An eighty year old lady came to our medical clinic with complaints of poor vision and cough. She had dense cataracts in both of her eyes and I told her that it needs surgical removal, a relatively simple procedure done in eye camps.

As I requested her to remove some of her multiple layers of clothing to listen to her chest, a collection of various articles, tied by an old thread, fell out. She was visibly embarrassed but opened up after I inquired about them. I requested her permission to take a picture and share her story, to which she agreed.

  1. A Forhan’s toothbrush — Her only toothbrush for more than 20 years but she had around 5 intact teeth, all had caries in them.
  2. A ear-wax remover — She wanted to hear better.
  3. A pair of tweezers she uses to pull her chin hairs. She hated them.
  4. Keys — Old keys to her house that was destroyed and the new set of keys to a box that held her important possessions as she now lived under a tarp. She didn’t disclose what the box held.

I asked her what would she do if she got her vision back. She replied that she would remove any remaining chin hairs. Before I could speak — a nearby onlooker blurted out — “Grandma, you don’t have any remaining chin hairs”

She gave a big smile and said, she just wants her cough treated. I gave her meds and she went away beaming.