Panama November 2018: Dialysis

Ana was up at 2:30am on Thursday to get Minga ready for dialysis, and Miley ready for school, and Raul ready for work. This is one hard working woman.

She and Minga got to the hospital at 5am, which was fortunate and meant Minga got to be called first from among the 6a.m. group. The dialysis unit had an unexpected number of bedridden and hospitalized patients who were brought over from the main building, and not every outpatient assigned to the 6am cohort got to go in. When we left around 10:30am, some from Minga’s group were yet to be brought in to the dialysis suite and hooked up — even ones who got there shortly after Minga at 5a.m..

We expected her to be done around 9:30am, but there are 30 patients at a time in the dialysis suite. The bedridden people had apparently been hooked up first, and were unhooked first as well. Hence our late departure.

Here are some pics of the dialysis experience, which is still very hard for those undergoing treatment and for family members who support them. Later in the day, while waiting for our Uber to go home from the mall, Minga told me she is grateful to God that she is alive, and grateful to Ana and Raul and her other family members for their care. The only thing she wishes is that God would take away this illness and let her go home. She knows that is not going to happen, but it’s what she prays for every day.

Waiting for Uber.

Chilled in 85 degree weather.

Selling lottery tickets.

Saying good bye.

Post-dialysis snack.

After dialysis.

Guy in white shirt fancies Minga.

Supplies going in.

Patients go in and out.

Ana, Lily, Gloria.

Where everyone waits.

Elevator lady.


8 thoughts on “Panama November 2018: Dialysis

  1. Great that Minga had a cadre of family and friends to go with her yesterday! And what does she have to say about the white shirt man?

  2. Strange – while typing the above note, a voice started reading aloud your post and my response! I don’t have anything voice-activated on my computer. Do you? Also, was that a TV on the wall in the hallway where they wait?

  3. Dear Pam…I love reading all of your amazing posts and learning about you have been up to. As always, the time goes and goes. This summer Mary Ellen’s father died (he was 100 and an amazing man and ready to go) and shortly thereafter my mother fell and broke her hip and shoulder. As you know my, mother is a challenge on a good day but this has been almost unbearable and family dysfunction has risen to new heights if that is even possible!

    Anyway, I have read with great interest about your move and all the other interesting things you are doing (as well as the fall and knee injury…ugh!) But as always, my work and the kids keep me churning in a whirl of responsibilities and simply trying to continue to make a living as I feel more and more like the 65 year old I will soon be! There is also joy thankfully in all this…but I sure wish I knew what a financial planner was when I was young! 😊

    At any rate, I have have been reading about your latest Panama visit and knew if I did not ACT soon you would be gone before I could ask you to give Minga and her family all my love….straight through to all the new beautiful babies!

    Ming’s is amazing and will always represent the warrior resilience I so admire. I am sure she is tired and this has all taken it’s toll. Tell her I pray for her daily and that she (still) looks beautiful! Pam, you are the epitome of what friendship is at its heart. You are generous and you walk the talk of your convictions. I don’t have to tell you how incredibly special it is for all of you to have each other. And hey, they got you to a MALL!!!

    Much love from this end of the country, Maria

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. for Phyllis: White shirt man follows her around like a puppy. He’s a dialysis patient too. I will quote Minga exactly: “I’m cooking dinner for no man. I’m washing no man’s clothes. And I am having no man in my bed.” She ignores white shirt man entirely. 🙂

  5. for Phyllis: No idea!!! Very weird. Yes, there are a couple of TV’s on the wall — usually set to old cartoons, the national lottery, telenovelas, or something equally uninteresting. No sound. No one seems to watch very much. They either wait in silence, trying to rest. Or, some like Minga, go up and down the line socializing.

  6. for Maria: Lovely to hear from you. Yes, I can imagine that your mother’s fall has complicated an already difficult situation. Will comment more via email. I think of you and your sisters often, and still consider myself the “fourth sister”. 🙂 Much love to all.

  7. Maybe the Russians are monitoring one or both of us! It’s great to see Minga as the social butterfly of the dialysis unit, and I’d guess she is much appreciated.

  8. for Phyllis: I think it is much appreciated. And the nurses, who initially seemed quite brusque to me, have warmed to her as well. I think it gets her more compassionate care.

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