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Chapter One - The Perfect Afternoon
Lynn Medera sat on an overstuffed sofa in the living room watching a flock of late season birds flying south toward the river.
Lynn's husband of three weeks was in the kitchen refilling their wine glasses. Lynn could hear the sound of the wine cork being pulled and glasses rattling.
Ken emerged from the kitchen bearing two glasses of wine. "One more for the road" he said cheerily.
"Are you trying to make me pass out?"
"Not at all my love." said Ken handing the glass to her and settling on the sofa.
"So what time do the old fuddy duddies at Smith, Helms, Mullis, Piece, and Solomon expect their star associate and his gorgeous wife?" Lynn asked mockingly.
"The party starts at 5:00. I'd say a 5:30 arrival would be in order."
Smith, Helms was the city's largest general practice law firm. Each December, the firm's 37 partners, 68 associates, and 80 clerical and administrative personnel gathered at Myers Park Country Club for an afternoon of celebration. Liquor and wine would flow freely for an hour before the gathered were presented with a buffet dinner of sliced tenderloin, shrimp scampi, and chicken l'orange.
Dress of the day would be high preppie. Lynn appropriately wore a white pressed blouse, plaid skirt, white pantyhose, and understated flat shoes. Whenever possible, Lynn stayed away from high heels. At 5'10" she was already tall for a woman. With heels she assumed an almost overpowering presence.
The afternoon was particularly special because Lynn and Ken rarely could spend weekends together. As a second year associate with the firm, Ken's minimum work week was 80 hours. Saturdays were routinely spent in the office trying to prepare for the next week's deluge of work.
While Ken spent his Saturdays at the office, Lynn could usually be found in a study carrel at the Law Library. She is in her final year of law school. In addition to the normal law school workload, Lynn had begun her study for the bar exam which she would take in July. With graduation looming in May, Lynn had begun the daunting task of looking for her first job.
"Cheers." said Ken raising his glass to hers. She returned the salutation and raised the glass to her mouth. The blush wine tingled her tongue and cheeks.
Lynn kicked off her black pumps, lay down on the sofa, and put her stockinged feet in Ken's lap.
"I'm just happy to have an afternoon off." said Ken rubbing his finger along the outline of Lynn's toes.
Lynn rubbed the sole of her left foot against Ken's crotch. Even under the hose, Lynn's feet were handsome. Her toes were long and narrow. Her nails were painted a deep red They appear pinkish under the white stockings.
"My, my.' she said continuing to rub. "I see Willie's awake again. Isn't once a day enough for you?"
Ken gave her a sheepish grin as he felt a the lump rise in his lap.
"Maybe we can free Willie after the party." Lynn teased.
Ken shut his eyes and smiled. "Why not free him now?"
Lynn punched Ken's shoulder lightly. "Later tiger. Keep Willie in the holster until tonight. I've got work to do."
"Work. What work?" asked Ken in surprise.
Lynn removed her feet from Ken's lap and slipped on her pumps. She nodded up at the naked light bulb on the living room ceiling.
"Home repairs. I need to put the light fixture back up and brush my teeth before we go."
"Come on, honey. Why don't you wait. Can't we free Willie now?" Ken asked almost pleading.
"Tonight, honey. " she says patting his thigh. "I want to see how hot I can get you during the party. "
"All right. If you insist" Ken resigned himself to his fate. "But Willie wants out as soon as we get home. Promise?"
"Promise dear." She pecked him on the cheek and walked toward the kitchen.
Chapter Two - The Fall
"Where is the light fixture anyway." said Ken looking up. " I didn't notice it was missing until just now?"
"I took it down this morning to clean it. The thing was absolutely filthy." said Lynn returning from the kitchen with a plastic fixture in hand.
Lynn pulled a dining room chair into the small living room and centered it under the naked light bulb. The chair was part of a set that had belonged to her parents. Over 30 years old, the dining set had been an integral part of her childhood. She had sat on the chairs during dinner each evening, for homework sessions, and for long Saturday afternoon chats with her mother over tea.
She carefully climbed onto the chair and paused for a second to maintain her balance on the wobbly legs. Ken admired Lynn's shapely legs from the sofa. "Careful honey. I'd hate to see anything happen to that beautiful body of yours"
"Thanks for your concern" said Lynn over her shoulder laughing.
Lynn rose on tip toes trying to slip the hole in the light fixture over a screw that extends from the ceiling base. As she rose, the chair creaked and tilted slightly. Sensing danger, Lynn pulled the fixture away from the ceiling and lowered her feet back to the seat of the chair. At that moment, the left rear chair leg gave way sending Lynn tumbling toward the floor.
For many years to come, Lynn would recall the seemingly eternal seconds leading up to her leg fracture. When the chair leg gave way, Lynn fell awkwardly. The outside of her left foot contacting the floor first. Simultaneously, Lynn's hips and shoulders catapulted toward the floor. The light fixture tumbled aimlessly toward the sofa.
As she fell, Lynn could feel the torque mounting on her planted lower left leg. She felt the bones twisting. Then she felt the shock wave as her tibia shattered at mid calf. Lynn heard a loud snap that reverberated through the living room. Then she heard the sound of her own scream that was muted as her left shoulder slammed to the floor.
The initial impact with the floor took Lynn's breath away. She was momentarily stunned. She heard Ken's voice but could not make out the words. Slowly the words became clearer. "Lynn, are you all right", she heard him gasping. "Lynn, talk to me."
Gradually Lynn recovered her senses. She saw Ken's eyes focused on her left leg. Slowly she pushed herself to her elbows and understood immediately the source of Ken's concern. Her lower left leg was broken at mid shaft. A lump the size of a pecan was visible on the front of Lynn's shin. Below the lump, Lynn's leg was pointed at a grotesque angle. The lower portion of her shin angled sharply inward so the sole of her left foot pointed toward her right leg. There was no blood. Fortunately the break was not compound. Her leg was, however, mutilated.
Instinctively, Lynn sat upright and reached down to touch her mutilated leg. Ken grabbed her arms and forced her onto her back.
"Easy honey. Don't touch it. I'm going to get help."
"Oh God, Ken" Lynn heard herself whisper. "I've broken my leg!"
She lay down on the floor and closed her eyes. "Oh God" she repeated "I've broken my leg."
"Just lay still. I'll be back in a second."
Lynn felt lightheaded as she lay on the carpet. She could feel the blood drain from her face and she momentarily had trouble breathing. Although she was cold, Lynn felt beads of sweat forming on her upper lip.
In the background, Lynn heard Ken on the phone with the 911 operator. His voice was tense and filled with fear.
Strangely there was no pain. Lynn tried to move her ankle and foot but it was as if they were no longer part of her. She tried to wiggle her toes. No response. Her leg felt distant.
"The medics will be here in a few minutes." Ken reported softly. He bent down and stroked Lynn's curly blond hair slowly.
She looked up at him. "Oh Ken I'm sorry." said Lynn "We'll miss the party."
"Lynn don't worry about the party. We're going to get you all fixed up." He paused.
"Does it hurt much.?"
"No" she said slowly. "It's like my leg is numb. I've got no feeling below my knee. I'd try to walk but I think we would make it worse.
