When I was in the fifth grade, this girl I knew and liked kinda-sorta, showed up for class with some thing sticking out of her blouse, at the neck, and it also looked like something was under her shirt as well, I didn’t give it much thought at the time, but when we went to lunch she sat by me and asked if I had noticed her new brace, I indicated that I had, in fact noticed something and further stated that if she wanted me to know any of the details she would volunteer this info at he choice of time and place ,and it looked like lunch time was it .She explained that this thing she was wearing was a brace and that she would be wearing it for the next few years or so ,until she had stopped growing ,so I asked her all the standard questions ,like :what was it like and was uncomfortable and on and on ,and she told me that when she was done wearing it ,I could come out to her place and see it and maybe try it on for size and so forth ,provided we were still the same size at that point in time ,I just said that I thought sounded o.k. and we had lunch.
All the other kids made fun of her for a while, but soon got used to the idea of her and her brace and by the time we were all in the seventh grad ,it was all pretty much old hat ,besides which about eight other kids had gotten them by that time anyway. True to her word when she was done wearing this brace she invited me out to her house, five and a half miles out old county road 22 on the left side of the road, just before it turned to gravel, so it was a very nice summer day and still fairly cool, considering that when I arrived it was about 10:30 a.m. or so .She was out in front of the house waiting for my arrival and when I showed up we sat on the porch for a while and talked about all sorts of things, finally she said that the brace was up in her room and if I wanted to see it that I should come up there with her ,at this point I asked where her parents were and she informed me that had gone to a wedding and would not be back until Tuesday around noon, and I said that this WAS Tuesday to which she replied ,”no silly not today ,next Tuesday “and that she had the whole house to herself for the next week .With that I said “lets go and see this thing then” and when we got up to her room ,there it was lying on her bed in all its glory, all shiny and the rich brown leather and all the rest of it ,She had obviously taken excellent care of it because it didn’t look like it had ever been worn ,or at least not very much. So I went over to her bed and picked it up to examine it and it weighed a ton, I mean this thing was very heavy for what it appeared to be, but I continued to look it over and she said “go ahead try it out for size “. I explained that I had no idea whatsoever how to even begin to get into the thing, at which point she came over to where I was standing, told me to remove my shirt and lower my shorts a bit so she could help me into it, I complied with her instructions and in a matter of just a very few minutes I was wearing her Milwaukee brace, as she called it, and to my utter surprise it was actually quite comfortable although it was a might tight, she said that it was supposed to be snug in order to do it job properly.
So, here I am in this big brace and thinking that it was pretty cool, so we went out side after I got my shirt back on and my shorts pulled back up, and walked around the yard, they had about 30 acres, it used to be a farm, but the barn was gone and all that was left were a few outbuildings and a corn crib, well we must have spent about a couple of hours outside and I made mention of the fact that I was a bit thirsty so we went back to the house for lemonade that she had in the fridge, so when we got to it, it was quite cold ,at this point I had been in this brace for about four hours ,and had already tried things that you take for granted and of course most of them were not at all easy and a few things were flat-out impossible to do like riding a bike ,don’t ever want to feel that sort of pain ever again, makes you walk kinda funny for a while ,anyway I asked her when she would let me out of the brace and she got this sinister grin and said “what if I don’t ever let you out of it “?all of a sudden I got this really weird sensation running through my stomach and asked if she was kidding around or what ,to which she replied that she was in fact going to remove the brace and my stomach settled down ,and so I asked when ,and she explained that when she first had gotten the brace that she didn’t get let out for three days so she could/would get used to the way it worked and so on ,but that I would be out in a matter of a day or so and that I was to spend the night in this brace .
I thought about it for a while and decided that this would be ok and so it went, my rents were out of town for the weekend as well so getting right home was not an issue for at least the next three to four days and so the plan was afoot.
