where wheelchair users and BIID/transabled unite!

Little White Lies

Chapter 1 – The Fall

As Beth cleared the last high hurdle in the steeplechase course, Beth’s horse caught its hoof on the last rung of the jump and collapsed to the ground. Beth’s body was thrown to the ground like a rag doll being shot from a canon. Before her body had come to a complete stop, the medics were already beginning to grab there first aid bags and move quickly toward Beth’s buckled body, but no sooner had they reach her and she was up, dusting herself off.

” Maim, are you ok” asked the tall, dark hared paramedic. “Yes, I think so “, said Beth, her hands still shaking from the shear fright of being thrown 10 yards by an animal 15 times her weight. “I think I’m just a little shaken up, that’s all,” said Beth as she turned her head to the right and then to the left, working out a few kinks in her neck. “Oh my god, how’s my horse?” her voice filled with fear. “He’s fine, just spooked him pretty bad, that’s all”, replied the dark hared paramedic “That’s a nasty looking scrape you got there on your elbow” said the shorter, slightly balding paramedic, “why don’t you let us bandage that up for you”. The tall paramedic reached into his bag and pulled out a large gauze bandage and some sterilizing solution, gently he took Beth’s arm and began pouring the sterilizing solution over the abrasion. “This might sting a bit”, Beth made a slight grimace as the young, handsome paramedic carefully cleaned the abrasion with a plastic brush, making sure all dirt and foreign matter were removed from the scrape before applying the large gauze bandage.

“Your a lucky young lady, the last time I saw a fall like that the rider had to be taken off on a stretcher and spend the next three weeks in the hospital” said the dark hared paramedic “Who was the rider”, ask Beth, “Her name was Kelly Adams, one hell of a rider, but I think she quite ridding after her accident” “What happened to her?” asked Beth? “Broke her back in three places, spend six months in a body cast that went from her chin to her hips, and another year in physical therapy” “Oh my god, that poor girl” said Beth. “I guess I really am lucky, just a little scratch on my elbow.” Beth bent forward, stretching her back, confirming to herself that all was still in working order. “Are you sure your ok”, asked the balding paramedic, as he examined Beth’s head for any cuts or bruises, “you should really let us take you to County General and have a Doctor check you out, just to be safe”
“Thanks guys, but really, I’m fine, a hot bath and a glass of wine and I’ll be good as new, besides, my husband has tickets for the Phantom of the Opera tonight.”

As the two men finished checking out Beth, the taller paramedic noticed a slight swelling at the base of Beth’s neck. “You have a slight bit of swelling in your upper back and lower neck, its probably just a bruise or a muscle spasm, but you might want to have your physician check it out if it doesn’t go down in a day or so.” Beth pressed her hand on the back of her neck and felt a small bump “I’m sure its nothing but I will keep an eye on it” She thanked the paramedics again for all there help and gave them both a hug, it was just past noon on Wednesday.

Chapter 2 – Thursday

The alarm clock rang loudly waking Jim out of a deep sleep brought on by a late night at the show and too many glasses of Moet White Star Champagne. Jim was Beth’s husband. He was a big man, standing 6′ 3″ and weighing 205 pounds, he usually never had a problem getting up early for his 30-minute commute from Woodside to his job in San Jose, but this morning was more difficult than others.

After a hot shower and a cup of strong black coffee, Jim was himself again, refreshed and alert. Being careful not to wake Beth, Jim sat softly on the foot of the bed a gazed at his beautiful wife of three years. Beth’s black, wavy hair was just slightly spotted with flecks of gray, but she still look less than thirty, even though her 38th birthday was only two weeks away.

Beth was in excellent shape, from her slender, well-toned thighs to her firm, size 36-D breasts, anyone could see that she worked hard at keeping herself in top physical condition. She went to aerobics no less than four days a week, lifted light weights twice a week and roller-bladed with Jim on the weekends, however her true love was horseback riding, which she did as much as possible. Jim’s job with a computer company afforded Beth the luxury of not having to work, and that’s the way Jim preferred it, it gave them more “time to practice that kid thing” as Jim often put it.

As Jim rose slowly off the bed, Beth awoke; her eyes still lightly covered with sleepers, for Beth had slept very soundly that night. Not moving a muscle from the time she laid her head down on the pillow till the time she was woken by Jim’s 205-pound body rising off the foot of the bed. “Good morning honey” said Jim in a soft, caring voice, “Good morning” replied Beth. “How did you sleep, I noticed you didn’t move an inch?
“Like a baby” said Beth, as she rolled to her left in time to catch Jim pulling on his boxer shorts over his large erection, “Oh, is Leroy having nasty thoughts this morning or is he just happy to see me?” “I think a little of both,” replied Jim, slightly blushing.

“How’s the arm feeling today, after your little mishap yesterday?” asked Jim in a concerned voice. Beth grinned as she held up her arm and extended it back and forth, “Its fine, see, no problem”. Beth smiled to herself knowing that even though she was not able to hide her scraped elbow, she was able to convince Jim that it was her roller-blades and not her horse that caused the injury. Jim constantly expressed his concern about Beth’s safety while horseback ridding. If it were up to him, he would sell the horses and buy her anything her heart desired, but he knew horses were Beth’s love and passion.

Jim finished straightening his tie and came around the bed to Beth’s side, giving her a goodbye kiss.
“Have a good day at work honey, and maybe if you’re a good boy tonight, we can see about Leroy’s needs”
“Only if you feel like it honey, first and foremost, we need to make sure that arm is taken care of”
“Oh honey, you worry about me too much, I’ll be fine, now you better get going or your going to be late for work” Beth blew him a kiss as he walked out the door.

Beth heard Jim’s car pull out of the driveway as she eased her 5’7″ body out of bed; it was then that she realized for that the first time in their marriage, she had lied to Jim. Not only about her elbow or about how it happened, but about her pain, which now reflected the horrible tumble she took less than 24 hours earlier.

Chapter 3 – The Shower

As the warm water from the shower cascade over Beth’s erect nipples, she felt warm inside and her thoughts went to Jim and how she had deceived him. They had always been honest with each other, even to the point of telling each other their secret fantasies, and then fulfilling them.

Beth’s fantasy was to make love in public places or anywhere they had the possibility of getting caught, she especially loved to fool around in restaurants and hotel elevators. Beth’s ultimate fantasy was to get dressed up in her black, slinky evening gown, crotchless black panty hose and 4″ high heels. Jim would be in his black tuxedo, bow tie and thong underwear. From there they would go to a one of San Francisco’s finest Hotel restaurants, have a flirtatious dinner which included Beth flashing Jim under the table putting his hands between her warm, sensuous thighs, and massaging her clitoris until she was with in seconds of orgasm. After dinner they would sneak into the elevator and make love against the sterile wall of the elevator, again and again.

Jim’s fantasy was two fold, he loved to tie Beth’s arm and legs up to the bedposts and then place a large, red ball gag in her mouth. After leaving her like that for 15minutes or so, he would began to massage her large breasts, gently caressing her nipples until she was wet and excited. He then would insert the tip of his penis in her just enough to tease her. After ten or so minutes, he would thrust it deep inside her and cum for what seemed like hours. Jim’s other fantasy was unknown to Beth, he would often tell her that he had another fantasy, but would never tell her exactly what it was. This drove Beth crazy, but she did not want to force it out of him, she always knew he would tell her in his own time.

A slight change in the water temperature snapped Beth back into reality and as she rinsed the remaining shampoo out of her hair. She noticed that the swelling in her neck had now gone from a small bump to a large area that extended from the middle of her neck down between her shoulder blades. She also had a lot of pain when she tried to turn her head, her first thought was not how soon she could get in to see her doctor, but how or if she should continue to hide this from Jim.

It was 6: 30 when Beth heard Jim’s car pull up the driveway, she had just finished warming up last night’s leftovers. Beth was an excellent cook and normally spoiled Jim, but tonight he was going to have to settle for warmed up lasagna. Beth had spend most of the day laying down on the couch with a cold pack on her neck, thinking about what she was going to tell Jim. She knew that if she told him the truth, he would insist on selling the horses. If she said nothing about the fall, maybe he would not noticed the lack of movement and the swelling in her neck, and all would be better in a few days. Besides, Jim would be too concerned with her arm to notice anything else.

By the time Jim had put his key in the front door, Beth had figured out her plan, she would say nothing to Jim, serve dinner as usual and try to get to bed early. If Jim mentioned anything about her stiff neck, she would say that she must have pulled something at the gym earlier in the day. Tomorrow, she would call her Doctor to see if she could get an appointment, get some painkillers, and, in a few days, all the pain would be gone and everything would be back to normal. Just a little white lie, Beth thought to herself.

“Hi Honey, how was work?”
“Good” replied Jim
“I finally closed that IBM deal I have been working on the last year, it’s going to mean a lot of money for us in commission”
“Oh honey, that’s great, maybe we can finally go on the trip to England we have been talking about”
“I think we probably can,” said Jim, smiling.
“How’s the arm feel today?”
“A little sore, but not too bad, I was able to go to the gym today a lift some light weights”
“Are you sure that’s was such a good idea?”
“Jim, you worry about me much too much, now sit down and dig into this lasagna” As Jim sat down he gently kissed Beth on the cheek and carefully massaged her injured arm.
“You think you could see fit to service Leroy tonight? Ask Jim with a strange grin. A grin he only gets when he wants to tie Beth up.
“I think we might be able to work something out, just one request, nothing kinky tonight, I don’t think my arm can take it, OK?”
“OK” replied Jim,
“But only if you feel up to it”

At nine o’clock, Jim and Beth snuck off to the bedroom to make love, even though Beth was in a lot of pain, she refused to show it as Jim continued to excite her again and again until the wee hours of the night.

Chapter 4 – The Doctor’s Office

By the time Jim’s car was half way down the driveway, Beth was on the phone calling her Orthopedic Surgeon for an appointment as soon as he could squeeze her in. The earliest Doctor Leemore could see Beth was 10:15, according to the receptionist who Beth had known for almost than four years. Beth had gone to Doctor Leemore for a knee injury she sustained four years earlier while skiing in Aspen and then again 6 months ago for a sprained wrist caused from a fall on her roller-blades. Doctor Leemore was someone Beth trusted and his receptionist, a young lady named Dana, was equally as trustworthy. Beth knew that her visit would be held in complete confidence, even from her husband.

By nine o’clock, Beth had finished showering, drying her hair and applying her makeup, and was trying to decide what to wear. Beth was the type of woman who always had to look beautiful, no matter what she was doing, horseback ridding, rolling balding or even going to the Doctor. Her dark brown hair was always perfectly groomed, her make up impeccably applied, and her clothes stylishly in fashion. Today her choice was a long navy skirt, white pantyhose, a red and green floral silk blouse and her navy blue heels.

Friday morning at 10:15, Beth pulled her 1994 BMW into the parking lot in front of Doctors Leemore’s office. Although Beth was now having second thoughts, wondering if she should go in or turn around and go home, her neck was feeling much better than it was the day before and the swelling had gone down considerably. However, she did feel obligated to Doctor Leemore and Dana since they had gone out of their way to see her on such short notice, besides, it couldn’t hurt to get checked out since she was already down there.

“Good morning Dana,” said Beth as she approached the receptionist window “Thanks so much for seeing me on such short notice”
“Good Morning Mrs. O’Connel, how are you feeling?” replied Dana with heart felt concern in her voice.
“Well, I took a fall on my horse the other day and my necks a little stiff, but I’m sure it’s nothing”
“I’m sure you ‘r probably right, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Why don’t you have a seat and I’ll let Doctor Leemore know your here”
Dana was a cute girl with big brown eyes and a smile that could ease even the most intense pain. Her straight, dark hair, which she wore pulled back, and her dark rimmed librarian glasses gave her the look of sophistication, even thought she was only 26.
“The Doctor will see you now Mrs. O’Connel”
Beth followed Dana in through the reception area and down the hall to one of four patient examination rooms.
“He’ll be in shortly”
“Thank you Dana”, Beth said with a smile
“Good morning Beth, how have you been?” ask Doctor Leemore as he entered the examination room. Doctor Leemore was a handsome man in his mid 40’s. He had dark hair, a closely trimmed beard and caring, deep green eyes that always put Beth at ease.
“I been great Doctor, and how about yourself?”
“I have been very busy, roller-blading injuries have been good for the orthopedic industry” replied the Doctor as he smiled.
“Speaking of roller-blading, how’s your wrist doing?”
“No problem, see, good as new” Beth held up her arm and turned her wrist from left to right. “So, I understand you took a little fall on your horse?”
“Yes Doctor, I took a little spill and scuffed my elbow and my neck’s a little stiff, much better than it was yesterday though”
“Are you having any other pain besides your elbow and your neck?” asked the Doctor as he moved Beth’s elbow back and forth, looking for any signs of pain in her face.
“No Doctor, everything else seems to be fine, in fact I feel kinda silly now because I feel much better than I did yesterday”
“Well, your elbow seems to be fine but I would like to x-ray it just to be on the safe side, now if you could remove your blouse I want to check your back and neck
Beth reached up and began to unbutton her silk blouse as Dana walked in
“Mrs. O’Connel, can I take that for you?” asked Dana as she held out a plastic hanger.
“Yes please, thank you” Dana carefully took Beth’s blouse and placed it gently over the hanger.
“I’ll hang it in our closet until the Doctor finishes the examination”

Doctor Leemore slowly began to examine Beth’s spinal column, starting from her waist and working up, he checked each vertebra for any swelling or bruises. As he reached the upper section of Beth’s back and lower neck, her upper thoracic and cervical region, he noticed a small amount of swelling.
“Does this hurt when I press down” Beth winced as Doctor Leemore applied a small amount of pressure.
“Just a little” replied Beth
“How about when you turn your head?” The Doctor had now come around and was in front of Beth with one hand on the back of her neck and the other hand holding her chin as she slowly turned her head.
“Well, it’s a little sore” responded Beth
“I want you to tip your head forward as far as you can and then back, but stop if you feel any pain” As Beth rocked her head ever so slightly forward and then back, the Doctor couldn’t help but notice Beth’s extremely large chest. Her milky white breasts framing the deep cleavage that was between them, all supported by ivory colored silk bra with an underwire that more closely resembled a TV cable. The shoulder straps were wide and had an extra 1″ wide by 1/4″ thick piece of foam rubber placed over them to keep from cutting into Beth’s skin.
“Well, it looks like that hurts a little” Said Doctor Leemore?
“The pain is not too bad, just a little stiff”
“Have you ever had any back or neck problems before? ”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, a lot of my female patients with very large breasts sometime have back or neck problems caused by their large chest” Beth, slightly blushing, replied
“No Doctor, I do a lot of back and neck strength exercises at the gym, so I have never had a problem” Touch her breasts slightly with her hands.
“It appears that there is no major problems, however I will need to get a full set of spinal x-rays”
“That’s reassuring,” sighed Beth with relief in her voice
“We won’t know for sure until after the x-rays, but it looks like a mild sprain”

It was 11:30am when Beth was wheeled into the x-ray room, which was in another area of the medical complex adjacent to Doctor Leemore’s office. The x-ray tech was a woman in her mid fifties with a serious look who got right to business.
“Please remove your blouse, your skirt and your panty hose, you can leave your bra and panties on” Beth quickly followed her instructions
“Please lay down on the table, stomach down” Beth heard the camera button being pressed; as she was the woman moved the lens of the large camera to different positions on her back and neck.
“All finished, you may put your clothes back on” said the woman in a monotone voice.

