“You’re Going to Die of Cancer Mommy if you Don’t Quit!”

19 Jun

I blurted reluctantly, then intently and then tepidly from my seven year old heart at my mother in the kitchen that day.

Not because I didn’t believe it. I didn’t want the words that came out of my mouth to ever come true.

{ Elizabeth Taylor taking a drag in her Oscar winning performance in Butterfield 8. If my mother had a Facebook page today, Liz would be her doppleganger. }

{ Disclaimer: There is a point to these stories. I am travelling back in time and colouring my story to bring you to a point. I already know how it ends. I’m going back to the beginning to tell you the story. It’s cathartic yes AND maybe parts of my story will help parts of your life for the better. }

I used to hide my mother’s cigarettes. Everywhere. Infrequently. Funny she knew it was me. And her lighter. And her matches. And the ashtrays. All of them. Gone. Just magically gone. Not for long. Unless I had left the house. It would more than likely be less than a minute and I’d return them to her. She would go between being upset to feeling humoured by it, realizing in my efforts, I was really trying to look after her. How do you live on a constant line of contradictory, where you are constantly telling your children, “smoking is bad for you. It isn’t good to do. Well I’m an adult, and I’ve decided to do it.” If I managed to dart out of the room before she came back and was in another part of the house I could hear the long delay of silence after her steps into the bedroom. I could gauge the timing before I heard the juxtaposition of her various screams,

“Kaaatie” { humorous kidding } “I know you did this because you love me. AND, return them. Now!”

“Katie!” { frustrated }  No time for games. Replace cigarettes, ashtray and lighter pronto.

“Katieeeee!” { aggressive anger } Run! Let her open a new pack of cigarettes, find a new lighter and use a bean can.

I hate smoking. ‘Can’t stand it. Always have, always will. Smoking is the bane of my existence. I had to live in it every single day of my childhood. It’s possible that it’s the reason I was born prematurely. We’ll never know. I’ll I know is, it was the largest bone of contention between my mother and I our entire lives. Daily. Daily for 19 years solid and every other single time after that we were in the same room. It smells bad. Gives me an awful headache, a stomach ache. It makes me hold my breath. Do you know how often I have had to hold my breath? Close my nose? Maybe that’s why I could do so many lengths holding my breath in synchronized swimming. Luckily it could be mostly avoided in the morning until I got to school. Only 4-5 hours to avert after school before bedtime and could usually be contained within one room.

The worst was in the car. I was always rolling down the windows to get air. This annoyed my mother. This upset me. That upset her. And the cycle would continue. It seemed she took it all personally. It wasn’t personal in those moments. In those moments, I just wanted clean air, to avoid a headache, stomach ache and general malaise. This was made worse of course in the winter with the heaters blaring and the smoke building up in the car. It was suffocating. Sliding the window down to get some clean air in the car seemed the only refuge. I have spent many, many, many hours with scarves wrapped around my nose and mouth, blankets stuffed into my face, coat necks brought up around my nose blocking my mouth and nose trying to make it look natural so as to not upset my mother. My brother and I would do this individually in the back seat of the van. Eventually we figured out we could pool our resources and make a tent between the two of our jackets and at least have some breathing air instead of breathing in our jackets and scarves! Sometimes she would roll the window back up again. There was a lot of arm action here people with two people constantly rolling up and rolling down the windows. Once automatic windows came in well that was a whole other ballgame of window fun.

I still remember a girlfriend’s’ house I went to in Gr.6 who said to me, “Does you mother smoke?” I said yes and I asked her how she knew. She said she could smell it on my clothes. Great. I felt 2 ft tall and ashamed.  Although on the plus size her smoking did infuse in me that I would never-ever-ever smoke ever. I would never succumb to peer pressure of teens and never be a worry in that regard. I never heard the words when leaving for a school dance or party,

“No smoking.”

My mother knew all 3 of her kids didn’t like it, and would never smoke. I decided I would try it once at a local dance. I knew I would never buy a pack or take it up, but decided I ‘d try it once to find out the big deal was about. Nothing. I go nothing. No feeling, no slow gasp of relief  as though it was the best thing  that happened to them all day and they needed it as I’d seen in others after a first puff.

“What’s the big deal here?”

“You didn’t inhale properly.”

I tried again. Nothing.

“This is seriously stupid. Have fun.”

I would not try again for a few years. I was never tempted. No  desire. Most of my friends were preps or jocks. I was athletic and participated in many sports in highschool and competitively – namely soccer. Smoking wasn’t really the thing to do unless you were a headbanger. The headbangers were out smoking near the garbage dumpsters in their spray painted jean jackets and acid wash jeans. Getting caught in the washroom stalls where you could see the tinged orange burn marks left on the toilet seats and walls. Classy.

I went to work at a second camp and it seemed a lot of the staff were smoking. A couple of them were smoking “Green Deaths” – those Marlboro Menthol Green packs. They said they were stronger. I thought well maybe I’d feel something if I tried one of those. I told them I’d never smoke, but wanted to see what the big deal was and had tried and nothing happened. I don’t know what my 17 year old self was thinking, but I decided I’d be daring.

“Here – give me one of those.”

“You sure?”


“I don’t want to be responsible for you starting a smoking habit.”
“Trust me. Ain’t going to happen. I do want to see what the big deal is though, ‘cuz right now it all seems fake.”

He passed me one of the green deaths and I told them,

“I’ll be right back.”

I took off out of the staff lounge and went into one of the kids cabins. This was staff week so there were no kids at the camp yet. I climbed up the stairs of one of the pine bunk beds covered in knifed out couples, “Joe hearts Sarah / ’93”. I sat backwards in the bunk with my back against the outer edge of the top bunk so I was facing the wall. I lit the cigarette. This probably took me four times. I wasn’t very good at it. I clasped my legs against the frame of the bed and hung myself upside down. I proceeded to take a series of puffs quickly inhaling in and out. I probably only smoked half the thing. I swung myself up.

“Woh! I feel good. I feel fine. There’s nothing to this stuff.”

I ran back to the staff lounge. They all wondered where the heck I went. I jumped over the puffy, 70”s brown felt couch someone’s parents had donated in one swoop!




“Heyyyy! Where dyah go?”

I told them my green death bunk bed manoeuver and that I was feeling fine.

“Nothing happened.”



Three minutes had probably gone by total. All of a sudden all three of them seemed to be looking at like one another like something was wrong. They’re eye brows raised.

“What? What is it? Why are you guys looking at me that way?”

“Are you sure you feel ok Kate?”

“Yeah – I feel…..”

I started to not feel very good in that moment and everything started to slowwww wayy down.”

“‘Don’t feel so good…”

“Yeah – you don’t look so good Kate. Your face has lost all its colour and looks green.”

