A couple of years ago one of our new Burmese arrivals stepped out of her house, slid on some ice, fell and broke her hip. The surgeons at the hospital determined she needed a hip replacement. So they operated, mended her leg and released her from the hospital. When they were getting ready to send her home the doctor told her that with regular physical therapy she would be walking normally in about six weeks.
With the language difficulties the husband and wife misunderstood and thought it would be six years before she would be okay. At the same time one of our American ladies had had hip surgery and sure enough she was in great condition after a couple of months. It seemed like our Burmese lady was not making any progress, had not been in to see a therapist regularly and continued to use a walker for three months. Finally with a good translator we told her about the American lady, who she knew, and said it should be only six weeks before she was restored. When she and her husband understood this, she began regular therapy, and made excellent progress to restoration. (By the way the therapist who finally intervened was Patti Haley).
“Six years” made the situation seem hopeless to this couple but “six weeks” become something they could work on with hope. Because of their perspective they found healing.