By 12:00, Beth was back in Doctor Leemore’s examination room, now fully dressed with a fresh application of dark, ruby lipstick.
“I should have the x-rays back early Monday morning and we will call you to let you know how everything went”
“That’s great Doctor, please call me after 10:00am or so, I have said nothing to my husband Jim about this and I really don’t want him to find out, he’ll want me to sell my horses!”
“That’s fine Beth, but unfortunately the cervical collar I have prescribed for you will not be so easy to hide”
“What cervical collar?” replied Beth with a quiver in her voice.
Doctor Leemore held up a small piece of white paper; it was a prescription for a hard foam and plastic collar.
“I am prescribing a Philadelphia Collar to be worn for 3 to 4 weeks ”
“What is a Philadelphia Collar?” ask Beth with a sigh
“Well it is a light weight, skin color cervical collar that is worn around the neck to restrict movement and transfer the weight of your head to your shoulders, letting your neck muscles rest so they can heal”
“Do I have to wear this collar all day?”
“All day and all night, I only want you to remove it while showering, that is it
Beth sighed again and pouted like a little girl who lost her favorite doll.
“Cheer up Beth, the Philadelphia Collar is quite comfortable, I think you will find that your pain will be a lot less while wearing the collar” said Doctor Leemore, smiling.
“What will I tell Jim?”
“The truth is always nice, but if you are afraid of that I’m sure you will figure out something creative.” Doctor Leemore called Dana in from the front office.
“Dana, could you please take Mrs. O’Connel with you and fit her with a Philadelphia Collar” “Yes Doctor” Beth followed Dana down the hall to a small room with crutches, knee braces, etc.
“Beth, could you please have a seat on the exam table, this will only take a few minutes”
Beth sat down and Dana began taking some measurements and then went to the large drawer marked “C-Collars” and pulled out a box labeled “Philadelphia Collar”, Dana placed the box on the exam table next to Beth. Opening it, she pulled out two skin colored half’s with a tan Velcro strip attached to each half.
“Let me show you how to put this on and removed it. First, this is the back half, marked with a small “B”. Dana held up the back half of the collar and pointed to the small “B” with a small arrow pointing up.
“The arrow is tells you what part goes up. This piece, with the molded chin cup is the front half, it is not marked, but it is easy to tell them apart” Dana now had the front half in one hand and the back half in the other hand.
“When putting the collar on, start with the back half first” Dana placed the back half of the Philadelphia Collar on her neck.
“Next, take the front piece and slip it over your neck, your chin should rest in the molded chin piece. Then, loop the Velcro straps on the left and right piece through the buckle and double them back on them self, keeping the pressure even on the left and right side. Make sure the straps are not loose, they need to be snug.”
Beth carefully watched Dana as she placed the front half of the collar on and tightened the Velcro straps on the left and right side.
“Any questions so far” asked Dana
“No, I don’t think so,” replied Beth “To take the collar off, repeat the same steps, just in reverse, simple, right?”
Dana removed the collar, smiling at Beth.
“Well it doesn’t look to difficult” replied Beth.
“Now, Mrs. O’Connel, I need you to undo the top two buttons of your blouse so this part of the collar will go underneath your clothing” Dana held up the front part of the collar and pointed to the section that rests on the shoulders.
“Oh yes, of course” Beth carefully undid her two top buttons
“Thanks, I will also have put your hair up for a minute”
Dana took a hair clip out of her white nurse’s coat and pulled Beth’s hair back, placing it in a ponytail toward the top of her head.
“You have beautiful hair” replied Dana as she carefully clipped her ponytail so it sprouted up, slightly falling off to one side.
“Oh, thank you, I just wish I could get rid of those little gray ones”
“I know what you mean” replied Dana, as she pointed to a few gray hairs in her bangs.
“Dana, I think I got you beat in the gray hair department” Beth said, smiling.
“Could you please sit up straight and extend your neck” Beth moved her shoulders back and extended her neck slightly.
“Great, now please hold your chin up a little” Beth smiled and lifted her chin slightly
“Perfect” Dana took the back half of the of the Philadelphia Collar and placed it on Beth’s neck. She then took the front half and carefully slipped it under Beth’s chin, on to her neck and connected the two with the Velcro strap, which looped through two straps and doubled back on itself.
“There, how does that feel?” asked Dana, smiling curiously.
“Well, …fine I think”
“Is it pinching anywhere ”
“No, I feels fine, how does it look?” replied Beth, with a tight-lipped smile and a sarcastic tone in her voice
“It looks fine, you can barley notice it, besides, it will make you feel a whole lot better”
Dana walked around Beth and checked the fit of the Philadelphia Collar, tightening the Velcro straps slightly
“There, I think that’s perfect. Remember, this is how tight the collar needs to be when you do it yourself” Beth nodded her head slightly, even though her movement was now restricted “Remember, this is going to make you feel better”
Beth smiled slightly and replied “Ill have to keep reminding myself of that”
“Why don’t you go ahead and button your blouse back up, I think Dr. Leemore wants to see you before you leave.” Beth nodded slightly and buttoned her blouse up around the skin colored Philadelphia collar.

Dana led Beth down the short hallway back to one of the exam rooms where she sat patiently waiting for Dr. Leemore to finish up with one of his other patients.
“See that’s not so bad” responded Dr. Leemore as he entered the sterile looking exam room and began checking the fit of Beth’s new Philadelphia Collar.
“Well, I haven’t had a look in the mirror yet” Beth said with a slight frown.
Dr. Leemore laughed and continued his inspection of the collar.
“Looks like Dana fit you perfectly, now remember, you need to wear this collar 24hours a day, I only want you to remove it while bathing”
Beth, now smiling and grinning, replied “Yes Doctor, but” Dr. Leemore cut her off mid sentence
“No Buts, I’m serious Beth, 3 weeks or so in the collar and you’ll be good as new. Now, I want to see you next Friday, until then, I am going to prescribe some mild pain pills for you and don’t hesitate to call us if you have any problems” Beth took the small prescription slip from the doctor and thank him again for all his help.

Beth checked in with Dana before leaving to confirm her Friday appointment and thank her for all her help.
“Well see you next Friday at 10:00am” Dana said as she looked up from her appointment book
“Also, I have phoned your prescription into Walgreen’s Pharmacy so they should have it ready in 1/2 hour or so”
As Beth left Doctor Leemore’s office, she glanced down at her small gold Rolex watch, it was 2:45, and Jim would be home in three hours.

Chapter 5 – The Weekend

Beth sat in front of her antique vanity and stared into the mirror at her new Philadelphia Collar, it was much more noticeable than she had thought. Even thought it was flesh in color, it was not something she would be able to hide from Jim. Beth even considered not wearing the collar when Jim was around but quickly abandoned that idea after discovering that the pain was much worse with the collar off. She wondered what she would tell Jim and how he would react when he came through the door.

At 5:15 PM, Jim came through the front door and entered the living room where he found Beth sitting on the couch wearing her navy blue pumps, white panty hose, a thigh high red and navy skirt and a silk white blouse. Her dark brown hair was pulled back in a pony tail and her deep maroon lipstick matched the frames of her large, librarian looking glasses. “Oh my God Beth, what on earth happened?” asked Jim as he stared a Beth’s new Philadelphia Collar. Beth grinned at Jim with a tightlipped smile and said, “You remember that little fall I took on my roller-blades earlier this week, well I guess I hurt a little more than my wrist”
“I guess you did, ” said Jim in a concerned voice. “It’s not as bad as it looks” replied Beth smiling
“The Doctor said it looks like I have mild whiplash, a few weeks in this attractive collar and I’ll be good as new”
Jim walked over to her and put his hand carefully on her right cheek and with a stern look on his face, he said
“What do you mean by “it looks like”, that doesn’t sound like a very definite answer “?
“Well, we won’t be 100% sure until the doctor gets a look at the x-rays, but he said it’s nothing to worry about, the x-rays are routine with this type of injury.”
Why didn’t you tell me about this earlier” ask Jim with a bit of anger in his tone.
“Jim, I only found out about this after you left for work this morning. My neck has been a little sore for the last few days but I really didn’t think anything of it until I woke up this morning. I was in quite a bit of pain and it hurt to turn my head, it was only then that I figured I better get to the doctor and have him check it out”
Jim nodded, accepting Beth’s story as the truth and sat down next to her on the couch.
“How do you feel now honey? Does it hurt much?”
Beth smiled and shook her head slightly
“Not to much, it is a little sore but not too bad, Doctor Leemore gave me some pain medication”
“Well that’s good to hear, so what else did Doctor Leemore say.”
“He said I should be as good as new in a few weeks and that I don’t have anything to worry about” Beth smiled at Jim and gave him a peck on his cheek.”
“How long do you have to wear that neck collar?” Jim asked in a concerned voice.
“Well, Doctor Leemore says two weeks, maybe three at the most”
“That’s not so bad, you be out of that thing in no time” Jim was now smiling and caressing Beth’s hair.
“That’s easy for you to say, you don’t have to wear this damn thing around” Beth replied in a sarcastic tone, grinning slightly.
“The worst part is that the Doctor says I need to wear this collar 23 hours a day, only taking it off for bathing, as long as I am careful not to turn my head when I in the shower ”
Beth was now smiling, trying to calm Jim, who always worries too much. Beth’s main concern was too make sure that Jim did not find out how she really hurt her neck, she knew that would not make him happy.

The rest of the weekend was spent at home, and even though Beth was in more pain than she let Jim believe, she loved the way he cared for her, like a damsel in distress. He made breakfast, lunch and dinner for her the entire weekend and never let her out of his sight, his deep concern for her medical condition warmed Beth’s heart and made her feel loved like never before.

By Sunday morning Beth was beginning to feel guilty for not being totally honest with Jim about the horseback ridding accident. Her pain had also now elevated itself to a new level, and the amount of pain she was in was now worse than on Friday or Saturday. She wanted to tell Jim the whole truth about how the accident really happened, when and how much pain she was really in, but she knew she could not. Jim would surly insist she sold her horse and give up riding all together. He would also worry himself sick if he knew the truth, so Beth put that idea out of her head and tried to make friendly conversation while Jim and her lay in bed.

As Jim rolled over, Beth gently kissed him on the cheek and stroked his light brown hair. “Good morning honey, did you get a good nights sleep?” asked Beth with her big, bright smile. “I sure did,” replied Jim, “How about you? hey, what about your collar the doctor told you to wear” asked Jim as he looked at Beth’s unsupported neck.
“I’m fine, that’s why I took the collar off last night, besides, it kind of hard to sleep in” “Remember what Doctor Leemore said, he wants you to wear the brace 23 hours a day, that means all day and all night”
“I know honey, I promise I’ll put it on after my shower, OK”
“OK, but remember, all day and all night”
“Yes Jim, all day and all night, and in fact, if you want, what do think about going to that new Italian restaurant tonight for dinner?” Asked Beth with that “I won’t take no for an answer look”.
“Well, I guess it would be fine if you feel up to it honey”
“I told you I feel great so then well do it, about 6:00 — OK?”
“6:00 it is”
By 4:30 Beth was finishing her makeup after a 1 hour shower, most of the morning was spent in bed and the early afternoon was spend lounging around the house watching football and relaxing in a pair of sweet pants and a big fluffy pullover. Beth did as she had promised and wore the collar all day before getting into the shower around 3:00. The warm water felt good on her neck as it help loosen the muscle’s and relax her.

By 5:15 Beth was done up in her usual stunning fashion, her make up flawless, her dark brown hair perfect, her luscious lips freshly adorned with a think coat of deep ruby lipstick which matched the color of her sexy, librarian style glasses. The short flowered dress she wore was burgundy in color, with a low cut front that revealed a good portion of Beth’s large breasts. She knew that with a small dab of her Donna Karen Perfume, Jim would be like putty in her hands

“Honey, are you ready to go”, called Jim from the bathroom
“Just about Baby, but I need your opinion, do you think I should go with; the red pumps or the navy ones?’
As Jim emerged from the Bathroom, his eyes were immediately fixed on his wife, who now looked as beautiful and sexy as he could ever remember.
“Honey, you look great but——-”
“But what, don’t you think I look nice?”
“Nice, you look gorgeous but don’t you think your overdoing it a bit, I mean we still need to get that neck collar on you and with that dress, —well”
Beth moved closer to Jim and slid her hand into Jim’s pleated kakhi pants and gently kissed him on the lips.
“You’re not going to make me wear that awful collar in public are you?” Beth said with a girlish pout on her face.
“Remember what you promised honey, all day and all night, remember”
“I know, I know but after my rest today and my hot shower, I feel fine, besides, I promise I will wear it as soon as we get home, I just hate having to wear it out in public, especially since I feel fine”
“OK, OK, but as soon as we get home, right, ”
“Right”

Dinner was excellent and Jim consumed almost an entire bottle of 1991 Staggs Leap Cabernet by himself. Beth was not really drinking much since she had been taking the pain killers Doctor Leemore had prescribed for her, and even though she had been in a lot of pain earlier, her pain was now all but gone after two pain killers and a glass of wine.

Jim wasted no time escorting Beth up to the bedroom when they got home, feeling frisky from the wine and stimulating dinner conversation. As he began to remove her dress and move her toward the bed, Beth stopped him.
“Honey, aren’t you forgetting something”, Jim looked around the room with a puzzled look on his face.
“What, —Oh, would you like me to remove my socks first”
“No silly” Beth was now pointing to her neck, slightly grinning.
“Oh ya, the neck collar, do you really think you need it?” asked Jim, now more interested in removing her bra and acting like Romeo than playing Doctor
“Well, if you’re planning on fooling around, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea, just to be safe” “Your right honey, I’m sorry, we need to get you into that collar and sex is out of the question, I shouldn’t let my little head do the thinking all the time.” Jim was now feeling guilty about his previous actions
“It’s ok Jim, if you want to fool around, its ok by me, I just doubt you’ll find me sexy in that damn collar.”
“Honey, I always find you sexy but I really think we should wait a while before we fool around, maybe you can check with Doctor Leemore next week”
“Are you sure honey, really, I feel fine” replied Beth as she slowly placed the Philadelphia Collar on her neck
“Yes, I’m sure, now let me help you with that”.

Chapter 6 – The Monday Morning Phone Call

Beth awoke to Jim’s lips on her cheek as he hurried out the door, already slightly late for his first morning meeting.

“Bye baby, sorry I don’t have time to chat this morning but I’m running way late, how are you feeling this morning?

“Pretty good I guess, but it’s too early in the morning to tell, what time is it?” Beth asked wiping the sleepers out of her eyes.

“7:45 am” replied Jim as he put the finishing touch on his Nicole Miller Tie

“How is your neck feeling? I’m glad to see you wore your collar all night, now just make sure your a good girl today and keep it on, and no cheating —- OK?” asked Jim with a stern look on his face.

“OK, OK I promise, now you better get going before it gets any later.

After Jim left Beth laid back in bed and fell back to sleep for awhile. She was very tired from staying out late the night before and having to try to sleep in the neck collar, which only amounted to about 4 hours or so.

By 8:00 Beth was on her second cup of coffee and her second pain killer. The ache in her neck seemed even worse that it had the day before as she counted the painkillers left in the small prescription bottle. Only 6 more left, at that rate Beth knew she would need to get more tomorrow. She looked at the clock, it was now 8:15am, Beth knew that Doctor Leemore’s office usually opened at 9:00, so she could call then to get her prescription refilled

As Beth watched the last half-hour of Joan London and “Good Morning America”, the phone rang, it was 8:45 am.

“Hello”

“Good morning, is this Mrs. O’Connel”

“Yes, this is Beth O’Connel”

“Mrs. O’Connel, this is Dana calling from Dr. Leemore’s office” replied Dana in her soft, comforting voice.

“Oh, good morning Dana, you’re starting a little earlier than normal this morning,” asked Beth in a slightly concerned voice

“Well, Dr. Leemoore sometimes has me start at 8:00. So how are you feeling?”

