Running to Stand Still Just another day in the life….

September 13, 2006

My Friend Frieda

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari @ 11:00 pm

I have a wonderful, elderly, German friend named Frieda.  I met Frieda almost five years ago at the physical therapy clinic for which I used to work. She had been sent to our clinic to be treated for “hip pain.”  As Suzie (my co-worker) and I watched her painfully make her way into the clinic using a walker and moving slower than a snail, we realized she had much more going on than her diagnosed “hip pain.”  It turned out, that Frieda had been hit while walking to her car by a mini-van backing out of a parking spot.  After the accident, she spent a few days in the hospital and was released.  Her condition was grossly overlooked by the physicians who treated her as she was released without any help or aid. Right away we discovered she had serious arthritis in both hips which was exacberated by the accident resulting in her almost immobile condition.

As I worked with Frieda that day, I learned that she not only was a widow, but she had no children and no family at all here in the United States.  Her only living relative, I learned, was her older brother who lives in Germany.  It was very apparent from the moment I met Frieda that she was a very lonely women who just needed a friend and a helping hand.  She was unaware of her health insurance situation (she had great military benefits that she never knew she had) and many other health related issues. When our session ended, I asked her who was picking her up; I could hardly believe it when she told me she had driven herself to the appointment!  Scary!

So to make a long story short, with some help from my co-workers and a wonderful orthopedic surgeon that I worked with, we got Frieda set for bilateral hip replacement surgery.  The hip replacements were a success and made all the difference in her quality of life.

So almost five years later, Frieda and I have grown very close and truly enjoy each others company.  She has cooked me a million wonderful German meals, and we have probably  consumed close to a hundred Little Ceasar pizzas (she loves LC pizza?) :-) She joins our family for holidays and special occasions, and until we moved, I was able to see her almost once a week.  It was really hard when I moved to Texas, but my mom has been able to step in and help her out since our move.

Frieda has taught me so many life lessons that she will probably never be aware of.  She has a huge heart, and is unbelievably generous despite struggling to make ends meet.  She truly is a blessing to me and she is constantly in my thoughts and prayers.

We enjoyed a nice pizza lunch together today!

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