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Note from the Author: In writing this I set out to make a cast story with a plot. One where the cast is the central character, but not the theme. I think I have succeeded in making it about as good as any made for TV movie. And way better than an episode of 90210. (Kelly just got shot and has amnesia. Right. They should have busted her legs and given her pink leg casts.)
I recommend you don't read it all at once. Just like a good book you can put it down and come back to it. You might enjoy it more. Also, read it slowly. Don't skim ahead to the good cast parts. There is some good stuff subtly written that I think will make it more enjoyable. Have fun with it. And if anyone is offended by the subject matter, deal with it.
It is 7am Friday and Melanie awakens to the sound of the phone ringing.
"Melanie Miller? This is Saint Jude's hospital calling. Your daughter has been injured. She isn't in any danger, but you should come down."
"What happened? Is she OK?"
"She will be fine, you just need to come down."
Melanie quickly gets dressed and notices Becky's running shoes are not in their place. Forgetting about work, she jumps in the car and heads for the hospital. Her daughter had been out on her morning run. Melanie thinks to herself what could have happened. "She probably just sprained her ankle like she did last year. But, since the hospital called, it is probably broken this time. If it was just a sprain she probably would have called."
Melanie arrives at the hospital slightly amused by the thought of her seventeen year old daughter laid up in a pink short leg cast, unable to go out and cause her mother any heart ache.
She walks up to the desk at the Emergency Room.
"Rebecca Miller, please."
"Behind that curtain."
Melanie brushes aside the curtain in horror. Her daughter is laying on the bed in a tangled mess of traction and splints. Her nose bloody and face bruised.
"What happened to you?"
"I was running and this man came at me from behind. It still isn't clear in my mind."
"Did he rape you?"
"No, all my clothes were on when they brought me in here."
"Thank God for that."
Melanie takes a better look at her daughter. A weight is hanging off the end of her bed. It is attached to some straps on her left ankle by a rope and pulley. The other leg is in a splint with Velcro straps. It runs the length of her leg. Her right arm is in a sling suspended from the bed frame.
The doctor walks in. "I have gone over your x-rays. You have multiple fractures, so I will start from the bottom and work my way up."
"Several of the metacarpal bones in your right foot are broken."
"Both the bones in the lower part of both your legs are broken. It seems like they were both twisted the same way until they broke. They are not terribly displaced."
"The long bone in you upper left leg is broken. But it is still in a straight line. For that I would usually recommend surgery and a rod. But in this case I think it is better to save your body the extra trauma."
"Both bones in your right forearm are broken. As well as both of your thumbs."
"Like I said, for the leg fractures I would usually recommend surgery. But since you have endured so much trauma I am going to recommend non-invasive treatment."
"Today we will put casts on your right leg and both your arms. It is necessary to have the leg and right arm be long casts. The arm casts will also include your thumb. Essentially your right arm will be useless. The leg cast will extend from the tips or your toes nearly to your hip. It will go past your toes because of the metacarpal fractures but it will still be possible to see the very tips."
"Tomorrow we will evaluate your left leg and make a final decision on what to do about it. Until then, you will be in traction."
Rather than move her, the orderlies roll Becky's bed into the casting room. The doctor comes in and gives her an IV to knock her out. He sets the bones in Becky's right leg. Two nurses hold it in place with the knee slightly bent. The doctor manipulates her foot, straightening the broken bones.
Careful not to move her foot or leg, the doctor rolls stockinet from past her toes up to her hip. He takes some cotton padding and wraps it around Rebecca's foot, ankle, up the calf to her knee. Careful to pad every bony protrudence.
The doctor soaks a roll of plaster cast bandage and starts wrapping at the arch of her broken foot. He does a figure eight around Becky's heel. Then rolls it out up her calf. With several more bandages the doctor wraps her leg. Using small bandages he wraps her toes together. He molds the cast around the arch of her foot and around her heel. At her toes he molds the cast into their shape, pointing them up slightly up in relation to her foot. After he is done he folds back the excess stockinet onto the cast. With one final bandage he covers the folded ends.
The cast goes from one inch below Rebecca's pelvis to the tips of her toes. There is an opening at the tips of her toes where a little bit of pink from each is exposed to the air, but her colored nails are hidden. The end of the cast is even with the ends of her toes. There is an indentation in the foot of Rebecca's cast where her arch of her foot is.
The length of her cast makes her ankle appear thin, even though the cast makes it far thicker. The cast accentuates the shape of her leg. It gets wider at the calf, but thinner as it reaches the knee. Past her knee the cast only gets slightly bigger around, then starts to concave in just before it ends.
The doctor sets Becky's casted leg on a pillow beside her tractioned one. He then moves to her side and manipulates her right thumb. Then her forearm, placing the broken bones in line.
He rolls some stockinet up her right arm to her armpit. Then takes some cast padding and pads her elbow, forearm, hand and thumb.
He turns to a nurse, "Poor girl, do you think blue will cheer her up?"
"How about orange on the long one?" the nurse replies.
"Orange it is."
The nurse holds Rebecca's arm in place. The doctor takes a roll of orange casting material and starts wrapping her arm. With narrow tape he wraps her thumb and hand. Wider tape he uses up her wrist, forearm, elbow, and up to a half inch from her armpit. After several rolls are applied, the doctor pulls the extra stockinet not covered by fiberglass back over the cast. He takes a final roll of bright orange fiberglass and covers the folded ends.
He studies his creation. Becky's elbow is frozen at a right angle. Her forearm rotated out so that her palm and thumb point toward her face. Her fingers naturally curl up slightly, though the cast only goes a little past her first knuckles. Her fingertips can just barely touch her casted thumb. Rebecca's thumb is invisible beneath the fiberglass. The orange cast is like a monument to it. The only evidence her thumb is underneath is the little bit of pink skin exposed at the tip.
"Five bucks says that in a two weeks her nails will match the cast," the doctor remarks to a nurse.
"When I had that pink short arm cast last year, I painted my nails to match," the nurse responds. "But I wasn't so helpless as she will be."
"Trust me. Girls love it when their nails match their cast, or in this case, casts."
He moves to Becky's left side and manipulates her thumb, setting it in place.
"I think we'll use orange again."