We slept apart the first night so that I could get used to the brace and the second night we slept together, which was all that and a six-pack, so at the end of the third day she let me out of the brace and I feel sort of naked, and asked to be able to wear it for a while longer and she agreed, so I got to wear this magnificent brace for what going to be three full days and as she was putting it on me for the last little bit she did the neck ring and the pelvic section next, then announced as before that I was now “in” and was going to be thus for the next 23 hours ,at which time she would let me out for an hour but then right back into it for the next 23 and so on .”So” I asked “how long are you going to do this to/for me as I now had a need to return home as my parents were going to start wondering what became of me, in that I have been out here for the past six and a half days, she told me that she had that all figured out and laid out this rather complicated plan as to how we could keep me in the brace and still appease my folks. This is what she came up with: she was going to tell my folks that we were doing a project for summerschool on disabilities and the barriers presented to those who had to deal with them as a part of daily life and because she already had been there with having to wear this brace for the last five or so years, that we needed a new perspective, this is where I came in and with me in this brace, I would describe all of the problems I encountered during the next six months, I looked at her and said “six months?” “sure” she said “why not “”you love the brace and it is a perfect dodge to get your ‘rents to buy it “so I agreed to go along with this scam for the next six months, just to see where it went ,plus I got to wear this fantastic brace and could get out of it whenever I so chose ,more or less. So we went to my house and dropped this little scheme on my parents, and they took it hook line and sinker, so for the time being we were good to go, and thus started my “adventures”
After we left my house we went over to a friend of Sherry’s house and I met Katy and we told her about the whole gig and Katy thought it was brilliant, but wanted to know where she fit in to the whole plan, and Sherry filled her in and at the same time dropped a huge bomb on me, Katy it seems has a pair of leg braces, the kind that go all the way up your legs to your (my) waist and then a bit farther to a sort of brace type of deal that fit nicely under the Milwaukee. Great, it not bad enough that I have this hot Milwaukee brace on all through the summer, but now I have a pair of what Katy called “bi-lateral h.k.a.f.o.’s” as well.
So as I was prone to do, I asked where in the world these came from, and Katy explained that she had had a skiing accident that caused a fracture in her pelvis and had to wear these until she healed up, about fifteen months and that a cast just wouldn’t work so the doc put her into braces, made sense to me, but what did I know anyway, all I did know was that I am now completely at the mercy of these two girls that had total control over what I did and where I went and what I could when I got there ,at first I was a bit peeved but then as I sat and thought about it sounded kinda like fun ,and there was some fun involved with this whole set up as well ,but, this is me not going there ,at least for the time being Imagine ,going on sixteen and already an ortho slave so to speak, I did not know quite what to think at the time but looking back on that whole summer and the rest of the year as well, wow what a deal, I only wish I could find a gig like that now ,ah but I digress, the rest of the summer was a blast ,and save for the time I had to spend in all of that bracing stuff and some other things as well it was a damned fine summer .
There were nights when we would go out to Katy’s parents cabin on some lake near there and I would get all of “My” braces removed and then we would “play” and, well enough of that for now, but they would readjust the braces and put them back on and so on and so on then one day another friend of both Sherry and Katy came out to the lake with a complete set of custom made braces from the chin to the toes and, well we will save that for another time.
This friend of mine had this set of braces built for fun, if you can imagine anything like that. Well anyway he had this set-up that he called c.t.l.s.bi lat h.k.a.f.o. Wow, was that a mouthful! What it all means is that it was a chin-to-toes brace that I thought was pretty cool. This friend, Gary, asked me if I would like to try it/them on. I looked at Sherry for approval and she said “go for it”.
