Panama 2017: Minga Not Doing Well

Minga is not doing well; the indications of her kidney disease have spiked. Lily has taken over her trips to the nephrologist, as Rufina is herself having some health problems. In the doctor’s office Minga is subdued and compliant when advised about her medications and diet, but once home she has become cranky about all the expectations of what she will drink and eat and do or not do. I think eating salad with a bit of fish on the side is wearing thin. She’s beginning to have itchy skin, which is a sign that her kidneys are not clearing toxins from her system. She has to take a lot of pills, and drink a lot of water — easier now than back in the day when she had to carry water from the pump, but still drinking water a lot is not something they are used to doing. The nephrologist told her not to catch a cold, and if she does, not to take any cold medications. “Don’t catch a cold” is hardly within her power to control.

I’m wondering about Minga’s spirits. She doesn’t see or hear well. It’s rainy season, and she can’t walk very far any more anyway — trips to the casino are a thing of the past. She can’t even walk down the road to see her friend Bella, or walk to church or to visit Rufina on the other side of the highway. Naty, who lives at the side of Minga’s house is 13 and no doubt doing what 13 year old girls do — which may mean spending less time with Minga. The grandkids who used to buzz in and out all day long are now young adults, with lives of their own and sometimes babies to care for. The next gen are too young to come by on their own. There’s nothing to do in the village, nothing to encourage socialization or help older people find companionship and a renewed sense of meaning.

I may have to make a short trip there before January.

5 thoughts on “Panama 2017: Minga Not Doing Well

  1. Sorry to hear this sad news. I agree that you should not wait to see her.. Her passing will be very difficult for you.

  2. for Linda: I think her getting the symptom of itchy skin is not a good sign — means her disease is more advanced.

  3. for Katie: I wish I had a better reading on how she is doing. But, I know very little about the progression of kidney disease, so might not recognize worrisome symptoms as I saw them. I do think Rufina’s illness and lessened ability to visit Minga on a daily basis has taken a toll.

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