The doctor rolls the stockinet over her hand, thumb, and forearm, up to her elbow. He pads her thumb and arm. Then applies the bright orange fiberglass. He wraps her hand starting at just past her knuckles, around her thumb and up her forearm. With two inch wide bandages he wraps Becky's thumb. When he is done the doctor folds the excess stockinet over and uses a final orange bandage to cover the ends.
Now that all the casts are on, Becky is wheeled to her room. The doctor stays and helps the nurse clean up.
"Poor girl. She has a lot of adjustment to make in the next couple of months.
Did you hear what happened to her?" The doctor asks.
"No, when they brought her in she was not making any sense."
"From the looks of her fractures, I would say someone deliberately did that to her. Both her legs were twisted until they broke. Her arm, too. And the thumb fractures were right out of the Pool Hustler's Handbook. I don't know who could have done something like this to such a sweet and pretty girl."
"It is unthinkable."
A nurse leads Melanie to her daughter's room.
"I have a few questions you need to answer so I can get the paperwork filled out," the nurse says.
"How old is your daughter?
"17. She is starting college in almost three months."
"Are you her sole guardian?"
"She lives with me. She sees her father every couple of months. Do we have to do this now? I would like to be with my daughter when she wakes up."
"OK. In a while the police will come and take a statement."
Melanie sits on a chair beside her daughter's bed. Her left leg is stretched up in the air by ropes. They are attached to her knee by a rod that goes through her leg. Her left lower leg is cradled in a sling suspended from the bed frame. The sheets on her bed are awkwardly pulled around her left leg. They cover her body but leave her tractioned leg uncovered. Her bright orange casted arms rest on her stomach above the sheets.
Melanie pushes her hair back and Rebecca starts to stir.
"Relax, baby. You are in the hospital, safe."
A few hours later a policeman comes in with a clip board.
"Mrs. Miller, do you think your daughter is well enough to answer a few questions?'
Becky answers on her own, "Yes, I am OK. But it might be the morphine answering and not me."
"I'll take note of that. I must say you are in very good spirits after what happened."
"It doesn't hurt much because of the drugs. And I guess it hasn't set in yet that I will be shovel spooning my food for a while." She makes a grip with her left arm and pretends to feed herself. But ends up poking her stiff orange thumb into her mouth instead. "I guess it will take some practice. What a gyp, I thought these casts were supposed to taste like oranges!"
"Then you'd just spend the two months sucking your thumb!" her mom replies, chuckling.
"All right, down to business," Becky interrupts. "It's a little hazy, but is becoming more clear to me."
The officer opens his notebook and picks up a pen. "What happened?"
"I got up at 5:30am to go running like I do most every morning. I laced up my white running shoes and headed down the highway. I had gone about four miles, or two thirds of the way when it happened. I passed a big tree and all of the sudden someone tackled me from behind. I fell flat on my stomach with my face in the dirt.
"He grabbed my arms and handcuffed them behind my back. My feet flew up in the air as I tried to kick him in the nads, but he wasn't straddling me. I pleaded with him 'Please don't hurt me.' It didn't work. After I was handcuffed he put his knee in my back and grabbed a hold of my right foot."
"'Nice shoes,' the man said, 'It's a shame you won't be needing them for a while.' I screamed as he extended my right foot and bent it until the bones in my arch broke. Then he rotated my foot out until I heard my leg break. Then he twisted my left leg until it broke.
"At that point I was pretty much out of it. It hurt so bad, but I was somehow removed from it. Like I was watching the TV with no volume. I couldn't move. He then took the cuffs off, but left me face down in the dirt with his knee in my back. One at a time he took my thumbs and bent them back until they broke."
Becky uses her casted arms to demonstrate how. With the exposed fingers from her left hand she grips the thumb of her right long arm cast and makes like she is bending it back.
Becky continues, "He asked me, 'You right handed?'"
"'What difference does that make now that you broke my thumbs, dumb ass?' I replied."
"Then he twisted my right arm until it broke. 'You're a funny girl,' he mocked. He flipped me over on my back and dragged me over to a dead tree lying on the ground . Then he broke my left upper leg, using the tree as a fulcrum." "I passed out to that horrible sound."
The officer speaks up. "I would have passed out when he broke my leg the first time. Come to think of it, I would have fainted just watching it happen to someone else."
"My daughter has always been really strong willed. I can't remember her every crying from pain." Melanie says to the officer.
"Did you get a look and the man?" the officer asks.
"He was wearing a green ski mask. Olive drab army color. I did see that he had a scar on the right side of his lip." She points towards her lip to show where, but her thumb gets in the way. "He was wearing a tan button shirt. I didn't see his pants. He was a big guy."
"Can you think of any reason someone would want to hurt you?"
"I haven't cut anyone off on the freeway for a while." Becky says.
"I can," Melanie interrupts. "Her father is a gangster, high up on the scum food chain. We left him long ago, but he still loves his daughter. I bet he is somehow the cause."
"Daddy would never do anything to hurt me."
"I know, baby, but someone trying to get to him would."
The officer takes Becky's father's name down in his book and closes it. "That is good for now. I thank you for your time. You are a great kid. The man who did this to you should be punished more than the law allows. In a way I hope your father finds him first. Would you like me to post a man to protect you?"
"That's all right," Melanie replies, "we are safe in the hospital. And at home I have a gun."
Becky adds, "Besides, I don't have any bones left for him to break."
"Here is my card if you need anything." Becky takes the card, holding it by pushing it with her fingers against her casted thumb.
The officer gets up and shakes Melanie's hand. Becky holds out her right hand, the one in the long cast, to the officer and he shakes it. "Bye," they say.
"Mommy, I am OK for a while. I know you need to get to work."
"Becky, I don't want to leave you alone."
"Call John. I bet he is worried about me. We were supposed to go to the beach today since school was out."
"OK, Hon, I'll let your boyfriend keep you company for a while. I'll see you in a few hours."
Melanie leaves the TV remote on the bed where Becky can reach it, kisses her, and walks out.
Becky reaches for the remote with her half casted left arm. After chasing it around the bed with her thumb she finally grasps the remote. She pushes it with her fingers against her unyielding thumb. When the plastic contacts her cast it makes a knocking sound.
Becky thinks about that sound and how much she is going to be hearing it. "That is going to get annoying. Every time I try to open a door. Or pick up the phone, or even just set my arm down on a table I am going to hear a little knock. Every little thing I used to take for granted is going to be a struggle."