“Pretty good, however, I was going to call you this morning, I need to get my prescription refilled, the pain is a bit worse than it was on Friday”

“I can imagine, especially after reviewing your x-rays this morning” replied Dana

“What do you mean?” asked Beth,

“Well, the reason I am calling so early this morning is that Dr. Leemore found something on your x-ray this morning that may be a little more serious than we originally thought”

“You mean I may have more than a bad case of whiplash”

“It’s hard to say Mrs. O’Connel, that’s why the Dr. would like to see you as soon as possible, do you think you can be here by 10:00”

“Well, sure, I’ll do my best, —– is this something I need to worry about” asked Beth in a serious voice

“Oh no Mrs. O’Connel, I don’t mean to frighten you, it’s probably nothing, but we won’t know for sure until Dr. Leemore checks you out further.” replied Dana, knowing all along that Beth’s injury was in fact a serious one

“Ok then, well I’ll see you around 10:00, thank you for calling”

Hanging up the phone, Beth could feel her heart pound. Her mind drifted to Jim, what would she tell Jim if in fact she has seriously hurt her neck, should she stick to her roller-blading story or should she fess up and tell Jim the truth.

As Beth got into the shower, she tried to put the whole thing out of her mind, it was probably nothing, just like Dana said, but better safe than sorry. Besides, she need to get a refill on her prescription anyway, this way she would kill two birds with one stone.

The clock read 9:30am as Beth put the finishing touches on her makeup. With her dark brown hair pulled tightly back in a pony tail, a fresh coat of burgundy colored lipstick and a light mist of Donna Karen Cologne, she was nearly ready for the short 10 minute drive to Dr. Leemoore’s office. Beth, always wanting to look her best, was wearing her navy blue skirt with her floral silk blouse, her 1″ red heels nicely accenting her cream color pantyhose. As Beth walked out the door, she suddenly realized she had forgotten to put her Philadelphia Collar on, which she quickly placed on her neck and fastened with the Velcro straps.

It was 10:15 by the time Beth pulled her 733 CSI BMW into the lot at Dr. Leemore’s office. Walking across the parking lot, Beth could feel her heart began to pound and her palms sweet as she entered the medical arts building. As she got into the elevator a voice behind her asked

“Could you push 8 please”

“Of course, that’s where I am going as well” replied Beth; carefully turning to see whom she was talking too. It was a woman, probably in her mid twenties with auburn colored hair, cut short and big brown eyes. She too was wearing a neck brace; however, hers was metal and went from her chin down into her the collar of her gray “Stanford” sweatshirt. As they made eye contact they both grinned.

“Looks like you might be going to the same place I’m going” Replied the woman in the gray sweatshirt.

“Dr. Leemoore’s office?” asked Beth

“I’m afraid so, you too?”

“Yes. So what happened to you” asked Beth in a soft voice, almost as to not have anyone else hear there conversation, even though they were the only two on the elevator.

” I was rear-ended by a 16 year old kid three weeks ago, broke two vertebra in my neck and fractured my wrist”

Beth looked down and saw a cast on the woman’s right arm that went from her hand up over her forearm, to her elbow.

“You poor thing, that’s awful, how long do you need to be in the cast?” Asked Beth, looking down at the woman’s right arm.

“Well, that’s not too bad, the doctor says about 6 weeks or so if all goes well. Its the neck that’s the hard part, probably about 3 months in this darn brace, and then about 4 to 6 weeks in a brace like yours. Consider yourself lucky you only have to wear that collar, what I would give to trade you braces, even for just a day. How about you, what did you do to yourself?”

“Well, I was thrown off my horse last week, Dr. Leemoore said it looked like I suffered a mild case of whiplash but his office called this morning and said they needed to see me after reviewing the x-rays, so needless to say, I’m a little nervous this morning”. As the elevator doors slid open both women got out and begin the short walk down the hall towards Dr. Leemore’s office.

“I’m sure everything will be alright, they usually want to see you after they get x rays back just to double check you. By the way, my name is Heather, Heather Thompson.” Heather extended her hand towards Beth.

“I’m Beth, Beth O’Connell, it very nice to meet you and thanks for trying to ease my nerves” standing in front of the door to Dr. Leemore’s office.

“You’ll be fine, well, we better go in” Heather opened the heavy oak door leading into office and Beth followed her in. Dana was in the waiting room arranging latest issues of “Time” and “People” as the two women entered.

“Good morning Mrs. Thompson, good morning Mrs. O’Connell, do you ladies know each other?” asked Dana with a surprised look on her face.

“We just meet in the elevator on our way up”

“Yes, we were comparing braces” Beth said, laughing softly

“That’s right, we were, however, I think I win the Frankenstein Award” replied Heather, putting her hand to her SOMI Brace.

“Oh, It’s not that bad Mrs. Thompson, you can barely see it under your sweatshirt” responded Dana

“That’s right, it’s hardly noticeable, I think my collar is more visible than your brace”

“Thanks, you two are sweet but your not very good liars – but thanks for trying to cheer me up” Heather said, smiling.

“OK, well why don’t you both have a seat and Ill let Dr. Leemore know your both here”

Dana went back through another door, which lead to the exam rooms while Beth and Dana both sat down in dark gray leather chairs adjacent to each other.

“I hope this doesn’t take too long, my husband is picking me up downstairs at 11:30” replied Heather, glancing down at her small gold watch.

“Are you here for a check up or….” asked Beth in a non-prying manner.

“Yes, I come in once a week for a quick exam on my wrist and my neck to make sure everything is mending properly. Dr. Leemore said he may need to make an adjustment on my brace this week.” replied Heather as she gently put her hand to her chest.

“Mrs. Thompson, the Dr. will see you now” Dana was standing by the door leading to the exam rooms.

Heather looked over and smiled at Beth.

“Well, hopefully this wont take long” replied Heather as she carefully got up.

“It was nice meeting you” Beth smiled and held out her hand.”

“Oh thanks, it was nice meeting you too, and don’t worry, I’m sure everything will be fine ” replied Heather as she disappeared through the door into the exam room.

Beth sat patiently reading the latest People magazine, trying not to think about the pain she was in and trying not to think about why the doctor wanted to see her on such short notice. It was 11:15 by the time Heather emerge from the exam room, almost an hour after she had gone in. Beth watched as she came around to the glass window where Dana sat, everything looked the same but something was different, almost as though her movement was even more restricted than it was before. Beth could hear the two women talking about the next appointment.

“The doctor would like to see you again on Friday morning, to check the new adjustments on the brace and make sure there is no skin breakdown anywhere, especially around the chin area”

“What time” Beth heard Heather ask

“How about 10:00?” Asked Dana

“That should be fine, I’ll see you Friday”

“Great, and remember, if you have any problems at all, don’t hesitate to call”

“Promise”

Heather turned her head and body slowly, together, almost as though she had been fused from her head down to her hips.

“How did it go?” asked Beth with deep concern in her eyes

“Well, it went ok, Dr. Leemore says my wrist and neck are beginning to heal nicely, unfortunately, he had to make a little adjustment on my brace, which included raising the head and chin piece up one notch.” Heather put her delicate hand to the aluminum bar that held the chin piece on her brace.

“Oh, you poor thing. Try to look on the bright side, you’ll be out of that thing before you know it” Beth smiled and looked at Heather with heartfelt concern in her eyes and in her voice.

“Oh, I’ll be fine, just bitching a bit, it makes me feel better. Say, maybe we can have coffee together sometime and commiserate together, misery loves company you know, let me give you my phone number” Heather reached in her purse and handed Beth a Nordstrom’s business card which read, Heather Thompson, Lingerie Consultant.

“That’s what I did before this happened, but hopefully I’ll be back soon. I talked to my boss yesterday and she says I can come back as soon as I am ready, on a part time or full time basis. So its just a matter of when the good Doctor gives me clearance to go back. This moaping around is not for me, I would rather try and get back into the swing of things, even if I may scare off some of the customers in this ugly neck brace! Let me write my home phone number on the back as well” Beth read the card and smiled

“You are a brave young lady with a good attitude, that is inspiring to me, thanks very much and good luck to you, I’ll will give you a call soon” replied Beth

Chapter 7 – The Bad News

It was 11:30 am by the time Dana emerged from behind the exam room door.

“Mrs. O’Connell, the Dr. will see you know” Beth looked up from the Time Magazine she was reading.

“Oh—Great” Dana was holding the door open as Beth walked into exam area

“Sorry about the wait, but the Dr. got behind and didn’t expect to have to spend so much time with Mrs. Thompson.”

“That’s ok, I was enjoying catching up on the latest gossip in People Magazine”

“Yea, I know what you mean. Now lets see, it looks like your going to be in exam room #3 this morning”

As Beth followed Dana into the examination room, she recognized it as being the same room she had been in last Friday.

“Please have a seat up on the exam table and the Dr. will be in shortly” Dana smiled and closed the door behind her.

Beth looked around and noticed a set of x-rays hanging against backlit screen which was turned off, she wondered if those were her x-rays.

Dr. Leemoore came in carrying a clipboard and wearing his usual friendly smile, almost like everything was going to be ok, almost.

“Good morning Beth, sorry you had to wait so long. So, how are you feeling?” Dr. Leemoore placed his hand on Beth’s shoulder and smiled slightly.

“Not too bad Dr., the pain got a little intense yesterday, but after a few pain pills, I felt fine”

Dr. Leemoore had begin undoing the Velcro on the sides of Beth’s Philadelphia Collar

“Well, lets have a look see now that we have gotten back the x-rays” Replied Dr. Leemore as he turned on the screen where the x-rays were hanging.

“I’ll need to have you to remove your blouse please,” asked the Dr. as he took both half’s of the collar and placed them on the exam table.

“Oh yes, of course” replied Beth as she began unbuttoning her floral silk blouse, revealing only her navy colored bra which held her size 36 D breasts.

“Please turn your head to the right, only as far as you can” Beth tried but was only able to turn it a few inches

“Great, that’s fine. Now lets try it the other direction” as Beth moved her head from the left to the right, she began to feel an intense pain which she tried to hide from the Dr.

“Is that painful?” asked Dr. Leemoore

“No, not really” replied Beth, knowing full well she was lying through her teeth.

Dr. Leemoore performed a few more mobility tests and then grabbed his clipboard and began scratching down some more notes.

“Lets get you back in this collar — OK”

“Sure, that’s fine” replied Beth, lifting her chin as the Dr. slid the front and back half of the Philadelphia Collar on, firmly fastening the sides with the velcro straps.

“Is everything OK” asked Beth in a concerned voice

“Well, let me explain why I called you in this morning” the Dr. pulled out a wooden pointer and touched it to the x-ray that was now illuminated.

“I found something on your x-rays this morning that concerned me and now after our physical examination, I have confirmed my suspicions” moving the pointer up the x-ray, he placed the tip on a section resembling the cervical spine.

“What we have here is a compression fracture of your cervical spine, specifically at C5 & C6”

The Dr. expression was almost poker faced as he moved his pointer along a small area of the x-ray.

“What does that mean Dr.” Cried Beth in a slightly quivering voice.

“Well, in laymen’s terms, it means you’ve got a broken neck” Beth could feel her heart pound and jump in to her throat as she tried to take a deep breath and regain her composure.

“Now don’t panic Beth” replied Dr. Leemoore as he grasped her sweaty hands with his and looked straight into her eyes.

“Its not as serious as it sounds, in fact, judging by the x-rays and the physical exam, the break is very minor and should heal up just fine, with out any complications.” The Dr.’s confident manner and soothing voice immediately put Beth a little more at ease and she could feel her heart beat begin to return to a normal pace.

“Well, that’s reassuring, I think,” replied Beth, cracking a slight smile

“So I guess I won’t be shedding this collar any time soon?” asked Beth, putting her hand to her collar.

“Well, I’m afraid your wrong, you will be loosing the collar today” Beth looked at the Dr. with a slightly puzzled face.

“The bad news is you will be getting a new brace” the Dr. smiled and began writing what looked like a prescription on a small piece on yellow paper. As the Dr. was writing, Beth sat quietly, waiting for the Dr. to explain.

“With this type of injury, it is extremely important to keep the cervical and thoracic region of the spine as still and immobile as possible, which, unfortunately, can not be done with the collar you are now wearing” Beth listened intently as the Dr. again pointed to the x-rays

“What I am prescribing here is a brace that will give your neck and upper back more support than the Philadelphia Collar ”

“How long will I have to wear this new brace Dr.,” asked Beth, her voice now more serious than before.

“It’s hard to say, it really all depends on how fast you heal and how cooperative a patient you are, but were probably looking at a minimum of 6 – 8 weeks, possibly longer.” Beth now could feel her heart pound faster than ever, her mind raced with thoughts of Jim, what would he think, what would he do, and what about her friends at the equestrian club, how would they react, would she ever be able to ride again—would she want to?

“Dr., you can’t be serious?” asked Beth, hoping that he would bust out laughing and tell her it was all a big joke

“I’m very serious, Beth, I told you this injury would heal up fine and that it was nothing to panic about, but it is something that needs to be taken seriously and treated seriously so that you can make a complete and speedy recovery.” The Dr. was now looking directly at Beth with a stern look on his slightly tan face.

“I’m sorry Dr., I guess I’m just in a state of shock over this whole thing and a little scared”

“That’s totally understandable Beth, now let me treat you as I see fit and well all get through this thing together, —-OK?”

Dr. Leemoore put his hand on Beth’s bare shoulder and smiled, comforting her in a way only he could

“OK Dr., after all, you’ve always taken good care of me before” Beth smiled slightly, still panicked about what lye ahead.

Just then Dana entered and smiled at Beth as she was putting her blouse back on.

“Mrs. O’Connell, I have made an appointment for you in 1 hour at Bay Orthotics, you will be seeing a lady by the name of Andrea, she will be doing the fitting of your new brace” Dana handed Beth two forms that were typed and co-signed by Dr. Leemoore.

“Here are your insurance forms, I have already filled them out, all you need to do is sign at the bottom and give them to Andera, along with the prescription, and you’ll be all set” Dana smiled and handed Beth a pen.

As Beth signed the two insurance forms, Dr. Leemoore was finishing up the prescription and handed one copy to Dana for her records and the other to Beth.

“Beth, just give this to Andrea and she take care of the rest, she already knows what your coming in for, so there shouldn’t be any problems, if there is, I’m sure she will call” Beth smiled and finished tucking in her blouse

“By the way, you’ll have to leave your car here and make arrangements to pick it up later, you will not be able to drive right away with this new brace” stated Dr Leemoore as he helped Beth off the exam table

“How am I going to get to the orthopedic shop and then home?” asked Beth

“We have already called the medical transport van to pick you up here, drop you off at Bay Orthotics and then take you home when you have finished with your appointment” Dr. Leemoore smiled proudly, basking in his efficiency.

“Wow, you guys are really on top of it” replied Beth, glancing over at Dana with a slight smile

“Well, I wish I could take all the credit but Dana is to thank for taking care of all the details, — she’s the best” the Dr. looked over at Dana and winked as she slightly blushed.

The Dr. turned back to Beth and took firm hold of her hands

“Now don’t worry, everything will be fine, remember, you’re in good hands!” Beth smiled

“Thanks Dr., Ill try not to worry too much. All I need to do now is figure out how I am going to explain this whole thing to Jim” Beth reached up and put her hands to her neck.

“Try the truth, it always works for Me.” replied the Dr., patting Beth on the hands and smiling

“Dana’s got a few more things to go over with you so I will leave you in her hands. Oh, I will want to see you later this week to check the fit of the brace and see how you are progressing. Lets shoot for Friday afternoon at 1:00” Doctor Leemoore shook Beth’s hand and disappeared through the exam room door, leaving Beth and Dana alone.

“The Dr. wanted me to go over a few things with you after you get fitted with your brace and return home” Dana had now put her librarian glasses on and was reading a clipboard that was hanging next to the x-rays.

“I’m all ears” replied Beth

“I am going to give you a few of these muscle relaxors and two codeine now, before you go over to Bay Orthotics. Andrea is the best at fitting and she will try to be as gentle as possible but you will be in some pain when she is done. These should help your neck muscles relax a bit and the codeine will help with the pain” Dana handed Beth four small pills and a glass of water. Beth put the pills in her mouth and took a large drink of the water, swallowing all four pills at once.