We got me out of the braces I arrived in and then into this thing of Gary’s. After about an hour of tweaking and adjusting, and messing around with the straps and locks, Gary announced that I was, in fact, now braced to the hilt. Sherry brought in a mirror so I could see just what I looked like. It was breathtaking! I just stood there and stared at my reflection in the mirror. This brace started at my chin, followed on down to my upper torso, then to the hips and upper legs, knees, ankles and to a pair of New Balance sneakers. The calf, thigh and torso sections were laced up and the knees and ankles were strapped and buckled. The straps that held the auxiliary ring and thoracic pads were put in place with screws. There was a number of short straps made of stainless steel, I think, that crossed certain places on the bars. Gary said that they were what was called “keepers” and their function was to hold the bars ar the right distance apart or together as the case dictated, and the three on the back side of the spinal section were to in sure that the wearer, in this case me, stayed in the brace. So now I am in yet another brace and who knows for how long they intend to keep me this way. The unanimous answer was “as long as it takes”. OK, I am anything but stupid, but I needed some explanation for this one. Gary told me about the ‘project’ that Sherry contrived and offered the use of his recreational setup for the “study”. I asked him if he actually bought it, and he asked just what I was talking about, so I filled him in from my perspective. He got all embarrassed and offered to take it all off and let me go on my way. For some weird reason I declined his offer, and opted in for the time in brace, at least for the next two to four weeks, but he would have to throw in the use of the power wheelchair for the duration. He agreed and off we went, the girls on foot and me in heaven – oh, I mean the power chair … sorry, I got carried away for a second there … I’m back to the story. As we walked/rolled along we talked. Well, they talked. I could not manage to move my jaws just yet, so talking was not an option at the present time, but that was to change once we got back to Katy’s cabin. Once inside the girls went to work and softened the pull on the mandibular section, and the occipital as well, so at least I could now talk, but that was about all I could do considering the traction effect of the neck ring was much greater than the milwaukee of Sherry’s. I asked why it was thus, and they looked at each other and Katy said it was just so I could get accustomed to this new rig and that in the morning they would bring it down to a comfortable setting. The night was a bit stoggy as far as sleep went, but I did manage to garner about six hours out of the nine possible. True to her word, after she had coffee and a shower and breakfast and a couple of smokes, Katy lowered the neck ring to such a point that it was comfortable although it was still up there pretty good and was still very inconvenient as far as I was concerned; it was much less painful than it was the night before. Now if I could just get them to relax the rest of this brace to the point where it wasn’t quite as restrictive, but that would have to wait for a while, like about another three to five weeks. Again I asked why so long, and again Katy stated that they wanted me to learn the ins and outs of brace wear. Well, about this time I was sitting there trying to remember an incident where I might have done something to Sherry that made her want to pay me back in this manner, but I could not come up with anything tangible. I decided that when the chance came along where we would be alone I would ask just what was all going on, because this seemed just a bit over the top for “project” and smacked of a bondage scenario in which I was the sacrificial lamb, so to speak, and these two were, well, whatever. Instead of sitting here letting my mind come up with all manner of crazy schemes I would simply inquire. The chance came at nine o’clock that evening when Katy had to run into town to get pop, smokes and such items as were needed in the order of food and whatever else. So when it was just the two of us I rolled over to where Sherry was sitting and just blurted it out. She assured me that what we were doing was simply as she had explained to my parents a month earlier, and nothing more, well almost. She did think that this brace was a bit much, but it was Katy’s idea and Sherry just went along with it because she was in this same fix, if you will, two summers ago. I must have looked puzzled or something. Sherry explained that she and Katy met in the doctor’s office while both were in for check-ups, Sherry for her back and Katy for her pelvis and legs. As one is prone to do on occasion, they started discussing the braces that the other was wearing, and they decided that when the need for these braces was satisfied they would get together and swap them for awhile: Sherry would wear Katy’s h/k/a/f/o’s, and Katy would get to try Sherry’s mikwaukee for the same duration. It was at that point that Sherry found that Katy had a “thing” for different braces. Sherry said that whole summer was dedicated to the wearing of different braces and that some of them were way cool and fun, while others were terrible things that were no fun whatsoever, but the deal stood. She dutifully allowed Katy to put her into all manner of things; she was to wear each of them for two weeks as if they were for real. I stopped her there and asked “what deal?” She did not want discuss it at this time, but indicated that she would tell me the whole story later. Again I had to inquire as to the nature of this deal and Sherry would just say that she had an experience with Katy that was somewhat less than savoury and that if she didn’t cooperate that Katy would “spill the beans” so to speak. Sherry decided to “go along” with whatever Katy came up with that summer. The only way she could get Katy to let this event die was to bring in a newbie, someone who had never had to wear a brace for any reason, someone that they could play with for a summer or two and that “newbie” was, guess who, and this was going to last all summer and into the fall until just about snowfall, at which time it would be put on hold for the winter and resumed in the spring around the first of May, except for the occasional outing during breaks and so forth. But before she can have that upperhand business she has to have some dirt on you as well, you know something she can hold over your head. “like what” I asked, and Sherry told me the plan Katy had for me! She was going to have her way with me when Sherry went home for the day and that would give her the leverage she needed to keep me as an orthotoyboy. Well, I was shocked and flattered that she wanted to do this for/to me. Upon further consideration I was appalled and decided not to cooperate. At that point I wanted out right then and there, but Sherry convinced me that if I bailed now Katy would know that Sherry had clued me in, and would then blow the whistle and expose Sherry as something she did not want to have anything to do with. Sherry asked that I not blow this deal just yet to give her some time to get it together as far as us getting out of here. That meant going over to Gary’s house and having him let me out of these braces of his as we needed a special tool and he had the only one, and after I was out of those braces I would still have to wear Sherry’s brace for the time we agreed upon. I said that I thought that was cool and would comply. She also told me that if I did go through this whole deal just her she would do me a big favour.