She sets the remote on her stomach, pointing toward the TV. With the index finger on her left, half casted arm she pushes the power button.
A little later John walks in. "Oh my God, babe, what happened?"
"John, I've been through it with the police and I am tired of it. Just hang out with me and make me forget about what happened."
"What have the doctors said? How long are you going to be in here?"
"They haven't said much. My left leg is going to keep me here the longest. The bone in my thigh is broken. That's why I have the traction. I am afraid they are going put me in another cast. But I think that would be better than getting my leg stretched for ten weeks. I'll end up walking around in circles."
"John, I'm kind of hot. Could you pull down the sheet for a while, please?"
John takes the sheet off. For the first time Becky sees the cast on her right leg.
"It's so big and white," Becky remarks. "Looks funny against the tan on my left one."
"They sure didn't leave much room to spare at the top," John says. Becky pulls her gown up to reveal where the cast ends.
"Nice bikini bottom line."
"Well, get a good look, Johnny. I know you love my legs, but this might be the last glimpse you get for a while."
"I don't think the biggest cast in the world could take away the beautiful shape of your legs. Even with all that plaster your right ankle still looks skinny."
"We might just get to test that biggest cast theory."
John looks down at the foot of Becky's cast. "Your toes! what did they do to your toes? Why did they cover them up?"
"Because someone broke the arch of my foot like a 2x4. That's why. If you look down there you should still be able to see the tips. Please do, I want to be sure they're all there"
John gets up and takes a peek. "Oh, yes. I see the tips of five little Smoky Joe sausages. Pink colored and looking soft. Feel this?" He touches her pinkie.
"Wow, that's the first sensation I've had. Up until now I couldn't be sure my leg was actually in there. But it is."
"Look at it this way, you won't stub your toe," John says reassuringly.
"Very true. Nothing hurts more than when that little toe goes at right angles."
"But seriously, Becky. Are you going to be all right."
"It will just take time. I look at it as a short prison term. It will be over in less than four months. And it isn't even hard time. I won't have to do any work. I get a crap load of sympathy from everyone. And a bunch of flowers."
"Conjugal visits?" John asks excitedly.
"Make that a prison term with a chastity belt," she jokes. "You know I won't do that until we're married. Besides, I'd probably kill you with one of my casts. Smack you in the head with the orange iron fist.
"Just a thought. I can't believe you are so up beat. I would be dreading every minute. Probably commit suicide."
"I tried. But I can't open the bottle of sleeping pills. It's child and thumb/arm cast proof."
"Don't even joke about that. I love you so much. If you need anything at all, I will take care of it"
Six o'clock PM rolls around and Melanie returns to the hospital from work.
"Hi, John. Thanks for keeping her company."
"It was my pleasure," he replies.
"You should probably go, honey," Becky says to John, "I know finals start next week you need to pass them if you want to graduate with me. Besides, in a week we'll have the whole summer to spend together and nothing to do but write on my casts."
John leans over Becky and gives her a kiss. She reaches her arms around him, but can feel his warmth with only the tips of her fingers. "It'll be OK. We'll get through it."
He walks out and Becky blows him a kiss as best she can.
"Thanks, Mom. I needed to see him."
"I know, but you just get some rest now." Melanie holds Becky's left hand, that is she holds her fingers, until Becky falls asleep.
At 7am the nurse walks in to Becky's room. "Good morning," the nurse says.
"Keep your opinions to yourself. Just gimme some drugs."
"OK, I guess you are entitled to be a bit snippy," the nurse returns. She gives her a shot.
Melanie is still asleep I the chair. "Mom, you should probably go to work. I'll be OK."
"Are you sure? I could call in and get the day off."
"It's fine. They are probably going to be working me over most the day anyway and they won't let you watch."
"Call if you need anything. I love you."
Melanie heads to work. Becky thinks to herself, "Call? Right, just so long as it isn't a rotary dial phone."
The nurse rolls Becky in for an early morning session in the x-ray room. "The doctor wanted to get to work on you early," she explains.
After the x-rays Becky is rolled back to her room. Once again she struggles with the TV remote, finally getting it pinched between her fingers and casted thumb. "I can't wait try and pick up a piece of paper," she thinks. She watches The Price is Right while waiting for the doctor. He walks it.
"You look great this morning."
"Sure I do. And I think I'll run a few miles before breakfast. So what's the word? How long do I gotta stay here and what new torture device are you going to put me in? And if you say there's good news and bad news, I'll smack you upside the head with this cast."
"In that case, I'll spare you the cliché and just give you the facts. The broken bones in your left leg are perfectly aligned. Assuming someone can take care of you, you will be home in a little over a week."
"That's awesome! No more traction and no more hospital gowns! I get to chew on my own food instead of watching it drip!" Becky says gleefully. "However," he says more seriously, "We are going to have to take you up back up to the cast room."
Becky interrupts him, "That's fine! Plaster me all you like. I just want to get home as soon as I can."
"I'm glad you have such a great attitude. We don't usually do that much fiberglass on the lower body because it is so expensive. But I'll bend the rules for you a little. Besides, the Insurance Company is footing the bill. What color would you like your new cast to be?
Becky looks down at her leg suspended by the ropes and thinks what color she would prefer to see. She thinks to herself, "something that will look good next to the white plaster cast while John pushes me around the mall in a wheelchair. But it's got to compliment my orange casts too."
"Doc, how about florescent green? Do you think that would look good?"
"Next to the orange that would look great," the doctor replies. "In few minutes we'll knock you out and take you to the cast room. And when you wake up the first thing you see won't be that ghastly rod sticking through your knee."
"Great. Thank you so much, doctor. I can't wait to get home."
He walks out. Becky thinks to herself, "In little over a week John will be out of school. We'll be so cute. Me in my four casts and him pushing me around. We can do a campfire on the beach. He'll carry me out and set me on a blanket near the fire. We'll just sit and roast hot dogs as the sun goes down. I'll hold the hanger by sticking it up my cast while he puts a hot dog on it. Later, I'll lay on my stomach with my four casts sprawled out on the blanket while he gives me a massage. It will be so romantic. Him doing every thing I ask." Another funny image comes to her mind, "I'll get really flexible too. Nothing to do but bend over my straight casted legs and try to touch my toes."
The nurse comes in with a new IV, "Are you ready?"
"You bet. Get this pole out of my leg!"
"My, you're chipper. Happy to be going home getting home so soon, no doubt."