“Well, that should help, will these pills make me sleepy?” asked Beth as she looked up from the glass in her hand.

“They will relax you and the codeine will make you a little drowsy, so it will be easy for you to sleep when you get home” Dana replied, looking up from her clipboard.

“This is a check list that Dr. Leemoore wanted me to go over with you. First, after the fitting you will probably be a bit sore and tired after all the medication, so after the van drops you at home, the Doctor wants you in bed for the rest of the day. As for the rest of the week, bed rest is prescribed at least 16 hours a day. The brace will be a bit uncomfortable for the first week or so and sleeping will be a bit difficult, these should help.” Dana reached into a locked cabinet and pulled out three small bottles of prescription drugs, one was codeine for pain, one was muscle relaxors and the other was a high strength sleeping pill.

“The pain pills are to be taken twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening or as needed, just don’t exceed four a day, the muscle relaxors are to be taken three times a day, morning, afternoon and evening. The sleeping pills should be taken prior to going to sleep. These should last you for a couple of weeks or so and hopefully buy then, you won’t need them anymore”

“Also, trying using a lot of pillows when setting up your bed, other patients have told me it helps when trying to sleep in a rigid neck brace”

“What about bathing, will I be able to get this new brace wet?” asked Beth

“Well, for the first week, you will have to sponge bath only, after that you will be able to shower as normal, with the aid of a special brace you can take in the shower and a traction set.” Beth looked up at Dana with her big brown eyes and started to cry ever so slightly. Dana smiled charmingly and gently hugged her.

“I know this sounds a little scary but you’ll be fine, the first week will be the hardest, pretty soon you’ll hardly remember your hurt at all.

Beth wiped the tears from her eyes

“I feel silly crying like that, I know it will be ok, I’m just a little scared and overwhelmed by all of this”

Dana carefully patted Beth on her back

“Remember, you can call us any time you have a problem and you can call me at home if you have any questions or if you just want to talk.” Dana reached over a grabbed a business card, writing her home phone number on the front.

“Well, you better get going, I think your ride is her” Dana opened the door of the exam room and walked Beth to the reception area where they were met by a tall, blonde haired man with piercing blue eyes and suntan skin.

“Good afternoon maim, I’m Larry and I will be your chauffeur for the afternoon” Larry extended his strong hand

“Oh, please call me Beth. It’s nice to meet you Larry” Beth’s hand met his hand and they shook gently.

Dana reached over and gently grabbed Larry’s forearm.

“Please make sure, when you drop Mrs. O’Connell off at home that you get her inside and set up in her bed before you leave”

“You can count on it maim” replied Larry, winking back to Dana

Chapter 8 – The Fitting

The drive from Dr. Leemoore’s office to Bay Orthotics had been a short one, only taking about 10 minutes of so, Larry had skillfully maneuvered the van around two traffic jams on the freeway and had safely gotten Beth to her appointment 10 minutes early.

Larry had jumped out as soon as the van was parked and came around to open the door and help Beth out of the Van.

“Well, here we are maim, Bay Orthotics is right through that door, I will wait for you here”

“Thank you Larry, but this could take a little while, why don’t you get something to eat and come back”

“No thank you maim, I will wait for you here” Larry smiled as he held the door open that led into Bay Orthotics

“OK, well I’ll see you in a while”

An older woman behind the reception desk greeted Beth as she entered the office.

“Good afternoon, can I help you” replied the smiling face

“Yes, my name is Beth O’Connell and I’m here for my 2:00 appointment”

The woman quickly flipped trough the pages of her appointment book

“Lets see, oh yes, here it is, cervical orthosis fitting with Andrea, 2:00. Please have a seat Mrs. O’Connell and I’ll let her know you are here” the receptionist looked up from her appointment book and smiled, her short Grey hair almost perfectly matching the clear gray frames of her glasses.

10 Minutes had passed before the door leading to the back rooms opened and out came a woman wearing a white lab coat, khaki slacks and white Nike tennis shoes. Her curly red hair was pulled back in a ponytail, exposing her milky white skin and ruby red lips. She stood 5″11 with perfect posture.

“Hello, you must be Beth” Beth looked up from the magazine she was reading and smiled

“Yes, and your ……..”

“Andrea, Andrea Murphy, I’ll be doing your fitting this afternoon, why don’t you come on back”

Beth followed Andrea as they walked through what looked liked Santa Workshop for the handicapped. There were laths, sewing machines, metal bending machines, plastic molding equipment, saws, grinders and sanders all surrounded by a variety of artificial legs, arms and different types of braces. The whole area had a scent of melting plastic and adhesives.

“Lets use this fitting room” Andrea held open the door leading to a small fitting room adjacent to the workshop

“Oh, thank you” replied Beth as she walked through the door past Andrea

“Please, have a seat up on the fitting table” Andrea said as she closed the door behind her

“So I understand you enjoy riding horses” Andrea asked looking down at her clip board

“It’s my passion, unfortunately that’s how I ended up here” Beth smiled and put her hand to the Philadelphia Collar encasing her neck.

“Horses are beautiful, but they can be dangerous, I do a lot of braces for people who have fallen or have been thrown off a horse”. Andrea looked up from her clipboard, now wearing a pair of round, tortoise shell glasses, which were positioned mid way down the bridge of her nose.

“Yes, believe me, I know they can be dangerous, I’ve have had a couple of girlfriends at the equestrian club injured in riding accidents”

“So, it looks like you did quite a number on your neck here, at C5 and C6”. Andrea said as she looked at the set of x-rays hanging from an illuminated screen to the right of the fitting table.

“Dr. Leemoore said they were pretty minor breaks and should heal fairly quickly” replied Beth in a confident tone.

Andrea carefully studied the x-rays as she slid her pointer down below the area where the neck injury was. Stopping midway down the spine, she looked closely at the x-ray and began writing something down on her clipboard.

“Is everything OK?” asked Beth as Andrea pulled down the x-ray and examined it further

“Well, it looks to me like you might also have a hairline fracture at T5 & T6, that’s down near the middle of your back” Andrea gently pushed on the approximate spot where she thought the injury was and Beth winced in pain.

“It is a bit tender there, but Dr. Leemoore didn’t mention anything to me about that” replied Beth with a puzzled look on her face.

“Well, maybe he missed it, it looks like it might be a very minor fracture, hardly noticeable unless you look very closely” Andrea held up the x-rays to the light and pointed to what looked liked a small imperfection in the x-ray

“Wow, I can’t see anything” replied Beth, “Of course, I don’t even know what I am looking for”

“Why don’t you relax for a few minutes and I’ll call Dr. Leemoore and see what he thinks about this”

After Andrea had left the fitting room, Beth could feel her eyes beginning to well up with tears again, what else could possibly go wrong today, she thought to herself. The morning had started out fine until that dreaded phone call, requesting she come down to the Dr’s office right away. After that, the bad news of the cervical fracture and then more bad news about having to spend the next 2 – 3 months in a neck brace even more restrictive than the collar she was already wearing. And now this, another possible fracture found in the middle of her back.

What would this mean, more time in bed? more time in the brace? how would Jim react?, how would she explain it to him?, surely he would not buy the “rolling bladeing accident” story after he learned of the new injuries. Beth begin to quietly cry as she waited for Andrea to return, hopping that this was all one big mistake and that the x-rays belonged to someone else, but knowing in her heart that they were in fact hers and that the news Andrea had would not be good.

Andrea returned 30 minutes later, wearing a fresh coat of ruby lipstick and carrying a small brown box under her left arm and a larger white box under her right.

“Sorry to keep you waiting but I was on the phone with your Doctor for almost 20 minutes” Andrea set the boxes down on the counter directly behind her and began scanning her clipboard.

“After reviewing the x-rays again, Dr. Leemoore confirmed that you do in fact have a hairline fracture of T5 & T6. Apparently he missed it this morning because one of the lights in his x-ray table is out, and he was not able to clearly see that portion of your x-rays” Andrea looked up from her clipboard and careingly smiled at Beth, trying to ease her concern.

“So what’s this all mean, more bed rest, hospitalization or…”

“Well, not really, its a very minor fracture and should heal without any problems, the only difference is that we had to change the prescription on your brace slightly. Dr. Leemore had originally prescribed a brace known as a SOMI for you”. Andrea turned around and opened the larger white box now sitting on the counter next to the brown box.

“This is what a SOMI Cervical Brace looks like.” Andrea pulled out a white “Y” shaped chest piece made out aluminum with metal shoulder supports and two dangling straps, a head piece with two aluminum supports and a chin piece that was supported by one bar in the middle and two side straps. Beth watched intently as Andrea took off her white lab coat and her purple silk blouse, revealing only a nude colored bra cradling her size 36 C breasts. Andrea placed the “Y” portion of the SOMI Brace over her shoulders and on to her chest. She then reached around her back and found the two dangling straps, which she tightly connected around her torso into two metal buckles attached at the bottom of the chest piece, just beneath her breast line.

“I hope I’m not offending you but I like all my patients to understand why we prescribe the type of braces they will be wearing, how they work, and what there function is. The best way to do this is to show you the brace fitted on me.”

Beth smiled slightly; intensely staring at Andrea and the SOMI Brace that was now firmly strapped to her torso.

“The piece I have on now is called the chest piece, its main function is to support the head and the chin piece.” Andrea now had the headpiece in her hands and was attaching it into two metal brackets mounted to the front of the brace. She then took the chin piece off the table and slid it under her chin, adjusting the height so it held her head in a perfectly upright, neutral position. Finally, Andrea attached the two leather side straps connecting the headpiece to the chin piece.

“There, I think I’ve got it now, as you can see, the SOMI Brace is keeping my neck and head in a straight line, limiting rotation and transferring the weight of my head on to my shoulders, relieving the weight on my neck.” Andrea slowly turned, showing Beth the front and back of the brace that now held her head and neck in an upright and very rigid position.

“What it is not doing is keeping me from rotating my spine below where the brace ends” Andrea put her hand on the bottom of the brace, midway down her torso and twisted.

“Since this brace only limits movement down the torso to about T3, and your second injury is at T5 & T6, we need to use a brace that extends further down the torso.” Beth sat in silence as Andrea removed the SOMI from her body and put her blouse and white lab coat back on.

“Do you have any questions on the SOMI or why we can’t use it in you situation” Andrea was now fully clothed and writing down some notes on her clipboard

“No, I don’t think so, I’m just a little nervous about the new brace the Doctor prescribed. The SOMI you just showed me looked scary enough”

“I know it looks scary at first, but believe it or not, it is actually a very comfortable brace, I do about one to two SOMI fittings a week and most of my patients, after the initial shock, find it fairly comfortable.” Andrea looked up and smiled.

“So what type of brace has the good doctor prescribed for me now?” Asked Beth, her voice slightly cracking.

“Well, Dr. Leemoore and I have discussed your situation and we both feel that a CTLSO would be the most effective in restricting the movement of your cervical and thoracic regions of your spine. I’m sorry I wont be able to show you how this one works, at least not on myself, its quite a bit more complicated than the SOMI I just showed you and it has to be custom made.”

Andrea turned and pulled a book off the shelf behind her entitled “Modern Orthotics” and laid it on the table next to where Beth was sitting.

“Let’s see, CTLSO – CTLSO — ok, page 874 –875. Here it is” Andrea turned the open book toward Beth so she could see the title “Cervical Thoracic Lumbosacral Orthosis” or “CTLSO” and the two pictures below.

“This is similar to what you will be wearing.” Replied Andrea as she pointed to the two illustrations.

“It is designed to keep your entire spine immobile from your chin to your hips. As you can see, this brace goes much further down the torso than the SOMI. It’s really more like the Milwaukee Brace, used to treat Scoliosis, but it has a complete chin pad and headpiece, instead of the low profile throat mold, used on the Milwaukee. It also has a complete body jacket or “Clamshell”, which will be custom molded to your body. It will completely enclose your torso, hips and extend partially down your bottom. Also, unlike the SOMI, which has flexible leather straps connecting the head and chin piece, this brace uses rigid steel connector bars, which totally eliminate any movement between the two. ”

Beth could now feel her heart rate race faster than ever as she looked down at the pictures of this other brace called the “CTLSO”.

“Andrea, are you serious, is this really the brace I will have to wear?” Her dark brown eyes looking for a glimmer of hope in Andrea’s face.

“I’m afraid so Beth, but trust me, it’s not as bad as it looks. Once we get it all put together and properly fitted to your body, you’ll hardly even know you have it on. Besides, almost all of the brace will be covered buy you’re clothing, so most of it really won’t even be noticeable.” Andrea looked at Beth and smiled, trying her hardest to comfort her.

Beth’s mind was now was racing a mile a minute as she thought of a million questions to ask Andrea but could only come up with a few.

“How high will the “Clamshell” portion of the brace come up on my torso?” asked Beth with a lump in her throat.

“Well, your brace will be a little different than the brace shown in the book, but basically the bodyjacket will start at your hips and continue up the torso to just under you arms” answered Andrea

“Does that mean that it will cover my chest as well?”

“Yes, It will go up over your breasts and stop at the base of your neck. It is imperative that the plastic shell of the brace extend up to your sternum.” Responded Andrea

“Why can’t I have the shell stop just below my breasts with the little “T” type pad extending up from there, like you showed me in the book?

“Well, that works on women with smaller breasts but someone your size, the “T” bar, as we call it, just will not work. What tends to happen with larger breasted women is that a rash begins to develop underneath the breasts from the top of the clamshell rubbing against the skin. From my experience, it is much better to enclose them within the body jacket than to use the “T” Bar.” Replied Andrea, with a very authoritative tone.

“I think these boobs of mine have caused me more heartache in my life than pleasure” replied Beth as she put her hands to her chest.

“With all the comments from the boys when I was young, to back aches and now this, they really can be a pain sometimes! Well, I’d better inform Jim that he better enjoy them now because this time next week they will be hermetically sealed in a plastic shell for a while”

Andrea smiled and laughed a little as she looked at Beth with compassion in her eyes, knowing full well that wearing a CTLSO for any length of time was NOT a fun experience, especially for a woman as attractive and well endowed as Beth.

“I am sure there are a lot of women out there that would gladly trade you their chest for yours but as they say, “the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence” replied Andrea

“So Andrea, how many CTLSO’s do you do in a week?” asked Beth, hopping she would tell her she does a lot.

“Well, I guess the question should really be “how many CTLSO’s do I do in a year” because they are really pretty rare. I think in my 4 year career as an orthodist, I have done 3, not including yours”

“Well, that’s reassuring, I was hoping you would tell me you do one a week, I guess misery love company” replied Beth

“Actually, I have had extensive experience with the CTLSO, in fact, in Orthotics school, it was my specialty. Every student in the program was required to have a certain brace or prosthetic they specialized in and mine was the CTLSO so actually I guess I really have done more than 50 since 1995. Just 3 on “real” patients, the rest on other student volunteers and my boyfriend at the time, as kind of a homework project, but that’s another story.

“Wow, it sounds like you really do have some very extensive experience, I guess I am in good hands!”

“Well, not to sound too full of myself, but for spinal orthotics, especially the CTLSO, I am one of the best, and if you are going to have to wear a CTLSO, you want the brace, the fit and your orthodist to be the best, you’ll see. Now lets get to work so we can get you home before 6:00 PM. I’ve got a lot of measurements that need to be taken and we will need to cast you from your chin to your pelvis so that we can make a positive mold for the body jacket.

Beth smiled and tried her best to be positive, but she knew inside that she was in for a long and difficult road to recovery.

Chapter 9 – The Torture Rack

Beth followed closely behind Andrea as they walked down a short hallway and entered the last room on the left. The placard affixed to the door read “Casting Room/ Traction Table ”

“OK, here we are, this should take about two hours, maybe a little more so if you need to use the ladies room, I suggest you use it now because once I start casting, you’ll be stuck on that table. ”

“That’s a good Idea, I’d better go” replied Beth as she ducked into the restroom adjacent to the small casting room.

