Panama 2018: Minga Not Doing Well

Minga is experiencing leg pain severe enough to keep her from walking. I Googled the symptom, and found that it is very common among dialysis patients — etiology unknown, treatment unclear. Hot packs. There are some drug options. A walker might help.  Oddly enough, I don’t recall seeing very many older people in Panama, either the city or rural areas, using walkers, not the way we do here where older people are numerous. But walkers have to be available. Good ones with a seat cost around $125 in the U.S., but I’m sure in Panama they charge much more.

It’s not clear to me, even after talking with Minga, whether the pain is intermittent or present most of the time. But if Minga can’t walk, it’s a real problem. She has to walk to get to and from her dialysis. She also has to walk to keep her bodily systems functioning. Her decline, if she becomes sedentary, will be quick.

Minga wept on the phone, saying that I am like her mother and that all she has to give me in return is her love and her blessings. The words, and her tears, just about undid me.

6 thoughts on “Panama 2018: Minga Not Doing Well

  1. for Ellen: I know you get this at a gut level, from the years you were on aircraft carriers and not able to make it home on the spur of the moment. It is hard. Thank you for caring.

  2. for Linda: Yes, I think so. Trying to find dates. I have a trip there planned in January, as you know, but when I’m in Buenaventura and Minga is mostly in the city I don’t see her much. If I can get there in November, would stay in city and spend time just with her. Leg cramps may be common for dialysis patients, but I also suspect it means her situation is getting worse.

  3. for Phyllis: Thank you. I think Minga is really suffering now. It’s hard to say — and only she can — when the suffering outweighs any joy in life.

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