The nurse inserts the IV. In a few seconds Becky is passed out.
The doctor walks in. They talk as they wheel Becky down the hall towards the cast room. "I have never seen someone so excited about getting a cast before. Especially not a double hip spica like she is going to be in," the doctor says. "That is odd," replies the nurse, "she must just really want to be home. Did you tell her how big it was going to be?"
"She already knew and didn't care. So I didn't bore her with the details of it. I have never put such a large cast on a pretty girl like this. Usually when they get even a short leg cast they get upset about how it will upset their wardrobe. But Becky is getting a whole new wardrobe, bright green and rock hard, but has no complaints."
"How high up do you have to make it, Doctor?"
"To her armpits. The bone fragments are straight, but there can be no movement in her pelvis or else they might get out of line. If she hadn't had all those other fractures she would have been a fine candidate for surgical repair. But she has been through enough pain. At least this way after the initial pain subsides there will be no more."
"Armpits, huh? Her boyfriend will be disappointed to see that." The nurse replies, chuckling.
"I know," the doctor says. "Makes it tough to cop a cheap feel. My girlfriend in high school was in a body cast for scoliosis. Let's just say that skinny hands have gotten me into a lot of trouble."
They arrive at the cast room and get started. "First, we take off the plaster cast and start from scratch."
After that is done three assistants are called in. Becky's gown is removed so that she is totally naked except for her two orange arm casts. Her body is thin and firm, but appears incredibly fragile. Her waist is far narrower than her hips. The traction is removed and one of the assistants maintains the pull manually. Another holds Becky's broken right leg in place. The doctor straps up her casted arms so they are hanging from the bed frame and won't get be in the way. He instructs the assistants on what position her legs and fragile body should be in.
"Spread her legs out so they make a 45 degree angle."
They move her legs apart. Both her feet are pointed slightly inward, making her look a little pigeon toed. Both her ankles are a slightly extended. He pays special attention to her broken right arch, making sure it will heal in its beautiful natural shape.
"Beautiful, hold it right there. Now get the stockinet." The cotton stockinet is pulled on to cover nearly her whole body. A length as wide as a T-shirt is pulled onto her torso, from her knees to her armpits. At the top a little extra is bunched up. Then the part below her hips is cut and wrapped around each leg. Two more lengths are applied. This time narrower, to cover her legs from below the toes up as far as possible.
The doctor thinks to himself, "A few seconds ago she was totally naked, but now she looks fully clothed in stockinet. And in a few minutes more she will be equally covered in a hard green outer shell."
The doctor and nurse take rolls of cotton padding and wrap over the stockinet. They lay it on extra thick around her hips and pelvis. Then up on her ribs below her breasts. He pads her broken right foot especially well, covering her toes except for their tips. After every bony part that might cause irritation is padded.
The doctor calls for the green fiberglass.
He starts at her broken right foot, wrapping around her arch, heel, and ankle. He then wraps up her calf to her knee. He covers her whole leg with several layers of green tape. He wraps up to the inside of her hip as far as possible without any consideration for her modesty.
Then her moves back down to her foot and covers her toes like before. This time he points them up a little more. The position of her right ankle, foot, and toes is like she were wearing a high heal. Her heal is flat and her foot extended to maintain the shape of her arch. If she were upright it would look like she was standing on her toes, with the ball of her foot and toes flat on the ground and her heel raised three inches off the floor. The doctor stops wrapping just short of the tips of her toes. Her knee is slightly bent.
He moves on to her left leg. Starting at her foot he covers her left leg in more green fiberglass. Her left knee he casts at a same gentle angle as her right. He points her left foot the same as her right. Only this time he leaves her toes uncovered. Still, if she were standing upright, with the ball of her foot on the ground, her heel would be three inches off the floor. Only with this cast she would be able to feel the cold tile with her toes.
As he is finishing the last layer on the left leg the right leg cast is already starting to harden.
"All right, it's time for the wide stuff."
The doctor takes the five inch wide casting tape and begins wrapping around Becky's waist. He overlaps some of each layer as he moves up to her chest. She is not huge chested, but big enough to require some technique so she doesn't get flattened.
He very carefully wraps the bottom of her breasts so the cast will provide them support. He alternates, going first on the bottom side of them, then the top. He goes from just below her breasts around her back. Then to just above her breasts. Then back around her back. The next time around coming up below her breasts, but a little higher than the previous time. On the next pass he wraps above her breasts, but a little further down than the time before. Each alternating layer comes closer to the other until they finally converge at the summit. The result is that her breasts are not squashed by the cast. They look like two balls hidden under a green blanket.
Now that that is taken care of he defines the top of her cast at one finger's width below her armpit. He puts a few layers there and makes the cast a little higher in the front and back than it is under her armpits.
"Don't you think that's a little severe, doctor? Does it really have to go that high? She won't even be able to bend her back to prop herself up," the nurse says.
"I know," he says. "But if her chest can move, so can her pelvis a little. I think it is far better to be conservative than to risk poor alignment. If the bone heals wrong we will have to go in and break it again. And she spends the first semester of her freshman year in college in a hip spica."
"You're the Doc."
He applies several more layers of fiberglass around her chest and waist. Then wraps down towards her hips, around her pelvis. Stopping right where her pelvis ends. After a few layers more around her waist and hips he says, "Now it's time to join them together. Keep her legs angled out at 45 degrees. And make sure her heals are at the same level as her butt. Don't forget to keep her feet a little pigeon toed.
The helpers do as they are instructed and the doctor takes a little bit narrower roll of fiberglass. He wraps it once around her waist and then layers it down to where her hips get wider. From the top of her hip he goes across the front of her pelvis down and loops around her hip joint to the top of her leg cast. He wraps once around her leg and brings the roll back up. Starting from the back of her leg he brings the roll up around her hip joint, covering a portion of her buttocks. Then around her pelvis back up to her lower waist. He repeats this many times to both hips, making sure her cast is thick and strong. With more layers he covers her buttocks completely. As well as the lower front of her pelvis. He also adds more layers to her leg casts above the knee. So the new thickness is blended into the cast's shape and there are no bulges. He finishes up with one wrap down her body to make it look smooth. Now the three casts look like one long flowing one. It contours to the gorgeous shape of her body. Her stomach is thin and narrow. Her waist and hips make the shape of an hourglass. The only opening in the cast is the space directly between her legs. "I've always thought it would be funny to not have that hole there. Kind of a cruel trick to play," the doctor jokes.