I slowly got myself up from the couch and walked to the outside of the staff cabin and lay sat down on the grass with my back against the wall. I didn’t hurl, but I sure didn’t feel good and couldn’t talk. They got me some water and said I just had to wait it out. And wait it out I did.

This of course is the other tactic to make sure your kids don’t start a habit. Mine was self-induced mind you. I was already getting too much of it at home! I think the one-time-over-do-it method is personally better and a healthier choice!

I never took up the habit. I knew I wouldn’t. My mother never stopped smoking. It never stopped bothering me. I didn’t stop opening windows, draping clothing, blankets, pillows and scarves over mu nose and mouth. This never stopped bothering her. She used to think we did to bother her. Nope. I know she started when no one knew better. When the Marlboro man was a sexy hero on horseback. I know it gave her relief. Albeit temporarily – each and every time as it does for all smokers out there. I know it’s addictive. I know my mother had endured enough stress that others wouldn’t have been able to cope with and this little tiny ciggy gave her some relief. I just think it’s silly. It’s a cigarette and it causes health issues – allergy, headache, Emphysema, lung cancer and death.

I’ve tried to think about why people think it “looks cool” and “sexy.” The James Bond creators don’t put a nice thin Capri, Virgin slim in the hands of their female seductress for no reason. Same for Bond. Here’s my theory. It isn’t the rolled up paper cylinder that sits two inches between a person’s fingers that seems cool – it’s the act – “the action” – of smoking. And why does the action of inhaling a piece of paper cylinder into your mouth seemingly look cool? Three reasons:

1) It’s “creating” something – a result, an action.
2) Freud. Our mouth is a sensitive, erogenous, intimate, powerful part of our body.
3) Distraction. Looking occupied. Busy. From something, from anything else.

What do I mean by all this? I believe we are all “creating” beings. We came here to create. Ideally create our given talents – whether they be works of art, song or intelligence. When we stand in our truth of creating – I believe it’s powerful, sexy and attractive to others. How does watching someone paint, play guitar or sing feel to you? In contrast to do nothing, but standing – when we often see smokers smoking – the action of “smoking” appears like the person is doing something with their hands, their mouth, their self. Is it for a creative end? No, but it is still not standing and doing nothing.

I wish people would take the cigarette out of their mouth – which is really a stick full of all their stresses, hurts and feelings they are avoiding feeling and take that out on page, canvas or guitar. Do something useful with your creating.

Quit Smoking.

YOU are better than a cigarette.

If you don’t think so, seek counselling, an acupuncturist, a hypnotist.
What is the point of smoking your life away?

Do you think you looked down from the ethers and said,

“Yah – you know what, I want to go back to earth and have a good time and I’ll absolutely make sure I’ll be smoking the entire time!”

I don’t think so.

I wonder if I would have taken up smoking she would have quit?

She never quit smoking. I never quit being bothered by it. It was one of the biggest bones of contention between us and it never ever went away.

“Breathing my mother in,
Breathing her nicotine…
{ Breathing, Kate Bush }

Are you smoking a cigarette while you’re reading this?

Finally Breathing,
Red Fingerprint• 9pm, June 18, 2014
Locale: Sitting at my bamboo desk. Damp, post rainy humid evening
On Deck: “You smoke the day’s last cigarette,
Rememberin’ what she said”  ~ Turn the Page by Bob Seger
Feel’n: Melancholy. ‘Could be on a tattered porch deck, sipp’n vino watch’n the sunset with my lovely.

Mom, Trudeau & the Biggest Octoberfest on the Hill She Threw

4 Nov

This 007 Fem Bond was just about to crack the case of why I survived  5 car Accidents and 1 Shotgun Hostage and then something awful happened. My mom was diagnosed with Cancer. Let me go back to the beginning to tell you about who my mom,  Jude Flood was.

{ Mom and Trudeau, Octoberfest Party, House of Commons, Ottawa,ON }

{ Mom and Trudeau, Octoberfest Party, House of Commons, Ottawa,ON }

My mother used to work on the “Hill”, Ottawa’s place of Parliament. She was an Executive Assistant to one of the MP’s who’s office happened to be right near our former Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Elliot Trudeau.  Pierre enjoyed my mother’s company and would stop by her office to say hello. Eventually my mother organized the biggest Octoberfest Gala on the hill. She even got the Mayor of Munich to attend. Right after this photograph was taken by the hill official photographer, Pierre leaned leaned into my mother’s ear and said, “Judy – ‘One heck of a party. Well done! Now how can you get me the hell of out here?” Pierre liked his parties…for a short time.

I was just getting close to figuring out why there seemed to be something working against me in this life. Why I had been in five car accidents and 1 shotgun hostage. I was getting so close and then this cancer business happened in the middle of it all. I was still just in the beginning of my insurance battle. I was right in the thick of it all.

Before I share the day I found out my mom had cancer, I am going to go back and time to the beginning.

My mom was born in Ottawa on August 1st, 1962. A true Leo –  her most defining characteristic – too of a Leo – she loved to be the life of the party. She loved to party. Not all the time of course. She could throw a damn good party. I grew up with lively family reunions and a band in my living room for her 40th. I’ll never forget that one. She was one of four siblings ( two sisters and one brother) to an Irish decent school teacher, my grandmother Maudella McColgan. My grandmother died when I was five years old. My only memory of her was of her bringing me chocolates. I was told she was a remarkable woman and rightly so for being a french and art teacher at the time. My mother’s father was in the war and I know very little about him except I know he had large hands and was very handsome. He died when my mother was only fifteen years old. They lived in downtown Ottawa.

Mom_Dad_Ball copy

My mother was described as a free spirit (apple doesn’t fall far from the tree) and in an attempt to settle her down, she was sent to private school at Iona Academy in Alexandria, Ontario. I remember her always saying how upset and hard it was to be pulled out of school to go and care for her dying father at 15 years old so that her mom could continue to work and earn a pay check to pay the bills and feed the family including her younger sister at home.
She has albums of her at school and I used to love going through them and seeing the outfits and fun times. A classier Grease Lightening reality.

There is a whole lifetime of memories I don’t know about for my mom. These are snippets of stories I remember. I know that she was beautiful and uplifting and fun. I know that she cared about all of us and cared about how we did in school, how we dressed presentable and had fun with our friends. We grew up in the country and she was concerned about our experiences and made sure to enroll is in countless sports, activities and clubs so we were socialized around other children. My favorite photograph of her is this one above in the green satin gown. I always thought she looked so elegant, breathtaking, honestly regal in this photograph. I always wanted to see her like that again. 25 years later and a bit heavier this was a little girl’s “princess” wish that couldn’t realistically be. I also wanted her to be happy like she was in the photograph. She didn’t always seem this way to me.

