The Earthquake at Lisbon

Jo is one of the employees at Diedrich Coffee where we all hang out.

She’s probably in her late forties (streaks of gray in the black), a pleasant outgoing woman who is always cheerful and works very hard. Slinging coffee is her second job; she works full-time in medical research as well. She has a couple of kids. Her husband left her years ago. She also cares for elderly parents who increasingly need a lot of supervision and assistance.

This year Jo got the influenza pretty badly and ended up with both viral and bacterial pneumonia; she had to be hospitalized for a few days. She also seriously injured her foot, and it isn’t healing up too well. She wears one of those protective immobilizing boot things on her foot the second half of the shift most of the time.

So here we have a middle-aged woman who spends approximately 18 hours a day caring for elderly parents and children and working two jobs, who has been having some serious medical problems lately, is flat broke, and is doing this all on her own because her man walked out on her.

The punchline? She now has lupus.

Shit ain’t right.

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