"Right, just outfit her with some concrete Long Johns and don't leave a trapped door."
"Well, she's a sweet girl. I think I will save my cruel joke for someone more deserving."
"If I ever break my femur I'll make sure your you're not on duty!" the nurse says.
The doctor trims up the hole between her legs. He makes a window three fingers wide starting at the lower front of her pelvis and ending just below the top of her buttocks.
Now the doctor pulls the extra stockinet over the edges of the cast. With a narrow roll of fiberglass he covers the ends of the stockinet where it comes over the cast. He then does the same thing to the stockinet at her chest and toes. Folds it over and uses another roll to cover the ends. The toes of Becky's left foot are completely exposed and able to wiggle about. But on her right foot, pulling back the stockinet only reveals her toe's very tips. The cast is carefully molded to their shape so they are unable to move.
The cast is finally done and the doctor speaks to the nurse as they clean up. "I feel so bad for her. I could feel that her stomach was very firm and her legs toned from exercise. She is obviously very active. But for the next two or three months she won't even be able to sit up in bed. Her muscles will turn to mush and her tan will disappear. All because of some cowardly hoodlum. It takes only a matter of minutes to destroy an entire summer."
"I know. But she is so up beat about it. I have barely heard a complaint from her. At least she is out of school for the summer. Her mom told me she will graduate without taking her finals. So hopefully she will just be able to relax this summer and heal."
The cast dries and Becky is wheeled back into her room to sleep off the rest of the anesthesia.
It starts to wear off. Her eyes open, but she is still not totally awake. She raises her head up. The sheet is pulled up to her neck so she can't see the cast. She looks at the raised sheets where her feet are and tries to move them. "Cool, I got my other leg cast," she thinks, "No more ugly rod." Then she sets her head down and falls back asleep.
A little later she awakens again. This time more alert. "I guess the cast is done. I hope it looks all right." She uses her stomach muscles to try and sit up a bit. But it is like someone is holding her down. "Maybe the drugs are making me really week." She tries to uses her elbows to sit up. With her right arm cast and her left elbow she pushes against the mattress with all her strength. But again, it is like someone is pushing her down.
"It has to be the drugs making me week. Plus I haven't eaten anything solid for over 24 hours." She plops her arms down on her stomach and hears a small thud.
"What was that noise?!"
Panicked, she tries to pull down the sheet with her left hand. But she can't get a grip, the sheets keep slipping out from between her fingers and her thumb cast. Finally, she pushes the sheet down.
In shock, she discovers the huge green shell that covers her body. "What's that!? What did they do to me?" But the sheet is only a little below her waist, Becky still can't see where it ends. She reaches down with her orange left arm to push it down further. As her thumb cast touches her stomach it makes a scratching sound. She manages to get the sheet just below her hips so that she can see where the cast starts down her legs. The panic subsides and she comes to realize that her entire lower body it covered in a huge florescent green cast.
"I didn't sign on for this! I was supposed to get a green leg cast! One that would look cute while John wheels me around in a wheelchair. I can't even bend my waist to sit in a wheelchair! This can't be happening! I must be still knocked out and just having a nightmare." She tries to pinch herself, but can't find a place to because of the cast. She finally uses her long casted right arm to scratch the skin one her left arm above her short cast. "I guess that's the best I can do."
She lifts her head and looks down at her casted body. "I guess this is why the doctor was so surprised I was happy. He didn't realize I was excited about being able to touch my toes." She tries to wiggle her toes and can see the sheets move over her left foot. "Well, those ones are still there."
"I guess it's a good thing I'm not Dolly Parton. Otherwise I wouldn't even be able to see my toes over the green mountain. "
She tries to explore her cast from the inside. Trying to move about inside it. But she quickly finds there is no room to move. No extra space. As hard as she pushes against it is as hard as it pushes back. In trying to discover what restrictions the casts puts on her she realizes there are far fewer things she can do than she can't. "Well, I can move my toes, that's a start. And my fingers. I can move my neck. That is good. My shoulders are free to move around. And my left elbow is free. That just about covers it."
Becky knocks on her breasts with her left thumb. "Now that is kind of funny. The ultimate support bra."
She drags her arm down to the opening between her legs. "Whew. It's a good thing they thought of that. Wouldn't want to have to hold it in for a few weeks." Becky can just barely see the top of her cast at her chest. It is almost out of her field of view. She traces its outline across her chest with her finger.
Manipulating her forearm she just barely manages to stick her pinkie finger into the top of the cast. "Wow, that's tight."
The doctor walks in.
"Yeah, I figured that would protect you from your boyfriend's advances."
"Thanks a lot. Is my Pyramid finished?"
"Mummy's can walk. You're more of a museum sculpture."
"No doubt. So when do I get to go home? Or, rather, when do I get wheeled out of here on a dolly?
"You should be home Friday. That will be one week from when it all happened. We need to keep you around for a while to make sure nothing moves inside your cast. If all the bones are still aligned then you can go home. But I will need to talk to your mom about getting someone to take care of you when she is not around."
"Somebody to wipe my butt, you mean."
"You have a lot of adjustments to make. But it is only temporary. By the time you start college in three months you'll be wiping your own butt again. I promise. For now just think of it as a full relaxation vacation."
"Vacation. I'll try and remember that. How long is my vacation going to last?"
"I can't say with any certainty. Three months at the most. In two months your arm casts can come off. After that we'll probably start trimming your big cast down as your foot and lower legs heal. For sure you will be able to go to school in September."
"Thank, you doctor. I know you're here to help me. And thank you for not sending me in for surgery. At least the casts don't hurt. I've had enough pain for this year."
"It is a pleasure to have you as my patient. You are an inspiration. I will check in on you a little later." He puts a gown on her and pulls up her sheets and steps out.
Becky finds the TV remote and with a little more skill manages to turn it on. "I guess I'm getting a little better at that. Soon I'll be brushing my own teeth again."
A while later John comes in to visit.
"Thanks for coming."
"Does it hurt bad?" John asks.
"No, not at all. Just a little tightness. Do you want to see what they put me in?"
"Then you need to pull down my sheets and pull up my gown. Because I can't do it."
John takes the sheet down past her feet, revealing both her green casted legs.
