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    Ok, I’ll take the bait. During college I was spending the afternoon studying for final exams in a cafe near the campus and, while riding my bike I rode off of a curb onto the street. Nothing unusual there, except that my front fork completely broke off! My front wheel vanished as I pummeled head-first into the pavement. It knocked the wind out of me and left me a little bloody. I picked up the broken bike and started to carry it back to my apartment. Within 5 minutes I couldn’t remember what day it was. 5 minutes after that, I couldn’t remember what month it was or what classes I was taking. Fortunately, I still remembered where I lived. I made it home, checked my digital clock to see the time and date was, then found my syllabus to find out what classes I was enrolled in and who the instructors were. You can imagine the surprise when I called my instructors to ask them whether or not I had taken my final exam in their class that day.

    It wasn’t much longer after that when I walked into the living room feeling confused just as my roommate arrived home. The expression on my face must have tipped him off that something wasn’t right. I said, “Dave… I crashed my bike. Or, actually, my bike crashed ME. My head hit the street so hard that I can’t remember anything. I just now found out what classes I’m taking by looking through my syllabus.”

    His eyes bulged out as he said, “Really?! That’s a concerning thing to have to do in the middle finals week!”

    He took me to the campus clinic where I sat with the doctor who asked me questions like, “What’s your name?” and “Who’s the President of the United States.” I remembered the basics. Just lost track of the current events and details about the year. He said, “I noticed that you are rubbing your wrist. Does it hurt?”

    I said, “Yeah, I guess so. It hit the street before my head did and it got scraped up.” He moved it around a little, and it really didn’t hurt much, probably because my endorphins were still surging from the shock of the crash. An x-ray later and… yep. A couple of the bones in my right wrist were broken. Not terribly bad, but bad enough that the doctor opted to put me in a cast.

    Under the circumstances, the cast was a relief since the amnesia caused the postponement of a couple final exams. The cast was EVIDENCE that I was injured and not just making up a story to get out of my finals.

    I arrived back at the apartment and started studying my notes right away. Around the time I went to bed, it was weird how suddenly all of my memories suddenly flooded back to me. Everything was intact. I remembered all of the things that I had studied before the crash AND after. The next day I had a wicked headache, but took some Tylenol and kept studying. The extra review time helped me score better on the tests that came after the crash than the ones I had under more normal circumstances.

    So, I had a cast. A few friends drew pictures on it. That was cool, but oh… what a horrible torture device a cast can be! It’s just a wrist, but the darn thing was awful when I had itches. I often used pencils to reach into it. A few days later, while I was eating a sandwich, I thought something was wrong with the food when it occurred to me that the putrid aroma that wafted through my nose originated in my cast. I hate to say it, but the scent rising from the hole of my cast smelled just like toe jam. *Pfwhew*!!

    Six weeks later it was time to take the cast off. I almost passed out. It was CLOSE! The combo of the smell and seeing the skin looking like something that had just crawled out of a crustatian’s shell grossed me out so much that I got light headed and just about fainted. The doctor had to lay me on my back and put my feet in the air to get circulation back to normal. He told me that is a common reaction to the experience of getting a cast removed. The scent of the damp, sweat-soaked dead skin cells discovering light for the first time filled the room.

    Back then, we didn’t have under-cast cleansers or Sani-Cast. We only had doctor’s orders to never put anything in the cast for any reason. Sani-Cast is awesome! I just wish it was around back when I was in college wearing a cast for that hot sweaty summer.



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