Little did I know what exactly Sherry had in mind, as, I was still a bit shy about all that sort of thing ,but the problem at hand was more pressing than that which was in store for me alone with Sherry later.and that’s what we had to straighten out at this point in time
“So”, I asked , what is it that you had in mind to get me or more appropriately ,us out of this dilemma ,and Sherry said that she had a plan in the works but could not go into it just now because she could hear Katy’s truck coming down the driveway and that I should act nonchalant as if nothing had been discussed ,so I rolled back over to the other side of the cabin and feigned sleep til Katy “awakened “me, I must have been pretty convincing because she commented that it was good that I could finally sleep in the braces so I looked her in the eye and asked when she planned on letting me out of this contraption, stating that I could no longer feel my feet and legs and that my hips were starting to get numb as well . Well this just about freaked Katy right out and she was on the phone to Gary in a heartbeat ,and he was here in about twenty minutes and brought the tool along as well(thank god) and started removing the braces ,well I didn’t lie to her ,my legs and feet were asleep and rather cool to the touch at that,but still pink which was a good thing but they came off and to my surprise ,stayed off period and Gary took them home with him and he did not seem very pleased with the whole affair either, as a matter of fact he was really torqued .so I am on the floor and Katy told me to get up off the floor and into the wheel chair ,and although I could make everything work alright I told her that I couldn’t move my legs and she freaked out all over again running around in circles trying to figure out what went wrong and where then she shot through the door like a streak ,hopped into the truck and blew out of there like a rocket “.well” I said getting up off the floor do you suppose that did the trick? and Sherry looked at me in disbelief and just said “brilliant “how did you come up with that in such notice ,and I just told her that there was nothing to” come up” with, because it was all the truth and besides I didn’t know she was going to fall apart like that , let alone twice.So now what ,we thought about it for a while and when we heard the truck coming back I assumed the previously held position on the floor .When Katy came in she was pulled back together some what, till she saw me still on the floor and then she started to get all wobbly again and asked it I was still unable to move my legs ,and of course I chose to answer in the affirmative ,and went on to explain that I was in that brace for almost a week and that it would most likley take a while for everything to work again ,she thought that made good sense and started to relax again ,at this point she and Sherry “helped”me back into the chair and had me propped up the way I was with the braces on and as soon as they let go of me I just sort of slumped off to one side so Sherry suggested that we put me back into the milwaukee and Katy thought that was a good idea so I was with out braces for a grand sum total of about two hours in the past six weeks ,and it was weird ,not unlike holding your breath under water for a minute and a half ,no big deal just an observation ,anyway ,so now I’m back into the milwaaukee and it is a welcome change from that monster that Gary had me in ,and with the advent of the nights events Katy told Sherry that the deal had been consummated and that she was no longer under any duress as to the event of last summer that apportioned all that leverage in Katy’s favour. So in other words Sherry was off the hook as it were.I,on the other hand, was entered into a deal with Sherry that still had to run another three months ,but I had to mention that it was me that got her off the hook with Katy and that I should reap some rewards for that little act .Sherry reinforced what she had promised earlier that evening about a great huge favour when we were done with the project and further promised to give me a sample when we got back to town later the next day Katy had rented a manual wheelchair for the rest of the week end and had taken Gary’s back to him so now I have to actually work at rolling about ,and its a lot tougher than it looks for the rest of the night Katy was all peaches and cream ,falling all over her self trying to make me comfortable while my legs were coming back to life until I asked her what happens if my legs dont come back ever and she collapsed in the middle of the floor and started to cry uncontrollably for a good hour and after that was over with she said that she would take care of me for as long as it took to get them back even if it