Part 3 of the airplane dream:
An orderly wheeled Erin back into her new room. This time it was occupied by a large black man whose leg was held together with a metal frame. The other person was a tall, dark-haired doctor.
"Hey, it's Lucky," the patient said to the doctor.
"Your doctors thought you should have a roommate," said the orderly.
"Hi. I'm Sean."
"Who is Lucky?" asked Erin.
"You, of course," answered the doctor. "Since you don't have a name, the nurses started calling you Lucky."
"Seriously? My body is being held together with coat hangers and you think I'm lucky?" Erin was perturbed.
"By all rights you should be dead," said Sean. "No one survives falling out of an airplane."
"Just because I'm breathing doesn't make me lucky," said Erin. "Why are you here?"
"Hard tackle. I play pro football. Broke my leg in several places."
"You're alive. Does that make you lucky? Could be a career-ending injury."
"His helmet protected his head," began the doctor, "so I would say yes. He is fortunate he only broke a leg. Luck is more of an attitude and how you deal with your situation."
Erin thought about what the doctor said. He had a good point. Just then the door opened and in walked her doctor.
The two doctors greeted each other then they turned to Erin.
"I have just met with the radiologist. We can take the hardware out everywhere except your hands. However you will need braces on your feet and arms."
"What about..." Erin motioned towards her face.
"All that's coming off as well."
Erin nodded, happy with the news. "Then what?"
"Therapy. That's why you've been moved to the orthopedics wing. You start therapy tomorrow."
"Is he one of my doctors now?" Erin pointed to the other doctor.
"No," he answered. I work with professional athletes."
Erin cocked her head in thought. She wanted to say something but couldn't quite formulate the words that went with a brief memory. "Will my therapy be in the same place as the athletes?"
Later that day Erin was taken back to the OR where her hardware was removed. When she awoke from the anesthesia, back in her room, several large athletic-looking men were sitting next to Sean. They had not noticed she was awake She looked around at her body which was covered with a blanket. The tell-tale signs of metal was gone. Just to make sure, Erin lifted an arm. "Oh, God!" she exclaimed when she felt the pain from moving stiff, atrophied muscles."
"Hey, Lucky's awake," said one of the men.
"You okay? Want me to call a nurse?" asked Sean.
"I'm okay. I feel different." Erin reached her hand towards her face, but didn't have the strength. The sight of the pins in her fingers and the realization that her facial bandages were gone made her extremely uncomfortable.
"You look great," Sean tried to reassure her.
Erin was unable to respond.
"I don't know what you looked like before," said one of the men, "but you don't need to be embarrassed."
"Maybe we should go," said another who led the way out the door.
"Who we're they?"
"My teammates. I'm sorry we woke you."
Thankfully, a nurse and an orderly walked in and broke the awkward silence. The nurse checked Erin's IV then she was wheeled out to a large room with a giant bathtub. Erin was strapped into a harness and lowered into the tub where she was gently bathed. Even thought it was painful, Erin was grateful to be clean. After the bath she was dressed in a clean gown, robe, and slippers. The nurse told her the catheter would have to stay a little longer. Erin was then wheeled into a gym-like room, placed on a low, padded table. She looked around the room at all of the equipment and patients. Sean was sitting on a bench with some sort of equipment hooked up to his broken leg.
A therapist introduced herself then began by lifting one leg and moving it up and down ten times. She repeated with the next leg and both arms. Thus, the therapy began.