Imagine if you will having the chronic, ever-present pain and not having the luxuries, Daddy has. This is the life of the poor.
If they have a bed it is usually a poorly made, cotton stuffed, lumpy mattress on broken frame. Although the bed is more likely to be two saw horses with 2 or 3 pieces of rough wood straddling them. The chairs they do have are hard and very uncomfortable. If they have to go anywhere they have to walk or go by bouncy, crowded buses.
The women, who suffer from pain, continue to wash clothes out on their pilas (concrete scrubbing sinks), cook on wood fires, and care for their extended families of six or more. The men cut firewood with machetes and put in long and hard hours each day.
Often we, who are not desperately poor, don’t think about the poor suffering from pain. We tend to think of hunger and disease, but we forget about actual arthritis, back pain, bad knees, and osteoporosis.
In our clinic the most sought after service is the care of the volunteer orthopedist, who comes from Managua two mornings a week. His mornings are full-to-bulging with patients. He offers injections to help those who suffer from chronic pain as well as acute. He relieves to some extent the swollen joints, the chronic back pain, the knees that want to give away…he helps to ease the pain.
One of the doctors, Randy, asked, “Kathleen, did we bring acetaminophen?”
“Good, because I’m giving lots and lots of it to every single patient that shows up.”
Bottom line, the poor hurt.