meant years or even never whatever I needed it was at this time that she explained that her family had a great deal of money and that her cut was more than enough to cover my needs for as long as it took ,but I was not interested in becoming a free loader and milking this woman’s bank account ,so as the new day broke through the pines and we had breakfast and started to get ready for the trip back to town I announced that when I arose this morning the feelings were coming back to my legs ,although it was not a whole lot it was an improvement none the less ,so Katy had me put her leg braces back on for the duration ,until I could ambulate with out them and by the time we hit town I could actually walk in them and she told me to keep them for as long as I needed to, so I wore them for another eight or nine weeks and returned them to her and she thanked me ,then disappeared, never to be seen again, A month later the cabin was sold to some folks from a town just down the road a ways and now it was just Sherry and me again and she had some plans of her own but not as extravagant as those we had just lived through,Sherry did however show me a little of what the” great huge promise” was to be and that pretty much sealed it for me , I would do anything she wanted me to, not the least of which was wearing not only her brace but others as well and sooner or later I was to have my own milwaukee,but I’ll save that for the next chapter or two see how it goes
As with any brace there are certain things that just are impossible to do and the Milwaukee was a classic example of that statement, and after I had been wearing this brace of Sherry’s for the last two and a half months I had a pretty good idea of what I could and could not do, and some of the things you take for granted are so difficult that you wouldn’t ,or couldn’t even imagine .As I mentioned, earlier, trying to ride a bike was pure torture, besides it makes you walk funny for a while , and swimming was a real adventure ,now, I know what you ‘re thinking “what in the hell is he thinking of ,swimming in a leather Milwaukee” ,well it wasn’t a planned swim ,I was boarding a pontoon boat that belonged to my parents ,and sorta missed the ramp and walked off the side of the dock ,just like I knew what I was doing ,and ker-paaa loosh at this point I was in serious perril in that the water was twelve feet deep at that spot and I was only five foot nine inches tall and with the Milwaukee on (that by the way, weighed around 34 pounds or so) ,on the top part of my body ,I had a tendency to float like a small boulder, right on down to the bottom
Fortunately Sherry saw the whole event and was there in a heartbeat with a rope and tied it on to the brace and pulled me out to the safety of dry land, scared the hoobies out of me and everyone else on the boat, except for Sherry ‘cuz she knew what to do and did it without a thought, well anyway we had the rest of the day on the boat with no additional mishaps, and when it came time to go ashore, Sherry and another girl helped me across the ramp, and down the dock to dry land and all was good. Well by this time the leather had gotten dry and was again comfortable and the fact that I had oiled the leather a week or so prior didn’t hurt anything either I think that it helped the leather to not get so wet, whatever. After that weekend Sherry and I did a bunch of stuff that you COULD do in a brace and when we really wanted to do some thing that was not in the realm of the could do’s, I would remove it and we would do whatever, but as soon as we were done, Sherry was right there with that thing and saying c’mon a deal is a deal, you know the drill, and I would dutifully allow her to put me back into it again for next twenty-three or so hours, unless I was out for over four hours, then it was back in for thirty three hours to make up for time lost and that was not fun at all(like wearing it at that point was…..ya right!! ) but soon enough the night came when Sherry came through with the “great huge favor “she had been promising all summer, and wow what a night that was ,and in the morning she told me that I didn’t have to get back into the brace if I didn’t want to as we had come to the end of our agreement term, I asked her that I were to continue for another couple of months ,could we do this again, and she went one better with a counter offer thus : If I were to continue this agreement on a month by month basis she would do for me what she had done last night at the end of each month, now it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this deal out ,so of course I agreed to a continuation, on a monthly basis ,what did I have to loose ………well that will have to be the subject of the next chapter amongst other things.