"Cute color. I like it. And I can see your toes a little better." Becky wiggles the toes on her left foot. "I am so happy you are going to be home soon."
"But wait, there's more. Lift up my gown."
"If you insist." He pulls her gown up all the way, nearly taking it off. "DUDE! Does it stop? Your cast goes up higher than my dad's waders."
"Like I don't know that. I can't even sit up. I need the TV to be mounted on the ceiling."
John looks closely at Becky's big green cast. Places his hand over her breasts.
"I knew you were going to do that. No cheap feels for you for a while"
He walks down to her uncasted toes. "No cheap feels, but I sure can tickle you to death. And there's nothing you can do about it." He slips his finger into her cast and gently rubs the ball of her foot, tickling Becky torturously.
"Stop, I've been through enough lately."
"You know, I think it's kind of cute the way they made your feet point in. Kind of innocent looking, like a schoolgirl. In fact the whole thing looks cute." He places his hands on her waist. "I like the way it shows all your beautiful curves, but without revealing anything."
"I guess it's good one of us likes it. But I think you'd have a little different opinion if you were on this side of it. Personally, I think it makes me look like a turtle."
"I like the color. Looks good next to your orange arm casts. Kind of tropical."
"You know, I've never had a cast before this. I guess this is to make up for it."
"Well, cast or no cast, you are the most beautiful girl in the world and I love you. I should go now. After next week I'll have all summer to torture you."
"I look forward to it, bye."
John bends down to kiss her and she again tries to embrace him. But her awkward casts make it difficult. He leaves.
Around 6pm Melanie gets off work and comes to see her daughter.
"Baby, the doctor told me what they had to do to you. I am so sorry."
"It's only temporary. He says I'll be wiping my butt again by September. So don't worry."
"I talked to your father today. He told me to take off work for the summer and he will pay all our expenses. So Thursday will be my last day. Then I will take you home."
"Did Daddy know who did this to me?"
"I think so, though he didn't say directly. When I told him about the scar I think he did. If he does know who it is, that person won't be around for long."
"Well, I am glad we won't have to worry about the money. But you should go home and get some sleep. I've slept all day, but you were at work."
For Becky the days start to blend together. Every few hours some orderlies come in and flip her over. They pick up her left leg and swing it high in the air until it comes down on her other side. It is a weird feeling, her weight doesn't seem to shift. It is just that instead of being pushed from her back she is pushed from her stomach.
"Next time why don't you just use a spatula?"
Tuesday her IV is removed and Becky is allowed to drink protein shakes. The nurse puts the shake on the table in front of her. But she can't pick it up. When she tries to grasp it with her left hand her unyielding thumb causes it to slip. To solve this she has the nurse cut out the thumb from a rubber glove and put it over her casted thumb. "Cool! I can at least feed myself ."
On the day before her release John comes to visit. "How's my girl doing?"
"Pretty much the same. I am really getting tired of this ceiling, though."
"I have something for you."
"What is it?"
"Nail Polish. One bottle of orange and one of bright green."
"Oh, John. That's great! Are you going to put it on for me?
"That's the idea. Unless you'd like me to tape the brush to a long stick and let you do it."
"No, I think you can do it."
"Then let's get started"
John starts on Becky's right arm. It is difficult because she can't bend her elbow to bring her hand closer to him. He just sets her hand on her stomach with a thud and paints her nails there. "Your body cast works better a table," he remarks.
"Glad it serves some purpose," Becky returns.
John paints each finger with an orange colored nail polish that perfectly matches the color of her casts. After he finishes her right hand he does her left. "Do you think the nail salon would give you a discount for only painting eight fingers?"
"I don't know, but I will definitely have to find out."
He closes the bottle of orange and opens up the florescent green. He takes a chair to the end of the bed and sits down with the nail polish. "Now don't you move your foot," he says.
"Funny. But if I could move my foot, the first thing I would do is kick your butt."
He carefully paints each toenail on Becky's left foot florescent green.
Becky raises her head and looks down at her toes. "Oh, that is rad. They perfectly match my cast." She wiggles them.
"Careful, don't mess them up. I'm sorry I can't do your other foot."
"Prop my head up so I can get a better look." John puts a bigger pillow under Becky's head so she can better see down to both her feet. "They look so far away. So out of reach. I never realized, but I have really skinny ankles. Even with my cast they look thin."
John wraps his hand around her left ankle. "I can almost get my fingers all the way around. I love your skinny ankles."
"I will let you go. Tomorrow is a big day and you should get some rest. I'll be here early to help you get home."
"Don't forget the dolly," she says as he is leaving.
Friday morning at 9:30 John and Melanie come to pick up Becky.
"Good morning, are you ready to go?" her mother asks.
"Maybe tomorrow. I haven't finished counting the ceiling tiles yet."
"There are more things to count at home. Do you have everything you came in with?"
"They cut all my clothes off. I was kind of pissed about that. But my running shoes should be around. Maybe in the closet."
"I brought some shorts for you to wear home. And a T-shirt."
Melanie lifts Becky's body off the bed with her leg and pulls a pant leg over her foot. She does the same to her other leg. After a few leg lifts and finally a body lift her shorts are on. She tries to button the fly.
"Hmm. They seem a little tight. I didn't think about that. Here you can have my belt."
Melanie puts the belt through a few loops and then pushes it under Becky's back. She finds it on the other side and fastens it. The metal buckle makes a metallic clinking sound when it hits the cast.
She is unable to bring the zipper up more than an inch. The open fly makes a triangle shaped window that exposes some of Becky's green cast.
"That's a little better. At least they won't slide down," Melanie says.
"It's not like I'm revealing anything."
Then she helps Becky put her arms through the T-shirt holes and then bring it over her head.
"I don't know the point of that. I am pretty well covered up as it is."
"I just thought you might like the feel of a shirt on your shoulders. To make you feel a little more normal."
"I do. Thank you. You got my running shoes?."
"Then lets go."
The nurse brings a reclined wheelchair into the room. Some orderlies lay Becky on top of it. They raise up the back a little to prop up her head. Then they lift the footrests to support her legs.
"Finally, I'm off the bed!" She puts her left hand on the wheel handle and pushes. "Yea! I can move!"
She wheels around in a circle.
"You don't need to push. That's what you have me for," John says. "Shall we mosey?"