When Beth returned, Andrea smiled and shut the door behind Beth

“You can get undressed behind the vanity screen here while I get the casting material prepared.” Replied Andrea as she began to get all the casting materials out of a large closet next to the sink.

“What do I need to change into?” asked Beth from behind the screen.

“I will need to have you undress completely, you can leave your panties on for now but everything else needs to be removed including your bra.”

After Beth had finished undressing, she bashfully stepped out from behind the vanity screen and waited for Andrea’s instructions. Her naked body now fully exposed except for her small blue silk panties that partially covered her most private parts and the flesh colored Philadelphia Collar supporting her fractured neck. She now felt very uncomfortable as she waited for Andrea to finished getting the cast supplies together.

“Beth, I’m going to slip this body stocking over your head and pull it down over your body to just below your buttocks, after that I will need you to follow me through that door into the traction table room.”

Beth stood still as the white cotton body sock was pulled down over her head and torso. Andrea took special care to make sure that the body sock completely covered Beth’s entire torso, from her mid thighs up, over her butt to the bottom of her Philadelphia Collar, where she scrunched it up in anticipation of the removal of the Philly Collar. Then Andrea smoothed out all the wrinkles on the body sock.

“OK, that looks great, not a wrinkle. I just need to pull it up over your neck after we get you into traction and out of the Philly Collar. Please follow me”

Andrea lead Beth through a set of double doors on the right which read “Traction Table”

As they entered the room, Beth noticed a device resembling something seen in a mid -evil castle or a modern day bondage dungeon positioned in the center of the room. It consisted of a padded table with handrails running parallel to it, slightly higher than the surface of the table. Mounted to the handrails were what appeared to be padded handcuffs. At the foot of the table, mounted on the surface about 8″ from the end, were two more padded cuffs. The entire length of the table could also be removed, with the exception of a few key points where the body could rest. Mounted at the head of the table was a large wench looking mechanism with ropes and pulleys all attached to a head harness. Finally, encircling the whole table were two large round hoops, which allowed the whole table to rotate and spin.

After Beth caught her breath, Andrea helped her on to the table, laying Beth flat on her back.

“I am going to put you in cervical traction while I take some measurements and then I am going to apply the body cast. Please don’t be alarmed at this traction table we need to use. Some people say it looks like a mid-evil torture rack but it’s really not as bad as it looks.” Beth just smiled at Andrea but said nothing, she was petrified!

Andrea then took Beth’s right arm, then her left and placed them in the padded cuff, tightening down the Velcro. Next she took her both her legs, and strapped them into the ankle cuffs at the foot of the table, and tighten the straps.

“Now I’m going to remove your Philadelphia Collar, so please keep your head as still as possible while I place you in cervical traction.” Beth nodded slightly as Andrea undid the Velcro straps that fastened the collar together. Then she carefully removed the front portion of the collar and then slowly slid the back half out from underneath Beth’s neck. Next she placed a white padded head harness around the back of Beth’s head and then under her chin and tightened down the straps on each side of her jaw line. The sound of a wench clicking was all Beth could focus on now as she stared up at the ceiling above her, and with every click she could feel her body beginning to stretch, her movement more and more restricted.

“There, I think that should do it, how are you doing? Let me know if anything hurts — OK?” asked Andrea as she looked down on to Beth’s immobile body

“I think I’m ok” replied Beth in a voice that sounded like someone trying to talk with their jaw wired shut.

“Nice Barbie Doll” replied Beth in a muffled tone, now unable to look anywhere but straight up at the ceiling and notice a blonde haired Barbie doll suspended above her head in her own little Milwaukee Brace.

Andrea looked very puzzled at first and then looked up and laughed.

“I almost forgot about that” she said, her hand against her chest.

“We put that up a few years ago to help put some of the kids at ease when they were being casted for their Milwaukee Braces. It really seemed to help, in fact I have done more than a dozen Milwaukee Braces for Barbie since we put that up, a lot of girls want a brace for their own Barbie”

“That’s great, poor kids, it must be so hard for them”

“Ya, consider yourself lucky, they have to spend three to five years in a Milwaukee Brace, you only have 3 months or so in your brace”

“I guess your right, I should really stop feeling sorry for myself and count my blessings, if a fourteen year old can do this for three years then three months should be a breeze, right?”

“That’s exactly right Beth, now that’s the attitude to have.

OK lets get busy and please try not to talk anymore, I know its difficult with the 20# of traction applied”

For the next 15 minutes, Andrea used her tape measure and her caliper’s, taking dozen’s of measurements, while Beth lay there in traction, unable to move from her head to her toes.

“Now we are going to need to get a few more measurements that cannot be taken with you in the supine position. First I am going to rotate the table into the vertical position, take a few more measurements then I am going to rotate you so that your back is facing up.” Beth smiled slightly and blinked her eyes as Andrea released the safety latch and rotated the bed into a vertical position. She heard a clicking sound as the table rotated into a vertical position and then locked into place. Next Andrea removed the upper portion of the table, exposing Beth’s back and buttocks and took a number of measurements. Then Beth heard the safety latch click again as her body began to rotate toward the floor.

“Hold on, I just need to take about 12 more measurements of your backside and then well flip you back over so your looking up again. Are you OK down there?” asked Andrea

“I think so, but you need to paint something on the floor here” replied the muffled voice, now looking straight at the floor. The final AP and ML measurements were taken from the back of Beth’s head down to below her hips, across her shoulders and around her waist, across her hips and up to her underarms. Again she heard the release of the safety latch and felt her body rotate back to the original supine position she started in.

“OK Beth, I’m done with the all the measurements, now what I am going to do is begin to apply the plaster to you so that we can make a cast of your whole torso and neck from your hips to your chin. I will have my assistant help me with this procedure so it will go as fast and as smooth as possible. Just then Beth heard the door open and someone walk in.

“Hello Beth, my name is Kelly and I will be assisting Andrea” Beth tried to turn her head to see the face attached to the voice, but could only move her eyes. Kelly, seeing that Beth was unable to move walked directly over the traction table

“Its very nice to meet you, we will work as fast as possible so we can get you out of this thing quickly, I know your not very comfortable now but well be done in no time so hang in there.” Kelly replied as she gently caressed Beth’s forearm in a caring tone.

“Beth, we will be using a fast drying plaster to speed things up, It should only take about an hour or so.”

As the two women began wrapping Beth’s body in plaster soaked gauze; Beth could feel the weight of the plaster wraps around her body. Andrea and Kelly work at a ferrous pace for about forty-five minutes or so, in perfect harmony.

You could tell they had done this before and they made a perfect team.

“There, I think that’s the last plaster bandage” replied Kelly as she crisscrossed Beth’s chest one last time with a 6″ wide gauze strip and then continued to wrap it up around Beth’s neck to here chin.

“And that’s what we call a wrap” giggled Andrea as she took Beth’s hand

“How are you doing?” Beth mumbled something about good teamwork and blinked her eyes in approval of a job well done.

“OK Beth, the plaster should set up in about 30 minutes and be completely dry in an hour or so, during that time you will feel the plaster becoming a little warm, don’t worry, that’s normal, especially with the fast drying type we are using”

Beth could tell Kelly really knew what she was talking about and that put her a little more at ease.

“After the body cast completely dries, we will release the tension on the traction table and remove the head harness” Andrea was now standing directly over Beth’s casted body wiping the excess plaster from Beth’s face and arms.

“Then we will get you off the table and into a standing position where we will have you walk, sit, lie down and stand again. We do this so we can tell where we need to trim the cast so that when we are finished, the plastic clamshell we will produce from this cast will fit your body like a glove, still allowing you to move and be fully ambulatory.”

Beth just smiled at Kelly and tried to keep a positive attitude even though this one of the most uncomfortable and difficult ordeals she had ever been through.

“We’ll be right in the next room with another patient so if you need anything at all, just push this buzzer I am putting here in your right hand and someone will be right in” replied Andrea as the 2 women left the room, closing the door behind them.

Staring up at the ceiling, her body now complete encased in a plaster shell, unable to move an inch and all alone except for Barbie suspended from the ceiling, Beth began to feel the pain. Not physical pain, but the mental pain of what lies ahead for her. As her eyes welled up the only thing she could feel now, other than the plaster heating up as it set, were the tears running down her cheeks.

Chapter 10 – The Corset and The Somi

After what seemed to be hours of laying on her back, staring up at the ceiling, fully encased in a plaster shell, Beth heard the door to her left swing open and the familiar voices of Andrea and Kelly still chit chatting as they walked in.

“OK, everything looks good” Andrea said as she walked up to Beth, placing her hand on the plaster cast.

“Hard as a rock” she said jokingly as she knocked on the cast with her knuckles

“How are you doing in there?” asked Kelly in a caring voice.

“Well, it’s a different feeling, that’s for sure” replied Beth in a strained voice.

“Yes it is ” answered Kelly, smiling back at Beth in a naughty way.

“Well, lets get you out of this cervical traction so you can talk a little easier”

Beth could hear the wench clicking again, but this time the pressure on her chin, head and neck were ever so slightly relieved as Kelly backed the 20#’s of pressure down to 0 and Beth’s head settled into the cast.

After the tension in the wench was released, Kelly quickly undid the strap that attached the head halter to the wench.

“Their, does that feel a little better?” asked Kelly

“Well, a little better, at least it’s easier to talk” replied Beth

“Soooo, you have been put into a body cast like this yourself?” ask Beth with a puzzled look on her face

“Oh yes, Andrea and I both have, Andrea put me in one just a week ago and I fully plastered Andrea back in February of this year”

“Dare I ask why?” asked Beth in her muffled voice

“Well,” Andrea interjected, “As I mentioned to you earlier, both myself and Kelly are very interested in knowing exactly what the patient is experiencing as far as their bracing and fittings are concerned. We really want to be able to say to the patient, “yes, I do know how that feels”.

“In fact, we have tried on virtually every brace in this place and have actually worn them for an extended period of time to really get a feel for what the patient goes through in there day to day routine while in the brace. Everyday things like getting dressed, going to the bathroom, bathing, eating, sleeping, going out in public, exercising and even having sexual contact.” Replied Kelly as she held Beth’s hand, trying to comfort her.

“So you actually wear these braces 24/7 for what, a day – 2?” asked Beth, now almost forgetting about the fact that she was still encased in a plaster shell that hugged her every curve of her voluptuous body from her hips to her chin.

“Well, sometimes it’s only a day or two, but it has been as long as 2 weeks” said Andrea, smiling strangely at Kelly, winking ever so subtly.

“Gosh, I am truly impress, that is just fantastic that you go through that ordeal just to be more in tune with your patients — good for you two”

“Well, it is something both Kelly and I feel very strongly about, and we feel the knowledge we gain from each experience is invaluable in our practice. In fact, Kelly here is going to be wearing a brace very similar to yours starting Wednesday of this week. Just a few days before you get your brace. She will be wearing hers 24/7, for 2 weeks, the maximum time we “test drive” braces for medical research” Andrea now was looking directly at Kelly with a cute but very nasty smirk on her face.

“Why the 2 week rule?” asked Beth, oblivious to the non-verbal communication going on between the 2 orthodists.

“Well, it is because after 2 weeks, your muscle tissue begins to breakdown and you start losing mass”

“That is why you will slowly begin a very strict physical therapy program after about 2 weeks or so, to keep your muscles toned as well as possible while in the brace” replied Kelly.

“Really, well, I don’t think I’ll be doing anything like my high impact aerobic classes” laughed Beth.

“No, you won’t be doing to much of that anytime soon but low impact aerobics and aqua therapy will be in you future quicker than you think”

“What do you mean” Beth now had a suprized look on her face.

“What I mean is that your Doctor is a firm believer in physical therapy and exercise and will probably have you enrolled in the new women’s physical aqua therapy / low impact aerobic class before you know it”

“You’re kidding, right?”

“Not at all, I’m totally serious and I think you’ll really began to like it! What it is, is a group of women patients from different orthopedic surgeons around the area, all getting together twice to three times a week to do aqua therapy in the pool and low impact, non strenuous aerobics, lead by two wonderful female physical therapist’s. All the women in the class have had a recent back or neck injury or spinal surgery and the class is geared around that, it’s also a great place to meet other women who are going through the same thing you are – that can make your recovery a lot easier.”

“Wow, that sounds like it will be a nice break from the body brace, how long are the classes?” asked Beth, excited about the prospect of getting out of her brace, if only for an hour or so.

“Well, I hate to disappoint you here Beth but you won’t be loosing the brace. All exercise and therapy, including the aqua therapy are done while WEARING your CTLSO. Your doctor and I both agree that you will need to be in your brace 24/7 for at least the first 6 – 8 weeks of your recovery, NO EXECPTIONS!! After that we will see how you are healing and make a decision on hen we can start to wean you off of the brace.”

“Well, that won’t be a lot of fun in a full body brace” mumbled Beth

“It will be a little hard for the first few weeks but I think you’ll get used to it soon and actually begin to enjoy getting out and moving your body a little.” Responded Kelly.

“Hum, I think the jury’s still out on that…….. So when do I start? ” asked Beth

“Probably not for a few weeks or more, I’m sure Doctor Leemoore wants you to rest and take it easy for a while but I would think he’ll have you enrolled in some very light exercise program before too long. Maybe 2-3 weeks or so.

Andrea smiled at Beth and nodded to Kelly as she glanced down at her watch.

“4:15, we need to get moving if were going to get you out of here by six.” said Andrea as she turned the conversation away from her and Kelly’s brace research and Beth’s Physical therapy program.

“OK, lets get cracken” replied Andrea as she nodded to Kelly to carefully began replacing all the parts of the casting table that the two women has removed earlier.

“There, that’s the last piece” replied Kelly as she snapped the finial section of the stainless steel table underneath Beth’s casted body.

“Beth, I am going to carefully pull this head strap out from underneath your chin and then released all the wrist and ankle straps that are holding you to the casting table, so please remain very still”

“Like I really have a choice?” replied Beth

Kelly carefully released all the straps that suspended Beth’s body while Andrea checked the density of Beth’s cast with a sonic measuring device.

“There, now you are almost free” smiled Kelly

“Oh my God, I feel as if I am a foot taller”

“Yea, a lot of patients say that, you did great and I promise you we won’t put you back in that thing again’

“Well, that’s a relief, I’m not sure I could do that again” replied Beth, putting her hands to the round plaster mounds that now encased her large breasts.

“Yes, It is a quite an ordeal but we are almost done so hang in there” replied Kelly as she steadied Beth’s casted body on the traction table.

“What we need you to do now is get up and walk around a little,” Andrea said.

With both Andrea and Kelly’s help, the two women carefully helped Beth up off her back and got her into a sitting position on the edge of the casting table.

“Wow, this is a very strange feeling” replied Beth as she shifted, trying to get comfortable.

“We are now going to have you get up off the table and walk over to the stool and have a seat there so we can mark where the cast needs to be trimmed” added Kelly as she reached out her hand to Beth’s

As Beth slowly slid off the edge of the casting table, Andrea and Kelly held her left and right arms firmly and assisted her slowly across the room to the stool in the corner

“There you are, slowly, slowly, —- good, your doing just great.”

Trying to sit was now very difficult for Beth due to the fact that the bottom of the cast was a little too long and was hitting the top of Beth’s thighs as she sat.

“OK, it looks like we will need to trim the cast here,” said Andrea as she marked two semi-circular lines on the cast with a grease pencil.

“It also looks like she needs a little relief in the arm pit area” marking more lines underneath both of Beth’s arms pits.

30 minutes went by as Andrea and Kelly worked more on trimming and marking the cast until the fit was perfect.

They then had Beth stand up, sit down and walk around the small fitting room while they skillfully measured and detailed every movement. Finally, at 5:45 PM, Andrea made some final trims to the top and bottom of the cast and proclaimed that they were finished.

“OK Kelly, I think we can get the cast saw ready and cut Mrs. O’Connell out of her plaster shell”

Beth was very relieved to hear those words.

