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PSI's Story

Rating:; Genre=Non-fiction; Pages=2; Characters=4,678;
The emergence of a casting family

Things got started with my wife when my son was born in 1994. She developed Carpal Tunnel syndrome, which is very common post-pardum. It usually goes away on it's own after a couple of weeks. But she was complaining to me that her hand hurt. She has a high tolerance for pain, so if she complains, I figure it would most likely have me in tears. This is a woman who went through child birth without pain killers. So, I came home with some plaster bandages from the store and sat her down. I told her I wanted to try something if she was willing. She said she was. So I wrapped her hand in a short arm thumb spica cast.

That night, at about midnight, she started hitting me over the head with the cast. She couldn't sleep because of "this stupid cast". She said she wanted to take it off. I told her she should take some aspirin because she's experiencing cast syndrome. Cast syndrome comes in several forms, but it's basically a situation whereby a person has some sort of negative reaction to wearing a cast.

She made another attempt at going to sleep, without taking the aspirin as I suggested, and was unsuccessful. She started hitting me over the head again saying "take this cast off of me, I don't have a fracture and don't need a cast." So, at 1:00 in the morning, there I was cutting her cast open.

In the morning, she apologized and said she didn't know what came over her. She said her hand was still bothering her and that she would be willing to try again if I was. Was I willing? What do you think? So I did another cast. This time black fiberglass. This time she wore it for a full week. After that, her hand felt much better and she thanked me for taking such good care of her.

A few months later, my knee was bothering me enough to make me limp. She said "are you gonna cast it?" It was at that moment that I realized that I would be able to be casted openly from time to time. I said, "you think I should?" She said, "yeah, it worked for me." So she and I proceeded to put me in a long leg cylinder cast. That was my first homemade cast that someone other than myself knew about. It was a bit of a fiasco though, because while I was doing the part of the cast above my knee, she was working on the part down by my calf. She has no casting experience and I wasn't watching her. She made the cast about 11/2 inches thick down there. Something that I would not discover until I started taking the cast off the next morning. When we were finished, we went upstairs to bed. But as I was walking, the cast was so heavy that it was pushing down on my ankle and causing way too much pain. By the morning, I had to get this big heavy monster off of my leg because it hurt more than the reason I put it on it the first place. That's when the fun began. I discovered how thick it was and was hard pressed to find some way of cutting it off. I ended up using a drywall saw and spent the better part of an hour on that part alone. My wife, on the other hand, found the whole thing hysterical and couldn't stop laughing.

After freeing myself from that mess, I determined to do the casts myself in the future. That night, I did another long leg cylinder cast myself and was quite pleased with the results. I made it a removable cast and used it for the next few weeks, but only in the house for only us to see and know.

Not too much further in the future, my ankle was hurting. Once again, out came the plaster. This time I did a short leg walking cast. It, too, was removable. This cast was used around the house for a week or so. Still, no public presentations of our casts.

Then it was her turn. She sprained her ankle playing tennis. I whipped out the plaster and gave her a short leg walking cast. This time she was actually willing to go public. Up to that point, all the casts had to be removable so we could go out into the real world. She didn't want people to know we were doing our own casting. She thought they would perceive it as weird. But when the cast was on the other foot...hers. She didn't want to take it off. All of a sudden, she was letting family know about our self casting.

I had pointed out to her that nobody asks if a cast was put on by a doctor because it is assumed. She put that to the test and found it to be true. Anyway, since then, I've had a LAC, SLC, Short Arm thumb Spica and Short Arm Cast, some of which were public and some of which remained in the house. The point is, whenever I get the urge to wear a cast, I simply exaggerate some minor ache or pain that I'm dealing with, and put it in a cast.

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