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Author Topic: Jennifer  (Read 11784 times)

Offline anton08

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #30 on: 24. February 2022, 16:20:32 PM »
Well, this is one of the best stories in my humble opinion. It is well written, the content is logical, the characters are convincing, very well done! :) Thanks a lot to the author!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #31 on: 24. February 2022, 22:14:13 PM »
Chapter 14.

After Melissa left, Jennifer realized she was hungry and had not eaten dinner yet.  She went into the kitchen and made herself a sandwich.  Jennifer was not brave enough yet to try cooking in the brace.  It felt so weird trying to do things in the brace; her vision and movements were so constricted.  So though it was a little more complicated than she was used to, she was successful in making herself a turkey sandwich.  Though it had been a challenge just drinking with the neck brace on, she decided to try to eat in it too.  She poured herself a second glass of wine, pouring around her straw, and carried her glass and plate back to the kitchen table.  It was doable, but barely.  She could barely open her mouth.  She was not able to take a bite from the sandwich, it was too thick, but with a knife a fork she was able to cut tiny bites and get them in her mouth.  While it felt like it took forever, she finally finished the sandwich.  She realized this would be a good diet plan.  But, not wanting to lose any weight lest the brace not fit, she made a mental note to pick up some nutrition drinks so she could get some calories if she was in a hurry.  She realized this was a whole new world, and she really hoped she could get used to it like Melissa said she would.  The rest of the evening she watched TV on the couch, again using two pillows off the bed to prop behind her.  She made another mental note to pick up some extra pillows so she could just leave them on the couch.

Jennifer was determined to get her daily hours of wear time in, even though she had banked those extra hours over the weekend.  It was a challenge to herself, and she hated to lose.  She stayed up watching TV till 10:30, a little past her normal bedtime, just so she could get her 5 hours in.  She realized her life was now an arithmetic problem, doing the math each day to see if she got her wear time in, and doing the math to figure out how she would get the wear time in the next day.  She realized the next day, Tuesday, called for 7 hours.  She was not ready to try sleeping in the brace yet, so she decided to take off from work a little early the next day.  Tuesday she again got in her time, 7 hours.  After she took everything off that evening and marked her sheet, she realized tomorrow called for 9 hours.  She would have to wear the brace to work, stay up half the night, or try to sleep in it.  She wasn't ready to wear it out in public yet, and she didn't want to stay up all night, so she made up her mind to wear it to bed the next night.  The next evening, Wednesday, she sat on the couch reading.  Her phone buzzed, and she picked it up.  She saw it was a text from Melissa.  It said:

M:  Jen, you have your follow up appointment at 2 tomorrow.  Just a heads up, wear your back brace into the appointment, even if you just put it on in the parking lot.  Even though it is the first week, Dr. Wellington will scold you if you aren't wearing it.  You don't need to wear the cervical extension but do bring it and your mouthguard with you along with your timesheet.

J:  Thanks for the heads up, I will do that.  I was actually not planning to wear it; just bring it with me.

M:  Well then, good thing I text you.  Also, I have an orthodontist appointment tomorrow morning at 8.  I am dreading it; I might get my expander installed.  I spoke with Dr. Cooper and he said it would be ok for you to come back to the back with me and observe my appointment.  You seemed pretty interested in the whole process the other night, and this would be a chance for you to see it first hand.  And maybe you could even talk to him about booking a consultation yourself?

J:  Thank you for the offer.  I would love too, but I have an important meeting in the morning I can't miss.

M:  I understand.  Sweet dreams, I will see you tomorrow afternoon.

In fact, Jennifer had told Melissa a couple of white lies.  First, while she did have a meeting in the morning, it was not one that she couldn't have rescheduled.  Second, Jennifer would not love to.   She was scared of the orthodontist and the prospect of wearing braces again.

She went back to reading; once for whatever reason she thought back to her time with braces as a teen and shuddered. At 10, she got up off the couch and went to the bedroom.  It was the first time she had layed down in her brace, and she realized her normal pillow arrangement was not going to work.  After several minutes of trying different things, she realized she was most comfortable with just the corner of one pillow under the back of her head.  She made a note to not just buy some pillows for the couch, but an assortment for the bed as well so she could try some different things.  She awkwardly rolled over, swung her legs off the side of the bed, and managed to sit up.  She put her CPAP mask on, pulled her sleep mask onto the top of her head, and positioned the hose of her machine on the edge of the bedside table.  She realized she wouldn't be able to turn her head and look over to get it like she was used to but would have to blindly grope for it with her arm.  She laid back down and got as comfortable as she could then attached her hose.  She then realized she also couldn't see her cpap machine.  It was within reach, so she extended her hand out and felt around on the top of it.  She found what she thought was the on/off button and pressed it.  The machine came on.  Yay for small victories she thought.  She reached over, found the bedside lamp, and switched it off.  She then pulled her sleep mask over her eyes.  And immediately felt panic.  She felt claustrophobic, like she was locked in a box.  She was stiff as a board, her face and head were covered by her cpap mask and the associated straps, and her sleep mask put her in total darkness.  Her heart raced and she concentrated on breathing deeply to avoid a full on panic attack.  After what seemed like an eternity she calmed down.  She layed there and layed there.  She could not fall asleep.  Finally after what felt like all night, Jennifer gave up on wearing the brace.  She slipped her eye mask off, disconnected her hose, and rolled up to sitting position.  She saw the clock said it was midnight.  She had layed there two hours without sleeping.  She thought that she could have layed there all night and not fallen asleep.  She took her brace off and marked her time sheet for 7 hours.  She was disappointed in herself, she was supposed to get 9 in.  But she needed to get some sleep.  She went back to bed, hooked up her cpap, and fell right to sleep.