"Don't even think about it. We know its broken." he said
Lynn tried to grasp the enormity of Ken's words. Ken was right. The leg was broken. There was not doubt about that. Judging from the look of her leg, she guessed the process of realigning the broken bones would be difficult. Maybe surgery would be required. She would almost certainly be in a cast. How big would it be? How long would she be in the cast? Would she be able to walk normally again?
God she wished this day had never started.
Chapter Three - The Splint
The paramedics arrived minutes after Ken's call to 911.
The older of the two men had gray hair and a kind face. Lynn guessed his age at 50. He entered the living room and placed his oversized medical bag on the floor near Lynn's head.
"Hi. I'm Dan and this is Tommy." he motioned toward his young assistant.
"We're glad to see you." said Ken. "Lynn fell while trying to replace the light fixture."
Dan knelt to examine Lynn's leg. "You certainly did a job on that leg. Is this your first fracture?"
Lynn nodded glumly.
"We'll try to make it as easy for you as we can."
"Tommy, I'll take the vitals if you'll get us a splint and stretcher."
"Sure Dan. Be back in a second."
Dan removed a blood pressure cuff from the medical kit. He took Lynn's blood pressure and pulse. Satisfied with the readings, he removed a walkie talkie from his belt.
"St. Jude. Do you copy. Medic two here. Over."
A pause then "Copy medic two. This is St. Jude ER. What is your status?"
"We have Caucasian female. Early 20's. Fracture of the lower left leg. Blood pressure 120 over 70, pulse 60. "
Dan looked at Lynn's leg.
"25 degree angulation of the leg. Probable fracture of the tibial shaft with overriding and separation. Moderate bruising in the fracture area."
"Copy medic two. How's the patient holding up?"
Dan knelt beside Lynn. "Are you in any pain, Lynn?"
"No. I've lost feeling in my leg."
"Can you move your toes at all?"
"No. Everything is numb below my knee. I feel tingling but no pain."
Dan speaks into the walkie talkie. "St. Jude, the patient has paralysis distal to the injury."
"Copy that medic two. Please check capillary response and the lower pulses."
Dan pressed his thumbnail into the top of Lynn's foot. Through the stocking, he watched as the depressed area turned white and stayed white for several seconds. "Poor capillary response." he spoke into the walkie talkie.
He then pressed his thumb against the top of Lynn's left foot and held it still for a few seconds. "Faint dorsalis pedus pulse." He moved his thumb to the side of Lynn's ankle. "No posterior tibial pulse. St. Jude. All signs indicate vascular compromise at the fracture site."
Lynn felt the blood drain from her face. "Vascular compromise?" What the hell is that she thought. Ken was kneeling beside her now. Holding her hand. She could tell from Ken's face that he was as worried as she was.
A pause. Then, "Medic two, has the patient had food or liquid recently?"
Dan turned to Lynn. "Yes" she whispered.. "We had a late lunch. And I had a few glasses of wine with it."
"Roger, ER. Patient just finished lunch and has ingested alcohol within the last hour."
A pause. Static poured from the walkie talkie.
"Copy medic two. Reduce the fracture as best you can. Stabilize the leg and transport. Do not administer any medications at this time. We'll have the orthopedic on duty in ER when you get here. Copy?"
"Roger ER" said Dan. He replaced the walkie talkie in his belt clip.
Dan turned to Lynn again. "What's happened, Lynn, is that the broken bone fragments are probably pressing against a blood vessel. The flow of blood to your lower leg is being slowed. That's why you have no feeling down there. We're going to straighten the broken bones before we put on the splint. We can't set the break completely but I can get the bones into better alignment than they are in now. And that should get the blood flowing again."
He smiled at her reassuringly measuring the concern on her face. "Heh, there's nothing to worry about. We do this all the time."
Tommy re-entered the room pushing a stretcher. "Ready for the splint?" he asked.
"You betcha." said Dan rising. Tommy handed him a two foot long gray strap with one inch diameter metal rings on each end. Tommy raised Lynn's leg gently while Dan wrapped the strap around Lynn's ankle in figure eight fashion. The metal rings were pulled together beneath Lynn's foot.
Tommy continued to hold Lynn's leg while Dan removed the splint apparatus from the stretcher and placed it under Lynn's leg.
The splint consisted of two metal bars that ran parallel along the sides of Lynn's broken leg. The top of the bars extended up the sides of Lynn's thigh. The bottom of the bars connected about 12 inches below Lynn's foot. Four Velcro straps were spaced evenly along the length of the splint.
Dan secured the uppermost of the straps which was located at Lynn's upper thigh and turned to Lynn. "all right Lynn. I'm going to get this leg a little straighter now. I expect you're going to feel some pressure and your leg may begin to hurt once the blood flow improves. Let me know if it hurts too much."
Lynn braced herself for the worst. Ken was kneeling at her side. She squeezed his hand tightly and nodded at Dan.
Dan grasped Lynn's ankle and pulled slowly on the leg. Lynn felt tension in the leg and felt crepidation as the bone fragment moved against each other. Dan continued to pull. Lynn began to feel a tingling in her foot and toes. Like she were being stuck with little needles. The sensation moved further up her leg. As Dan continued to pull, the tingling became more intense. The needles turned to knives and the tingling turned to pain.
Lynn felt her fingernails digging into Ken's palm. She felt sweat beads form on her forehead. "Please. Stop." she thought. "God please stop." Ken pressed her hand tightly.
"One second more Lynn. Hang in there," she heard Dan say.
Dan gave Lynn's leg a final tug then patted her knee gently. "You were great. The leg's almost completely realigned."
"Thank God." Lynn whispered.
"How does the leg feel?"
"Awful" said Lynn. Her breath was labored. "The pain is incredible. It's like I have a knife stuck in my leg. Can't you give me anything for it?"
"Sorry. Can't do it, Lynn. But we'll get you strapped up and out of here ASAP."
Tommy and Dan secured the three remaining Velcro straps across Lynn's lower leg and knee. Dan then attached the two metal rings to a tension pulley at the bottom of the splint. Lynn winced as he adjusted the splint tension.
For Lynn, the 10 minute ambulance ride to St. Jude's Hospital lasted an eternity. The pain in her leg had intensified. Every bump in the road caused waves of pain to roll up her leg and across her stomach. The siren wailed as the ambulance sped around curves and through stop lights.
Chapter Four - Picture Time
Lynn was quickly wheeled through the almost empty emergency waiting area to a central treatment annex in the emergency department. The room was large and well lit. A central nurses station filled the middle of the room. A series of small examining rooms lined the perimeter. As Dan and Tommy transferred Lynn to a hospital gurney, a young nurse approached.
"Hi, Mrs. Medera." she gave Lynn a reassuring smile. "I'm Linda." She carried a chart under her arm. "Let me get your vitals and then we'll get the Doctor in to take a look at you."
Linda was short; under five feet tall with the athletic body of gymnast. Her brown hair flowed over her shoulders. Her smile had a puckish quality.
Linda took Lynn's blood pressure and pulse. While Linda made notations on the chart, Dan removed the splint from Lynn's leg.
"OK, Lynn. We're done. You're in good hands now." Dan patted Lynn on the shoulder.
"Thanks for everything you did." Lynn said weakly.
"Don't mention it. You'll take good care of our little girl won't you Linda?"