"You bet. I'm afraid if I stay here any longer they'll cover the rest of me up in a cast!"
John pushes Becky down the hall and out the hospital door.
"The Sun! It's great to see the sun again."
John positions Becky at the end of the station wagon they brought. Together, he and Melanie lift Becky's head up onto the tailgate, setting her down on the middle of her back. Then they move down and each grab a foot, sliding her in the rest of the way.
"I feel like a refrigerator."
Becky can hear her body knocking against the car floor, but can't feel anything. Melanie puts a pillow under her head.
They arrive at home and John retrieves the wheelchair. They slide her out onto it and wheel her into the house. John pushes her into the living room and Becky goes into the kitchen to make lunch.
"I guess this chair is going to be my new best friend for a while," Becky says.
"Don't think of the chair as something you are chained to," John says. "Think of it like your shoes. You wouldn't go out without shoes on, would you?"
"Just to the beach. You know, while I was laid up in traction I had this fantasy of what we could do when I got two leg casts. But the doctor pretty much saw to it that it doesn't come true."
"What was that?" John asks.
"That you could take me to the beach and carry me to a fire pit. Then we could roast marshmallows on a blanket in front of the fire. But I guess now that I am in a little more cast than I bargained for it is pretty much out of the question."
"Why is that?" John asks. "You have any plans Monday afternoon?"
"Well, I was planning on going dancing, but I guess that can wait."
"Would you accompany me to the beach for a campfire?"
"How are you going to manage that?"
"You just wait and see. Are we on?"
Melanie walks into the room. "Lunch is served."
"Soup? Where's my burger?" Becky says.
"Sorry, baby." Melanie knocks on Becky's stomach. "Your cast doesn't leave much room to pork out in."
"Yeah, but solid food would be nice."
Melanie puts the soup on a tray and sets it down over her stomach. Becky holds the spoon by making a fist around it with her fingers.
"I know you can do it. But just in case, here's a towel to cover up your cast."
She devours her soup rather awkwardly, but doesn't spill a drop.
"I best be getting home," John says.
"All right. But would you come over and keep me company tonight?"
"Sure thing." He walks out.
"Mom, I think it's time for our first challenge. I gotta pee."
"Not a problem. I got it all worked out."
Melanie wheels her into their large bathroom. The toilet sits against the center
of an eight foot long wall. It has no seat.
"I had some modifications done to the bathroom while you were in the hospital for just such an emergency."
Directly to the left of the toilet is a footrest. It is just a little taller than the toilet seat. An arc shaped bar sits a few feet above it. It hangs down from the ceiling and forms a quarter circle around the left side of the toilet. If it went all the way around one would think it was a curtain rack to enclose the toilet.
"Here's the plan. I'll help out to make sure you don't fall. Park your chair with your feet on the right side of the toilet and your butt beside the toilet. Be sure and lock the wheels so it doesn't go anywhere. Now grab hold of the bar with your less casted arm and slide your upper body onto the footrest I put there. Keep your feet on your chair. You are only pivoting around them." Becky grips the bar with her left fingers and pulls her unbending body towards the footrest. She slides over until her middle back slides off the chair and rests on the footrest.
"Perfect! You can't see, but your rear is perfectly positioned over the toilet."
"Do I make a good bridge?"
"You're a beautiful bridge."
"I left the TP on the wall above you. You should be able to reach down and do the clean up on this job. Gimme a holler when you're all through."
After the task is done Melanie and Becky sit on the porch and drink lemonade for the rest of the afternoon.
John comes over around eight in the evening. Becky is in the living room alone watching TV.
"How are you doing?"
"Great! I went to the bathroom almost all on my own."
"I used to take so much for granted." She looks across the room at her running shoes sitting in the corner. "I think it is kind of funny. Not only can I not run, I can't even wear any shoes. There was this girl in my class last year who had a red full leg cast. I used to wonder what it was like. Like if it was weird for her or not to only put on one shoe. I mean her shoes have been right next to each other as long as she had them. Either on her feet or in the closet. But now one was staying home and one was going with her."
"You think the other shoe got lonely?"
"Kind of. More I wondered if she missed her other shoe. I also wondered if one would be more worn out after six weeks than the other."
"Do you miss your shoes?"
"Well, they were comfortable. I liked the way they hugged my feet. But I must say that my casts do that even better. In a way the casts are more comfortable than my shoes. My feet are supported firmly on all sides. Softly padded. Holding my arch in an comfortable position. Restraining, but protecting." "Does your right foot feel confined? Since you can't move your toes." "Not really. Actually, I kind of like the way it goes past my toes. It is like someone is firmly holding them in place. It is a secure feeling. But I can still feel a soft blanket or the cold air on the tips, which I like."
"How about your chest, how does that feel?" John asks.
"That is a little bit more than I bargained for. I mean, if they had left it at my waist, or just below my ribs, I could at least sit up a little. But as it is my whole body is rigid like a board. And every time I push against the cast wall it pushes back at me just as hard. But the top seems to be getting a little looser. I can put my fingers down it a little. Here, give it a try."
John reaches down the front of Becky's cast with his fingers. He gets his hand down to the palm when finally his thumb prevents him from going any further.
"That feels nice. I haven't been touched there in a while," Becky says.
"Sure isn't much room in there. But not even a ninety percent full body cast can stop the cheap feel."
"Next time I see the doctor I'll ask if he can make it cover up my neck my chin to protect me from your advances," Becky jokes.
"And I'll ask him about opening up a window over the mountains," John returns.
They continue talking into the night and then John goes home.
On Sunday John takes Becky for a walk outside in her chair.
"Are you worried about the guy who hurt you coming back?" John asks Becky.
"Not really. I check the paper every morning to see if my Dad rubbed him off yet. He is probably in hiding. My mom yelled at my Dad and demanded to know why this happened. So finally he told her."
"Used to be one his collectors. But my dad found out he was skimming money. He sent some guys after him but they missed. So to get at my dad he did this to me. Every one of my bones he broke he had broken on other people for my dad during collections."
"What a sissy. Can't get the boss so you go after his daughter."
"From behind, no less. Didn't even give me a chance to kick him in the nads. But I don't expect to see him again. Except maybe his obituary in the paper."
"Well, I sure hope not."
Monday afternoon comes quickly. John arrives in his parents mini van. All the back seats are taken out.