Who was Jude? Jude was a beautiful woman who knew how to dress well. She was incredibly artistic and painted many oil paintings. Mostly of nature, the outdoors, sunsets, mill’s and cowboys for my father. This reflected her love of nature in the real world as well. She loved thunderstorms and I remember would call us out into the sun porch to count the strikes after the thunder would roll. She had such a flare with decorating a home and would often to mini-makovers on her friends and relative’s place. She was comfortable wearing hats and had many. Scarves too like in the photo above. Her nickname to some of her second nieces and nephews was “Gypsy Lady.” She loved children and encouraging them to be strong and have fun.

She loved to talk. She counselled many friends on the phone for countless hours. People loved to be around her. She loved to entertain and did everything up right. We had a one reunion and a large summer party in the 100’s on our family property by the pool. She loved games and was clever at scrabble, trivia pursuit and tons of card games. She used to play euchre and rummy for hours. She had killer dancer legs and could dance like nobody’s business.  She loved music, and our I grew up listening to her favorites. Elvis at the top of the list, Anne Murray, Abba and Neil Diamond. Hell, she met Elvis once. I’ll tell that story here another time. My mother was intelligent, swift, quick thinking and fun. That second set of eyes never left the back of her head. She loved to have a good time. She loved christmas and was incredible at bringing that spirit alive every year in our home. She had a flare for everything artistic really. My father and her designed and built our family home and 3-4 others. She loved the holidays, any excuse to celebrate. She decorated our house for St.Patrick’s day! St.Patrick’s day was like a second christmas in our home. She used to make a gigantic green shamrock cake out of 3 hearts cake tins every year. She loved family and encouraged  family interactions in our immediate family and our relatives.

After she worked on the hill, she had my brother and I. She was sick for a little while because of this and became a full time mom. Later on she became the President of the Manotick Fringe Festival for a couple years before it even moved to Ottawa. I moved away for University at 19 and returned only for 3 years to complete by college diploma and moved to Vancouver when I was 22. My relationship with my mother was a constant tug of war. I think at some point I forgot why I was mad at her, and kept on being mad at her. I still loved her, but I was mad at her.

I loved my mom. I hated my mom.I know hate is a strong word, but I did. Parts of me really hated her. That teen angst scream many hear, “Oh yah? I hate you!” never really left. I had good reason and maybe not so good reason and reasons I didn’t even know. Actually those were the most important of all. If only I had known those reasons before she died. I guess, I guess this was the way it was supposed to be. It did not make it any easier at the time. It doesn’t make it any easier today.

My mom cared about me, don’t get me wrong and I for her. We just had a hell of way of showing it. And there were many poignant, deep and tragically beautiful reasons for this. As far as I remember, I didn’t really want to be around my mom. At the same time, there was a part of me that very much wanted to be around her. This was quite deep and quite invisible to me actually. She annoyed me. I thought she was silly. Sometimes I thought she was scary. Sometimes she seemed so big to me and strong. I also was confused by her. She didn’t always seem happy to me. Sometimes she seemed incredibly happy, dancing up a storm in my kitchen with my Dad or her brother.

As long as I can remember, my mom and I were at each other’s throats. We didn’t really “get along” whatever, however that looks for mom and daughter. I know everyone’s relationship with their mother is different, full of so many complex defining reasons – generational, economical, cultural, day to say situational. Then there is karma. Oh that blasted karma. It is also the single most important external relationship every single person has. The one they have or don’t have with their mother. Why is this?

I’ll tell you why I was so mad at her next time.

She also made the best lasagna in the world.

By a mother’s daughter,

On Deck: Dancing Queen by ABBA
Locale: Hardwood Banquette, Starbucks, Toronto
Mood: Wired and tired. Moving and another surgery in 3 weeks.

NaNoWriMo Day 1: Fem 007 Bond Digs Deeper: Mono & Syncronicities

3 Nov

How Deep Can These Heels Dig?
Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 3.27.30 PM

Last excerpt where I left off:

And then I looked on the date I was to be discharged:

October 22, 1974

Holy Shit. I stared at the date. My hands began to shake. The world around me became incredibly still, the sounds around me disappeared and became background noise.

October 22, 1974. You have got to be kidding me.
That’s the same date as the car accident. At Queens. In the Porsche. Will Alex. The exact same date. Of all the days of the year, you mean to tell me the day I was going to go home to be in my mothers arms who I had been crying for 3 weeks for, and the nurse finds a hear murmur and I”m being transferred to another hospital is the SAME day as a my first major car accident where I almost died?

This is not a coincidence. It isn’t anymore. It can’t be. I flumped into my crossed legs on the living room floor with the papers spread all around me. Then I jumped up sending the papers flying.

“FINE! I believe it! I Believe it! I believe it’s all connected! I yelled out loud into the living room to no one but myself.

“Now what?”…

{ continued…. }

I plugged this new found exact date into the chart I had made that was outlining all the major events of trauma in my life – the surgeries and illnesses. For example, I had already had mononucleosis 3 times and Epstein Bar syndrome.  Called the kissing disease, this was not how I first contracted it! I was only twelve years old the first time I got it in Gr.7. Hadn’t so much as hugged a boy yet! It was the beginning of my junior year. Hell, sure may have wanted to, but it hadn’t happened yet. Let me retract that statement. I had been going to school with the same boys and girls since kindergarten, so actually no there wasn’t a boy I wanted to kiss yet, but maybe, maybe he was around the grade 7 hall. I’m not sure, I maybe I wasn’t kissing material. I still remember playing spin the bottle and a girlfriend’s 10 bathroom mansion in the basement and being called into the closet with one of the long blond banged boys. I hadn’t kissed a boy yet and certainly this really wasn’t how I envisioned it going down! I still remember him saying to me, “Hey Kate, do you mind if we don’t actually kiss, but just stay in here long enough to make it seem like we had?”

Heart-drop now.

Talk about crush’n a pre-teen’s heart raging with self-esteem fitting-in peer issues! ‘Just the same, i didn’t want it, but that kinda stung too. Little confusing too.

I got mono from just being around my mom who had picked it up in the air at an arts course she was talking at a community college. Good Morning Grade seven! I missed the first three months of school. ‘Watched a lot of spiderman and the Flintstones at Noon, Y & R at 4pm and slept. Don’t worry the school passed me regardless. ‘Said, I would have “gotten all” that  I missed anyways and was an A-student. Gotta like that.

I plugged in the date the heart murmur was found on my just 6 month premature, alive 3 weeks body into the chart. I sat there staring. What does this all mean? What does this tell me? Why has all this stuff happened to me? It cannot be a coincidence. It can’t.

What am I missing?

I waited for something to come to me.