“Beth, we are going to have you sit over at our other traction table where I am going to put the head halter back on you an apply 20# of overhead cervical traction. We need to do this to keep your cervical spine immobile while the body cast is cut off and you are fitted with a temporary cervical brace. Please remember that you will need to remain as still as possible during this procedure”

With Beth now sitting upright on the other traction table Andrea carefully placed the head halter between the cast and Beth’s chin and around the back of her head, tightening the jaw line connecting straps snugly. Then she began to slowly crank the traction wheel until the tension gauge read 20 #’s.

“OK, Kelly is going to begin cutting the cast off you now so please remember to stay very still, the saw can not cut you but we want to make sure we don’t mess up the cast”

As Kelly carefully manuerved the saw along the left side of Beth’s torso, Andrea stood close by, holding Beth’s hand as the screeching saw cut through the hard plaster like a hot knife through butter.

Before Kelly’s saw reached the bottom of the cast, Andrea placed three pieces of surgical tape along the cut. Then Kelly moved around to the right side and began cutting down, starting just below Beth’s ear. Andrea again placed three pieces of tape along the right cut, essentially holding the two half’s together, just as the saw buzzed through the last 2 inches of the cast, around Beth’s hip.

“There, now we will slowly remove the tape and carefully remove the front and the back half of the cast”

Kelly slowly removed the tape from the left side of the cast as Andrea removed the tape from the right side.

“On 3 we will pull the two halves of the cast apart” proclaimed Andrea

“1, 2, and 3” Both women carefully pulled the plaster shell apart, Kelly on the back half and Andrea on the front half.

“Slowly, slowly … there, a perfect cut, nice job Kelly” complimented Andrea as they slowly removed the front and back half of the cast and placed them on the workbench.

With the 2 half’s of the body cast now removed, Beth’s naked torso was fully exposed, her nipples now slightly erect from the rush of cool air on her sweaty body.

“Sorry for this, I know it’s a bit cold” apologized Andrea as she reached up in the cupboard and pulled out a hospital gown. “Put this on for a minute until Kelly comes back, I know it’s always a cold shock coming from the warmth of the body cast to the cold air. Hang in there Beth, we should be done shortly, Kelly has just gone to get your bra” replied Andrea as she removed a new SOMI Brace and a LSO back brace from a cupboard above and placed it on the counter.

“Here we are Beth” replied Kelly as she returned with Beth’s navy blue bra in hand.

“Let me help you with this”

As Beth lifted her arms, Kelly helped her off with the gown and then slid the padded straps of Beth’s Navy Blue Bra on to the left shoulder and then the right, and finally hooking the clasp in the back.

“Their, does that feel ok?” asked Kelly

“Mum, fine” responded Beth in a muffled voice.

Andrea next walked over and picked up the soft back brace and placed it on the traction table next to Beth

“First, I am going to fit this soft corset over your torso, just underneath your chest. We in the business call this a soft LSO but it is known to most as a back brace or a corset. It does have 3 steel stays in the back with a triple ply front support panel that I will lace up snugly. This will temporarily help keep your spine stable until your CTLSO is finished.”

As Andrea begin to lace up the cream colored LSO, Beth could feel her stomach become even flatter than it already was and her ribs and back felt like someone had just put her in a vise and starting turning.

“There, that should do it for the LSO. Does it feel ok for you?”

“Well, maybe a little snug, but its not pinching anywhere” mumbled Beth

“That’s normal, it will stretch a little so we want it real tight to start”

Next, Andrea went back to the table got the SOMI Brace that was now lying on the counter and carried it back over to the fitting table.

“Now I need to fit this brace on you for the time being, your Philadelphia collar won’t provide enough support for your neck ”

Andrea slowly placed the SOMI chest piece over Beth’s shoulders and on to her chest, making some notes on another clipboard as she looked over to her assistant.

“Kelly, this should take me about 20 minutes or so to fit Mrs. O’Connel so while I am working on her, why don’t you call and get all the parts ordered for her new CTLSO. Cascade Orthopedic should be open for another hour or so if you want to give them a call”

“Oh sure, good idea; you sure you won’t need an extra hand?”

“Na, I think well be fine, I have done so many SOMI fittings I could do it in my sleep”

“Great, then I am off to my office. It was nice meeting you Mrs. O’Connel, I will probably see later, if not, then next week for sure”

“Nice meeting you Kelly and thanks for your help, I guess when I see you next week you will be in your brace as well. Maybe you can give me some pointers on the new brace.” Mumbled Beth, unable to clearly speak with her head & neck still in traction.

“Yes, that’s right, I’ll have logged in a few days when I see you, so I’ll take good notes”

As Kelly closed the door behind her, Andrea looked at Beth and smiled

“She is the greatest assistant I have ever had, she has a true love for orthotics and for her patients, I don’t know what I would do with out her”

Beth smiled back

“Yes, she seems like a very nice young woman”

“OK, I’m going to need to make a few adjustments on the shoulder bars here” removing the chest piece and bending the shoulder supports so that they contoured Beth’s shoulders exactly.

“So you have done this before” replied Beth as Andrea placed the chest piece back on her torso.

“Ya, I have done a lot of these, if fact Kelly and I just did a fitting for another one of Dr. Leemoore’s patients a few weeks ago. An attractive young lady by the name of Heather, poor girl, she was so upset when she left, she has to be in her brace for the next 3 months, maybe more. It’s hard when your only 24 years old, single and full of vanity” Andrea continued to work while she talked, tightening up the two straps that came from the back of the brace around her side and under Beth’s breasts, attaching to the chest piece.

“I think I just met her at Dr. Leemoore’s office this morning, auburn hair and a nice smile, she seemed in good sprits today” replied Beth

“That’s good, she has probably gotten used to her brace by now and she may even be enjoying all the attention”

“What do you mean?” asked Beth with a puzzled looked on her face

“Well, this may sound a little strange, but as I tell all of my female patients, there are a lot of men out there who are….how do I say this ……..ummm , well….. are excited by a woman in a spinal brace. In fact, the more restrictive the brace is, the more some men are turned on!! So be aware, you will probably receive more attention than you can handle” replied Andrea as she bent the aluminum bars that held the occipital piece.

“Your joking, right??? That’s, that’s’…….not right, sick, even demented!”

“No, I can assure you, I am not joking, I get a lot of my female patients telling me all kinds stories of how men shower them with attention or about how there husbands or boyfriends are now frisker that ever before.”

“Wow, that’s really interesting and very, very strange. Come to think of it, I did noticed Jim seemed to be a little “excited” the entire time I was wearing the Philadelphia collar, do you think he might be one of those “brace loving men”?” mumbled Beth, now almost getting used to talking while in the traction device.

“Well, I guess you’ll find out shortly, if he liked the Philly collar, he’ll goes crazy when he sees you strapped into this SOMI brace and LSO and – and, well I don’t even want to think about the CTLSO”

Andrea continued to work on the occipital piece of Beth’s brace, making sure the height was just right and that there was not too much pressure placed on the back of Beth’s head. When she finished the final bend, she placed the two aluminum rods into two brackets mounted on the chest piece and snap locked the stainless steel latch closed.

“There, almost done, all we need to do now is the chin piece”

Andrea slid the chin piece into another bracket on the front of the chest piece and snap locked the bracket closed. She then made a few final measurements and removed it, making two bends in the upright bar that supports the chin pad and conforming the chin pad slightly to Beth’s face.

“Beth, I am going to release the cervical traction unit now and remove this head halter. After I do that I will need you slowly tilt your head back so that it touches the pad at the back of your head piece” Beth complied as Andrea released the 20# of traction, undid the head halter and removed it. Then Andrea slid the chin piece under Beth’s jaw again and attached it back in to the bracket on the front of the brace.

Finally she attached the two leather straps that connected the occipital piece with the chin piece and tighten them snugly.

“There, I think were done, how does it feel?? Is it pinching anywhere??” asked Andrea as she inspected the fit.

“Well, to be truthful, it feels a little like I still have the 20# of traction pulling my head up” replied Beth as she put her hand to the brace.

“Great, that’s exactly how it is supposed to feel, that is very normal” relied Andrea

“Most patients feel that way for the first week or so before they begin to get used to the brace, and then most of them tell me they hardly know there wearing it.” Andrea smiled as she tighten a couple of screws on Beth’s chest piece and formed the chin piece one more time to ensure the fit was perfectly form to Beth’s face and jaw line.

She knew she was stretching the truth a bit but was trying to comfort Beth as best she could. Beth smiled sarcastically as Andrea handed Beth her cream colored nylons, navy blue skirt and shoes she had been wearing earlier.

“You can put your nylons, skirt and shoes back on while I go check on Kelly and see how she is doing with ordering the parts for your CTLSO”

“Do you think my skirt will fit over this back brace?”

“It should, it really only adds a ½” or so to the waist line because it is fairly thin and laced up very tight.” Replied Andrea with a nasty little smile as she left the room.

“What about my blouse?” shouted Beth

“I might need to make a few more adjustments after I see you move around a bit so leave your blouse off for the time being”

As Andrea closed the door behind her Beth slowly slid off the fitting table and carefully began pulling her cream colored panty hose up, starting at the ankles and working her way up. When she reached her hips, she had to very carefully slide the hose underneath the LSO brace, which now came down to the top of her panties. Beth then pulled on her navy blue skirt up over her pantyhose. The skirt still zipped up the side as it had before, however the fit was now a little tighter than before. Another thing Beth discovered was things once done without so much as a thought were now much more difficult being immobile from her head down to her waist. The shoes presented even more of a challenge as Beth found it easier to sit down in the chair while putting on her short, red colored pumps.

After Beth finished dressing, from the waist down, she stood up and carefully walked over to the full-length mirror that was mounted to the back of the fitting room door. She peered intently at the image that starred back at her, this was the first time she had seen herself in her new “hardware.” Her skirt, cream colored panty hose and red heels contrasted with her now corseted torso. The white chest piece of the SOMI Brace now covered the center portion of her navy blue bra and pushed gently on each breast, forcing them slightly apart. The metal shoulder straps began just above each of Beth’s breast, encircling each shoulder with a precise fit and continuing down her back, stopping and the bottom side of the shoulder blade. Two white, foam padded nylon straps started there, crisscrossing at mid back in a “X” pattern and continuing on around the torso, underneath her breasts and connecting at the bottom of the “Y” shaped chest piece. Attached at each of the upper edges of the chest piece were two white plastic channels with a stainless steel latch that firmly locked the two round aluminum uprights in to the chest piece. The uprights extended from the top of the chest piece, along each side of Beth’s neck and around to the back of her head where they supported a white, aluminum head piece covered with a 1/4 ” thick foam pad. Holding her chin firmly in place was a single aluminum bar that locked into another plastic channel mounted to the middle of the chest piece. The aluminum bar rigidly held a white, cup shaped aluminum chin piece covered with a soft, 3/8″ thick low-density foam. Two leather straps ran along Beth’s jaw line snugly connecting the head and chin together. Just below her breast line was a flesh colored “corset” looking device that continued down her torso and over her hips, stopping at about the top of her panty line. This “Soft LSO”, as it was called, had triple ply material in the front, similar to a support girdle or a corset. In the back, it had 3 steel inserts to give it additional rigidity and provide extra support for the middle and lower portion of the spine. In front, it laced up much like the old whale bone corsets of the nineteenth century.

Sitting back down in her chair, Beth’s thoughts returned to Jim, how would she tell him? what would she tell him?, would she stick to her roller bladding story or would she now be forced to tell him the truth. Beth hated lying to Jim, as they had always been honest and forthright with each other, but she felt she had no other options as she knew the truth would end her horse riding for good. How would Jim take this new news about the further injuries and what about what Andrea had said earlier; about the strange fetishes some men have? Was Jim one of those men, had he kept that secret to himself for all these years, was Jim actually turned on by Beth’s immobility and her brace? So many questions, Beth thought.

The sound of the door opening behind her brought Beth’s thoughts back to the fitting room, looking straight into the big, brown caring eyes of Andrea.

“Beth, are you ok?” Andrea asked

“Oh yes, I guess I was just daydreaming” Beth’s smiled

“Well, I’m sure you have a lot on your mind right about now, but remember, everything is going to work out, you need to put the “Why me” and the “if only I would have …….” thoughts out of your mind and concentrate on the future. Concentrate on getting better and healing quickly. You have one of the best orthopedic surgeons in the country, a supportive husband and the best darn orthodist’s in world!!!! — Who are all going to pull together and make sure that Beth O’Connell makes a full and speedy recovery.” Andrea stepped closer to Beth and took hold of her hand, stroking it gently.

“Your right, and thanks so much for everything you have done so far, your great ” Beth smiled and embraced Andrea’s hand firmly.

“Now lets see if we can get you on you feet and out of here” replied Andrea as she helped Beth up out of her chair.

“That sounds like a plan” Beth said in a positive voice.

“Now remember, for the next few days, until we get you into your other brace, you need to remain in bed except for eating and going to the bathroom. And no showering, just a light sponge bath for the first week. Also, I highly recommend that you have your husband or someone stay with you for the first few weeks, until you get adjusted. One other thing, when changing your bra, make sure it is a back closure type, that way you won’t develop any skin irritations from the clasp where it slips under the chest piece of your SOMI brace. . Well, I think that should cover the basics, and it looks like the brace fits well so unless you have any other questions, I think you can finish dressing and be on your way home.”

“Great, but I do have a few questions” replied Beth

“Please, go right ahead”

First, the Dr. mentioned earlier that he wanted to see me on Friday to check the fit on the SOMI brace, but that was before the new injuries were discovered. Do you think he will still want to see me even though we will be changing braces in a week?”

“Good question, knowing Dr. Leemoore, he will probably still want to see you, I will have Kelly call his office now and see what he says” Andrea excused herself from the fitting room and instructed Kelly to contact Dr. Leemoore’s office regarding Beth’s next appointment.

“OK, I’m back, I have Kelly working on that as we speak, was there any other questions?” Asked Andrea

“Yes, just one other thing, how am I going to wash my hair in this thing?”

“Well, for the rest of this week, you won’t. When you come in next week, I will go through the whole thing with you so that you will be able to wash your hair that next week” replied Andrea in a very “mater of fact” tone, looking down at her clipboard as she spoke. Her tortoise frame glasses positioned at the end of her nose.

“Well that’s not good news, of course, I guess I won’t be out and about much so I’m not really going to see anyone other than Jim and maybe Dr. Leemoore.”

“That’s true” replied Andrea.

Oh, by the way, when you come back in next week, make sure you bring a cotton leotard and a firm support girdle and make sure you have at least a couple more of each at home, you’ll need to change these once a day.

“I’m afraid I might be a little short in firm support girdle department, in fact I think I only own one. The cotton leotards are no problem, but why will I need all of that, especially the girdle?” asked Beth, looking rather puzzled

“Well, this is what you will be wearing underneath the plastic shell portion of your CTLSO Brace.”

“Wow, that sounds like a lot of stuff” replied Beth

“Actually, you should consider yourself lucky. Normally, I require most of my female patients to wear a leotard, girdle AND a full support bra with their TLSO or CTLSO Shell if their bust size is 34 C or less because normally with-in that size range, they are in a shorter Body jacket with the T-Bar configuration. The bra helps in protecting the skin from the hard edge of the TLSO shell and offers support as well. However, in your case, with such a large chest and the fact that the plastic shell of the CTLSO will cover your bust, we will actually build the bra into the shell itself so that it offers full support and protection without the need for a bra. This will help support your bust and keep you from putting undue stress on your thoracic and lumbar spine. The cotton leotard will provide a soft, smooth, wrinkle free foundation for your brace to rest upon and it will absorb perspiration, especially important in these hot summer months. And finally the girdle will provide you with much needed lumbar support, as well as some additional padding around the hips and abdominal area, where the hard plastic part of the brace rests.”