"You betcha, Dan." Linda replied with a smile.
As Dan and Tommy left the room, a tall doctor approached Lynn's gurney. He was dressed in surgical greens. His hair was light brown and fashionably long. His chin was chiseled and strong. His blue eyes took in Lynn's condition as he extended a hand.
"Hi. I'm Robert Pierce. I'm the orthopedic specialist on duty. "
Lynn took the hand limply as Ken came around the corner from the admitting desk. "Hi doctor. I'm Ken Medera. The doctor took Ken's hand firmly and faced Lynn again.
Pierce looked at the Lynn's leg matter of factly. "The medics said you had some wine with lunch. Is that right, Lynn?"
"Yes. Two..no I guess three glasses."
"Are you in a lot of pain?"
Lynn grimaced as she spoke. "Yes. Its gotten a lot worse since they straightened it."
"Unfortunately, Lynn, the wine contradicts most of the pain killers we would normally administer. Linda, let's give her 75 milligrams of Demerol. It's a mild dose but it may take the edge off the pain."
Linda walked to the far side of the room while Pierce examined Lynn's shattered leg. He removed her shoes and handed them to Ken. Pierce felt Lynn's toes and made a quick notation on Lynn's chart. Linda returned moments later with a syringe and green bottle of medication. She drew a small amount of liquid into the vial and injected it in Lynn's arm.
"OK young lady." Pierce patted Lynn's shoulder. "You're ready for a trip to the x-ray department. Then we'll see what we have to do to get you dancing again."
A pretty young nurse joined Linda. She had long red hair that was full of curls. Her complexion was perfect. "Hi Lynn. My name is Sheila. Linda and I will take you to x-ray. We'll be back in a flash, Doc" She gave Pierce a wink and began to push Lynn's gurney down the hall. "I'll wait here yelled Ken helplessly."
Lynn was taken to a small x-ray room near the emergency department. A ceiling mounted x-ray machine dominated the room. The machine was as large as a window air conditioning unit and was attached to the ceiling by a large steel pole. The camera like device on the bottom of the machine was positioned over an empty examining table.
A large, red faced man pushed the examining table away from the machine and waved Sheila forward. The nameless radiologist took Lynn's chart from Sheila and began to read. Pierce apparently had ordered a series of x-rays be taken; each from a different angle. "OK Mrs. Mederas. We're going to get some shots of that wing of yours."
Linda entered the room as the Radiologist was positioning the lens over Lynn's broken left leg. Once satisfied with the position, he draped a lead lined sheet over Lynn's torso, adjusted the x-rays timer device, and told Lynn to remain as still as possible. Fifteen seconds after the trio had left the X-ray room, Lynn heard a soft whining sound as the x-ray of her leg was taken.
The trio returned immediately. "That wasn't so bad was it?" said the Radiologist removing a plate from the machine and inserting a new one. "All right girls, we need two transverse shots and one posterior shot now." Lynn moaned audibly as Sheila and Linda rolled her on her left side. "Sorry" Sheila said softly as she finished positioning her leg. Once more the trio disappeared and reappeared shortly after the whirling stopped.
Lynn endured being repositioned twice more. Following the last X-ray, Lynn was lying flat on her stomach; her left foot extended over the end of the gurney. Sheila helped Linda roll Lynn onto her back. The pain was obviously wearing down Lynn's resistance. Sheila felt her forehead and detected a noticeable fever. Sweat had covered Lynn's face and neck. She was pale and her eyes were glazed.
Lynn, Sheila, and Linda waited in the x-rays room until the Radiologist determined that the film had developed properly. Then, Sheila and Linda pushed Lynn's gurney down the hall and located a vacant examining room in the emergency department. Moments later, Pierce opened the door and placed four x-ray films in a lighted viewer on the wall. Lynn stared at the film trying to make sense of the blurry black and white images.
" You really did a number on that leg, Lynn. The tibia, that's the shin bone, is fractured at mid shaft. Its a spiral fracture which means it twists through the bone at an angle. The fibula, that's the smaller bone in the leg, is also broken at mid shaft." He paused and studied the films for a moment. "The good news is that its a clean break and in an area that's normally pretty easy to stabilize. Our main concern is getting the tibial fracture reduced properly. The fibula will fracture will reduce itself once the tibia is stabilized."
Ken entered the room and came to Lynn's side. He held her hand.
"How soon can you do it, Doctor?" she whispered.
"Under normal circumstances, we'd be doing it right now. We'd put you under, reduce the fracture, cast it, and have you on the way to the dance. Unfortunately, that wine you drank throws a monkey wrench into the works. The anesthesiologist says he wants to wait a minimum of 12 hours before putting you under."
Lynn groaned at the prognosis. Waves of pain rolled across her leg and stomach. The violence of the pain was beginning to surprise Lynn. It was beyond anything she had possible conceived of. "Doctor, please do it now. I can't stand the pain. "she pleaded.
"Its not my decision, Lynn." said Pierce compassionately. "We've given you a local that should take a little of the edge off."
Lynn felt a violent spasm in her left calf area. "Aaagghh" she screamed and brought her shoulders off the gurney. Sheila pressed Lynn's shoulders against the gurney.
"Its not working, Doctor." Lynn moaned. "Please set the goddamed leg and put me out of my misery!" Lynn felt a wave of nauseous as her calf muscle contracted again. "Forget the anesthesia. I can handle the pain. Just set my leg!"
"Lynn, the pain will be horrible." Linda spoke.
"I don't care." said Lynn through gritted teeth. Tears welled in her eyes as another spasm wracked her leg. "I want you to set my leg Doctor. That's what the cowboys did. Just set the thing and get me out of my misery. "
Pierce looked at Ken who was standing in the corner of the examining room observing the scene. Pierce saw Ken nod slightly indicating his agreement with Lynn's decision.
Pierce looked at Lynn. "All right young lady. If that's what you want, we'll do it."
Chapter Five - The Way The Cowboys Did It
Pierce acted like a field general once treatment began.
"Take her up to the Cast Department. We'll reduce the fracture in the procedure room and then move her in for casting." Pierce turned to Ken. "Ken, this may be a good time for you to run home and get some new clothes for Lynn. Something loose fitting. Sweats would work nicely."
Ken squeezed Lynn's hand. "It'll be OK, honey. I'll be back in 10 minutes."
Lynn returned the squeeze as Linda and Sheila wheeled Lynn's gurney out of the examining room.
The Cast Department was located on the second floor near the surgical areas. It consisted of a small waiting area, two cast rooms, and a procedures room where minor limb manipulations were performed prior to casting. Lynn was wheeled into the procedures room which was windowless and void of furniture except for a large examining table and a wall of wooden cabinets.
Linda and Sheila hoisted Lynn from the gurney onto the examining table. Lynn was still fully clothed except for her shoes which Pierce had removed in the examining room. Her blouse was now soaked with sweat.
Linda reached under Lynn's back in an effort to unzip Lynn's skirt. "Just cut it off." Lynn whispered anticipating the pain that would result when they attempted to pull the skirt over her legs. "Just cut everything off".