I remembered another car accident I had been in. Shit. That’s five car accidents I have been in. Geezuz.

Is someone trying to kill me?

I keep surviving. ‘Not mean’t to die. But why? This has got to stop. What am I not getting?

I made or added other columns. I put in what had happened to me in the accident or illness or surgery. There was consistency to those too.

It was getting clearer, but not completely crystal clear. The accidents – I almost die. My life flashes before my eyes. I’m going to die, but I make it.
Spinning – out of control – turning – twisting – my neck – impact – bridges – plummet to death – fear – soft landings…..

I would look at the end of the chart where the accident was and trace back. What happened before that? And before that? And before that? What’s the first thing that happened where there was trauma?

My birth. My miraculous premature birth.


I survived. What. Hmm, Are they’re any other similarities with what happened to me over these 30 years?

Car Accidents. A bunch of them. Why? Maybe there is something about what happens in them….

What’s the same about the car accidents? People always say, “Shit, you must be a bad driver.”

Nope. I’m never the driver. Never have been. Always a passenger.

Hmm….There is something in that…

I revisited all the accidents.

5 years old – Hit by a Nun – In a Van – Mom’s driving. My twin and I are in the van.

16 – “Head for the Clear” Van flip into the snowbank – Dad’s driving. My twin and I are in the van.

16 – Garbage Dump Road Van Flip at camp – A fellow staff friend is driving – 2 other staff friends and I.

21 – Porsche 911 Accident  – My first puppylove is Driving – We dropped off my roommate at home – Only I am in the car with him.

29 – Christmas Accident – My Dad is driving. My twin and I our in the van.

Weird. I’m close right.

3/5 of those accidents I’m with my parents.  Once with my mom driving. It was the Nun’s fault. My mother taught me how to drive in Fitzroy Provincial park across from the Quyon ferry that her family owned and operated and she spent her cherished summers. She was a good driver as much as I knew. The other two my father was driving. All of them were in vans.

My twin was in 3/5 of them. That seems significant. He’s also reasonably ok. So is everyone. Most of them, only I seem to bear the brunt of the accident and have injuries and have physical consequences.

There were two other interesting things my Bond mind pieced together. Funny, you don;t really see James Bond piecing things together, he just does it. Goes there. Dawns an Armani suit, skis down the mountain side onto a boat, kills the bad guy where he knew he was and gets the girl. Here I am trying to piece the pieces of my life together to make sense of the puzzle.

There was another accident that I’m not sure whether to include in this count.  Something did happen, it was a close call. What was interesting, was it was in van, my father was driving and my twin had a little mishap. We were visiting my relatives in London, Ontario. I think we were about 8-10 years old, somewhere in there and my father was driving. Out of know where a cyclist tried to duck out on the road in front of my Dad. My father slammed on the brakes and my twin went flying forward. His tiny chest was bare with only his swim trunks on and SMACK he hit the front of the big console on the van. Poor little guy. I remember how red his chest was. I also remember how angry he was as he leaned out the window and screamed every exploitive an 8 year-old knows at the cyclist.

“You stupid – poohead – dumb-dumb turkey!” { Turkey derived from my father’s normal choice of expletives at bad driving. Well, at least while the kids were in the car.

My father understablly let him have it! Adding after the trail was finished and his 8 yearold voice started cracking….

“Yah! Turkey!”

The other accident? The other accident? There was synchronicity in that one too…and it didn’t involve my parents. Directly that is.

{ to be continued… }

I’m getting closer…

007 Fem Bond,



fingerprintLocale: Chocolate Leather Club Chair { ‘could use some distressing }, Starbucks, Toronto
On Deck: Mirrors by Emma Louise
Mood: Mercury in retrograde is kicking my literary web butt.

18 Years Ago Today I almost Died and My Life Flashed Before My Eyes

22 Oct

{ Chapter 1 • Pilot’s Licence for a Porsche }

{ The Porsche Accident }

Pilot’s Licence for a Porsche

“Shit! What’s happening? The car’s moving to fast. We’re going on the wrong side of the road. Shit. We’re going over the bridge. The cars aren’t going to see us. Shit. My legs. I don’t want to be a quadriplegic. Hoist them as far into your chest as you can,” says a loud, deliberate and calm voice in my head. “Shit! My head. My Brain. I don’t want to be a vegetable. If I cross my arms in front of my forehead, if there’s any glass, it’s going to have to go through two layers of bone before it gets to my skull. It won’t cut that deep. It won’t. My face. I can’t cover it all with my hands. Shit. I crouched over then in I guess a crash position trying to protect my face from any flying glass that might come, but then I exposed my skull. I tried covering my head with my arms. Out father who are in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done…I hear music. Fairground music. Like I’m at the Richmond Fair…On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this stay, our daily bread. There’s Tim. Why can I see Tim? There is a little movie playing in slow motion in my head. This isn’t movie time! I need to stay alive! Ahh, cute. There’s the two of us. We’re just babies sitting naked in the river among the rocks and the sun is glistening off the water. There we are on a ferris wheel.  Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. (God, would that one ever come in handy after this happened!).  I don’t want to be injured. I don’t want to die. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. I don’t think I have ever tried to use everything I have in me to stay alive. Don’t ask me what that was. I just pressed my feet into the floor like mad and hugged my body insanely tight and I…prayed. This wasn’t deliberate. The words just seem to come out of me automatically. I remember thinking, there is someone waiting for me. I’ll be good. I’ll be good. Please, I want to stay. He’s waiting for me. I know he is. I’ll find him. I have things to do here. It’s not time. I’ll do anything. I’m too young to die. I haven’t even got my BA yet.

I glanced from the side of my head over at Alex somehow managing to keep looking forward and look at him incase this was the last time I would see him. “Goodbye Alex, I love you.” Out-loud or under my breath, I can’t remember – as he was trying to do anything to the car to control it, but it really seemed to be driving its own course on the wet asphalt. If this car ever stops spinning I have to get out right away. Stop already stop. My feet are pushing on the passenger breaks with vengeance. It’s not working. I think I am screaming, but I’m not sure, I don’t want to upset Alex or distract him. I can’t see anything. The car comes slowly to a halt. (I would find out later, this was not the case, but my body’s way of dealing with the insane speed and impact of what we hit). The car is stopped I think I hear in my head. Get out! Get out! I can hear the music turning over in the car. U2 no less. Probably With or Without You. Why is the radio on? It shouldn’t be working. If it’s on, there’s still a power supply but the lights are out. That means there’s gas. Shit, the cars gonna blow. It’s gonna blow. They always blow up in the movies.

