Panama 2018: Minga at the Mall

Yes, you read that correctly. After dialysis, which now ends around 10am if Minga gets there in time to be among the first group hooked up, Lily asked her grandmother if she wanted to go back to Ana’s to rest or should they go to the mall. Minga, to my utter astonishment, chose the mall. 🙂 All the Christmas decorations are up, and Lily says Minga loved them.

As long as she’s in the wheel chair Minga can’t travel by bus. Lily has Uber, and Ana takes her to and from the hospital in a taxi — more expensive, for sure. Raul and Angel get Minga in the taxi, and Ana says there are always people hanging around the entrance of the hospital to help on that end. On Thursday morning a couple of the young men offered.  That is part of the culture; no well-raised younger person would ignore an older woman who needed help getting out of a taxi and into her wheel chair.

Many of you have asked if we know any more about Minga’s leg pain. The answer is no. She had the xray on Wednesday, and it will indeed take 10 days for the results. Minga has seen a variety of doctors, and opinions are conflicted. One nephrologist said emphatically that the leg pain is not a side complication of dialysis. Another said equally emphatically that it is. Everyone she’s seen seems to want her to get up and walk and not become dependent on the wheel chair, although no one seems to  be able to tell her how to do that when the calf hurts too much to support her weight.

I told Minga I’m coming on November 13, and that we’ll have a week together. She said that I have taught her that she is a strong woman and it’s OK to stick up for herself and say what she wants. I think that’s about her move to Ana’s, and her insistence on staying there despite differing opinions among some of her adult daughters about where she should live. I’ve known Minga for a long time, and I think she’s a strong woman who has always stood up for herself, at least with men.

Ana was on the WhatsApp call, and I said I am very grateful for the care she is giving her mother, even as I know how hard it is. Ana is a lovely soul. She said this is her mother, and she will care for her as long as it takes.

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