Linda complied quickly. She pulled a pair of scissors from a cabinet and began cutting the front of Lynn's skirt. She then folded the skirt open on the gurney and turned her attention to Lynn's panty hose. Beginning at the toe of Lynn's left foot, Linda slit the panty hose pulled the scissors along the top of her foot, up her leg, and finally cutting through the waist band of the panty hose. Linda repeated the process on the right leg then slid the panty hose and skirt from under Lynn.
Through her pain Lynn felt chilled as her legs were exposed to the cool air conditioning. She raised her head and stared again at the broken leg. The swelling had increased around the calf area and her leg was now black and blue from mid calf to ankle.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Pierce asked.
Lynn nodded through gritted teeth. "Please hurry!" she whispered.
Lynn could never have prepared herself for the events of the next three minutes.
Linda positioned herself next to Lynn's left knee while Sheila placed her hands on Lynn's shoulders. Lynn gasped as Pierce lifted her injured leg off the gurney. He gently grasped her heel in his hands as Linda established a firm grip on her knee.
Pierce began applying steady pressure to Lynn's foot and ankle; twisting her foot at almost a 45 degree angle. Lynn felt the bone fragments grate against each other. She arched her back fighting the initial wave of pain. Sheila's hands dug into Lynn's shoulders. "Its OK, Lynn. Steady. Steady."
Sweat poured from Lynn's forehead. She fought against the waves of pain that ravaged her leg. The limb was on fire.
Bile rose in Lynn's throat as Pierce continued to pull on the leg. "Doctor Stop I'm....", Lynn's words exploded into a pitched scream as Pierce violently pulled Lynn's ankle and heel. Through the haze of pain, Lynn saw Linda fighting to maintain her hold on Lynn's knee. The back of Linda's blouse was soaking wet.
Pierce pulled again; this time with an almost savage force. A pen flew from Linda's blouse pocket as Lynn's second scream reverberated through the small room.
"Stop, oh God. Please stop!" Lynn sobbed. The pain was no longer a sensation. It was now part of her being.
For the rest of her life, Lynn would remember the jumble of events that occurred just before she lost consciousness.
She would remember Pierce shouting. "Almost there. Let's finish it off now!" Pierce rising from the foot of the gurney. Forcing her left thigh flat against her chest. Linda falling over the thigh to keep it in place as Pierce twisted for the final time on Lynn's foot.
She would remember the wet moistness that pervaded her buttocks, thighs, and back when she lost control of her bladder.
And finally. she would remember the loud cracking noise. Sharp like a gunshot. The sounds of broken bones snapping into alignment. The sound of the end of one journey. And the beginning of a new adventure.
Chapter Six - A Plaster Prison
Thirty minutes later, Lynn lay on a large examining table in one of St. Jude's two cast rooms.
The main wall of the cast room contained a large, cabinet mounted stainless steel sink. Above the sink were glass cabinets that contained a myriad of bandages, ointments, and metal instruments. An overhead x-ray viewer was the lone fixture on the opposite wall. The oversized examining table was unlike any that Lynn had seen before. The surface was sectionalized and a series of knobs at the base of the table could be used to adjust the surface level of each section of the table. At present, the table surface was flat.
Lynn's left leg was covered with a white stocking that extended three inches beyond her toes and stretched to the top of her thigh. The leg was propped on two small pillows. Lynn's blouse, bra, and panties had been removed. She now wore a blue hospital gown.
Linda was busily assembling a variety of bandages on a small stainless steel cart.
"Have you been in a cast before?" she asked Lynn.
"No. This will be my first time." Lynn stared glumly at her leg. "How about you?"
"Sure have. When I was 12. Fell out of my brother's tree house. Broke my right leg. Not quite as bad as yours. But I spent 6 weeks in a full leg cast."
"Was it awful?" asked Lynn suddenly fascinated by Linda's experience with the cast.
"No. You'll manage kiddo. There are a hundred little inconveniences. Little things like itching toes you can't scratch. But you'll get used to the crutches pretty fast. And you'll get gobs of attention."
Sheila entered the room carrying Lynn's chart.
"If you don't believe me ask Sheila."
"Why. Has she been in a cast too?"
"Absolutely!" said Sheila hanging the chart on the back of the door. "Three years ago. Auto accident. My leg got pinned against the dashboard. They call it a tibial plateau fracture." Sheila pointed to a small scar visible under her left kneecap. "After surgery I was in a cast for about eight weeks."
"As a matter of fact it was Dr. Pierce who treated Sheila," said Linda wheeling the cart over to the examining table.
Lynn looked at Sheila's shapely legs. "It looks like you healed well."
"Good as new except for an occasional twinge when the weather changes."
"Are you three exchanging war stories" said a smiling Pierce entering the room.
"We were just trying to make Lynn feel at home." said Linda patting Lynn's shoulder.
"I'm sure she appreciates that. And how is the patient feeling?" asked Pierce.
"Not too bad. The pain isn't nearly as bad as it was earlier. I'm exhausted though."
"No doubt. You've had quite a day."
Pierce placed a series of x-rays in the overhead viewer. He studied them for a moment. "Looks good, Lynn. We've got the bones aligned almost perfectly. We're going to put you in a full cast now and you can catch the end of the party if you want."
"I can go home tonight?" Lynn asked with surprise.
"You sure can. Your husband just arrived with a change of clothes for you. He's in the waiting room downstairs."
Lynn looked at the wall clock. 7:45 PM; three hours since the fall. She thought briefly of the stuffed shirts at Smith, Helms. Now three sheets to the wind after cocktail hour. Laughing. Telling courtroom stories. And here is Lynn. Practically naked. About to have her leg placed in a cast.
Linda placed a small pillow under Lynn's head so she could watch the cast application process. Pierce turned off the x-ray viewer and pulled on a pair of latex gloves.
"I don't suppose I can talk you into a below the knee walking cast?" asked Lynn sheepishly.
"Maybe in a couple of months." said Pierce smiling again.
"A couple of months! How long am I going to be in this thing?"
"Six to eight weeks. Then we may fit you with a smaller cast."
"How long will I be in the smaller cast?"
"It depends. Probably four to six weeks."
Lynn calculated in her head. Best case scenario; 10 weeks in the cast. Worst cast; 14 weeks. Most likely would be 12 weeks. Three months in a plaster prison. That would make it early March before she was able to walk again.
Pierce stood by Lynn's side silently inventorying the contents of Linda's cast cart. The cart was made of stainless steel and contained an assortment of bandages, plaster rolls, and metal instruments of various sizes. A small bucket of water rested on the side of the cart.
"The thing on your leg," Pierce explained "is called a surgical stockinet. We'll roll the ends of it down after the plaster is applied so everyone can see your beautiful toes."
"I can't wait." said Lynn sarcastically. Her arms were folded across her chest. Her eyes intent on Pierce.
Pierce took a roll of dry, white bandage from the cast cart. "This bandage is called sheet wadding. It's a cross between gauze and paper. Makes a good base for the cast." Pierce began wrapping Lynn's leg with the sheet wadding. Sheila supported Lynn's leg and foot while Pierce worked.
As Pierce finished applying the sheet wadding, Linda placed the first plaster roll in the stainless steel bucket. Lynn could see bubbles rise to the top of the water. When the bubbles dissipated, Linda removed the roll and squeezed it gently. She handed the roll to Pierce.