“You’re really beginning to scare me Andrea” replied Beth, as she listened to the description of the additional lingerie required.

“Another option for you is to go with a “all in one” girdle/briefer – They also will work very well as foundation wear and instead of having two pieces to deal with you will only have one. I would recommend that you try both options and see which one works best for you” replied Andrea as she scratched a few more notes on her clipboard.

“Trust me, it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds, you’ll see” Andrea smiled and gave Beth a gentle hug.

“Oh, and other thing, whoever is going to be helping you for the first few weeks should also come in with you next week. They will also need to know how to help you get in and out of your new brace and assist with other things such as bathing, dressing, eating, etc. Also, I want to make sure they understand the importance of changing all your undergarments everyday and the order in which they are to be worn under the brace. Also, make sure you bring comfy, loose fitting clothing to wear over your brace when were all finished.

“Well, I have to be honest, I will not be looking forward to seeing you next week” replied Beth as she placed her naked arms through the sleeves of her floral silk blouse.

“Seriously Beth, it’s not as bad as it sounds, everything will be fine,” replied Andrea as she helped Beth slowly slide off the fitting table.

“Easy for you to say, you’re not the one who is going to be encased in a plastic and metal shell for 3 months”

“Well, you do have a point there but I promise to do everything within my ability to make you as comfortable as possible during that time. Anytime something with the brace does not feel right, just give us a call and myself or Kelly will have you in for adjustments. Heck, well even make house calls if we can.”

“I know you will Andrea, your great. Sorry for complaining, I’m just scared to death.”

“No reason to apologize, I know you are going to have a rough few months ahead, but remember, try to keep positive and ….”

“I know, I know …Your right, hell, if Jim is one of those closet brace lover’s like you described, I may even enjoy it a bit!!” Beth jokingly said as she laughed, trying to make light of a serious situation.

As Beth tried to finish dressing, she struggled with her now tighter fitting blouse.

“My blouse does not seem to work real well here over this new contraption” replied Beth as she struggled with the top buttons on her blouse.

“I have a big sweater in the back that you can borrow if you like, it should work fine over the SOMI Brace, in fact, I used it when I was test driving a SOMI Brace a few months back”

Andrea ducked into a closet and pulled out a light pink oversized sweeter and helped Beth pull it over her head.

“How’s that”

“Oh gosh, that’s great, I will bring it back when I see you next week”

“No, no, it’s fine, take your time, you’ll probably need it another time when your able to go shopping again, but not for at least a few weeks.”

“What do you mean NO shopping for a few weeks?” replied Beth in a joking, yet aggressive tone.

“I love shopping, except maybe in this case because I know I will need to pick up a few less “form fitting” outfits to fit over this brace. But it is shopping, none the less, which is always good ” replied Beth as she put her hand to her brace.

“I am sorry Beth, but I really must put my foot down here. I absolutely do not want you out of bed for any reason other than for the necessities, you need to rest and take it easy. I don’t mean to scare you here but you do have a serious injury and until we get you into your CTLSO, you really need to try and keep your movements to a minimum. I am sure Dr. Leemoore shares my feelings on this matter.”

“Well how do you expect me to pick up the additional lingerie you said I need?” asked Beth.

“Maybe your husband can go out and pick up a few things for you or ……..”

“Or maybe Andrea and I can go shopping for you and pick up what you need” responded Kelly with a smile as she walked in during Beth and Andrea’s conversation.

“Cascade Orthopedic says they will ship all the parts tomorrow so everything needed for Beth’s brace should be here on Wednesday. Also, I spoke to Dr. Leemoore and he said he still wants to see Beth, but he would like to move her appointment up to Thursday at 1:00” announced Kelly

“That’s great news about the parts for the brace, and you confirmed that they are now distributing Florida Braces Parts and that they have the J-24 cervical components in stock for shipment tomorrow?” ask Andrea

“Yes Andrea, I checked with Sherri at Cascade and she said everything is in stock and will ship tomorrow.”

“Thanks Kelly for taking care of all of that with Cascade, that means we should be right on schedule for getting Mrs. O’Connell’s brace done by next Monday. I kinda figured Dr. Leemoore would want to see Beth this week.” She said to Andrea with an ever so subtle smirk on her face.

“Will you be able to get a ride down on Thursday?” asked Andrea

“Well, I think Jim can take me, It shouldn’t be a problem.”

“Great” replied Andrea

“Beth, I will have some free time later this week since Andrea will be putting me in the CTLSO on Wednesday. And since you and I are almost the same size, I think it only makes since that I be your personal shopper for this lingerie adventure, with Andrea’s assistance, of course. What do you say Beth?” asked Kelly with a big smile on her face as she looked at Beth.

“Well, I don’t know, what about ………….”

“I think that’s a great idea” Andrea chimed in

“Why don’t we go Wednesday evening after you get me fitted into the CTLSO” responded Kelly

“That’s perfect, I need to pick up a few things for myself anyway so that will work out well. What we can do is swing by Victoria Secrets first and pick up the bra and panty set for me and then head over to Nordstrom’s to get whatever Beth needs. I understand they have quite a good selection of foundation lingerie there” remarked Andrea.

“Yes they do, in fact I was talking about that with one of our patients earlier this month.”

“Oh yes, that nice young lady we did the SOMI fitting on a few weeks back, I think her name was Heather. She is also a patient of Dr. Leemoore.” replied Andrea

“That’s right, Heather, well I am not sure how we got on the subject but she told me that she runs the lingerie department there at Nordstrom’s and that she has expanded the foundation wear section due to an increased demand by her customers. It seems that more and more women are looking for girdles, all in one support body suits, long line bras and more, kinda like mom used to wear back in the 60’s.” replied Kelly

“Yes, I do remember that conversation, if fact she mentioned that she had helped a few of our patients with lingerie in the last year. The one woman with the back injury who needed a few firm support body suits to wear under her TLSO shell and a couple of other gals who had neck injuries and were buying full figure support bras and girdles to help with shoulder and lower back pain. That’s right, we’ll go there, they should have everything we need. Maybe Heather will be working” smiled Andrea.

“She mentioned that she wanted to get back to work as soon as possible but I doubt that Dr. Leemoore would let her go back so soon. Plus, she was pretty upset with the way she looked in the SOMI after she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror, remember she left the office in tears” Kelly added.

“She seemed to be doing a lot better this morning when I met her at Dr. Leemoore’s office” replied Beth

“You know Heather?” asked Andrea with a puzzled looked on her face.

“Yes, well, actually I just met her this morning at Dr. Leemoore’s office, I think I told you earlier, didn’t I?”

“That’s right, sorry, just a lot of stuff going on right now”

“And she seemed better?” asked Andrea

“Yes, she was in to have a check up and a brace adjustment. I talked to her on the way out and she seemed in pretty good spirits. Her only complaint was that the Dr. had raised the head and chin piece on her brace which made it a little more uncomfortable for her to wear” remarked Beth

“That poor girl, I feel for her but after a few weeks in the brace, things tend to loosen up and stretch a bit so raising the head and chin piece is pretty normal. Dr. Leemoore usually does those type of adjustments himself but I wish he would send them here where we could go through and check and adjust the entire brace.” Remarked Andrea

“I understand from some of his patients that he really seems to enjoy adjusting and readjusting their braces, sometimes having them in once or even twice a week for adjustments. Maybe he’s a closet Orthodist at heart” laughed Kelly

“Or maybe he’s a Doctor who’s also a NBAK Fan!” replied Andrea

“Now that’s interesting, maybe …………” responded Kelly slightly snickering.

“What are you two talking about and what is NBAK? I have nothing but good things to say about Dr. Leemoore and the way he runs his practice.”

“Oh absolutely Beth and please don’t misunderstand us, we just joke a lot of times about doctors who try and be orthodist’s as well, that’s all. Some Doctors try to do all the ordering, building and fitting of the braces themselfs and a lot of times it can cause problems for the patient. On several occasions, Kelly and I get called in after the fact to fix, readjust or even replace a brace that was fitted incorrectly, built poorly or even prescribed for the wrong type of injury. Dr. Leemoore is actually very good about sending his patients here first and letting us do what we do best, the ordering, building and fitting of orthopedic braces. It’s just the adjusting part that drives us crazy sometimes, that’s all.”

“I understand, let the Doctor be the Doctor and let the brace experts do what they do best — braces!”

“That’s right, I am glad you understand, after all, it’s in the best interest of the patient” responded Kelly

“What’s this NBAK thing you mentioned – you still have not filled me in on that” asked Beth.

“Well, what say we table that for another day when we have more time since we all need to get going here”

“OK, that sounds fine, but remember, next time I want all the dirt!” Beth said, now smiling.

“Deal. Now, what we will need from you right now is all your measurements and color preferences so when we go lingerie shopping Wednesday we buy the right stuff.” Andrea responded.

All three women sat around the fitting room joking and laughing while Kelly scratched down sizes, colors, styles etc. for their upcoming foundation wear shopping trip. After they were finished, Andrea brought the conversation back to a more serious and stern tone.

“Now remember Beth, I want you to spend the rest of the week and next weekend resting in bed. I only want you up for the necessities and for your Doctors appointment on Thursday. Also, make sure you have someone with you this week and next weekend, your husband or maybe a friend, to help you in and out of bed and to get around the house. You may be a little unsteady at first while in the braces and I want to make sure you don’t fall”

Beth tried to nod her head in agreement but the padded chin piece of the SOMI brace only allowed her head to move ever so slightly, but Andrea knew that was a yes.

“I will give you a call this week to check –in and see how you are doing and let you know how Kelly and I did at our shopping adventure” responded Andrea

Andrea walked Beth out of the fitting room and around to the front reception area where Mrs. Finny, the receptionist, was waiting with her appointment book open.

“Will we be scheduling another appointment for Mrs. O’Connell?” ask the receptionist as she looked down at her appointment book.

“Yes, lets put her down for next Monday at 10:00 AM, will that work OK for you Beth?” Asked Andrea

“Let me check with my husband to see what his schedule is, you did mention that he needs to be here as well, didn’t you??”

“Yes, that’s is important. Why don’t you check with him and then call us back on Wednesday and confirm it with Mrs. Finny ” replied Andrea

“And what will she be coming in for” asked the gray haired receptionist as she looked up from her appointment book.

“A CTLSO fitting, Mrs. Finny”

“Oh my, very well then, a CTLSO fitting at 10:00 am on Monday ” replied Mrs. Finny as she wrote it in her appointment book in pencil

“And you will call us Wednesday to confirm?” asked Mrs. Finny to Beth

“Yes, I will call you Wednesday”

Chapter 11 – Home Sweet Home

The drive home seemed longer than Beth ever remembered, even though Larry knew the area very well and manereved the van quickly and precisely around each turn and through every intersection like a train rolls down the track towards its destination. Beth was now feeling very self conscious in her new SOMI brace and soft LSO, as though she were in a fish bowl being driven down the main street of town for everyone to see. Even though the windows of the van were tinted, she couldn’t help but feel that her new, temporary braces were now visible to the whole world, even though they were mostly covered by her clothing.

“Almost there Mrs. O’Connell” called out Larry as he glanced in the rear view mirror back at Beth who was sitting in the bench seat directly behind him, on the left side of the van.

“That’s great Larry, thank you” replied Beth, smiling back at the eyes in the rear view mirror.

As the van pulled into the driveway, Beth glanced down at her watch; it was now 6:15 PM. The van door slid open and Larry extended his hand to Beth’s, carefully helping her out.

“I have strict orders to help you in to your house and get you in you bed” replied Larry as he began to turn red after he realized what he had just said.

“I mean ehh, I mean …… well I need to get you in and settled”

“I know what you meant Larry” replied Beth, laughing softly

“Well, an order is an order, so let me show you in”

Larry slowly and carefully walked Beth down the brick walkway and to the large solid oak front door where they stopped for a moment while Beth tried to get her keys. As she fumbled in her purse and tried to look down to spot the keys, she realized that life was going to be much more difficult and challenging for her in the months to come. Even small things like looking down into her purse to find a set of keys were now all but impossible as the padded chin piece that cupped her chin firmly did not allow for that type of movement. She cursed under her breath out of anger and frustration.

“Here Mrs. O’Connell, let me help you with that” responded Larry as he took hold of her purse and spotted the keys immediately.

“Thank you Larry” responded Beth as she held her keys out in front of her face and located the front door key. As she carefully slid the key into the front door, turning it to the right and the massive door swung open, she felt a great sense of relief to finally be home after perhaps the longest day of her life.

Larry held the front door open while Beth carefully stepped into the house; Larry followed her in, closing the door behind him.

“This sure is a beautiful home Mrs. O’Connell” replied Larry as he looked up at the vaulted ceilings, skylights and tasteful artwork that covered the walls.

“Thank you Larry, we like it, that is, my husband Jim and myself. We have been here almost 7 years now”

Beth smiled as she looked around, feeling very good to be home.

“The Doctors office said I need to make sure you get … ehh set up in bed as soon as you get home so …”

“Thank you Larry for all your help but I think I will be fine now, I am going to take some pain medication and crawl right into bed so you have nothing to worry about. Besides, my husband Jim should be home any time now to take care of me.” Beth smiled at Larry and shook his hand — his palms were sweaty.

“All right then Mrs. O’Connell, well, it was nice to meet you and should you need any assistance with anything please don’t hesitate to call” replied Larry as he made his way out the front door.

As Beth heard the van drive away, she begin to think about Jim, what would she tell him now — would she stick to the roller blading story or should she tell him the truth. After a few moments of though, Beth decided she would stick to the original story, she would just have to elaborate on it a bit. Jim would believe her, after all, they had known each other for over 10 years now and they trusted each other.

Glancing down at her watch, Beth saw that it was now 6:30 PM, she knew she needed to touchup her make up and calm her nerves before Jim came home; she had about 30 minutes or so. As Beth sat down in front of her vanity, she had only her second look at herself in all her new hardware. The soft LSO now supporting her back she could live with since it was not very noticeable underneath her clothing. In fact it had sort of a retro vintage lingerie look to it, something you might see Madonna wear at one of her concerts. The SOMI Brace, however, was an entirely different story. It looked awful, Beth thought to herself — it was very, very noticeable, especially the silver metal bars that supported the head and chin piece. And then there was that horrible looking chin piece, Beth thought, putting her hand to it, trying to pull it down ever so slightly to get a little relief from its continual upward pressure. The white vinyl covering and thick foam padding, molded precisely to her face, cupping her chin in a way which didn’t allow rotation in either direction or movement up or down. The stark white color contrasted greatly with her flesh colored face. She attempted to wrap a scarf around it but took it off immediately, thinking that it would only appear as if she were trying to hide something from Jim, and there was no way she could hide her new SOMI brace. So Beth did as she always did before Jim arrived home and touched up her makeup and applied a fresh coat of burgundy colored lipstick. As she got up from her vanity, she grabbed a small perfume bottle and splashed a few drops of Donna Karen on her neck and chest. Finally she unbuttoned the top 2 buttons of her blouse, only this time instead of revealing subtle breasts and deep cleavage, the only thing visible was the “Y” shaped portion of the SOMI brace. She buttoned up her blouse again.

Chapter 12 – Jim Arrives

The sound of the dog barking was Beth’s signal that Jim’s car had pulled in the driveway, it was 7:15 PM, 15 minutes later than Jim normally comes home. As the door open Beth tried to remain calm and steadfast as Jim yelled out

“Hi honey, I’m home”

“Hello dear, I’m here in the living room” replied Beth, sitting calmly on the couch.

As Jim rounded the corner and stepped into the living room, he produced a large bouquet of roses from behind his back

“Suprize — sorry I am late but I stopped by the local florist and picked these up, I hope you like them”

“Oh thanks baby, there beautiful”

“How are you feeling today?” asked Jim, saying nothing of the new brace.

“Well, I feel ok, all things considered ” replied Beth, waiting for Jim to comment on her new hardware.

