The Healing Horse, Ch. 19, Scene 9: Miss Kimiko and Making a Stronger Left Hand

image of occupational therapy tools

This scene introduces a positive character, who counterbalances the twisted Mrs. Schmidt that we just met. Occupational therapists use all sorts of creative ways to help people of all ages improve their lives. For more about what they do, click here. (Image of some occupational therapy tools by Ashashyou, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Scene 9: Miss Kimiko and Making a Stronger Left Hand

In contrast to Mondays, Thursday mornings could not come fast enough for Kitten. She looked forward to her weekly session with Miss Kimiko, the occupational therapist. It was like going to playtime with Tammy. Unlike the gloomy PT room, the occupational therapy room was filled with light that came through its spotless windows. The kitchenette with its chairs and table was spotless. The toys that helped her build dexterity were always clean. The floor was polished. The room had a feeling of quiet peacefulness that contrasted happily with the gloom and sullenness of the physical therapy room.

Miss Kimiko, the occupational therapist, wore her black, shoulder length hair in a stylish flip and outlined her brown eyes with medium black eyeliner that made them look bigger. She stood less than five feet tall and had a medium build. Unlike Mrs. Schmidt, she wore a neatly pressed cotton uniform. Even more unlike Mrs. Schmidt, she always smiled broadly and welcomed Kitten to each of their sessions. At every session, Karen learned something new and felt inspired to learn more.

One week, Miss Kimiko gave Karen two plastic squeeze bottles. They were connected by a flexible tube that went through their lids. The one that Miss Kimiko put into her left hand was full of water and heavy. The one for her right hand was empty and light. When Kitten automatically tried to trade the bottles, so that her strong right hand would hold the heavy one, Miss Kimiko gently stopped her by holding her wrists.

“Okay, Kitten, today we will play with these bottles. This will make your left hand stronger and help you learn to use both hands together. Okay? Does that sound like fun to you? You have a habit of using your right hand for everything, but today we want your left hand do the work. We will make it a strong hand, too. Okay? You can pretend you are squeezing chocolate icing onto a cake. That will make it lots of fun. Okay?”

Karen smiled and agreed. In a flash, she realized what Miss Kimiko meant about relying on her right hand. This was a turning point for her. Even though she knew that her left hand would never become as strong as her right, she was inspired to use it, and it did get stronger.

Original Text ©2022, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

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