Sheila regripped Lynn's leg as Pierce took the plaster roll from Linda. He began wrapping the plaster around the base of Lynn's toes then moved the plaster up her ankle and calf. Pierce worked slowly and carefully. He paused frequently to smooth out bubbles and make sure the plaster conformed to the contour of Lynn's skin.
"You'll feel some heat, Lynn," said Pierce. "That's normal. It's a result of a chemical reaction between the water and the gypsum in the plaster."
Pierce used the first four plaster rolls to cover Lynn's entire leg. He then molded plaster splints under Lynn's knee and heel. "This will give the cast a little more stability," he said. Beginning again at Lynn's toes, Pierce used two additional rolls of plaster to cover the entire leg again. The plaster splints were seamlessly integrated into the cast.
After the final plaster roll was applied, Pierce pulled the surgical stockinet back over Lynn's foot exposing her toes. Linda handed Pierce a small length of plaster bandage.
Pierce wrapped the plaster around Lynn's foot completely covering the stockinet.
He repeated the process with the top of the cast; pulling the stockinet down over Lynn's thigh and finishing the cast by applying a few wraps of plaster.
Lynn looked at the finished cast. The white plaster extended from the base of Lynn's toes to mid thigh. Her painted toenail were speckled with plaster. Lynn was mildly surprised when her attempt to wiggle the speckled toes was successful.
"All done, young lady." said Pierce pulling the latex gloves from his hands.
Linda removed the pillow from the examining table and replaced it with two small foam pads. Sheila lower Lynn's leg onto the pads. "Wew," she exclaimed loudly. "That was getting heavy!"
Lynn laughed. "Sorry I couldn't help more."
Sheila grinned and patted Lynn's castled thigh. "That's all right. From now on, you're on your own though."
Chapter Seven - Clean-up
Pierce took Lynn's chart from the back of the door and made several notations.
"I want you to come to my office next Friday. We'll take some more x-rays and check your progress."
"Oh marvy," said Lynn glumly.
"Cheer up, young lady. Things could be a lot worse." Pierce shook Lynn's shoulder playfully. "Call Monday for an appointment. The receptionist will give you instructions to my office."
Linda took Pierce by the arm and gave Lynn a big smile. "OK, Kiddo. We're out of here now."
"Sure am. I was off duty two hours ago. And our handsome Doctor here was never supposed to be on duty." Linda patted Pierce's hand.
"I can't thank you both enough for helping," said Lynn with sincerity.
"Heh. What are friends for." said Linda. "Sheila will be back in a few minutes to get you cleaned up and out of here."
After Pierce and Linda departed, Lynn lay on the examining table and closed her eyes. She was exhausted. Every muscle in her body was sore from the fracture setting process. The cast was no longer hot. It now felt damp and cold. It was now 8:15 and the enormity of the days events were talking their toll on Lynn physically and emotionally.
Lynn's ruminations were interrupted by Sheila's arrival. The red head noisily pushed a wheelchair through the door.
"I'm back," she said. Did I miss anything?"
"Nothing worth mentioning." Lynn rose to her shoulders.
"Tell you what. I'll get this place cleaned up while you read about your cast." Sheila handed Lynn a typed list of cast care instructions. "Then we'll get you dressed."
While Sheila stored the unused cast cart contents, Lynn read the instructions carefully. Most were run of the mill. "Don't get the cast wet." Or, "Don't place foreign objects inside the cast."
Others dealt with things Lynn had never imagined. "Use an abrasive soap like Comet or Ajax to clean the cast when necessary." And, "For difficult cast stains, use white liquid shoe polish to clean the cast." Lynn mused that the cast would require as much care as a small pet.
"So if I can't get the cast wet how am I supposed to bathe in this thing?", Lynn asked laying the instructions on her stomach.
"You'll have to rely on sponge baths. Do your hair in the sink. And when you get the short cast life will get better." Sheila used a damp sponge to remove plaster splashes from Lynn's exposed toes.
"Can I drive a car?"
"Use your own judgment on that. If you can get in and out of the car safely and get into a comfortable position then its no problem."
"What about the pain. How long will it hurt like this?"
"It depends. Usually the pain is gone in a week or so. You have to be careful though when you stand up for the first few days. Gravity can really affect broken bones and sore muscles."
Sheila finished wiping the plaster from Lynn's thigh and lifted a plastic bag from the wheelchair.
"Let's see what goodies your hubby brought for you."
"I suggest we dispense with the underwear." Sheila threw a pair of panties and a bra on the cabinet top. She pulled a gray sweatsuit and a single sneaker and sock from the bag and held them it in the air for Lynn's inspection.
"Let's go for the casual look." said Sheila with a smile.
"Whatever you say," said Lynn struggling to sit up.
As Lynn expected, the dressing process was clumsy. Lynn removed the hospital gown and slipped on the sweat suit top while Sheila struggled to pull the baggy sweat pants over the cast. They worked together to get a sock and sneaker on Lynn's right foot.
Sheila lifted Lynn's casted leg off the table and helped Lynn lower it to the floor.
"Oh God!" Lynn gasped in pain as the force of gravity acted on the broken bones. "You were right!"
Sheila smiled grimly. "I tried to warn you. Are you all right?"
"Sure," said Lynn slowly. "It's a little better now."
Sheila steadied Lynn who stood unbalanced. All of her weight was on her good right leg. She held her casted left leg gingerly off the ground.
"Let me know when you're ready."
Lynn nodded and hopped ungracefully over to the wheelchair. With Sheila's help, she settled into the chair and propped the cast on a leg rest.
"Thanks for the help. I'm ready to go home now."
"We have one stop first." said Sheila wheeling Lynn toward the door.
Chapter Eight - Hannah
Hannah Green was a handsome woman. She was in her early 30's and was small but powerfully built. She wore her brown hair short; in a mannish fashion. The ring finger on the middle finger of her hand confirmed what everyone who met Hannah for the first time already knew; she was a lesbian.
Hannah inspected Lynn's cast with some measure of sympathy as Sheila wheeled Lynn into an annex off of St. Jude's Physical Therapy Department's lobby. The corner of the room was cluttered with braces, exercise devices, and workout mats. A variety of crutches and canes hung on three of the four walls. On the fourth wall, two parallel steel bars were set into the wall. The bars extended out three feet into the room at waist height.
"Hannah, this is Lynn Medera." said Sheila.
"Hi, Lynn. I see you've had a bad day!"
"That's an understatement" said Lynn staring glumly at her cast.
"Have you ever been on crutches before?"
"We'll get you fitted for a pair. Then I'll give you some pointers on getting around with them."
Hannah wheeled Lynn's wheelchair over to the stainless steel bars. "First, Lynn, I need for you to stand up between the bars so I can take some measurements."
Hannah helped Lynn extricate herself from the wheelchair. The pain was obvious on Lynn's face as she stood and rested her hands on the bars.
"As straight as you can please." Hannah measured the distance from Lynn's shoulder to palm. She made a notation on a form. Then she measured the distance from Lynn's palm to the floor.
"Stay there for one second."
Lynn nodded wordlessly recognizing she had no choice in the matter. Hanna took two crutches from the wall began adjusting their length.
"Here. Try these." Lynn took the crutches and placed them under her armpits. She was relieved to shift her weight from her single good leg onto her shoulders. Lynn shuffled forward on the crutches. "They feel fine."
