Chapter Five – The Second Day
Nancy actually woke my up in the morning. I had given her a key. I was about to reflexively use my hands when Nancy caught me.
“Oh no you don’t,” she said laughing. “I will have to bathe you today since you can’t do that yet on your own.”
Nancy removed my nightie and ran a bath. She then shaved my legs and bathed me. I didn’t use my hands at all. After she dried me she got my panties and a clean bra and got me into them. She then slipped on my stump socks and helped me into my prosthesis. I was actually relieved to get my hooks back on since I could at least use them whenever I wanted to grasp something. The one thought that crossed my mind was that it would be a long day and I would be confined to my hooks for the next sixteen hours.
Nancy coached me in brushing my teeth. I even managed to use the toothpaste. I used my hook and a paper cup to rinse my mouth. I grasped the paper cup by the rim so I wouldn’t crush it. After that Nancy helped me into a very short skirt and a nice long sleeve sweater.
“No pantyhose today and the short skirt will make going to the bathroom easier since you won’t need to remove it,” Nancy said. I wondered about going to the bathroom other than to pee. Later that question was answered for me. I found that Nancy had to wipe me since I couldn’t do that yet. She said I would be able to eventually.
Nancy made some coffee and English muffins. I managed to hold the muffin with my hook without crushing it. The coffee was no problem either. I had learned how to insert my hook into the handle of the mug so I wouldn’t spill anything. It wasn’t an intuitive way to do it, not like you would with your fingers, but it worked. For the next two hours Nancy taught me to comb my hair and apply my makeup. It was very slow going as I painstakingly had to learn to position my hooks and hold the makeup brushes and open and close the plastic containers. I did it slowly so I didn’t make too much of a mess. I even put on eye liner, mascara, and shadow. I used a cosmetic sponge for the foundation. I was so proud when I was finished. I couldn’t wait to try this out in public.
“Okay girl, now when we go to the ladies room you can do your own makeup and comb your hair. I bet people will be amazed at how good you are with your hooks,” Nancy said enthusiastically.
I knew I was learning, but had a long way to go. This was only my second day and I had just about 179 days to go. I was less nervous on this day, but I was still not comfortable being an arm amputee. I didn’t think I ever would.
The first thing we did was drive to the studio. We met with the director and his jaw dropped when he saw me in my hooks.
“Wow! You really look the part Tami. If I didn’t know better I would think you really didn’t have arms. How do you like your hooks?” he asked.
“Well I am getting used to them. They will never take the place of my hands, but I can do a few things now with Nancy’s help. I still can’t accept that I will be like this for the next six months.”
“By then the hooks should feel normal to you,” He said. “That’s what we hope for the most realism.
“I guess so,” I replied somewhat less than enthusiastically. “I wouldn’t want to be like this for the rest of my life though.”
“Of course not,” he said.
The director then introduced me to some others involved with the movie. I noticed he never mentioned that I was not a real amputee. I knew that unless they had been told they would assume that I really needed my hooks. For some reason I wasn’t anxious to tell that I really didn’t need hooks. I was starting to want people to think I was a real bilateral arm amputee. I guess I was getting into the role more than I thought.
“I didn’t know they cast a real amputee in the role,” I heard someone say. I actually felt kind of proud that I was so convincing.
After we left the studio Nancy had a surprise for me. She drove us to a very high priced beauty salon. She said it was being paid for by the studio. We went in and the stylist seated me. I know she couldn’t miss my hooks, but she didn’t say anything. She suggested a slightly different style for me and a color change. I just rested my hooks in my lap as she worked. A cape covered my hooks while she did my cut. I now looked like all the other girls. When it was removed I started to get a little self conscious again.
“Normally I would give you a manicure, but I guess that’s the last thing you need,” the stylist said a little embarrassed. “How about a nice pedicure?”
“That would be wonderful,” I replied. “I can at least have nicely polished toenails.” She called the manicurist and she began her work.
“Can I ask a personal question?” the stylist asked.
“Sure,” I replied.
“How long have you needed to use those hooks?”
“Only a few months,” I lied. “I just got my prosthetic arms.” I was telling the truth about that.
“So you are just learning to use them?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“It must be very hard using them. I hope you make out okay,” the manicurist said.
“Oh I am doing pretty well. It’s just hard to face that I will need these things for the rest of my life.”
“You have a lot of courage,” she said.
I was well into my role now and things kept
getting easier. I hated deceiving people, but I couldn’t really tell the truth.
I didn’t want to have to explain everything.
I really enjoyed my pedicure and the nice red nails I got. I thought of my former long nails and looked at my hooks. I remembered that my nails were boy short and had no polish.
I loved my new cut and I left the salon feeling more sexy than I had in a long time, despite my hooks, or maybe because of them. I really didn’t know.
Nancy and I did some shopping and then decided to stop at a restaurant for an early dinner. I was now quite a bit more confident. I could eat a little better than I had the day before. Nancy still helped with the hard parts. I even insisted that I wanted to go to the ladies room by myself.
I entered and found an empty stall. I managed to get my panties down to pee. It was then that I noticed a small spot in the crotch area of my panties. Oh God, my period. It was a day early. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have a pad or a tampon with me. I got my panties back up and went out into the sink area. There was a vending machine thank God. Could I do this? I opened my purse and rummaged around for a quarter. I finally found one. Could I get it in the slot? I fumbled around and couldn’t get hold of it well enough to get it in the slot. At that moment a woman came in and noticed me having trouble.
“Can I help you dear?” she asked.
“I guess so. I can’t get the damn coin in the slot. I don’t know if I will be able to turn the handle either. I am new at this,” I explained.
“Don’t worry, I will do it. Pad or tampon?”
“Pad. That might be easier for me.” She got the pad for me.
“Do you want me to help you put it in your panties?” she asked.
“I should be able to do it ok, but thanks so much.”
“Oh don’t mention it. I always give assistance to a handicapped person and you certainly qualify, not like some of those athlete types who get out of their cars parked in handicap spaces. I can’t imagine what handicap qualifies them for a special permit.”
We both laughed and went into our stalls. I carefully lowered my panties, removed the backing from the adhesive strip and placed the pad in the crotch of my panties. I was so proud when I got everything back in place and went back to the table.
“What on earth took you so long?” Nancy asked.
“Oh, got my period and had to get a pad out of the machine and put it in my panties.”
“You did that all by yourself?” Nancy asked in astonishment.
“Well not quite. Someone helped me with the vending machine, but I did the rest by myself.”
“Amazing. You learn fast girl,” Nancy said with a smile.
“Well I have to learn fast or the next six months will be hell for sure. I want to be as independent as I can. I want to be able to lead as normal a life as I can.”
Later that night it was nearing time for me to go to bed. I would have expected that I would be relieved to get out of my hooks, but strangely I had no pressing urge to do it. The day wasn’t as long as I thought it would be. I didn’t mind my hooks at all. I was starting to feel they were sort of natural for me. Nancy finally convinced me it was time for bed.
“We need to do something about your hands. We need to find a way that you can start to do things without your hooks, but maintain the restrictions of an arm amputee,” Nancy stated. “I have an idea.”
“What’s that?” I asked
“You will find out after I talk to your prosthetist.”
Nancy left with that question running through my mind. What would tomorrow hold?