The next day at her appointment, Jennifer put her backbrace on over her clothes in the parking lot, and carrying her cervical extension went in for her appointment.  It wasn't a long wait before she was sitting in Dr. Wellington's office, with Melissa sitting in a chair beside the doctor.  They said their hellos and then the doctor started talking. He congratulated her on wearing her brace to her appointment, he said that was the attitude he loved to see in patients.  He then asked to see her time sheet.  He added up the time and smiled.  He told her "you have done great for your first week, you were at 39 hours this morning.  You are going to get to 41 easily, heck you may be there already but since you didn't put down your start time today I have no idea how long you have worn your brace today.  He told her it was really important she mark the sheet when she put her brace on so she could track her wear time.  He said he had his own ways to tell how much she had worn her brace.  He asked her when she put the brace on that morning, and she sheepishly admitted she had just put it on in the parking lot.  He looked over at Melissa and said "I wonder who gave you that idea" and smiled.  Melissa however did not.  Jen had already noticed her friend had just been sitting there looking dejected and miserable the whole time the doctor had been talking, and Jen realized she had not said one word the entire time.  She worried if everything was ok.  But the doctor just looked back at her and continued on, saying "I see you did not hit your daily goal yesterday for the first time, did something happen?"  Jennifer explained she had tried to go to bed with her brace for the first time, and she just couldn't fall asleep so she took it off after two hours.  Dr. Wellington told her he would write her a prescription for 2 weeks of Ambian.  He said she should then be able to fall asleep; and after a few weeks her body would be adjusted to the brace and she should be able to fall asleep easily without drugs.  He said your time sheet looks good, let's check it.  He then typed a few things on his computer and looked up and smiled.  He said "you are at 39.6 hours with your back brace, and a whopping 33 hours with the cervical extension.  Great job.  It matches almost exactly what your time sheet says.  Some patients try to fudge their numbers, but the bluetooth sensors in your brace don't lie."  He then instructed her to put on the cervical extension so he could check the fit of her brace.  After he was done, he said everything looked great, but he didn't volunteer for her to remove the neck brace so she kept it on.  He concluded by telling her she was doing great.  And even though she was easily going to hit her weekly hour goal this week, he asked her to try to wear it the entire 12 hours today that her schedule called for.  He said with the Ambian, she would be able to do, he was confident in her.  With that, he said that Melissa would wrap the appointment up with some X-rays both in and out of the brace, take a look at her for bruising or rashes, and then next week they would look at some progress x-rays together.  With that he thanked her, said he would see her next week, and left leaving only her and Melissa in the office.

As soon as he was out of the office, Jen looked at her friend and asked "Are you ok?  You don't seem yourself".  Melissa replied "Yes, but my mouth is killing me.  I told you I had an ortho appointment this morning.  I got good news and bad.  The good news is I don't get my expander till my next appointment.  The bad news is he put powerchains on both my upper and lower teeth and adjusted my herbst appliance.  I took some ibuprofen, but it didn't help".  Jen got up and went around the desk and gave Melissa an awkward hug around the shoulders and said "oh you poor thing".  Melissa said "let's go get your x-rays, and excuse me if I don't talk much".  The rest of the appointment went fine, taking x-rays both in and out of her brace, and examining her skin with a clean bill of health.  Melissa asked Jen to put her back brace back on until she was at least back at her car.  She said if the doctor caught her without it they would both be in trouble.  So looking out for both herself and her friend, she but her back brace back on and then got dressed.

Jennifer got to her car wearing her back brace and carrying the neck brace.  She realized she had her brace on under her clothes and would have to strip down in the parking lot to take it off.  Well she told herself, I am going to have to get used to driving in it eventually.  She put her brace bag in the back seat, then sat down in the front seat.  And then realized her seat was adjusted all wrong for driving in the brace.  After a few minutes of adjusting the seat this way and that she settled on a comfortable position.  She was sitting much more straight up than she was used to; and she had removed all her lumbar support from the seat; the brace was now her lumbar support.  She headed to the pharmacy to pick up her prescription.  Driving felt awkward, but not dangerous.  She was very careful though, as she noticed she had to move a little differently.  When she pulled into the parking lot, the line through the drivethru pharmacy window was a mile long.  She made up the decision that, even wearing her brace, she was going to go inside.  She figured she was going to have to be wearing it public eventually.  She steeled herself for possible embarrassment and managed to get out of the car.  When she returned to the car, she realized it was a piece of cake.  Not one single person seemed like they noticed she was wearing a back brace.  And she then realized she had been wearing her brace in public.  Sure it was wading into shallow end; but she had worn it into and out of a spine center and a pharmacy.  Now she admitted in her mind, at both of those places it was common to see injured people in braces, casts, crutches or wheelchairs so a woman in a backbrace might not draw any attention.  But still she thought, it had gone smoothly and she had even forgotten she was wearing the brace much of the time.  Feeling brave and confident, she decided to go do a little shopping.  She stopped at first at a Bed, Bath, and Beyond and got a whole shopping cart full of pillows.  Her next stop was the grocery store.  As she parked, she had an idea.  After she turned off the car she googled "soft food braces" on her phone.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #32 on: 25. February 2022, 00:23:03 AM »
Chapter 15.

That afternoon back home, as Jen was making the several trips to and from her car to unload her pillows and groceries and still wearing her brace, she felt like a champion. She was winning this battle.  She had managed a whole afternoon in public in her brace, and she decided she was going to treat herself by foregoing the cervical extension that evening, at least until bedtime, and enjoy a nice dinner.  Without it on, she cooked herself a nice dinner of pork chops and brussel sprouts along with a side salad.  After she ate and cleaned up she sent Melissa a text.

J:  Hey love, how is your mouth feeling?

M:  It feels like it got hit by a baseball bat then run over by a dump truck.

J.  Aww, I am sorry. :( What plans do you have for tomorrow night?

M:  Nothing, wear my facemask and watch TV like usual I guess.