"Good. You're ready for a few lessons then." said Hannah. "To walk properly on crutches, you use a three gait walk." Hannah took a pair of crutches from the wall and demonstrated. "First you move the crutches forward. Then you move your good leg. And finally you move the casted leg."
Hannah demonstrated the three steps. "Now you try it."
Lynn began tentatively. She was slow to move her good leg and almost fell when she swung her casted leg forward.
"That's it." said Hannah encouragingly as Lynn hobbled around the room.
"Now lets show you how to sit down."
The training continued for another fifteen minutes. Lynn was shown how to sit down, stand up, and climb up and down stairs. When Hannah was satisfied with Lynn's progress, she took Lynn's chart from Sheila and read for a moment.
"That's a pretty nasty break you suffered, Lynn."
"Tell me about it."
"You'll recover much quicker if you exercise the leg while you're in the cast."
"How am I supposed to do that?" Lynn asked.
"I want you to start out by wiggling your toes as often as you can. Let's see you do it."
With obvious pride, Lynn wiggled the toes on her left foot.
"Good," said Hannah. Keep working on it. Wiggle them at least once an hour. That will keep your foot muscles active. I also want you to work on your lower leg and thigh muscles. After the pain goes away, start flexing and unflexing your leg muscles while you're in the cast. It will be tough at first but if you work hard your leg will be in pretty good shape when the cast comes off."
"I'll do my best, Hannah."
"I'm sure you will, Lynn. " said Hannah.
Unlike other lesbians that Lynn had known, Lynn liked Hannah. In the past, Lynn had always been uneasy around lesbians. She felt threatened and somewhat confused by their lifestyle. Hannah was different. She had an easy manner that put Lynn at ease. Lynn also felt a kinship with Hannah. Lynn's broken leg and Hannah's sexual orientation made them both out of step with the rest of humanity.
"And be careful with those crutches." said Sheila who was sitting in Lynn's wheelchair. "We don't want you to end up like Mrs. Jewels."
"Who is Mrs. Jewels?" asked Lynn.
"She's one of our more un-coordinated patients." said Hannah laughing. "Last year she broke her leg so I fitted her with crutches. One week later she falls down the steps and breaks her arm. So we fit her with a special set of crutches that lets her use crutches even though she's got her arm in cast."
"And then guess what happened?" said Sheila from the wheelchair.
"I don't know." said Lynn smiling. "But I'm sure it wasn't good.
"Smart girl." continued Hannah. "Three days later she falls in her kitchen and breaks the other leg."
"That's when we confined her to a wheelchair." said Sheila laughing.
"I'm glad you told me that story." said Lynn. "I'll be careful. I promise."
Sheila and Hannah both accompanied Lynn to the waiting room. Ken dropped his magazine when he saw Lynn and rushed to her side.
"Oh honey. I'm so sorry!" said Ken staring at the cast.
"I've ruined everything, Ken. This is awful."
"Don't worry Lynn. We'll manage. Does it hurt much?"
"No. Its sore but nothing like it was before. I'm fine. Except for this thing." She tapped her cast gently.
Sheila handed Ken the bag containing Lynn's old clothes and knelt beside Lynn's casted leg. "You can't leave before we give you our autographs!" She pulled a felt tip pen from her pocket and signed her name on Lynn's casted thigh. Hannah followed suit placing her signature on Lynn's knee.
"Now remember, Lynn. Be careful with the crutches." said Hannah
"Don't worry. I'll be careful. One broken bone is enough for me."
Chapter Nine - The Aftermath
Lynn emerged from a dreamless sleep at 9:30 on Sunday morning. Instinctively, she tried to roll to her left side but was blocked by the bulky cast. Lynn's left hand touched her cool plaster on her thigh and the events of the previous evening flooded back like a bad dream.
Lynn sat up slowly. Every muscle in her body ached from the strain of having the leg set the previous evening. She was sore and unrefreshed. Her hair felt oily and she had a sudden need to urinate. Her crutches stood on the far wall 15 feet from the bed.
Lynn heard pots and pans rattling in the kitchen.
"Honey," Lynn called. "Can you help me?"
"Coming." called Ken from the kitchen.
Ken entered the bedroom carrying a breakfast tray. He wore a pair of pajama bottoms with no top.
"How's the invalid this morning?" His face bore an artificial smile. Instinctively, his eyes turned toward Lynn's cast.
"Oh I'm just marvy." Lynn said with obvious displeasure. "I was hoping this was just a bad dream. I guess its not."
"I'm sorry honey. I know the cast is a pain. But we'll manage." Ken sat beside Lynn and rubbed his hand on the smooth plaster.
Lynn knew she sounded depressed.
"You're a dear, Ken." she kissed him on the cheek. "I promise to take a positive attitude from now on."
Ken smiled. "That's a girl!" He returned the kiss.
"Ken. I have to go to the bathroom. Can you get my crutches?"
"Sure, Honey." Ken retrieved the crutches and helped Lynn swing her casted leg to the floor. She grimaced as a knifelike pain shot through her calf when she lowered the leg.
"Are you OK?" Ken watched helplessly as Lynn sagged on the crutches.
"Yes, " she said softly. "It just really hurts when I stand up. Must have something to do with gravity."
"Should I call Pierce's office?"
"No. Sheila said this is normal. The pain will go away in a week or so." She stood straight and smiled. "Well I better get going before I burst."
Ken waited on the bed while Lynn hobbled to the bathroom.
Lynn entered the small bathroom, clicked on the lights, and shut the door. She placed her crutches against the wall and turned her back to the toilet. Lynn struggled to pull her nightgown over her stomach and lower herself to the toilet seat. Halfway down, Lynn realized that the distance between the toilet and the facing wall was insufficient for her casted left leg. After a struggle, she managed to wedge the foot of her cast into the facing corner and lower herself onto the seat. As her bottom touched the cold porcelain, the crutches came tumbling down on her head making a loud racket.
"Do you need help?" she heard Ken yell.
"Do you have a gun?" Lynn laughed to Ken.
"That bad, huh?" She heard Ken laughing also.
"I'll be out in a second."
Lynn emerged two minutes later. "At least we weren't out of toilet paper," she joked.
Lynn hobbled to the bed and, with Ken's help, got her leg propped on a pillow. Ken brought the breakfast tray to Lynn and joined her in bed.
Lynn was surprised at her appetite. She had not eaten since the fateful lunch yesterday but somehow thought a traumatic event like a broken leg should take her appetite away.
"So what was it like when Pierce set the leg last night?" Ken asked.
"Awful!" Lynn chewed on a muffin.
"Did it hurt much?"
"It was unbelievable. I passed out before he finished."
"You poor thing." Ken stroked her casted thigh gently. "So were you unconscious when they put the cast on?"
"No. I was awake for that. It was really pretty interesting."
"Why is that?"
"It just was. You know. Watching three people work for 30 minutes to cover your leg in a ton of plaster bandages. All the attention was kind of nice."
"Did it hurt when they put it on."
"No. It actually felt good. The bandages were warm. Really comforting. Until I thought about having to spend eight weeks in this thing." She tapped her casted thigh for effect.
"Does it hurt a lot now?"
Lynn took a sip of coffee. "It aches a little but its not too bad. Except when I stand up."