Get me the fuck out of here now! I fumble for the door handle on my right. I can’t see anything. Everything is moving so fast I think I’m going to hurl. Why do they make everything pitch black in Porsche 911’s? I think I try to open it, but I can’t tell. I can’t even find the door. Where is the flipp’n door? I feed my right leg out where the door should be. God, is there even ground under me? I try to find ground, I stand up before I am out of the car and immediately my legs give way from under me like a raggedy ann doll and I am falling. I can’t stop it. When I fall I don’t hit the hard ground. I think somebody has caught me. Who’s there? Alex couldn’t have been there so fast. He’s still in the car. I don’t care.  I can feel my heels being dragged against stone. Must be the road. I can’t see anything. It’s pitch black outside. I feel blind. I’m placed so gently on grass. Why is there grass near the road I wonder? I want to fall asleep. “Don’t fall asleep,” a male voice says. “Stay awake ok?” the voice says. “Who are you?” I ask. “Where’s Alex?” “We were behind you,” he says. “Is that guy your boyfriend? He was driving really fast.” I hear a girls’ voice. There is commotion of voices coming in and out. I want to go to sleep please on the grass. “Is that your girlfriend?” I say to the stranger. I think he smirks or something. “No, we were just the two cars right behind you.” Oh. “Is that your girlfriend?’ I ask again. ‘What’s your name?” the guy asks me. I tell him, Kate Flood. “Do you know where you are?” he says.

I am too scared to look up. I am too scared to look anywhere. I just want to fall asleep on the glass. I remember just trying to look at the ground. The stranger is holding my back up with his legs and keeps pushing my wobbling head up. “Stay awake,” he says. “Oh my God!” I think to myself. I see blood all over my purple Sierra Design jacket. “Why is there blood? I’m bleeding, I’m bleeding!” I say.”Where are you hurt? Tell me where your pain is and I’ll try to see where the blood is coming from.” the guy says.  Then I finally hear Alex’s voice. He is standing right behind me now. He wasn’t before. “I’m going to go now.” What do you mean your going to go now, you just got here.” “They’re just going to take me down to the station.” Before I can say a word, I just see the rear lights of a police cruiser and he’s gone. I don’t remember anything in between except telling the boy he should get together with the girl. Then I am in the back of an ambulance and I think a handsome young paramedic is asking me if I know my name. “Yes, of course I know my name. Why do people keep asking me if I know my name? Do you know your name?” I say to him. He smirks. “Kate Flood.”
“That’s not what your health card says,” he questions. “Seriously? You want my whole name? Katherine Judith Irene Flood. Geesh! Why you asking me that? Seriously if there was anything I was going to remember don’t you think it would be my name?” I think he’s finding me funny. “Stay awake, ok. You’ve been in a serious car accident. You need to stay awake.”

The next memory I have, I am in the KJH bed by myself. No one seems to be around. It ‘s like pulling teeth to talk to anyone. Yo, can I get some service around here please, I think to myself.  I’m being sent for x-rays of my leg I’m told. Gosh, I just realized my parents happen to be in town tonight.  It’s my Dad’s 25th Anniversary for his Queens’ MBA. I try to get anybody’s attention,  “Listen, my parents happen to be here tonight, can you call them? They’re at this hotel.” I say to the nurse. They do, but it seems to take an eternity. “Did you call them?” ‘Yes, we called them they’re on their way.” Ahh Shit. Maybe I shouldn’t have had them called. They’re going to kill me. I don’t think they like Alex. Ahh Great. Ah well, as if I wouldn’t call. I’m taking by wheelchair to get x-rays. I’m still in a droopy fog. The x-ray technician comes out from behind the glass. “Ahh, excuse me.” She seems perplexed. “Did you know you had a screw in your left knee?” Oh my God, I think to myself. Are you frick’n serious? I had an ACL repair in that leg from a soccer injury. ( Another great story. Tell you in a another chapter). “The other leg lady, the other leg.” I say to her.  Geesh! She’s re-does the x-ray of my right leg that was hurting really bad. I had no idea why.  I really need to go to the washroom. Weird. I probably haven’t gone in hours. I come out and am almost at my bed. There is blood all over the hospitals white sheets.
… { to be continued }

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• By Kate Flood
• NaNoWriMo Novel Entry
Locale: 10pm • My apartment, Ottawa
On Deck: Angel { In the Arms of an Angel } by Sarah McLachlan
My irish love said whenever he heard this song and the line, “You were pulled from the wreckage” he got sad and thought of me being in the accident.

Angels Overhead and Turning into Special Female Agent 007 Bond Over Night

8 Oct

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 3.27.30 PM

{ A Female Special Agent 007 Bond would wear killer heels right? }

Uncovering the Synchronicity of it All

I’ll never forget this night. This was the night where I figured it all out. Most of it. It was the first clue. The biggest clue. The biggest AHA moment as Oprah calls it. I went to bed like any other night. I was sharing an apartment with an italian boyfriend I had met. We were sleeping side by side and I’m sure I had been asleep for several hours. I wasn’t having an easy time, but handling everything really well considering what I was navigating.
At 2:00 in the morning, I was startled in my sleep. I am an extremely light sleeper and wake at the drop of a hat. My mother use to get up in the night to use the bathroom and as she would walk back down the rose coloured hallway, she would walk past my room and without peeking in, whisper to me in the night.
“Go back to sleep Katie.”
She knew I would every time. This particular night wasn’t like any other as I had never ever experienced what happened next before. I doubt there are many that have. Some yes, but not many. I heard someone calling my name out loud in the night. There shouldn’t have been anyone else in the room.
“Kate, Kate, Kate.”
I was petrified to open my eyes. If i don’t open my eyes, whoever, whatever is saying my name will not know I can hear them.
I brought the cover over my eyes and left it a little open on one eye. I heard the voice whisper loudly again,
“Kate, Kate, Kate.”
I very slowly opened one eye into the night of the room.
It was pitch black, but there up in the air floating above me, just floating there, were two little blue pinholes of light in the night. They were cobalt blue. I stared at them to make sense of them. Were they coming off of the street light? I was living at High Park, and the street lights could be seen from the large bay window that went into our room. We had two large french doors into the bedroom. Were the lights playing off of the glass panes? Were they reflections off of the tv screen? Were they dust particles from the moonlight? No. No. No.
I was scared. I closed my eyes hoping they would go away. I opened one eyes slightly. They did not go away.
“Marco?” I nudged Marco beside me. He didn’t answer me. Marco? Marco? Marco – Wake up. Did you hear that?”
“Hugh? What? he groaned.
“Did you just call me?”
“No. I’m asleep. Or I was asleep.”
“You didn’t just call my name?”
“No. Maybe you’re having a nightmare.”
I was confused. Rolled over and tried to fall asleep. The lights were still there. I was too scared to sleep, but didn’t think of what I could do. Eventually I fell asleep.
In the morning I woke and said nothing to Marco. I went to bed that night.
And the very next night, at the very same time, even though I was fast asleep, I woke startled to here my name being called in the night.
“Kate .Kate. Kate.”
This voice was not in my head. I was not dreaming, I was wide awake and I have never slept walked. This voice was audible clear as day and it was calling my name. It, whomever, whatever new who I was. They knew my name.
I stayed under the cover.  Again,
“Kate, Kate, Kate.”
Oh My God, what on earth is going on? I’m thinking to myself. I peered out from under the cover. There they were again, two blue pinholes of cobalt blue light in the night. I felt calmer now. Nothing was happening. Just hearing my name being whispered in the night and two blue lights staring at me. Normal right? I stared at them for a long time. They went know where. I didn’t want this to continue another night. I stared and I relaxed. I grew frustrated. Why was this happening. I got distracted…or so I thought I did. My next clear thought into the night was,
“Why me? Why another car accident? Why? Why? Why?”