J:  Well, you have new plans for you and your facemask.  I am going to make you dinner and try to cheer you up.  I will not take no for an answer because I have already been to the grocery store.  And I am not going to even ask what you like, cause I got everything soft in the store.  Whatever we don't eat, you can take home with you so you don't have to fool with cooking or ordering out for a few nights.  What time do you like to eat dinner?

M:  I usually try to eat around 6, as soon as I get home from work, and be done by 7.

J:  Well then, you are going to have to come straight over here after work then.  And don’t forget your facemask, I don’t want you to have to rush off like the other evening.  I was hoping we could eat, and then watch a movie and have a girls night in. 

M:  Aww, you are so sweet.  I will warn you I might not be the best company until my mouth stops hurting so much.

J:  Remember when you scolded me for apologizing for my lisp?  Well, now it is my turn.  Stop it.  You will be wonderful company.

M:  In that case, I would absolutely love too.

J:  YAY! YAY!  HAPPY DANCE!!!  On a less happy note, I am going to try to sleep in my full brace again tonight.  I hope it goes better than last night. 

M:  Take the ambian, if should work.  I am about to take one myself so it will knock me out and I can quit thinking about my mouth.

J:  In that case, I will leave you alone so you can go to bed.  I look so forward to seeing you tomorrow night!

With that, Jen put her phone down.  She had a huge smile on her face.  She was happy and looking so forward to the next night.  She looked at the clock and saw it was already 8 pm.  She sat down on the couch with her new pillows and spent the next hour googling recipes on her phone for the soft foods she had gotten, saving the ones that looked good to her favorites.  At around 9, she took an Ambian and headed to the bedroom.  She went through the same process she had the night before, the only difference being she had a few new pillows to try out.  She got comfy, or as comfy as she could, after about 5 minutes, turned off the lamp and slipped down her eye mask.  She braced herself for the panic to hit, but it didn’t.  She wasn’t exactly comfortable, but after about 20 minutes she fell asleep. 

The next morning she awoke at 6:15 to the sound of her alarm, and out of habit tried to sit up.  She had a jolt of panic run through her when she couldn’t, then she remembered she was wearing her brace.  She processed that in her head again, I am wearing my brace… and it is the next morning.  YAY! She slipped off her eye mask, then her cpap mask, and managed to sit up.  She rubbed her eyes, and again looked at the clock to make sure it really was 6:15.  It was.  She got up and took her brace off and hopped in the shower.  She showered, did her hair and makeup, then emerged to get dressed.  When she entered the bedroom she looked over at her back brace and thought, what the heck.  She put it on, got dressed up, and headed for the office.

About 9, she text Melissa.

J:  Good morning, I hope you are having a wonderful day!  :)  Were you able to sleep ok?  And how does your mouth feel?

It was about 15 minutes before she got a response.

M:  Good morning to you too!  Sorry for the delay, it is brace fitting day and I was with a patient.  My mouth is still sore, but I think it is better.  At least I am telling myself that.  And yes I was able to sleep, that Ambian is for real.  How about you?

J:  I was able to sleep through the night! Wearing my complete brace!  And I feel pretty good today.  So good, I decided to wear my back brace to work.  And so far, so good.

With that, Jen looked up to make sure her door was closed, pulled up her sweater to expose her brace, and took a selfie.  She sent it to Melissa.

M:  :P :P :P❤❤❤ :D :D :D I am so, so proud of you.  I would love to talk with you all day, but I have to run.  I have more patients to lock into their torture devices.  >:D

J:  Haha!  Have a great day!  And I will see you tonight!

Right before lunch time, she stopped by her bosses Pete’s office.  She went in and sat.  She thanked him so much for her new desk and chair, and for getting maintenance to put it together so fast.  She said she loved it, it was perfect, and again thanked him.  He said it was his pleasure and asked how the brace acclimation was going.  With that she looked at him and said “what do you think?”  Pete responded “I have no idea, that is why I asked you”.  With that she stood up and did a spin in front of him, then bent over like she was trying to touch her toes, her whole torso as stiff as a board.  He asked “Are you wearing it right now”.  “Yep” she said, “and to answer how it is going, it is going much better than I was afraid it would.”  Pete said “That is great, I can’t see it at all.  It wasn’t till you bent over did I have a clue.  And by the way, you have killer posture.  I slouch so bad, I might have to get me one of those” and laughed.  He continued smiling and said “and this isn’t sexual harassment but you really do look great.  And remember what I said, anything I can do let me know.”  Jennifer said “well, I was hoping I could leave a little early today, I brought my lunch with me so I can spend it at my desk”.  He looked at her, “Seriously Jennifer, what ever you need to do, you do.  You don’t have to ask me to leave early, unless it is the day of our annual shareholders meeting” and laughed again.

Jen thanked him and headed back to her desk.  As she walked, she thought about what a great guy and boss Pete was and she felt fortunate to work for him.  The next 3 hours went smoothly, the desk and chair were lifesavers.  Jen marveled at how much of a nothing burger her first day at work with the brace had really been.  She had worked it up in her mind that it was going to be horrible.  Maybe Melissa was right, this wasn’t the end of the world. As she was getting ready to finish up for the day around 3, her phone buzzed.

M:  Hey girl, how’s your day been?

J:  It has been great, I can’t believe it.

M:  It is because you are rockstar.  I meant to mention earlier, we knock off at 4 here on Fridays.  I guess you will still be at work, so I will go home and then see you at 6. 

J:  Actually, I am leaving here in a few minutes.  My plan was to have dinner cooked and ready when you got over.   But, it might be even more fun if we cooked together.  How about when you get off, you just come on over.  I have a couple of bottles of wine.  And a fresh new pack of straws.  :) We can cook, drink, and just have us a big time.

M:  That sounds awesome.  Do you need me to bring anything?

