Archive | October, 2013

Rae of Sunshine in my Life

7 Oct

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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.”

“Who?”

“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.

“Rae?”

“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

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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,
Kate

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

The Fifth and Final Car Accident…Almost

6 Oct


…continued

“There’s blood! There’s blood. Where is is coming from?”

My brother looked around me. “Where is it? Where do you see it? Is it anywhere else?” he asked.

“I think just my hand. I can’t keep my eyes open to see…”

“Stay awake Kate. Stay wake. It’s ok. I think it’s just on your hand. I don’t see it anywhere else. You cut your hand on something.”
“My arm. My arm has blood on it.”

My arm and my hand had cuts on them. Most likely from they took the impact against the glass when the van hit the snowbank. There were ice cold and red. Like when you were a kid tobobaganning the sharp snow slips up your sleeve from a wipe-out on your GT-snowracer. I much prefer those cuts though.
I could not keep my eyes open and the world felt better keeping them closed. Anytime I opened them I could not get anything in front of me to stop moving.

“Where’s Dad? Where’s Dad?”

“I don’t know. He’s ok. He’s over there.”

“Can you go check on him? I’m ok. I’ll be all right.”

My brother went to check on my brother. I started to here the faint sound an ambulance siren. Unsettling on a normal day, it was even more unsettling on this quiet snow laden day where the show seems to dampen all the other sounds. The siren was starting to pierce my head and I wanted to cover my ears, but didn’t want to move from trying to find stillness. The siren stopped. I could hear muffling of male voices and questions.

“Are you hurt sir? Are you ok over there? The caller mentioned a young woman. Where is the girl? Is she your daughter?”

My eyes were still shut and I could feel a big man beside me.

“HI there. I’m Jack. I’m a paramedic. Where are you hurt?”

I didn’t answer. I was speaking very slowly. It hurt to talk.

“Can you answer me? Do you know your name?”

Not this again. What’s with paramedics asking my name all the time? No, I knew why he was doing it. Took a while to answer. I wanted to hurl again. I also wanted to get warm. I was freezing. I couldn’t feel my hand anymore. I don’t know how long it took me to answer.

“Kate.”

“Can you give me your full name?
Every word I spoke I just wanted to throw up. My head was hurting so much. Thinking hurt.

He was insistant. He was doing his job. That’s ok, but I just want the world to stop spinning.

He checked me out. I mean, he did all the things that paramedics do to check my vitals etc. His voice sounded nice. All I could hear was his voice. I could feel his presence too. I got a sense, a glimpse of how a blind person senses things around them. His voice was calm and soothing and his presence felt strong and assured.

“Katherine, were going to move you ok. Can you feel your toes?”

I don’t know. I can’t feel anything.

Jack touched my quadracep. Can you feel this Katherine?

“Yes, I can feel that. I’m cold.”

“Can you open your eyes for me Katherine?”

I tried to open my eyes. I tried to open one of them slowly. It was agony. The more I lifted my eyelid the more I slower I got to wanting to be sick.

“I need you to open your eyelids Katherine ok? I need you to stay awake.

His voice called out to the snowbank. Hi, what’s your name? You’re her boyfriend?”

“Brother. Twin.”

“Can you come talk to your sister? Try and keep her awake ok.”

“Harry, get the spinal board.”

I could hear them talking back and forth but couldn’t make sense of some of the things they were saying. Words phased in and out. It felt like my some part of my head was trying to grab a hold of something to stand still, but another word would be said and I was gone again trying to find that word and make sense of it in my head.

“Katherine, we’re going to put you on a spinal board ok? It’s just precaution because you can’t move your neck. I don’t want you to do anything ok? You don’t have to move a thing. Let me do everything for you.”

Jack the paramedic leaned into the miniture hatchback. How is this man who sounds big going to fit himself in here, get me and put me on a board without me lifting a finger?

He reached in. He told me what is was doing before he did it. He  put one arm under my legs and the other one around my back. His arm was supporting my neck at the same time. He was calling these out to Harry.

“Katherine. I know it’s hard, but try and relax. It’s better if you relax like a ragdoll. Let me do this for you.”

I don’t know how they did it, but Jack picked me up in swiftly all while manouvering his big body in and out of this tiny cramped mailman’s hatchback full of mail.

“S-l-o-w. S-l-o-w-l-y. Go slow.”

Ok Katherine I’ll go slow. Hang on. The next thing I knew I was floating in the air. I was layed out on top of the stretcher. I felt something suction my whole body in.

“I can’t move.”

“That’s the board Katherine. It suctions you in. It’s ok, it may feel strange. It’s foam and rubber.”

I felt like i was really high up in the air. The snow was deep and I could sense their boots were deep in the snow and the legs sunk into the ground with the snow up around their shins. Jack was at one end. My head. I knew his voice the most. Harry was at my feet. Was he facing backwards or forwards? How are they going to keep me level and not drop me? How are they going to walk in this deep snow up the road? It wasn’t fluffy snow. It was hard crispy snow that cuts on each step, that crushed the crisp layer and doesn’t allow your boot to trail. The kind where you have to exagerate each step up, over and back into another piece of snow. I wanted to throw up from up here. Then they started to move.

I felt nauseous.

“Stop. Please stop.”

“I know it’s hard Katherine, but we need to get you to the hospital. One step at a time ok? We’re almost there.”

Each step took an eternity. Each step my body was lowered and heightened in the air and I thought they would drop me at any minute into the crispy snow. At least I was suctioned cupped into this rubberized body cocoon.They got to the road. Great – ice. Isn’t how we go into this mess in the first place? I was so scared they would slip and fall and I’d hit the ground. They turned around on the icy and road and sifted me into the back of the ambulance like a settling a pancake down on the pan with a flipper. I was relieved I had stopped moving. They climbed into the front of the ambulance.  I can’t remember if one stayed back with me or not. I know they usually do. They must have. I heard the ambulance door shut one after the other behind me. Every sound seemed so crisp, so distinct, so loud.

“Jack?”

“Yes, Katherine?”

“Slow please.”

“Yes, Katherine, we will drive slow.”

He didn’t. He drove very very fast. Very fast. Maybe he didn’t and I thought it fast. No, it seemed very very fast and we were ont he same black ice road. All the roads were icy.

“Jack?”

“Yes Katherine?”

“Please. slow. Please. it hurts.”

“It’s ok Katherine. Harry and I are experienced drivers. Everything is ok. Everything is going to be ok now. Don’t worry.”

Why do they say that? My life was almost taken, again. I don’t remember most of it and every second hurt and he’s telling me now to worry that he’s driving fast, in a van I just drove on? I just tried not to breathe. And not. I don’t remember. Nothing made the spinning go away. Nothing made anything stand still.

Avoiding the hump day before my birthday tomorrow.
Kate
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Red Fingerprint•  Mood:  Thinking of my birthday tomorrow.
•  Locale: Starbucks, King & John.
•  On deck: { Listen here } 
Angel by Sarah McLachlan
• { My second love said he thought of me in the first car accident everytime he heard this song. ~ “You were pulled from the wreckage..”}

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© All rights reserved. Kate Flood •

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