Becky is waiting for him in her chair on the porch. Adorning her hard green overalls is a pink bikini top. It covers her super firm breasts and is tied around her neck and at her back. The bikini shape exposes a green triangle over her heart that ends a little below her collarbone with the cast. Her middle is covered by a pink Hawaiian parea skirt. It is tied high on the side to reveal more of her thigh. Even though her thigh is hidden well beneath the cast, the shapeliness of her leg is still preserved.
"You look gorgeous, babe. I love the bikini."
"I couldn't go to the beach without a bikini. My tan line would look funny."
He wheels her to the back of the van and slides her in. She is pushed up far enough so that her head is between the two front seats. He places a pillow under her head.
"I'm not too keen on the view down here."
"Would you rather I strap you to the roof?"
"I guess this'll do."
"Then we are ready."
When they arrive at the beach John gets out to set things up. He leaves Becky in the car with the radio on.
She thinks, "I can just see the news. 'Car thief drives off with full body cast girl in back.' Now that would not be cool."
John opens the back door and slides Becky out halfway.
"You forgot my chair."
"You don't need it. We're going piggyback." John takes out a climbing harness and straps it onto Becky's legs and waist. He tightens it up snugly. Then he attaches straps to the harness for his shoulders. Are you ready?" he says.
"I'm a human back pack!" she says.
He hoists her onto his back. Her feet hover a foot off the ground. They are wide enough apart so as not to impede his walking.
"This is great! Upright again!"
John carries her to the fire pit. All Becky feels is her weight bounce up and down with John's ever step.
"Am I too heavy, John?"
"Of course not. I could do this even if you cast was plaster."
They get to the fire pit. John releases the straps and lets Becky gently drop onto her feet on the blanket. Then he leans her body forward to the ground. She is now lying face down on the blanket next to the fire. He puts several pillows under her chest to bring her face up off the ground. John stokes the fire and Becky opens the bag of marshmallows with her fingernails. They roast and talk for a while.
"Is this your dream?" John asks.
"Close. Actually, I also dreamt of a massage."
"And so it will be."
John sits down on her hard back. And begins rubbing her shoulders.
"Oh, that's great."
"I can't feel you sitting on my back, but I can't imagine my cast is very comfortable. Don't do it if it will endanger your sperm count."
"No, it's fine. I'm sitting on my butt and your back is no harder than a seat at Dodger Stadium. I can handle it for a while" he says.
"In that case, dig in harder."
After a long massage John says, "I also had a dream about today. Do you mind?"
"Not at all."
John picks up her leg and rolls Becky onto her back. Then he lays beside her and gives her a long, breath taking kiss. The kind that would turn a straight man gay. Or make a lesbian give men another chance.
As the fire starts to die out, John straps on Becky and they head for home.
"Thank you so much, John. I had a wonderful evening that I will never forget."
"I am so glad. See you tomorrow?" John asks.
"Sure, unless I get a better offer."
John drops Becky off at home.
Four weeks go by and Becky gets her left arm cast off.
John comes over.
"So how does it feel to eat like a human again?" John asks.
"Great. It takes one quarter the time to do everything."
"But," Becky says, "I kind of miss it. I guess it is like the shoe thing. My arms don't match anymore. But it is definitely nice to have an opposable thumb again."
"Any word on the guy who hurt you, yet?"
"None. It is like he disappeared. Probably fled the country. But what is he going to do? Break my arm again? I doubt it."
"The greatest thing about losing the orange galosh is that I can finally reach down my big cast and scratch."
She shoves her hand into her cast and scratches incessantly.
"You need any help with that?" John asks.
"Thanks, I can handle it."
"Did the doctor say when your other casts will come off?"
"My other arm cast probably won't come off for three weeks. That'll make a total of eight weeks in my orange long arm and thumb cast. But in two weeks he is going to trim down my overalls. And in a few more I get them off altogether. Just in time to start college."
"How much comes off in two weeks?"
"He is going to cut the cast off my right lower leg, just above my knee. It will be nice to have ten toes again."
"I will sure look forward to it."
Two weeks roll by quickly and Becky has some of her cast removed.
"I brought you some more green toenail polish," John says.
"Cool. Go for it."
"Your foot looks great. Nice and soft too." He holds her foot. "Now I have more area to tickle you on."
"Better not. I have a good fist now."
John finishes up painting. "What do you think?"
"Great." She moves her ankle around and wiggles her toes. "I love it."
After a while John goes home.
Melanie comes into the living room where Becky is. "Do you think you will be all right if I go to the store for a bit?"
"Sure. Don't be more than a few hours, though."
"I'll be back in two."
Melanie leaves and Becky is left in the house alone. She channels the remote with her left hand, reveling in how easy it is to use without a cast.
A few minutes after her mom leaves, Becky hears footsteps coming to the front door.
The locked door knob rattles. There is a loud crash as the door window shatters. Becky scrambles with her wheelchair to get it to move. First pushing on the left wheel with her hand, then the right. As a stranger's hand pokes through the broken glass and searches for a latch, Becky slowly moves the wheelchair into her mom's bedroom.
She hears the front door swing open, then footsteps on the broken glass. Becky slides off the wheelchair onto the ground beside her mom's bed. It makes a loud crash. Her cast breaks at both hips.
She scrambles with her arms and legs on the hardwood floor like a dear on ice as she tries to get closer to the bed. She reaches under the bed as the man comes into the room.
She looks at his face and the scar on his lip and says "Please, don't hurt me again! Haven't I been through enough?"
"Apparently your father hasn't gotten the message yet," he says.
He kneels down and grabs a hold of Becky's uncasted right foot. She is helpless to resist with her body and tries to reach further under the bed with her left hand.
Just as the man is twisting her ankle, Becky grabs a hold of her mother's revolver hidden underneath the bed and brings it on target.
The sound of Becky's lower leg breaking is masked by the thunderous report and flash of a .357 Magnum.
The man's grip on her ankle releases as he falls backwards to the floor, dead.
Epilog An hour and a half later Becky's mom comes and rushes her to the hospital. Where she is put in another cast from her lower chest to the base of her toes. This time pink. Three weeks later, just in time for her to move into the dorms and meet all her new friends, Becky's body and arm casts are removed. All that remains is a bright pink cast on her right leg that goes from hip to toes. And which she has no complaints about starting college with.
"I'm so sorry. What happened to you leg?" her roommate asks.
"It's a really long story...."
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