J:  Nope, just yourself.  And I guess your facemask  ;D ;D ;D ;D

M:   ;D ;D ;D  ;D

Jen had a huge smile on her face as she finished tidying up her desk.  As she got up and left, she didn’t notice that she had knocked the trifold pamphlet from Dr. Cooper’s office off her desk and onto the floor.  She turned off the lights and closed her door for the weekend.

After she left, her assistant Jasmine opened her door and flipped on the lights.  She was carrying some financial reports she needed to leave on Ms. Collins desk.  As she turned to leave, she noticed the pamphlet on the floor.  She picked it up, saw what it was, and carried it back to her own desk.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #33 on: 25. February 2022, 01:12:48 AM »
Thanks for the idea.  I have tried the note pad by the bed idea.  It just doesn't work for me.  If I don't flesh something out, it just doesn't work to come back to it.  It is just me.  Music is easier, you can just record it.  But written is harder for me.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #34 on: 25. February 2022, 01:18:59 AM »
Also I would like to add, I had planned to get to the conclusion of chapter 15 much, much earlier; but like I said sometimes between way points I end up getting off the interstate and wandering through the country for a while before I get back where I planned to be.  As I type my brain is usually screaming "recalculating route" most of the time.  And sometimes I change my route up completely, skipping planned waypoints and/or adding new ones.  I have a few more major waypoints for this story and a final destination; even a couple ideas on a prologue.  I just don't know how long it will take to get there.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #35 on: 25. February 2022, 05:28:42 AM »
Chapter 16.

Jen was eager to get home.  But driving with the brace still felt very different than what she was used to.   But, she thought to herself, I bet I will get used to it.  After her cautious drive home, she entered her house around 3:30.  First she changed out of her work clothes and into some a little more comfortable, sweat pants a comfy T-shirt and some flip flops.   She wasn't worried if her brace showed through her clothes in front of Mel.   She went in the kitchen and prepped a few things for dinner but didn’t start cooking.  She wanted to wait until Mel arrived before they started.  She did go ahead and mix up two bowls of jell-o, one strawberry and the other mango, and put them in the fridge to congeal.  She also made up two bowls of pudding, one vanilla and one chocolate, and put them in the fridge so they could keep the jello company.  In addition to this, she had gotten three flavors of ice cream; the standbys of chocolate and vanilla.  She had also gotten a tub of rainbow sherbet.  She was very mindful when shopping to avoid any that had nuts, cookie or candy pieces, or caramel in them.  Until now, she had never noticed how many ice creams would be off limits to someone with braces.  Her favorite ice cream was cashew caramel, but she didn’t want to eat anything in from of Mel that she couldn’t have too so she had left it in the freezer at the grocery store.  She went ahead and got a bottle of wine out of the pantry and put it and two wine glasses on the counter.  She then went into the living room and started tidying up.  Not long after that her doorbell rang.  She looked through the peep and saw Mel standing there with a bottle of wine in each hand and a duffle bag awkwardly slung over her shoulder.

Jen quickly opened the door and exclaimed “let me get some of that” and took the two bottles of wine from her.  “It is great to see you, please come on in.”  As Jen led Mel into the kitchen she told her “I told you not to bring anything, but thank you.”  Mel answered “it would be a great tragedy to run out of wine on girls night” and laughed.  As soon as Jen had put the bottles down on the counter beside the one already there, Mel poked Jen in the back.  Jen turned and exclaimed “Hey, what was that for?”  Mel said “just checking patient compliance.  There is another method of checking I guess” and gave her a friendly hug. 

Mel pulled back and said “I have been in these scrubs all week, do you mind if I change?” She patted her bag and said “I brought a change of clothes”.  Jen responded “of course not, follow me” and led her into her bedroom.  “Go ahead and freshen up, the bathroom is over there” as she pointed to the door “get changed and come join me in the kitchen.  I am going to put you to work.  But I will have a glass of wine waiting on you”.  Mel had noticed Jen’s cervical extension on the dresser when she entered.  She looked at it and said “so I assume that is your extension’s home when it isn’t around your neck?”  Jen replied “Yes it is” then pointed to the night stand with her cpap machine, cpap mask, and both her wrist braces. “and there is the rest of my scarlet letter outfit.  I am quite the specimen when I go to bed.”  Mel said “it doesn’t look too bad, certainly better than this” then unzipped her bag, dug around, pulled out her facemask and held it to her face.  She then bared her teeth and braces to her friend and said “now this, this is sexy”.  Jen looked at her and said “ah, so there is the infamous facemask.  And by the way, you are beautiful AND sexy regardless of what you have on your face.  Now get to changing so we can get to cooking and drinking” and walked out of the bedroom.

Jen went into the kitchen, opened the bottle of wine, poured two glasses and carried them into the living room.  She placed the glasses onto coasters on the coffee table and sat down on the couch.  A few minutes later, the bedroom door opened and Mel emerged.  She was wearing a pink floral print casual dress with a little bit of a plunge and sandals.  But the first thing that Jen noticed was the facemask on Mel’s face. 

Jen stood up and said “you look beautiful, but you didn’t have to dress up for me”.  Mel replied “Ha, I am pretty sure this facemask clashes with this dress.  But I wear scrubs all week, so I like to dress up a little on occasion, even if we are just having a girls night in.  I don’t go out too many nights anymore” pointing to her facemask “so I look for any excuse to wear some of my ‘cute clothes’.  Jen picked up the two glasses of wine, looked at Mel, and said “let’s go in the kitchen.  I got some straws, and we can start working on dinner”.

Once in the kitchen, Jen told Mel all the possible choices they had for dinner, and showed her some of the recipes she had favorited on her phone.  They settled on a ground turkey and pea pasta recipe that looked pretty good.  Jen got out the pasta and a big pasta pot as well as the turkey and a skillet to brown it.  Jen made a deal with Mel, she would be on turkey duty if Mel would be on pasta duty.  As they cooked they talked and drank their wine.

