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.