It can’t be coincidence. It can’t be. This doesn’t happen to people.
I lay there for maybe a minute and then out of nowhere I had a rush of energy. I am not a night owl. I’m an early bird. I used to get up at the crack of dawn and look for my father who was usually in the garden and I would go and help plant the morning glories and the pansies. I’m not a night owl unless I am partying or falling in love over long conversations that run the night into the wee small hours of the morning.
I jumped out of my bed deliberately and went to my computer by the bay window. The moonlight was shining through and the street was quiet. I never “get up” to do things in the night. I’m the person who will not grab the extra blanket at the end of the bed if I’m to cold to move. I’m the person who will wait until the morning even if I feel have to go to the loo in the night. I turned the power on and waiting for the screen. I didn’t know what I was doing – really – it was moment to open. I opened up a new page on Microsoft excel. I stared at the blank columns in front of me.
This is where is where I had my first female 007 Bond moment.
I typed in the date of the car accident I had just had along the left side of the column and beside that I put Car Accident. Then I plugged into the other bad car accident I had in University in the Porsche 911. Then I plugged in other smaller car accidents I had over the years and the year I had them. The others I couldn’t remember the exact dates as they weren’t as significant, but I remember how old I was so I put the year it happened and the month if I knew it. Then I decided to plug in the surgeries I had over the years. The age I was and the surgery.
1982  – 8 Years Old – Adnoids removed.
1992 – 18 years old – ACL Repair { Anterior Cruciate Ligament Repair – Soccer Slide Tackle Injury }
1997 – All wisdom teeth removed surgically.
Then I went and plugged in if there was some significant emotional trauma that had happened to me. The most major being:
1990 – 15 years old – Held at gunpoint by Shotgun
Finding out Santa didn’t exist didn’t make the list.
Beside the incident column I put point form the list of what ever injuries happened to me.
1995 – 21 years old Car Accident – Whiplash – Body Bruising – Shock – Near Death Experience
I ran down the list and added these.
Them I decided to plug in whatever was significant with them Usually they offered the involvement of other people. Specifically, in all the car accidents I have been, people wonder with so many car accidents, is she the driver? And, a bad driver at that? No.
So, I put in who was with me in the car accident. Who was driving the car?
5 years old – Car Accident (Blue Van) – A Nun hits Mom in the Van – Mom Driving, my twin and I.
15 years old – Car Accident (Minivan) – Dad keeps us from skidding on ice, headed into oncoming main artery and we land in opposite snow bank minutes after I ask, “Dad, what do you do it you skid on black ice in the car (I was learning to drive). Dad, my twin and I.
His response,
“Depends on where you are. If you’re in the country, you gotta head for the CLEAR!”
He certainly did exactly that. We were going down a hill that had a stop sign at the end and main street coming into it. I remember the van spun right around facing the opposite direction on the wrong side of the road and landed safely and softly in a big deep snow bank. We were all completely safe and sound. I still remember my twin saying,

“Does this mean we don’t have to go to church now?”

1991 – 16 yrs old – Garbage Dump Road – Van flip – Camp – Christine, Tanya and I.
1995 – 21 yrs old – Porsche Car Accident – Queen’s  – First Love and I.
2003 – 29 years old – Car Accident Christmas – Dad, twin and I.
Only two were major – the one in university in the Porsche and the one at Christmas. The others were of significance as there was impact. There have been others that were really spin outs or nothing too major.
The early sun was starting to come up and I could hear the birds walking up.
I sat back from my computer and looked at this excel spreadsheet. What happened next scared the shit out of me. Looking at all the dates and the things that had happened to me,
There was a pattern.
There was a pattern to when the things happened, how many years a part, what had happened to me and who was with me. It freaked me right out.
Who is trying to kill me?
Who is in charge?
Who is running the show? My life. Who is running my life?
Am I not?

I remember feeling petrified. Freaked right out. Honestly, like someone was trying to get rid of me, and that it was deliberate, and that I wasn’t controlling it.

That’s ridiculous. I looked at the chart again. There has to be something else to this. If I retrace the steps, where do they lead back to? What was in the beginning?

My birth.

My miraculous birth. Those words were heard in my household time and time again.

“Katie, you were miracle honey. A miracle Katie. You don’t understand. You almost didn’t…”

She often wouldn’t finish those words.

But what did these patterns have to do with my birth?

What was the similar about these things that happen to me?

I almost die.

But I don’t. I make it. I stay alive.

I didn’t believe it. I also still didn’t understand why. Why go through these car accidents and being held at gunpoint to have my life threatened?

The chart staring right at me. The number of car accidents, the time between them, the surgeries. The pattern. I still didn’t believe it. I made excuses. It’s just a coincidence. It doesn’t mean anything. I’m just drawing conclusions.  I did everything to convince myself out of what I had seen. Another part of me fought this and must have known.

So the car accidents and being held at gunpoint are connected to my birth? Whatever. Fine, if they really truly are I need proof. More proof. How can I get that? What could I do? Hmm….

I know! Birth records! I’ll order my birth records!

By this time the sun had come up. I was wide awake, curious and a bit shaken. I felt altered. Was the hospital open yet? I watched the hands on the clock turn. They weren’t turning fast enough. Am I crazy? This is ridiculous.

8:00am – I called the Ottawa Civic Hospital where I was born.

“Ottawa Civic hospital. Can help you?”

“I’d like to order my birth records.”

“Your birth records?”

“Yes. Do you do that?”

“Uhh.Yes. What year are we talking about dear? We only keep a few years on computer.”


“Yes, 1974. Can you do it?”

“Ughh. Yes, it’s going to take some time. Those will be paper and they’ll be in boxes. Any year before 1990 is housed in a different library.”

“Ok. How long will it take?”