Jen made it a point not to mention anything about Mel’s facemask, even if the initial sight of it had shocked her a bit.  As they cooked side by side though, Jen was trying to discreetly take a closer look at the mask on her friends face without embarrassing her.  Jen thought it kind of resembled a catcher’s mask like her son used to wear, just missing a few of the bars.  There were blue pads on Mel’s forehead and chin with vertical bars running down and somewhat following the outside of each side of her face that connected the two pads, then in front of Mel’s mouth there was a horizontal bar with two posts that connected to each of the two vertical bars.  Then there were rubberbands on each of those posts that ran into Mel’s mouth, and finally a black nylon strap that ran around the back of her head.  She could obviously drink with it, at least with a straw, as she had seen her taken several drinks of wine.  She wondered if she had to eat with it on, and if so how?  Mel had noticed Jen sneaking a few looks at her and asked “are you not even going to say anything about this albatross on my face?”  Jen replied “well, I figured if you wanted to talk about it, you would bring it up.”  Mel said “thank you, but it’s ok, I’m sure you have some questions, and it is probably a bit of a shock seeing if for the first time.  I know I was shocked the first time I saw it.”  Jen replied “I will be honest, I certainly did notice it when you came out of the bedroom.  And it has certainly intrigued me.  Do you mind if I take a closer look?” 

Mel turned and presented her face to her friend for inspection.  Mel said “this is a delaire adjustable facemask.  Dr. Cooper said this is the best kind, as it is completely adjustable for face size and angle of pull.  You can adjust it for height here” and pointed to the two screws on each end of the forehead pad, “you can adjust it for width here” and pointed to two screws on the chin cup, and “you can adjust this middle bar up and down to adjust what Dr. Cooper calls angle of pull.”  And about that time the pasta pot boiled over a little.
 
Mel said “oh crap” and turned back to the stove and slid the pot back to the back eye of the stove which was off.  The boiling water in the pot receded.  Mel swatted Jen on the arm playfully and said “see what you made me do.  And you better get back to your job, we don’t want to burn the turkey.  I can finish showing you everything before we eat.  But you can ask me any questions you have while we finish up in here”.

Jen asked “Does it hurt?”.  Mel replied “No, it doesn’t hurt. Everything else in my mouth seems to hurt, but the mask really doesn't. It can be a little uncomfortable on my face after wearing it all night, it sometimes makes my teeth a little tender, and it is annoying as can be, but it doesn’t really hurt.  It is embarrassing as can be though.  I have never left the house with this thing on, and I don’t plan to.  I was even embarrassed, maybe even dying inside a little, when I walked out of your bedroom just a few minutes ago.  I always try to wear this every moment I am home alone.  On Fridays, that means I put it on around 4: 30, take it off for an hour or so to eat dinner, and then put it back on till the next morning.  That way I get about 14 hours in, 2 extra I can bank for later.  During the week, I get home around 6, eat, then put it on at 7 and wear it till 7 the next morning, getting in my 12.  I will also try to wear it during the day on the weekends if I am home, but I also like to go out and enjoy my weekends.  It is tough, almost impossible, to get in all the hours if I want to do something one or two nights during the week and something on the weekends, so I try to get as many hours in as I can when I can.  When I was in there changing, I realized if I wanted to stay over a while tonight, and I do, I was going to have to wear it in front of you to get my hours.  So I figured I might as well get in as many hours as I can.  Even if it is so embarrassing.”

Jen grabbed her friend’s hands, looked her in the eyes, and said “you don’t have to feel embarrassed or self-conscious around me, ever”.  Mel held her gaze and said “thank you, that means a lot.” After a few moments Mel broke off their gaze, feeling just a little flush inside, and said “Now, lets get this food finished up and eat!”  She then finished off her glass of wine, sucking greedily on the straw until the glass was empty.  She filled her glass back up, and without asking topped Jen’s off too.  Jen said, “Hey, it looks like I am falling behind, I better try to catch up.”

The two finished up cooking dinner; then set the big bowl of pasta in the middle of the table and then set out two place settings on opposite sides of the table.  They were into their second bottle of wine, which Jen also placed on the table.  After they sat down to eat they both fixed their plates.  Mel was still wearing her facemask.  Just after Jen got done wondering if she was going to eat with it on, Mel said “what I am about to do is probably considered very bad table manners”, and pulled the rubberbands up off the posts on her facemask.  She then held the mask with one hand while she unsnapped the strap from around her head.  She placed the mask on the table.  She then removed the rubberband that was in the front of her mouth and deposited it beside the mask.  Finally she removed the rubberbands from the hooks on either side of her mouth, laying them in a little pile with the other rubberband.   When she was finished, she noticed Jen staring at the facemask and rubberbands.  Mel said, “if those rubberbands gross you out, I can throw them away, I have more with me.”  Jen snapped back from her daydream state and said “no, it doesn’t gross me out.  Honestly, I was wondering what it felt like to wear it”.  Mel grabbed the mask and handed it to her friend.  She said “go ahead, hold it up to your face.” Mel then got up, and walked around behind Jen, and after a little adjusting, snapped the strap on.  “Now, let go of it, the strap will hold it.  You don’t have hooks in your mouth; lucky you; so you can’t attach the rubberbands and get the full effect.   But that should give you an idea.”   Jen reached up and felt the foreign object on her face and looked at her friend “and you wear this 12 hours every day?”  Mel replied “yep, you get used to it, sorta.”  Mel then unsnapped the strap, moved back to her seat placing the facemask beside the rubberbands and said “but enough about that mask, let’s eat.  I am starving.  I haven’t eaten hardly anything in two days, and my teeth feel good enough for me to dig in.  This wine might be the best pain killer I have had in a while.”

