(2016-07-25) Working Up to Baby Steps
Working Up to Baby Steps
Summary: Mon and Eli test fit his new leg.
Date: 2016.07.25
Related: None

It sounds like the start of a bad joke. A machinist comes into the infirmary with a fake leg… except… that it's no joke. Mon's put a ton of work into this project, to include wearing a pair of modified boots with rigid ankles and the foot/ankle spring section (and the spare) of this leg, to make sure it's walkable. She's studied the Muybridge photos to see how men walk. She's studied Gabriel's gait, asking the poor man walk laps around her apartment nude (Such sacrifices). While she started out knowing nothing about prosthesis, she knows, or thinks she knows enough now. Hey it worked for making guns, right? She goes over to the good doctor's bunk. "How're things?"

Elijah had been trying! Forcing himself out of bed the past several days…exercising his leg and trying to get used to it. He still wasn't his usual upbeat or optimistic self, but…he WAS trying. The only other options was accepting defeat right? He couldn't do that…no. At the moment though he seemed to be taking a break, sitting on the bed with his hands supporting him on either side and his gaze down on his partial leg. At Monica's entrance though his gaze comes up and he offers her a small smile "Hi Monica. Things are…better." That was true at least. Each day was getting easier. "What's that?" he lofts a brow at what she is carrying.

Monica sets it down on the bed next to Elijah. "I don't know a lot about the leg it's replacing, but when we're done adjusting it for height and the spring tensions and the heel/ankle/knee timing to suit your gait… hopefully… it will do a reasonable impression of your leg." She unlaces the stump-cup part. It looks like it's made of canvas and laced up like a high-top sneaker. She also hands the doctor a pair of clean tube socks. "Let's put one of these on you. Last thing we want to do is chafe you.

The doctor just looks at the prosthetic for a moment…a long moment. His brow furrows, "You really…made it…" Looking up to her, Eli's expression is unclear for the moment. He looks back to the leg, "I…" he clears his throat and then just nods. "Right…here" he rolls up the cut off scrub pant leg from his stump to make room for the tube sock. He just looks at the leg, unsure of how to process it for the moment.

You say, "Putting aside the practical reasons… like not letting your hip muscles atrophy too much or the tendons shrink… I asked myself what I'd want. And the answer was to see people eye to eye again. And to walk. Um. I'm going to have to touch you here… are you ok with that?""

Elijah just nods, not taking his eyes off the prosthetic, watching her as she works. He just kind of seems in shock for the moment, taking in a deep breath as they start to fit it.

You say, "Okay. Since I don't have advanced silicone and all that, and leather doesn't breathe, it's like a tennis shoe. We slide it onto your um…" she fumbles for the words and gestures at the doctor's missing leg. "Stump, I guess. And lace it snug enough to stay on. It just has to hold the leg up, and it only weighs about 6 pounds." She gently guides the doctor's leg into the cuff. "I figure… start with it for an hour a day and work up. This part of your leg doesn't have callouses yet." When she pushes it up, the doctor would probably notice that the canvas is reinforced with aluminum bands, and has a ventilated aluminum cup in the bottom to support his weight. She begins to snug the laces up."

"Right…" Eli just nods along with what she says, whether or not he was comprehending it being a totally other matter. As it slides into place and he gets a feel for it, he does indeed notice the feel and make of it. Shifting around a bit he tries to get used to it while he's sitting. "It will take some adjustment, but…thank you." Looking to her he gives a tired but grateful smile. "Truly…thank you, Monica. This…means a great deal…that you'd take the time to do this. For me." He was used to being the caretaker. Being there for others. She had taken the time and effort to do this for him. The doctor was touched. It also seemed that despite all the chaos of recent events, this helped to give him a little more encouragement. He looks back to the prosthetic and just seems to take it in for a moment.

Monica smiles and hugs Eli quickly. "Don't thank me until it works." She tugs on the leg gently. "That seems secure… Let's set the length up first." She holds her hands out to help the doctor up, trying not to fall over in the process this time.

Elijah returns the quick hug, smiling a bit more genuine now it seems and taking a breath again before nodding and taking Monica's hands. As he tries to stand, it is definitely awkward as the doctor is not familiar with it at all. With more of his weight on it, he tries to test it out and shift his weight. Soon though he feels himself becoming unbalanced, the knee of the leg starting to buckle as he does his best not to panic…but fails slightly as he begins pulling away from Monica trying to get back to the bed "Hold on hold on wait!"

Monica shoves the doctor toward the bed a little roughly. Better his butt be over it when he loses his balance, she figures. She was watching the leg. Was it operator error? Design flaw? Mon wracks her brains.

Landing on the bed with a bit of force, Eli steadies himself and supports himself with his hands on either side. Frowning, he looks down at the leg and shakes his head "Sorry…that was my fault. I panicked halfway up…it's just…different…" He sighs "I'm sorry…"

You say, "Eli… this isn't going to be like strapping on a pair of shoes. There's a learning curve. Feet are sensitive. Knees are sensitive." She looks at the leg. "Bet a nickel this was your long leg too." With that, she sits down on the floor and unbolts the foot to add a spacer. "When you walk, you sort of kick the foot out. The spring is weak in that setting. When you step down, you should feel it click as it locks up. Then you've got about a hundred-fifty pounds worth of spring force to compress in the knee. The lock up comes when you flex the ankle spring. I may need to add a manual lock lever, but that'd be awkward in pants…" Mon adjusts the lock timing so it happens sooner. "This may not unlock at the right time, but for now… that's probably a good thing."

Elijah again just nods, not understanding all of the terms she uses, but trusting her. She knew what she was doing. "Right…" He closes his eyes, giving a small sigh "I keep trying to tell myself. It's not going to be the same…I realize that. I've helped…enough people through moments…like this." He opens his eyes and looks to the floor now as she works on his new leg. "For some reason none of the words I would say to a patient are connecting in my brain…and I'm still waiting to wake up and this all to just be a bizarre dream…"

Monica nods. "You don't expect to find parts of your body just… gone. I figure it's like discovering new parts of your body sprouting… only worse." She pats her chest briefly while tightening the bolt on the foot. "Okay, try this. Slow and easy until you get the feel for balancing on it.

"It's definitely not a pleasant experience…and not one I'd wish on anybody…" Eli's mind goes to Quinton for a moment. If the Silencer had done this to Eli…what would he do to Quinton once he realized the man couldn't help him like he thought? "Alright. Take two…" The doctor pushes himself up from the bed. Very slowly. Taking his time and getting a feel for the leg. As he stands he pays attention to how the parts and pieces move, trying to feel it in the rest of his body.

There's a click almost immediately when Eli steps down, and the knee suddenly feels like it's got quadriceps pulling on it, and strong ones at that, perhaps something like when your heel first strikes the ground during a stride.

Feeling the click, Eli responds by stepping out with his other leg, the non prosthetic one. "This feels…a little more natural…" As natural as any of this could feel right now at least.

You say, "Yeah. Just stand on it and get used to the feel of it… we'll work up to baby steps."

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