“I’m not sure honey. Two weeks minimum for sure. Could be 4 weeks. It’s $45 minimum to get the charts and $45.00/ an hour after that to search and retrieve them.”

“We can’t process the order until we’ve received payment.”

“Ok, here’s my credit card.”

“Cheques only.”

I was so close. I felt like I was my own P.I hot on the trace of a mystery. My mystery. The mystery of my life. The mystery to why I’ve been in so many car accidents. Why I had come so close to dying. What did I do wrong? Why was this happening to me. I was a good person, I did good things, I was an A student, I exercised, I ate right, I…I had finally started a salaried position job in the biggest branding company in the world only to be in another car accident again. I needed to figure this out. I wanted to get on track.

“I’m in Toronto though.”

“Cheques only. When we receive your cheque. The records request will go through.”

I mailed the cheque and waited. I followed up with a phone call and waited.

9:00am: I called my holistic friend who I had just connected with 2 weeks before the car accident.



“Hi – It’s Kate”

“Hi Kate. How are you making out?”

“Rae. I’m not sure how to say this, but I didn’t know who else to call. Who would believe me and not think I was a crackpot or something.”


I explained to Rae what had happened. I told her about the chart and mapping out my life on the Excel spreadsheet.

“I’m scared Rae. This is freaky shit.”

I could heard hear her smiling on the other end of the phone again as she’d done when I called from my hospital bed. Not this again I thought.

“I was waiting for you to get this.”

“Get what?”

“Well, what you got.”

“Ahh, please don’t be secretive at a time like this!”

“It’s ok Kate. You’re going to be just fine. Don’t worry.”

We agreed to meet another time. I needed some support at this time. Someone I could talk to who was understanding.

In the mean time, my hospital records arrived. It was a pretty substantial pile. It was home for the first 2 1/2 months of my life after all.  I opened the file. Wow! So neat. Photocopies with the dates October 1974 on them. This was cool. This was really neat to see. There were doctors reports from my birth. Giving some basic details but not the nitty gritty of what went on. I read them one buy one.

“Baby B – female is quite alert.  The Apgar score reading of….”
Weight: 1.5 pounds at birth. Current: 1.2 pounds.
“Baby B despite her lower birth weight if anything is more alert then her brother, Baby A.”

I laughed at this. I was smarter then you (my twin) when we came out!

The notes were really neat to read. The language initiative of the times, 1974 were polite and official. The doctors spoke of my mother and her concern for her babies and calling into the hospital.
I read through everything. So I had been though a lot. So I was there a long time. I didn’t see anything of any significance to why I had been in all these near death experiences. I had not proof. No substantial evidence, coincident or synchronicity. It was fun to read these reports none the less. Then towards the end of the pile, I picked up the last paper. It had a stamp on the top of it,


What’s this I wondered? I looked at the top of the page and read on.

Twin B, Katherine was to be discharged today, however on routine discharge, nurses found a heart murmur and Katherine is being transferred to the NEONATAL unit at CHEO, The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. I knew my heart wasn’t fully formed at my birth. I knew that. I knew that there were months where the doctors thought they would have to do surgery and operate. The risk was too great on the tiny size of my body. And then I looked on the date I was to be discharged:

October 22, 1974

Holy Shit. I stared at the date. My hands began to shake. The world around me became incredibly still, the sounds around me disappeared and became background noise.

October 22, 1974. You have got to be kidding me.
That’s the same date as the car accident. At Queens. In the Porsche. Will Alex. The exact same date. Of all the days of the year, you mean to tell me the day I was going to go home to be in my mothers arms who I had been crying for 3 weeks for, and the nurse finds a hear murmur and I”m being transfered to another hospital is the SAME day as a my first major car accident where I almost died?

This is not a coincidence. It isn’t anymore. It can’t be. I flumped into my crossed legs on the living room floor with the papers spread all around me. Then I jumped up sending the papers flying.

“FINE! I believe it! I Believe it! I believe it’s all connected! I yelled out loud into the living room to no one but myself.

“Now what?”

How come there isn’t a female James Bond?

“I’ll have my life shaken, not stirred.”

Kate, Kate Flood 07


fingerprintLocale: Rose leather tuffed banquette,
Dineen Coffee Shop { King/Adelaide St. }  The Canadian Stumpdown Coffee of ACE Hotel, NYC fame ~ Amazing place all round.
On Deck: Synchronicity by The Police
James Bond Theme Song by Monty Norman
Mood: Determined.

Rae of Sunshine in my Life

7 Oct

Only 2 weeks before the car accident happened, and my extended health insurance benefits had kicked in, I had been searching to find a healer who knew what “unwinding” was. The weird thing I had experienced when I was getting Myofascia work by the massage therapist Emilio while I lived there. I came across many website of healers, but many were not appealing to me. Until I came across one woman’s named Dot’s website. She had an awful lot of training in various modalities and I gave her a call. We spoke and I told her about my situation and what had happened and what I was trying to do.

“You don’t need me.” she said. ” You need Rae.”


“Rae. Just trust me.”

“Ok. I guess.”

Dot gave me Rae’s phone number and I called her. I cant’ remember the specifics but we arranged to meet and I went to Rae’s home in Rosedale. I think I remember when she opened the door she came outside and I think I was scared by her for some reason. I thought she had given me a mean look. I would figure what actually was happening a long long time later. We spoke at length. I remember telling her,

“I don’t think I have good intuition.”

She smiled. ” Yes, you do.”

“Noo, I don’t think I do.”

“You do.”

“I don’t think I do. How could i? Why I did I get in a bad car accident. I want this pain out of my body. I’m a really healthy athletic person. I work out every day. Why did I move to BC only to move to Toronto. Why…”

“Trust me you have good intuition.”

“How can you say that? You don’t even know me.”

“I know because your here.”

I remember thinking what does that have to do with the price of rice in china?

“I’m going to help you child. Listen, I’m going to send you to an amazing naturopath Diane and whatever you need you come to me and I’ll point you in the right direction or get you in touch with the right person. I’m not going to treat you. You will be like my little adoptive daughter.”

I was confused. All right. OK.”
After this session happened. Only two week passed. Then I was in the christmas car accident. I could not believe it. I called her from my hospital bed.

“Rae? It’s Kate. I’ve been in a car accident. A bad one. I’m in the hospital.”

A little silence.

“Ohh Kate. Dear Kate.”

I could feel her smiling over the phone. Why is she smiling at time like this?”

“Oh honey, I’m so sorry. This was meant to happen.”

“What? What are you talking about? Are you kidding me right now”

“No. I know this may seem like, it but trust me.”

Ohh boy. I remember thinking this woman was out to lunch right then and there. How on God’s green earth, could this possibly be a good thing? A car accident. ANOTHER car accident?

“I don’t understand. How is this is a good thing?”