For nearly an hour, they ate and chatted, telling each other about growing up, their likes and dislikes; the kind of things new friends talk about,  As they were each finishing up their plates of pasta, and the second bottle of wine, Jen mentioned she had all kinds of desserts that should be “sore braces friendly”. Mel said not to be offended, but she was rather partial to the wine.  Could they just have another bottle of it for dessert, even though it would mean an uber ride for her home.  Jen laughed, then said “there is no need for an uber unless you just want to.  You can certainly stay in one of my boys' rooms, either would make a fine guest bedroom if you don’t mind a sports motif.  Mel answered “well, if you don’t mind…. I sure am feeling pretty good and would like another glass, and uber makes me nervous; I have had a few sketchy rides before”.  Jen said “then it is settled, you are staying, there is no room for discussion. Let’s get the dishes put in the sink, get us another bottle of wine, and find a movie we can agree on”.

They got the dishes stowed, opened another bottle of wine, then settled onto the couch and found a movie they both wanted to watch.  Before they started the movie Mel said “well, playtime is over I guess; I need to clean my braces.  Another joy of braces is getting to clean them after every meal, then put my mask back on”.  She disappeared into the bedroom, and came out a few minutes later.  As she walked in front of the couch towards the kitchen table she flashed Jen a big smile showing off the herbst and the fresh pink rubberband she had put in after brushing and said "fresh and clean".  She then grabbed her facemask off the kitchen table and returned to the couch.  Jen said “I know this is weird, but can I try and put it on you, like you did me?”  Mel looked at her and replied “ yes, that is a little weird, but yes you can” and handed the facemask to Jen.  “Let me hook my rubberbands onto my braces first , they then will be sticking out of my mouth.  Then take the mask and put it against my face, then hook each rubberband to the corresponding post.  Then snap the strap around my head; you will have to adjust it a little as I sized it to your head”.  She then turned towards Jen, opened her mouth and put a rubberband on each hook, then closed her mouth with two rubberbands sticking out.  Jen placed the mask gently up to her face, and carefully placed one rubberband over each corresponding post.  Mel thought there was something sensual about the care that Jen was taking to be gentle.  She felt a little shiver go through her when Jen inadvertently brushed her fingertip against her cheek. Mel turned her head the other way, and after a little tinkering, Jen got the strap to snap shut.  Mel turned back to Jen and said “you are a natural”.  She leaned over, shoulder to shoulder against Jen and turned her attention back towards the TV.  Jen hit play on the movie.  Once it was over, as they searched for another, Mel brought up Jen’s neck brace.  “How are you doing with the cervical extension?  You wore it the other night when I was here, but not tonight.  Are you doing ok with it”.  Jen said, “ I am, I am going to put it on when I go to bed.  But I have gotten all the hours I need this week.“ Mel replied “yes, but this is the first week.  In another week, you are going to have to wear it 10 hours a day on AVERAGE, have you worn it for 10 hours in a day yet?”  Jen thought and realized the longest she had worn it was last night, 7. 5 hours.  She hung her head a bit and mumbled no.  Mel continued “you know what would make me reall happy, if you would go put your extension on and try to get 10 hours in.  If you put it on now and wear it untill 6:30 in the morning, you will do it.”  Jen looked over at Mel and said “Ma, do I have to” and got up and went into her bedroom.  She came out a minute later wearing her neckbrace, performed an awkward curtsy in front of Mel, then lowered herself down stiffly onto the couch.  Mel scooted over on the couch, and leaned over resting her head on Jen’s shoulder, being careful not to dislodge her facemask.  She whispered “thank you for putting that on, and thank you for tonight”.   Jen reached over and blindly found Mel’s hand “You are sho welcome, I jush wish I could lean over and resht my head againsht you”. 

The two of them had been watching their second movie of the night when Jen heard the softest, sweetest snoring noise coming from beside her.  She couldn't turn her head to look, but she realized that Mel had fallen asleep.  Jen sat there for a while just enjoying the warmth and comfort of having someone that she cared about nuzzled up beside her, and she listened to her friend sleep.  It made her feel warm inside.   After a while she got to worrying that Mel might get a crick in her neck from sleeping too long in such an awkward position, so she gently shook her friend and woke her up.  “Hey” she said, “you can schleep in my shun’s bed.”

She hesitated a moment weighing the consequences of what she was about to say, then added.

“Or if you want, you can shtay in mine”. 

Mel lay there in silence for several moments, looking into Jen's eyes, while Jen's heart thundered in her chest.   Mel replied “I would like that”.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #36 on: 25. February 2022, 06:39:19 AM »
And now ladies and gentlemen, it is time for intermission.

I am not done with these two ladies by a long shot, but I need to spend some more time with the gals over in Nashvegas.

By the way, why did Jazmine pick up the pamphlet on orthodontics off the floor and carry it to her desk instead of just placing it back on Ms. Collins/Jennifer's desk?

Also, what do you need to do to get access to the stories board?

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #37 on: 25. February 2022, 07:00:52 AM »
If ya'll have any ideas on where this story might go next, let me know.  I think I already know the destination, and how I am going to get there.  But I am always up for trying a new route.

BTW, I have an idea and rough draft for the prologue in my head.  It might get me kicked off here though.  Not for breaking any rules on vulgarity, cursing, etc.  But because ya'll all might hate me so much for what I did, al la Sopranos cut to black.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #38 on: 25. February 2022, 08:23:54 AM »
I never tell a writer what to write. Each writer has their own idea of where a story should go and it is up to them how it gets there.

Sparky and I write very different stories, though we have worked together on stories before.

You need to be satisfied with what you write. Don't try and write to please everyone, it doesn't work. There are just too many different interests to try and satisfy them all.

Offline kelly-Marie

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #39 on: 25. February 2022, 18:46:58 PM »
Amazingly detailed story I'm loving it it reminds  me of some stories I used to read on the beck brace appreciation website now defunct. I wonder if you've ever read any stuff on there?

Offline MikeB

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #40 on: 25. February 2022, 20:15:20 PM »
I think you need to email Marty

Yup. You have 32 posts, so just DM Marty a request here.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #41 on: 28. February 2022, 05:17:25 AM »
Chapter 17.