By this time we are going into the tenth grade, and the school was still doing those dumb screenings for scoliosis, and they would snag some students every time, I on the other hand was always lucky enough to have avoided them all through my school days, that is, until this year. I had to do the obligatory screening first and was then sequestered to a special room for a more comprehensive exam and that one turned out to be positive as well. So now I get to go to an orthopedist and have yet another exam. It seems that the doctors that do the preliminary exams at the school had found something two years before and again last year and decided to watch it to see what, if any thing it was going to do. They got their answer, this was on a Monday and I had an appointment with some orthopaedic specialist downtown in the medical arts building at two o’clock Tuesday afternoon, and that went about as well as I had expected, so now I get to tell Sherry the “good” news and by the following Monday I was in a custom fitted and built Milwaukee brace of my own and was slated to be thus for the next five years or so.
My parents were concerned that I caught this problem from wearing Sherry’s brace all summer and the doctor told them that it was not a communicable affliction. and that in my case it was called juvenile idiopathic scoliosis and that they had no idea where it came from, it just does ,but the funny thing is that out of two hundred boys in my age group only one gets it to the point of needing a brace and out of two thousand boys only two will need surgery and the brace ,fortunately I was not the second statistic, as the first was bad enough. Well it was Monday and I had to go in to the doc after school to get put into the brace for another five years or more, depending on how things progressed, and as per the instructions I go last week I was wearing loose fitting clothes. I arrived at about three thirty and had to wait for about half an hour, and when the nurse called my name I sorta got this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, and I didn’t have any idea why, because I had been wearing Sherry’s brace all summer, perhaps it was due to the fact that this was for real and the brace I was wearing all summer was for “fun” whatever, I went in and down the hallway to a room the nurse was pointing to and went in and sat down and waited another half an hour, then there was this knock at the door and the doc asked if he could come in ,what am I going to say ,”no -go away” not likely
So he entered with the brace on a cart covered with a white cloth, and asked me a few questions and my answers astonished him a bit, then he handed me the brace, and this one was as light as a feather no where near as heavy as the one I had been in all this time, but it was a little more complex than Sherry’s brace because it had a couple of extra pads and a different sort of chin piece, he called it a throat mold, Sherry had a chin rest pad that was more comfortable than this thing looked, so I asked him if he could exchange this one for that kind .He cocked an eyebrow and inquired as to where I had seen such a thing ,and I explained the whole gig of this past summer which he found a bit amusing although” most interesting ” was his exact comment .
None the less he informed me that the chin rest pad was no longer the choice, due to the problems encountered with dental movement which required dental braces as well as this one just to keep every thing from getting out of hand so I conceded and was destined to have the “throat mold “as this was the new fix for the dental problems although he did say that I could have the throat frame, he showed me, and I opted for the mold, being the lesser of the two evils, and after a few adjustments and a final check over and making an appointment for six months from now he told me I could go ,he figured that I already knew how to donn and doff the brace so he didn’t waste a bunch of time with trying to explain all that rigmarole. So here I am on the street in a brand new Milwaukee brace and thinking that it was no big deal on account that all of my friends have already seen me in the other brace. It was already old news, and I went home to show mom and dad, and as expected they were not impressed, big news there, but when Sherry saw it she wanted to try it on just to see how it differed from hers and I took it off and put her into it for the next couple of hours or so and she thought it was the bomb because it was so light weight, but she didn’t like the new pads and wanted me to take them off, and I told her that was the way it was and that was the way it was going to stay, and reminded her of the deal we had last summer this is the brace as is love it or hate it this was how it was supposed to be ,she agreed and continued to wear it for the next hour or so and then took it off so I could put it back on. This brace was a lot tougher to get into than hers was, but once it was in place it was a lot more comfortable than hers ever was, and that’s a good thing considering, I was going to be wearing this brace for God only knows how long, and since I already was wearing hers for so long I didn’t have to wean into it, I just started wearing it for twenty-three hours per day and was out of it for an hour to clean up change shirts and what all else needed to be done during the hour out then right back in it for the next period and so forth until further notice .thinking that all the adventure was about over after having already been there and done that I paid little attention to the reality, that this brace was fitted to and for me and as such it was actually doing something besides just being worn ,it was pulling on my spine and the pads as well thus causing some discomfort but that was to be expected , given the closer fit than hers , oh that’s the other feature I forgot to mention , this brace fit so much closer than Sherry’s did , hers was cumbersome and bulky and much heavier than my brace , like her anterior bar was out in front by about two inches and mine was only out a half inch at the maximum, and mine followed the curves of my torso almost as if it were a second skin which meant that I didn’t have to buy all new clothes , some dress duds were great as they hid the brace almost completely and as for the casual stuff I would wear to school , well that was a snap , and besides I didn’t care who saw what at school anyway.