“You will see. It’s going to be ok.”

And that was it.


“Yes Kate.”

“My body is shivering and jolting all over the bed. I feel like my liver is trying to jump out of me. It’s thudding.”

“It’s ok Kate. Your body is just responding to the trauma.”

We hung up the phone. I remember not feeling solace in her words, but sheer frustration. HOW COULD ANY OF THIS POSSIBLY BE A GOOD THING?

I can’t say for sure, but I think I had thoughts of maybe I didn’t find the right person to work with. I was probably reluctant to call her again, but a part of me also trusted her. I was so tired of the state I was in and so determined to figure out what was going on, she is all  I had to trust. She listened to me and didn’t judge me.

When I returned home to Toronto not that much time passed before I had one of the most interesting, scary and mind blowing nights of my life.


Sometimes the things we doubt are the things we need to be open to believe. Most of the time we need to figure this out on our own. All of the time we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for having not believed in the first place.

~ Kate


Red FingerprintMood: Tired and wired to get this out on my birthday
Locale: Still at the 24hr Starbucks, Young & King St.
Music: Good Day Sunshine by The Beatles

After the Accident

6 Oct

It is normally about a 25 minute drive into the nearest town on a sunny day. I have no idea how long it took the ambulance, but it felt like forever and not quick enough to be off the road. I entered the ER department and was brought into my own area. I stayed suctioned into the backboard contraption for hours. Felt safe yes, but also not. I couldn’t move anything  or scratch an itch. The ER doctor tended to me and I was admitted. The doctor suspected I had a closed head trauma. I had big bumps on my right for head and on the side of my head. I must have hit something although I have no memory of hitting anything. It was something hard, so from where I was found in my seat belt, my head could have hit my side window or the dashboard. Although, I think my driver’s side window was shattered and blown out, so I could have also hit the hard snow bank.

I was admitted for over a week. There was no Christmas this year. Definitely this was a downer Christmas. I spent it alone in a faded yellow painted room with no roommates, no family and grouchy nursing staff. The roads were much to bad for anyone to venture back into see me. I think my older brother from out west sent me a bouquet of flowers which meant something to me. I was eventually sent home in a neck brace and advised to get physiotherapy.

When I got back to Toronto I was still in quite a bit of discomfort and not able to do much. Killer for an A-type personality always on the go. I always in contact with my job keeping them abridged of my situation and my plans to return to work. I tried physiotherapy but was still in such an acute state that they could not move me so advised me to just keep icing and resting. The insurance company was making the task of paying difficult for reasons I didn’t know. An aunt called me up and advised me to see an osteopath. I had never heard of an osteopath before. I began to see this lovely woman and she advised me that I had a closed head trauma. The insurer was still not paying and I was headed into my second month. This woman called them and gave them proper well and they began to listen for a bit and at least start to pay her a portion.

I would love to share with you what would take over my life, add stress and become the next 6 years of my life, however it would chapters and chapters in itself. The insurance company made my life a living hell. The insurance system had changes and car accident victims have to jump through impossible hoops just to get what they are entitled to when they pay their insurance and a car accident happens. I became a semi expert in the system, navigating piles of paperwork, medical reports, DAC (Designated Assessment Centers), rebuttal of claims, the insurance tribunal, ombudsman. It was a fulltime job at a time I was unable to work. All the while trying to heal my body. I was doing this completely all on my own. It was terrible. Guilty before proven innocent always. All the people who take advantage of the insurance system make the innocent and legitimate cases pay. It was a long, drawn out stressful time full of phone calls and paperwork and caseworkers that would come and go. Practitioners so frustrating with the system and additional paperwork that they do not want to treat MVA’s (motor vehicle accident clients). A complete mess.

My dad came and tried to help. We met with the insurer to discuss what was going on. Their hands our tied. They employ pencil pushers just above minimum wage doing what they’re told and no one on any decision level basis. I was advised that I would need a lawyer just to retrieve the medical benefits I was entitled to. I did my research and hired a lawyer. He was a complete waste of time and hardly did anything for me. I had to constantly chase him down to make phone calls and send paperwork. He got little accomplished. I was still filing my own rebuttals etc. This would carry on for 5 years. I lost my job shortly after the accident and was sent a letter that said little except that if i were to return my job would not be there. My father and I visited a labour lawyer and he advised that yes, while it wasn’t the right thing to do, in the end there would have been little we could have done, as they employer needed to fill the position. I think I should have got a second opinion. There is so much I could share about this time, but honestly, it was just the biggest headache. Instead of helping a person to heal, they make it worse. Here is an example of the system. I saw an optometrist who specialised in mild traumatic brain injury. This man was a very, sweet honest man. He wrote out a prescription for what I would need. He did not inflate the price as some practitioners do when an insurance company is involved. He was asking for covering the cost of two new pair of glasses and his appointment. It was $800. The insurance company refused it. I was sent to a DAC to be assessed by a supposed BIAST medical doctor. This is a crock on most accounts.

One day the insurance company called me. It was awful dealing with them. They constantly try to cut you off from your claim. If you miss a deadline, or don’t call or fax the wrong number or don’t pick up the phone or miss an appointment. This one day, this insurer says to me,

“You know, you’re not going to get a cent out of us.”

“Pardon me?”

“You heard me.”

“Why are you saying that to me? Why would you say that to me.”

There was a pause.

“Your boyfriend never paid us.”

“What!? What are you talking about?”

“Your last car accident. Your boyfriend still owes us $30,000.”

“The accident from 8 years ago? What does that have to do with this? He’s not my boyfriend by the way. Not now and wasn’t at the time. Why are you bringing that into this. That has nothing to do with this.”

“I’m just letting you know.” and she hung up the phone. I still have no idea who that was that called me that day.

I had no idea. I had sued my ex after I couldn’t get rid of the pain in my athletic 24 yearold body, scared for my future. He had not insured the car for the road, taken my money, lied to everyone and did not help me pay for physiotherapy. Even though I won, the person really doesn’t have to pay, There is just a lean against them.

You have got to be kidding me. One for them even saying that. Two, you mean to tell me that they have been giving me a hard time all this time because their drawing a connection between two accidents and holding that on me? OMG.

Trying to get the basics covered became most of my life. I was not a happy camper. I could not believe I was in this situation again having never rid my body of the chronic pain from the accident I had in university and that is all I wanted to do. I finally had a salaried position, my health benefits had just kicked in and I would be able to get massage etc….and then this car accident happens and throws everything out of whack. Or did it?

What happened next was extraordinary and scared the shit out of me and changed my life.


Glad that part of my life is over,

Red Fingerprint Mood: Firing out the story
• Locale: 24 hr Starbucks, Young & KIng
• Music: Hang on to your Love by Sade


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