Jen concentrated on breathing deeply as her heart pounded in her chest and Dr. Cooper reclined the chair.  She was nervous, to the point of being scared.  But she made herself think about why she was really doing this.  A number of thoughts ran through her head.  First, she thought about how much had changed over the past three weeks since Mel had stayed over that first night, and how happy that time had been.  She then thought that she really did need this to treat the root cause of her sleep apnea.  But mostly she thought about how happy she thought this would make Mel when she surprised her tonight.  Once she was reclined, Dr. Copper asked her “Ready?”.  She took a deep breath and said “yes”.  She closed her eyes and tried to relax, wondering what Mel’s kiss tasted like and wondering if her body felt as warm and soft as she thought it would as Dr. Cooper’s assistant began to install the metal into her mouth.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #42 on: 01. March 2022, 08:07:43 AM »
Chapter 18.

The past three weeks had been a confusing and painful time for Jen.  She was not a lesbian, or she didn't think she was.  She had never been attracted to a woman before.  But there was something about Mel.  Nothing had happened that night sexually when Mel slept in her bed; they had lay nestled together and talked.  Mel was so considerate and carrying.  It seemed it was more of a case of two people that each needed someone to hold.  And they had found each other that night. But over the past three weeks they had spent more and more time together, and Jen had found herself becoming more attracted to Mel.  Mel did everything she could for Jen to make her second week in her new shell as pleasant as possible.  Because, just like Mel had told her, that second week was hard, very hard.  But Mel had been there the entire time to offer encouragement, wisdom gained from her own personal experience, and a shoulder to cry on.  They definitely shared a bond; and it went beyond each wearing a back brace; but neither knew exactly where that bond ended.  And both were afraid to push the boundary, because they didn't want to push the other away.

That back half of that second week was the hardest thing Jen had ever done. All her confidence from the first week disappeared when faced with wearing her brace all day, every day, with no choice but to do it or fall short of her required time.  Jen did not think she would have been able to make it through without her friend. Mel was selfless; she made sure that she always available for Jen every day; she brought her dinner or cooked for her every night; she was there for her. To hold her hand, to offer her encouragement; one night she had literally been a shoulder to cry on when Jen broke down and didn't think she could do it.  But during that time, during the hours they spent together, it was clear to Jen that Mel was herself terrified of her upcoming expander installation.  More than the pain she knew it would bring, she dreaded the humiliation she knew she was going to feel having a lisp and having trouble communicating with patients.  Jen thought about what Mel had told her about her braces when they had first met - that she wished she had someone to go through the process with her.  To have someone to commiserate with; to have someone to cry to when things were tough; to be her guide.  And Jen decided she was going to be that person; to try at least in some part to repay Mel for everything she had done for her..  So 10 days ago, Jen had called and scheduled a follow up at Dr. Coopers. 

She was going to get braces.  At the visit a week ago she told him simply "I am ready".  After a more thorough exam and measurements, he told Jen his treatment plan for her, and then inserted spacers in her mouth.  As they had discussed her plan and what to expect she had an unusual request for the doctor.  One, Dr. Cooper had not included a herbst appliance in her treatment plan.  She asked him if she could benefit from one.  He said yes, but he thought he could use rubberbands to accomplish the same thing.  He said the herbst appliance is very effective, but it so intrusive he tried to avoid the herbst if at all possible.  She said if it would help, she wanted to try it.  She said her friend seemed to have benefitted so much from one, she wanted to give it a try if he thought it would help at all.  In fact, she just wanted to get the same thing in her mouth that Mel had.  Not because she wanted the metal in her mouth, but because she wanted for Mel to feel like she had a partner. She also had another unusual request.  She wanted to get the marpe expander, which was a part of her treatment plan, installed at the same time as her braces; not wait a few appointments like was his standard procedure.  He said it would be a lot to handle at once; he liked to give patients time to become acclimated to the braces and facemask before he started that phase of treatment.  She told him she just wanted to get it over with; that she thought she would be able to handle it better if she just "ripped the bandaid off at once".  He agreed to do what she wanted; he told her he wished more of his patients had her attitude.  She didn't tell him the real reason; she was doing this for her friend.  The week of having spacers was a little stressful for Jen.  First, they really hurt and she had to bite her lip and not show any sign of it around Mel.  Second, she had to be conscious around Mel not to open her mouth too wide and reveal the blue rubber stuck between her teeth.  She was most worried about those on her lower arch that surrounded her bicuspids where the crowns of the herbst would go.  She wanted to keep this a secret from Mel; she hoped that her friend's reaction was worth the hell she thought she was about to go through.  She had an idea for how she wanted to surprise Mel, and she didn't want it ruined by a glimpse of a blue rubber spacer.

 


Offline bracessd

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #43 on: 02. March 2022, 17:16:43 PM »
Great story so far!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Jennifer
« Reply #44 on: 03. March 2022, 05:42:15 AM »
Chapter 19.

The first order of business was removing her spacers.  It was an easy process.  And as soon as they were removed Jen felt a sense of relief.  They were finally gone.  But the relief would not last long.  Dr. Cooper had some local anesthetic that he injected into Jen’s palate.  He explained that this would numb her for the installation of the tads for her expander, and while it took effect they would install her braces.  The assistant said it appeared the spacers had done their job.  She then began fitting her herbst appliance.   Because Jen had asked to have her expander installed at the same time as her braces, her herbst did not have a palatal arch as Mel’s did.  Jen’s expander would accomplish the task of distalizing her rear molars.  So instead, which was a little different than Mel’s, the upper portion of Jen’s herbst had a marpe expander stretching between each crown.  Dr. Copper said they would install the herbst and her braces, and then insert the tads in her palate, then connect the herbst appliance rods.  Like Mel though, each crown had  an integrated hook for her face mask and the sliding rod to connect to her lower crowns.  Once the assistant had checked the fit, she applied the cement to each crown and she then placed her expander/upper herbst over each molar.  She then had Jen bite down on something she thought looked like a square stick as the assistant monitored and checked the progress.  Once the rear crowns were positioned where the assistant wanted, the assistant did the same with the lower portion of her herbst.  With the herbst appliance installed but not yet connected, the assistant moved onto her brackets.  Each metal bracket was installed to her top arch, she then followed with the same on the lower arch.  Once that was done, the assistant asked her what color she wanted for her ligatures.  Jen had remembered that Jen had told her that her favorite color was green, and Jen picked the closest shade that matched the predominate color of Mel’s back brace.  Once the assistant was done installing the arch wire, Dr. Cooper said they should take a little break so Jen could relax and see what they had done.