Things went along for the most part status quo, until I was invited to a party, and I thought it would be good to get out of the house for a while and besides what would a couple of beers hurt, I have beer at home and it doesn’t seem to be a problem there, well the difference was that at home I would only have four or five and the night of the party I must have had twelve or sixteen, and the other difference was that home we had 3.2% alcohol and the beer at this party was strong beer (5.66%) a BIG difference well needless to say I started to have a problem navigating and moving about as well and all of a sudden there was this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach, like ,whatever was in there wanted to come out ,and after attempting to quell those feelings I decided that it was time to go out side for “some air ” and what ever was in there did come out and with a vengeance at that ,now doing this without the brace was bad enough but having to be stuck in the brace and having to go through this event while standing full upright just sucked ,and after that night I didn’t drink anything with alcohol in it until well after I was out and done with the brace, with a couple of exceptions ,but very damned few .On my twenty first birthday we went out a fancy restaurant and had a glass of wine and it was all good ,but just one , well we ordered the food and I opted for the lobster tail and dungeness crab special, huge mistake ,most of the melted butter went down inside the brace as did some of the meat -what a mess -cracking crabs requires you to bend over the plate and I could not even begin to do that as for the lobster that came already out of the shell and all had to do was cut and eat it was grand and the crab, what little of it I did get into my mouth was superband then dad was going to have an after dinner drink so I joined him in ONE, and it was a big hummer but it was only one (?)I think they called it a stinger, brandy and peppermint, it was actually quite good, but after only one I could see how they got named they will get you there in a hurry if you haven’t had much to eat as was my situation, but I got through it alright, and it was a good time all in all.
The rest of the days in the brace were uneventful at best and the day was to come when the doc would say that it was time to start weaning out of the brace and that my curves were stabilized and that I had to wear it at night for the next year or so, which I did and then that day came when I was told that I didn’t have to wear this brace any more man what feeling after almost seven years, and no more brace, I was so happy that I went out and bought some steaks and a bottle of nice wine and had my girl over for dinner to help me celebrate ,now here it is some twenty seven years later and during the process of moving out of one house and into another in a different town I was going through the attic I found that old brace ,and put it on just to see if it still fit and it was on the tight side ,but then as I remember it always was a bit snug so I decided to wear it for a while to see if I could still handle it for twenty three hours in a row ,and that was a snap so just for the hell of it I started to wear it on weekends and as a result met this beautiful woman who was wearing one similar to mine and for the same reasons at that ,and we started dating and wearing our braces whenever we wanted ,and also started to acquire some additional braces for fun and games and perhaps I will write something about those braces some day ,perhaps not we’ll see .
I hope you have enjoyed this series which for the most part was and is the true story on how I became a rec. braces user .in the interest of honesty there were a couple of embellishment’s in chapter one towards the end when I was talking about the “play” aspect, but I needed to hold it together at that point because it was getting a bit dry there, but to the best of my knowledge that was the only time that I strayed from the absolute truth.