bed was an important time to move out of the bed before you have to sleep again. But getting yourself to leave the warm blanket could be a challenge. Here it is important to have a room that radiated warmth with its colors, materials and lights.