The Healing Horse, Ch. 23, Scene 7: The Gown

Left alone and without help, brave little Karen figures out how to put on a hospital gown by herself. Then she steps through the curtain to begin her ordeal.

Scene 7: The Gown

The table in the changing area held a white cotton hospital gown. Karen disrobed as quickly as she could, conscious of the doctors waiting for her. Shaking the folded gown, she opened it and held it up before her. She had worn gowns like this for some of her medical treatments, but she had never tried to put one on by herself. In previous years, the Child Study Team had not provided anything for her to wear. They had let her wear her own clothes. She considered asking Mrs. Pinzetti for help, but since she now knew how the therapist felt about Tammy, she no longer wanted any help from her.

After pulling the gown up and over beautiful weak left arm, she maneuvered it behind and around her neck, so she could get her right arm through the other hole. Reaching behind her back with her right hand, she caught one of the ties, but even though her left hand could grab the string, it could not tie it into a knot, even with help from her mouth. She leaned her back against the table to hold the gown in place and got a pair of ties into her right hand. After a few minutes of twisting them, she succeeded in making a loose knot. She did the same with the other ties.

Under her breath, she whispered to herself, “Oh, Mama, I need you here with me. I may be disabled, but I am not an animal on display. If they view me as an animal, then I will show them the Pegasus in me. I am not afraid, but I wish my Mama were here.”

She stepped through the curtain.

Original text ©2022 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

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