“That’s great honey, keep up that positive attitude”

Beth was now turned at about a 30 degree angle on the dark green leather couch trying her hardest to look Jim in the eyes but the new braces really kept her torso and especially her head and neck very rigid, allowing little or no movement left or right.

“I can’t believe you haven’t notice!!” replied Beth in an agitated tone.

“Notice what??” replied Jim

“This!!” responded Beth as she put her hand to her new brace and started to cry

“Oh honey, I’m sorry, actually, I did notice, I — I just –just”

“You just what?”

“I just didn’t want you to think that’s the first thing I saw when I came into the room — I mean you can really hardly even notice it.”

Jim was now sitting down next to Beth stroking her hair and gently kissing her on the cheek.

“I didn’t act suprized because I wasn’t”

“You mean you know what happened today??” asked Beth, trying to turn her head and look at Jim, but having to twist her whole upper torso.

“I called Doctors Leemoore’s office after I was unable to reach you this afternoon and he told me the whole story”

“What time did you talk to him??”

“Oh, I think it must have been around 1:00pm or so”

“What did he tell you?” asked Beth, now concerned that Jim knew it was not a roller blading accident

“He told me that the injury was worse than they originally had thought and that they had found a small fracture in one of your cervical vertebra. He said that although he is very concerned about your condition, he is confident you will make a full and speedy recovery. However, he did mentioned that it looked like you were going to need to wear a more rigid neck brace than he originally prescribed” Jim now was holding both of Beth’s hands while he looked her in the eyes.

“He told me you would need to be in what’s called a SOMI type neck brace for at least 6 weeks, possibility more depending on how your healing progressed” replied Jim as he put his hand to Beth’s SOMI Brace.

“I went on line and looked up “SOMI Brace” and got lots of information and pictures of it so I had some knowledge of it before I saw you. I wanted to be able to help you get along better in your new brace so for the last 5 hours I have been collecting information and have spoken to a couple of physical therapist about the do’s and don’ts of the SOMI Brace.” Replied Jim as he produced a stack of papers from his briefcase with pictures, information, specs and handwritten notes, etc. about Beth’s new SOMI brace.

“I wanted to come down to the Doctors office right away after hearing the update on your condition but Dr. Leemoore said you would be fine. He also said that there was really nothing I could do at this point since you were already down at the orthopedic shop getting fitted for your new brace. That’s when I decided my best option was to give you my full, undaunted support in helping you make a full recovery. So I figured a good start would be gathering as much information as possible on your new brace and your condition and, a nice bouquet of long stem roses”

“Oh honey, your so sweet – I’m so lucky to have you” replied Beth as she struggled to turn her head and kiss Jim on the cheek.

“Unfortunately, I think its going to take a lot more than long stem roses to help me get through this thing.”

“I know you have had a hard few days here honey and I am sure the new brace is not real comfortable but we’ll get through this thing, I promised” countered Jim as he careful hugged Beth and gently caressed her beautiful dark brown hair

“Well, I wish that was all of the story but I had a few more interesting developments this afternoon after you spoke to Dr. Leemoore.” replied Beth

“What do you mean “more developments,” honey?” asked Jim in a concerned tone.

“Well, during my brace fitting, Andrea, that’s the lady who was fitting my brace, noticed something in her set of x-rays that Dr. Leemoore’s office did not pick up. As soon as she spotted something suspicious, she immediately contacted Dr. Leemoore at his office and after a 30 minute discussion, they both confirmed that I have another small fracture in the middle of my back, at T5 and T6, or something like that.”

Jim, now trying very hard to conceal his concern, took both of Beth’s hands and said

“Oh my God honey, are you serious?” Responded Jim, clutching Beth’s hands.

“So what does all this mean honey, shouldn’t you be in the hospital or something?”

“Well, not exactly, they say the second fracture is very small and stable and should heal quickly, so I guess that’s the good news”

The bad news is that it looks like I will have to wear a brace even more restrictive than this thing” Beth responded, putting her hands to her SOMI Brace.

“This brace and my new corset (which you can’t see) are just temporary. I was at the Bay Orthopedic, all afternoon getting measured and casted for my new custom brace, which is supposed to be done next Monday -whoopee. Oh my god Jim, I’m so scared” replied Beth as she began to cry.

“casted, what do you mean casted?” asked Jim

“You know, casted, like in a full body cast so they can make my new plastic shell, it was just awful” cried Beth

“Oh honey, it will be ok, don’t cry, please baby, don’t cry, I am going to be here for you, all the way. I have already taken the next few weeks off, starting tomorrow, so I can be with you” Jim took Beth into his arms and gently stroked her dark brown hair as Beth continued to sob.

“I’m so sorry I’m crying Jim, but today was just awful, probably the worst day of my life – and this new brace looks like something out of Zena – Warrior Princess, only much worst. At least her body armor stops at her collarbone and is somewhat fashionable. This thing is just horrible looking and goes from my hips to chin!

Beth tried her hardest to put her head on Jim’s shoulder and cry but the SOMI brace held her head in such a way that the best she could do was to carefully lean her torso in his direction and sob.

Oh honey, it’s OK, please baby, it will be OK. You are going to need to pull your self together here and be strong, you’ll make through this” replied Jim as he awkwardly tried to hold Beth and comfort her.

“I’m sorry honey, your the greatest, what would I do without you. And your right, I do need to pull myself together here be strong throughout this whole thing”

“And I’ll also remind you that you need to be a cooperative patient with both Dr. Leemoore and myself, promise?”

“Promise” said Beth, cracking a slight smile.

“Good, so lets start you on the road to recovery by getting you to Bed! Dr. Leemoore told me he wants you in bed for the rest of the week”

“My my, I love it when your so forceful, ” replied Beth as she stood up and gave Jim one of those bedroom smiles.

“I mean to rest honey, not to fool around, there will be none of that for a while” responded Jim

“Oh, boo who Baby, and I thought you liked me in my “New Hardware” buy the looks of your trousers.

Jim looked down at his crotch and noticed that his raging hard-on was now forcing his pants out in a very noticeable way. He blushed and put his head down, trying to think of something to say to her.

“What can I say honey, its been a few days since you relieved “Omar” here and, well I think he’s got a mind of his own. I am sorry honey, I realize it will be a few months before we will be able to have sex again” Jim said, his head now hung low like a boy who just lost his best friend.

“Says who!!” demanded Beth

“I must say that I may not feel like it today or maybe not even next week but I am not going to be celibate for the next few months while I recover” said Beth in a very aggressive tone.

“Slow down now honey, we just need to make sure its OK with the Doctor before we make love, that’s all. Believe me, I’m always horny too but the last thing I want to do here is hurt you, that’s all”

“OK, your right, I will ask the good Doctor if and when we can have sex when I see him Thursday. I will warn you though, after they strap me into this new brace, you may not find me very sexy at all!” replied Beth

“Oh honey, don’t be silly, of course I will find you sexy, brace or no brace”

“Well, we will see about that, unless of course your one of those men that Andrea, my orthopedic fitter, warned me about!”

“One of what men?” asked Jim

“One of those men that are actually turned on by the sight of a woman in a neck or back brace.” Replied Beth

“What???” Jim responded with a puzzled look on his face.

“Andrea told me there is actually a secret society of “Neck Brace Lovers” made up mostly of men who enjoy seeing the opposite sex in a variety of neck and back braces! I guess it REALLY turns them on! – can you imagine?”

“You have got to be joking, right? – Please tell me you are joking, my god, just when I thought I had heard of every strange fetish in the world” replied Jim with and astonished but slightly guilty look on his face.

“Hum Jim, by that guilty look on your face and that erection in your pants, maybe, just maybe you are one of those brace lovers? – replied Beth jokingly.

“Well, how about it Jim, are you hiding any deep, dark little secrets from me? — hummm……?”

“Oh please Beth, I have never!! … are you serious?” asked Jim, now concerned.

“Oh lighten up Jim, I am just teasing” smiled Beth as she kissed him on the cheek.

“Ha, ha, very funny, you actually had me going for a second there. Now what do you say we get you in bed funny girl?” laughed Jim as he help his beautiful wife down the hall and into their bedroom.

Chapter 13 – The Bedroom Experience

As Jim got Beth over to her nightstand, adjacent to their bed, he began to carefully help her get undressed. Beth slid off her shoes while Jim helped her pull her new, borrowed, soft pink sweeter up over her head. As he carefully negotiated the sweeter up over her torso, the collar got hung up on the chin piece of the new brace.

“Opp’s, hold on her honey, looks like the sweeter got caught on your brace here a little”

” Be careful Jim, this doesn’t even belong to me” replied Beth.

“Oh really, who’s is it?” asked Jim as he free the pink sweeter from the brace and gently pulled it up over her head.

“It’s Andrea’s from Bay Orthotics, she said I could borrow it since my blouse I wore in this morning did not really fit too well over all my new hardware”

“Oh, well that was nice of her”

“Yes, she and her assistant “Kelly” are really great”

OK, let’s get your skirt and panty hose off

Beth remained standing, now stabilizing herself by holding on to one of the 4 bedposts. Jim came around the back of Beth and slowly unzipped her slightly tighter fitting navy blue skirt as Beth wiggled her hips just so to free the skirt from above her hips. The skirt fell to the ground.

“OK, let’s get those panty hose off you, can I loosen your corset first to make it easier to pull your panty hose down?”

“You better not as Andrea really did not show me how tight this thing needs to be, can you just pull them down?”

“Well, I guess so but I don’t want to rip them”

“Don’t worry Jim, I need to buy some new ones anyway”

Jim slid his fingers between the new LSO soft corset and Beth’s white panty hose and carefully began to pull the panty hose down. The new corset was VERY tight so pulling the panty hose down was not that easy but somehow Jim managed to free them from underneath the LSO.

“There, got em, and not even a snag” replied Jim proudly as he knelt on the bedroom floor. The slightly moist cotton pannel of Beth’s panty hose now staring him in the face and the familiar scent of femininity brought a smile to Jim’s face.

“OK honey, why don’t you sit down on the bed and carefully lie back and I will get them all the way off.”

Jim help Beth back up on to the bed and carefully sit down on the edge, her feet still touching the carpet floor.

“OK, let’s have you to lay back on the bed, remember, slow moves and let me help you first.”

As Jim took a hold of Beth’s hand and placed his other free hand behind her head, trying to cradle her spine like an infant, he slowly helped her lay back, she winced in pain before her head hit the sheets.

“Are you OK honey? am I hurting you? Cried Jim.

“I’m OK, I’m OK, just very sore and my neck is really starting to hurt. Don’t worry though, I’ll be fine. I just think I need some painkiller after you get me settled in here.”

Beth’s nearly naked torso now lay on the bed, motionless as eyes were fixed on the ceiling. Jim carefully grabbed her panty hose where they were rolled down below her LSO and was preparing to remove them when his nose again detected her scent. The cotton pannel of her panty hose, moist from the day’s activity. Jim could feel his blue slacks tighten again with excitement. Just as his tongue was thrusting from his lips he caught himself before it hit.

“Jim, what are you doing down there?” asked Beth as she lie in a helpless, motionless state, unable to even tilt her head down to see with her own eyes.

“Oh, nothing dear, just trying to be careful as I don’t want to cause you any pain or rip you panty hose”

“OK, if you say so, but for a minute there I thought you were going somewhere with your tongue”, muttered Beth

“Oh honey, please, I mean, your injured here and I would never, I mean never think of…………

“What about if I want you to, do you think you would change your mind then?” asked Beth in her devilish tone.

“Well, I, I, I really don’t, well, I guess if its OK with the doctor and Ok with you then ehhh”

“You’re a sweetie Jim, sorry but I really don’t feel like doing anything now and I have not even talked to the doctor or to my Orthotist, but I can tell you that I will just as soon as I feel a little better. I mean, if you think I am going for 3 months without sex, even if I am encased in a plastic and steel shell, then you are seriously mistaken.”

“OK, OK honey, don’t get yourself all worked up here, remember you need to take it easy but when you feel up to it, we can discuss it with your doctor and the brace people. Now let me get these hose off you and get you settled into bed.

Jim finished removing Beth’s panty hose and moved up her torso to get to work on the bra.

“OK, now let get working on this bra”

“It’s a rear closure bra honey so ……….”

“So it looks like I am going to have to have you sit up again, I am so sorry honey”

“It’s OK, it’s OK, you’ll just need to help me again” replied Beth.

“Of course” responded Jim as he once again slid his left hand underneath Beth’s torso.

“One, two and three lift ” Beth again winced in pain as she slowly lifted her torso off the sheets and in to a sitting position at the edge of the bed.

“OK honey, great now let see here” responded Jim as her came around Beth’s braced torso and fumbled with the catch on her bra strap.

“What did you do, forget how to remove a girl’s bra” joked Beth as she waited patiently for Jim to complete the job.

“No, I am just trying to figure out how we are going to remove it from underneath your brace”

“Can’t you just slid it out from underneath the chest plate on this damn thing” replied Beth as she put her hand to the “Y” shaped portion of the chest piece of her new SOMI brace. Jim carefully worked the bra out from underneath the brace at atlas her boobs were free.

“There, got it” proclaimed Jim as he tossed Beth’s size 36-D bra on to the nightstand.

Jim once again felt his erection harden by the sight of his nearly naked wife sitting at the edge of the bed. Her large breasts contrasting against the white SOMI brace now made them look even larger as they protruded out to the left and to the right of the “Y” shaped chest piece.

“OK honey, we need to get you back down into bed now” Jim said again as he help her rotated her trusted body 90 degrees and then back down into the supine position on the bed. Beth grimaced in pain one again.

“I’m sorry honey, I know your in a lot of pain ”

“I’m OK, but can you get me those pain relievers Dr. Leemore prescribed — now!!”

“Sure Honey, sure I will, let’s just get you situated in bed here and then I’ll go run and get them.”

Jim carefully placed pillows under Beth’s braced body and made sure she was as comfortable as possible before he pulled the blankets up over her and tucked her in. Then Jim went into the bathroom and got the pain pills Beth asked for with a tall glass of water. Jim returned to the bedroom and walked over to Beth, who was now lying flat on her back, almost motionless.

“Beth, are you awake baby?” asked Jim in a very soft tone.

Beth tried desperately to turn her head to the right and look at Jim but the SOMI brace and formed chin piece kept her from doing little more than looking straight up.

“Oh yes, just lying here staring at the ceiling” responded Beth in a sarcastic, muffled tone.

“OK honey, I have the pain pills you asked about but I think we have a slight problem, you are going to need to sit up to take these and that might be difficult for you now.”

“I’ll be OK, just help me” responded Beth.

Jim slowly slid his left hand under Beth’s shoulders and his right under her soft LSO brace.

“OK, are you ready?” asked Jim

“I think so” responded Beth

Beth tried to sit up as Jim assisted her but the expression on Beth’s face was one of extreme discomfort. They stopped halfway up.

Ouch, ouch Beth cried out.

“Honey, are you OK, lets put you back down” suggested Jim.

“No, no, I am halfway there, I can do it”

As Beth mustered up her strength, she, with Jim’s assistance, was able to get all the way to the sitting position. Her upper body now perfectly straight as the SOMI and the LSO held her spine rigid.

“There, did it, but it’s not easy with only being able to move at the hips.”

“Oh Beth, you poor thing, I am so sorry, I wish I could make you feel better” replied Jim as he gave Beth her 3 pain pills followed by the glass of water.

Beth slowly took the pills one at a time followed by short drinks of water

“Next time lets do this before you get me in bed, OK?” asked Beth

“I think that’s a must honey”

Jim helped Beth back down onto the bed, her pain seemed less now and she was very tired, a side effect of the painkillers and a very, very long and difficult day.

Beth fell fast asleep after about 2 minutes as Jim caressed her long dark hair. In his pants, his manhood still at full attention. Jim felt guilty about his erection with his wife in her injured condition but as he walked from the room and dimmed the lights, a slight grin came across his face. A grin that looked as if he had just gotten away with murder.

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