Lynn noticed that Ken was sitting awkwardly. She reached down and felt his lap.
"My, my. I had forgotten about Willie."
Ken gave her an embarrassed look. "Sorry, honey. I guess I'm still worked up from yesterday. We can wait till you feel better."
Lynn gave Ken a serious look. "Are you sure you can wait? Maybe in a few days it won't hurt so much when I move."
Ken leaned over and kissed Lynn on the cheek. She lay her head back on the pillow and was asleep in seconds.
Chapter Ten - Law School
On Monday, Lynn began to adjust to life in the cast. She awoke just after Ken left for work and washed her hair. She gave herself a sponge bath and dressed for the first time since the injury. Using a straightened coat hanger, Lynn managed to pull a pair of panties over her cast. Her ensemble was completed with a blouse and denim skirt.
At 9:00 am, Lynn called Pierce's office and made an appointment for her Friday check-up. The receptionist provided directions to Pierce's office and assured Lynn that the office was very handicap accessible.
In the afternoon, Lynn decided to attend her Criminal Procedure class with Professor Huber. Fortunately, Ken had driven Lynn's Geo to work that morning leaving Lynn with the much roomier Buick. Lynn made her way to the carport and clumsily pulled herself into the front seat. She entered through the driver's door and slid across to the passenger seat Once the her left leg was in the car, she was able to lower the cast into the front floor area next to the hood release latch. The process of entering and exiting the car was not pretty. But it worked.
Lynn found a parking space near the Law Library and clumsily climbed out of the car. Although the Kelly Classroom Building, where Criminal Procedure was taught, was no more than a hundred yards away, it took Lynn 15 minutes to make the trek. Since it was class change time, the commons was filled with hundreds of students moving from one building to another. As she struggled with the crutches, Lynn noticed that passing male students would stare at her casted leg as if she were some kind of circus freak.
Criminal Procedure was taught in an auditorium on the first floor of the Kelly Building. The Professor, Hubert Huber, was a wizened old man with who had once served on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He retired from the court at the age of 68 and devoted his remaining years to making life hell for third year law students. He loved to ridicule unprepared students and relished making fools of poor performers.
Lynn entered the auditorium through the back door. She hobbled to an aisle seat in the rear row; an area normally occupied by those students unprepared for class or unwilling to answer questions for any other reason. Lynn qualified for this row on two counts. Lynn extended her casted leg into the aisle and propped her crutches on an adjacent chair.
Professor Huber was in the process of displaying his wrath.
"Mr. Minton," the Professor called on Barry Minton who Lynn knew casually from one of her study groups last year. "In the case of 'The State versus Barnett', what did the lower court find with respect to the defendant's motion for a change of venue."
Barry was a nice looking guy with a great personality. As a student, however, he did not excel. "Well, sir. Umm." Minton mumbled. He was obviously clueless. Sensing a fellow student's helplessness a dozen hands shot up in the air. Competition in law school was ferocious. Class standing was a major factor in what type of job would be available for a student upon graduation.
"Miss Jones." said the Professor loudly.
An overweight woman in a loud dress stood. "Sir," she began eagerly. "The court found that evidence of pre-trial publicity, standing alone, does not establish a reasonable likelihood that a fair trial cannot be had."
"Excellent, Miss Jones." The Professor glared at Minton who was now slumped in his chair looking miserable.
As the destruction of Barry Minton was going on, Lynn suddenly felt the toes of her left foot begin to itch. She wiggled them as strenuously as she could. But it was to no avail. The itchiness increased. Frustrated, Lynn tapped the student in front of her on the shoulder. He turned and looked unconsciously at Lynn's casted leg.
"Wow, what happened to you?" he whispered.
"I fell over the weekend and broke my leg. I've got a weird favor to ask." She tried to keep her voice low but Lynn noticed several students turn around.
"Sure. What do you need?"
"Can you scratch my toes? They're itching and I can't get to them. It's driving me crazy.
He smiled. "Only if you let me sign your cast after class."
"Anything. Sure. Just scratch them." Lynn wiggled her toes as if signaling a target for him.
Lynn's new friend reached his hand down and began to massage her toes. His fingernails scraped soothingly across the bottom of her toes and the exposed potion of her instep.
"God, that feels good." said Lynn with relief. "I don't know how to thank you."
The toe massage stopped suddenly.
"Ms. Medera." The Professor's voice filled the auditorium. "Do you and Mr. Fishburn have something you would like to share with the class?"
"Oh shit." said Lynn softly.
"Oh shit is right!" echoed Fishburn.
Lynn pulled herself together. "No Sir" she said in a voice barely loud enough to be heard in the row in front of her.
"Ms. Medera," the Professor continued. "I would respectfully ask that you share with your fellow students the nature of your discussion with Mr. Fishburn. We are always interested in investigating the finer points of Criminal Procedure."
Lynn knew from experience she had no way out. Huber was going for kill and wouldn't stop until he had destroyed his intended victim. Lynn decided to take the offensive.
Unsteadily, she gathered her crutches and climbed to her feet. She stood in the aisle where her cast would be visible to everyone in the auditorium. She heard whispers among her fellow students.
"Professor. I am sorry. As you can see I have had a bad weekend. I fell on Saturday and broke my leg. I'll be in this cast for three months. I was barely able to dress myself this morning much less drive to school and get to class. I am unprepared for class but felt your lecture was important enough for me to make the effort."
The class erupted with applause. She heard muffled cheers "Way to go, Lynn." and "Come on Professor, ease up on her."
Professor Huber raised his hand. The class quieted. Huber was loosing his composure. "Your injury is quite unfortunate, Ms. Medera. But it does not explain your need to converse with Mr. Fishburn. Would you care to share the nature of your conversation with the rest of the class."
"Very well, Professor. My toes were itchy and I couldn't reach them because of the cast. I asked Mr. Fishburn to scratch them for me. And he did."
The auditorium erupted with laughter.
Lynn felt herself redden but took comfort from Huber's look of confusion.
When the laughter died down, Huber acknowledged defeat. "Very well, Ms. Medera. The effort you exhibited in coming to class is appreciated. In the future, however, please either bring a long implement with you to alleviate your itching toes or develop some silent hand signals so that Mr. Fishburn may come to your assistance quietly."
The class applauded once more. Lynn nodded with a smile and lowered herself into her chair.
Chapter Eleven - Rachel
On Friday morning, Lynn drove herself to Pierce's Orthopedic Clinic on the South side of town.
"I'm here to see Dr. Pierce"
The receptionist looked from a computer screen.
A pause while she pecked at the keyboard.
"Have a seat." She nodded toward the crowded waiting room. "They'll be with you shortly."
Pierce was one of six physicians in the obviously successful Orthopedic group. Lynn hobbled to one of the few empty seats in the waiting room. The crowd was a mixed lot. A few children. A few geriatrics. Mostly middle aged patients. All were white. A young girl with a brace on her leg. A middle aged man with a full arm cast. The others, however, were cast and brace free. Moments after Lynn settled into the chair, the admitting door swung open at the back of the waiting room.
"Lynn Medera?" a pretty, middle aged nurse called. Lynn raised her hand and began to climb up her crutches. Lynn knew that everyone in the waiting room was watching as she unsteadily made her way to the open door.