Dr. Cooper raised Jen’s chair and asked her if she wanted to see her braces before they finished the installation.  Jen thought to herself not really. I just want to get through this.  But she accepted the doctor’s mirror and held it up to her face.  She then smiled.  And her other hand shot up to her face and covered her mouth.  It looked so foreign.  Dr. Copper assured her she looked great.  With that, he asked if she was ready to finish.  In a state of shock she simply nodded yes.  He then reclined her chair.

Dr. Cooper said he would finish up the rest of the installation. He inserted the lip spreader and bite blocks under her rear molars to keep her mouth open.  He took a pick, and put it in her mouth.  She couldn’t feel what he was doing, but when he asked if she could feel what he was doing, she answered “na”.  He told her they were ready to install her tads.  He told her there would be four of them, and she might feel some pressure and feel some vibration in her head.  Jen cut her eyes down and watched as he placed a silver screw into her mouth, then took something that looked like a miniature socket wrench and screwed it into her mouth.  It didn’t hurt her, but she felt it.  More than just feel pain, she could feel it through her head as it was screwed into her bone.  Once Dr. Cooper finished with the first, he asked Jen if she was ok?  She nodded yes, and he continued with the process.  After about 20 minutes, Dr. Cooper announced he was done with the installation of the tads and they were almost done.  He took another tool that looked like a small screw driving and told her he would install the rods of her herbst.  It went quickly, and after all that had been inflicted on Jen’s mouth she hardly noticed.  Once the doctor was done, he announced they were almost done and raised Jen’s chair back to a sitting position.

Dr. Copper informed Jen they were almost done with the appointment.  He told her she had done great.  He told her that all that was left was to show her how to put on her facemask, turn her expander, and then go over care and cleaning of her braces and post opp instructions for her tads.  With the mention of the face mask, the assistant had picked it up off the counter and handed it to Dr. Cooper.  He held it to her face and with an allen wrench made several adjustments to the height and width so it fit her face.  He explained that this was a Delaire face mask, and it would help protract her upper jaw.  Than he went into why it was the best, and Jen zoned out.  She had heard this already from Mel. Then the doctor placed the mask on her face while the assistant held the mirror so Jen could see what he was doing.  Once he had placed the elastics on her teeth and then connected them to the face mask and snapped the strap around her head, he removed it all and said he wanted her to try.  She it did it quickly the first try, and Dr. Cooper proclaimed that she was a natural.  She didn’t mention she had put one on before, just on someone else’s face.  Dr. Cooper then announced he needed to show her how to turn her expander.  He first took a model with an expander in it, and showed her how to insert the key into the hole and make a turn on the expander.  He then said he was going to make two turns on Jen’s expander.  He had her tilt her head back and open her mouth as wide as she could.  She couldn’t exactly see what he was doing.  But she could feel the scraping sensation as he inserted the key into the hole in her expander, and could certainly feel the pressure as he turned it.  On the second turn the sensation was even stronger, bordering on discomfort, as she felt the pressure in her sinuses and above her nose.  It was a completely new feeling for Jen.  She asked the doctor “will ish alwaysh feel like thatch”.  That was when she discovered her lisp.  She knew she would have one, but to hear it for the first time was a shock.

Dr. Cooper told her she would likely feel pressure at times when she turned it.  But that she would become accustomed to it, and that pressure was normal.  Only sharp pain would be an indicator that something was wrong.  Dr. Cooper sensed or saw the look on Jen’s face when she spoke, and assured her that the lisp would improve.  He patted her arm and told her again she was doing great; she had a lot of new things in her mouth but it would begin to feel normal over the next two weeks.  He then went over the care of her expander, telling her to take 800 mg of ibuprofen if it bothered her over the next few days, and to perform a salt water rinse three times a day for the next week while the tads healed up.  He instructed her to turn her expander once per day until her follow up in two weeks. He told her that her upper suture would likely split in the next 8-10 days and it would be an odd sensation of cracking and she would feel it.  He told her this is what they wanted, don’t be alarmed. He then discussed face mask wear.  He said normally he would give a patient a schedule to acclimate to it.  But because she had seemed so enthusiastic he was not going to do so for her.  He told her to wear it as much as possible.  He told her to go ahead and try to sleep with it as soon as possible, as becoming accustomed to sleeping with it was the most difficult for most patients.  He told her she needed to be wearing it 12 hours per day by the time of their appointment in two weeks, and more was better.  He told her that there was a sensor in the face mask that would monitor wear time, so it was important she wear it as instructed.  He said it was possible to install springs for 24 hour wear if a patient needed help becoming acclimated to it, but he preferred to avoid that.  Finally he went over the general care and cleaning of braces, and told her that if she did not already have one, he would recommend investing in a waterpic snd gave her a few suggestions.  With that, Dr. Cooper proclaimed they were done.  He told Jen he was proud of her and she had done the right thing.  He told her he would see her in two weeks, but if she felt acute pain to contact the office.  In a bit of a daze, Jen made her way out to her car, trying to come to terms with a mouth that felt completely foreign to her.