"Hi. I'm Rachel." said the brunette holding the door for Lynn. "I bet your getting good with those things." she said nodding toward the crutches. Lynn instantly liked Rachel. "Some days are better than others,' said Lynn laughing.
They were in a small anteroom at the beginning of a long corridor. Rachel pulled a wheelchair from behind a door. "Hop in," said Rachel taking Lynn's crutches and propping them against the wall. "We'll pick these up on the way out. "
Rachel wheeled Lynn down the hall to a small nurses station. There, she took Lynn's pulse and blood pressure. The readings were duly noted on Lynn's chart. "OK next stop is x-rays".
Lynn's x-rays were taken by a serious little man with no personality. Four x-rays were efficiently taken from various angles.
"We call him Smiley." Rachel confided to Lynn after they she had taken Lynn into a small examining room.
"Well at least it didn't hurt like the last time."
"No Smiley's good at what he does. He just doesn't say much while he's doing it."
Lynn shifted in the wheelchair. "Do I need to get on the examining table?"
"No. We're pretty loose around here. Dr. Pierce can examine you in the chair."
Rachel looked at Lynn's chart. "So let's see. Seven days in the cast now. Have the guys started to bother you yet?
"What do you mean?"
"The cast" said Rachel nodding at Lynn's left leg. "It drives a lot of guys crazy. They absolutely love women who are in leg casts."
"No. I'm dead serious. I hear about it all the time from patients I work with. The women all say the attention they get from men increases a 1,000% when they're in a cast. I had one girl in here a few months ago. She's as mousy and shy as you can get. I bet she hadn't had three dates in the last five years. Broke her ankle in an auto accident and presto. Full leg cast for six weeks. Fifteen dates with different men during the six weeks and she's married a month after the cast's off. Had to use a cane to get down the aisle."
"Get serious." said Lynn laughing.
"I am serious. And it works both ways I've had a number of male patients tell me women went absolutely wild over their leg casts."
"Why the interest do you suppose?" asked Lynn.
"Probably a number of thing. First, people in leg casts - - particularly the large kind -- are somewhat helpless." Rachel tapped Lynn's cast as if making the point. "You have the bondage angle that subliminally comes into play. Second, a lot of people have foot fetishes and the patient's tootsies are normally fully on display." Rachel tickled Lynn's toes playfully. "And third, I think some people are just turned on by the smell and feel of plaster. Don't ask we why. They just are. Anyway, you put it all together and you have a high incidence of people with a cast fetish."
Lynn thought of Ken's preoccupation with her cast. The way Ken stared at the cast and loves to touch it. Lynn had long suspected that Ken had a foot fetish. He loved to sit with Lynn's bare feet in his lap and often caressed and kissed her toes and feet during lovemaking. For years, she had noticed his downward glances whenever females wearing sandals walked by.
She smiled inwardly. If he had a cast fetish or a foot fetish it mattered little to Lynn. She supposed most people harbored a fetish of some sort or another. At least he wasn't into wearing panties under his suit or using whips and chains.
"I suppose you could be right, Rachel. I guess there are kinkier things someone could be obsessed with."
"Absolutely. You might as well use it to your advantage."
At that moment, Pierce opened the door and gave Lynn a big smile.
"Well. You look better than you did last Saturday."
"I feel better too!" replied Lynn returning the smile.
Pierce studied Lynn's chart carefully then examined the x-ray series on an overhead viewer.
"It looks fine, Lynn. Both bones are aligned properly and there are early signs of calcification in the tibial fracture. The fibula will take longer to unite but that doesn't matter since its a non-weight bearing bone."
"How long will I be in this thing?" Lynn nodded at the cast.
"Still to early to tell." said Pierce writing in her chart.
We'll have you back in four weeks for some more x-rays. We might put you in a walking cast then."
Lynn was suddenly animated. "Four weeks. I can't wait."
Pierce tweaked her cheek with his hand. "I said maybe. We may also keep you in the same cast. Don't get you're hopes up. We want you to be 100% again young lady."
Pierce handed the chart to Rachel. "OK, Rachel," he smiled. "She's out of here."
As Rachel wheeled Lynn back to the waiting room, Lynn turned with a wry smile. "Do you think Pierce would let me have sex yet?" asked Lynn.
Rachel winked. "Oh, I'm sure he would insist on it!"
Chapter Twelve - The Fetish
That evening, Lynn dressed in short, black nightgown. Her casted left leg rested on a pillow. Ken, dressed in pajama bottoms, fumbled for the TV channel changer on the nightstand table.
"Honey." Lynn interrupted Ken's search. Will you do me a big favor?"
"Of course, honey. What is it?
"Will you paint my toenails?"
"Will you paint my toenails. I feel silly having my toes sticking out of this cast all the time." Lynn wiggled her toes seductively. " At least we can make them look decent."
"Sure. I suppose I can." He laid the channel changer on the nightstand. "Where's the nail polish?"
"It's in my top drawer in the bathroom. And get some cotton balls to keep my toes apart."
As Ken walked to the bathroom, Lynn smiled inwardly. She had been plotting this scene all afternoon. If Ken really has a foot fetish, this should excite him no end. And if he had a cast fetish it would be even better.
Ken sat at the end of the bed between Lynn's feet. He placed a box of cotton balls on the bed and inserted one cotton ball between the each of the toes on Lynn's left foot.
"Let's do one foot at a time" Lynn said.
"You're the boss." said Ken. His smile was genuine. Lynn thought Ken's hands were shaking slightly as he opened the nail polish. The smell of lacquer filled the bedroom. With the care of a surgeon, Ken bent toward her foot and began painting Lynn's big toe. Lynn watched the lump rise in Ken's crotch and smiled.
"You're good at that." she said.
"I suppose. Am I doing all right."
Ken finished the big toe and moved to the second toe. Lynn placed her right foot in Ken's lap. As expected, Willie was alive and kicking.
"My. My. What happened here."
Ken stopped painting and looked up with an embarrassed smile. "It's been a long week I guess."
"Ummm." she said seductively. I guess it has been. Why don't you put down that polish. We can finish that in the morning."
Ken capped the bottle and dropped it on the floor. Lynn continued to rub his crotch with her right foot.
"Are you turned on by my cast?" Lynn asked suddenly.
Ken was stunned. The question came from nowhere.
"Of course not," he stammered. "Why would you think that?"
"Because." Lynn let her tongue play seductively on her lips. "Because I think you are like a lot of men."
"What do you mean?"
"I've heard that a lot of men get turned on by plaster casts. And by female feet. And I think you're one of them. As a matter of fact I hope you are." Lynn wiggled her right foot slightly.
"No it isn't. I've been watching. Men are fascinated by my cast. They don't think I notice. But I do."
"Come on. Get serious."
"I am serious. At school, the guys are falling over each other trying to help prop my leg up. And they can't help but stare at my toes. Your fetishes are more common than you think."
"I don't have any fetishes."
"Oh I think you do." She continued to wiggle her right foot. "Go ahead and touch it."
"Go ahead. Touch my cast. I'm trying to have an open discussion with you about a common fetish you have. Touch it."
Ken stared at Lynn in disbelief. Lynn could never fathom the depth of his confusion. Since childhood, Ken had hidden
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