Chapter 2/2 } A $3000 Hydro Pole and an Abscess

{ Chapter 2 – Excerpt #2}

{ "This pole cost $3000 to replace." }

A $3000 Hydro-Pole and an Abscess

“I couldn’t afford physiotherapy on top of school. I was scrounging as it was. Living bare minimally. It was the standard middle-class student life. There was no extra cash flow. I already paid extra to go to the nicer gym downtown. The University gym was always packed, stank-rank and the fluorescent lighting made me crazy.”

After I was discharged from the ER, the doctor told me to visit my GP. I asked him why. He just informed me to please do it. I went to the student clinic on campus.  The doctor there examined me and asked how my neck was. I said fine. I said I felt sore in the rest of my body, especially my legs. He asked me to come back and see him in a month. I asked him why. He told me that sometimes things can come up a month after someone has had an accident. He was right. A month to the day, my neck was hurting. Every way I turned seem to aggravate it. What I noticed the most was the pain during my classes. Of all the degrees I could have been taking, of all the subjects I could have been majoring, I think I must have been in the very worst when it came to having neck pain. Communications. Film Studies to be exact. Do you know what one does in Film Studies? I had two to three and sometimes four, four-hour labs a day. What does one do in a film lab you ask? Why they watch movies of course. Sounds like fun right? Not so much. I was sitting in those uncomfortable half-desk, half  chair contraptions that a lot of lecture classes are in. Hard seat. No neck support. I was having the hardest time holding my neck up and I had no idea why. I didn’t think I had injured it. After all, it didn’t hurt when I got out of the car. I tired putting my hands behind my head to told it up. I tried stuffing my sweaters behind my neck to support it if I could find seat against a back wall. Nothing seemed to help for very long. I went back to the campus medical clinic to see the doctor.

“You have whiplash,” the doctor said.

“How could that be?” I asked.

“You were in a significant car accident. It’s very common.” He said.

“But, but, it didn’t hurt when it happened. And how come it just started to hurt now then?” I said.

He explained what typically happens in a car accidents. The amount of force pushes the neck back and forth and in my case all directions. In order to protect itself the person’s body the muscles tense up. He explained that records show that most of the time almost exactly one month after the accident the muscles try to relax and cannot anymore. Inflammation begins and then pain.

I started to cry. I don’t want this. I don’t need this. It hurt something awful. “What do I do doctor?”

“Well, you need to go to physiotherapy for your neck. I will also give you some muscle relaxants.”

He referred me to a physiotherapist and gave me the prescription for the muscle relaxants. I hobbled back home. I went to my appointment at the KJH Hospital and saw a physiotherapist there. It was one of these crowded places with hospital gurny’s lined up side by side, privatized only by a blue hospital curtain. It was claustrophobic and I felt like a number. I thought the physio would be covered by OHIP. A part of it was and a part of it wasn’t. I couldn’t afford physiotherapy ontop of school. I was scrounging as it was. It was the standard middle-class student life. Living bare minimally. There was no extra cash flow you know? I already paid extra to go to the nicer gym in downtown Kingston. The University gym was always packed, stank-rank and the fluorescent lighting made crazy. I made meals at home (Full 4 food group meals – this would prove to be an excellent source of procrastination from studying while I made complete dinners!). Subway was a treat out, and of course money for the pub on the weekend! Student standard no?

I called Alex and told him I needed my money to pay for physiotherapy. It seems he would have a more pressing manner. He was angry at something. “My father knows about the accident.”

“So. What’s the big deal?” I asked him.

“I didn’t want them knowing.” he quipped.

“Well how did he find out?”

“He must have opened my mail. We have the same initial.” Alex lived at home with his parents still. “I got sent a bill from the City of Kingston.”

“For what?”

“The hydro-pole.”

“Oh.” I think I laughed. It sounded kind of funny. That’s odd I thought. “Why did the city of Kingston send you a bill for a hydro pole? How much was it for?”

“I guess because I damaged it or broke it or whatever. They sent me  a bill for $3000.00 dollars!”


There was silence on the phone for a while. I felt bad for Alex, but frankly had other things on my mind. It all sounded rather hilarious. I told him about how my neck had been hurting and I needed to take Physiotherapy for it.

He sounded surprised I needed physiotherapy. Yes I said. “Are you sure you really need it Kate?”

“What are you talking about? Yes, I’m sure I really need it. God, I wouldn’t want to traipse over to the physio two to three times a week for the hell of it!”

He said ok and that he would repay some more of my money into my account. It didn’t appear. I tried calling him. No answer. Cell phones weren’t as hot as they are today in 1995 so I could only call and leave messages. I got tired of waiting. I called home and told my Dad about physio not being covered. He said he would pay, “But didn’t Alex have insurance?” That it should be covering the cost.” he said. I didn’t understand. I never owned a car (long enough to drive) and didn’t understand the workings of being in a car accident.

I remember trying to call Alex over and over again. He was never home. I hated hearing his mother’s wretched high-pitched voice on a good day, now it was driving me looney. “Alex” she would shrill hardly taking the phone from her ear. He’s not in the phone lady I can remember saying to myself. It never stopped. I could never find him. He didn’t return my phone calls. We had a mutual couple in common. My best friend at the time and her boyfriend. We had all met as counselors at summer camp. My best friend went off to University after camp and the guys stayed in Ottawa and worked. I would find out through my friend that Alex would be there on the weekends partying. So at least I knew he hadn’t fallen of the face of the earth. I would tell my best friend about the nightmares and how I was feeling and that I still kept going.  “Did she know where Alex was?” I would ask. I don’t remember receiving much sympathy. And pretty soon it seemed like she questioned my concerns over the accident and trying ot track Alex down.  Alex told them the accident wasn’t that bad. That it was a fender-bender. A fender-bender? Are you fucking serious? She was seeing Alex more then I was. All three of them would party on the weekends in her University town and in Ottawa. I was getting angrier. Why wasn’t he returning my phone calls? I needed my money to pay for my physiotherapy now. When I finally did get a hold of him I told him my father was going to help pay for the physiotherapy. Alex said he would look into paying for the physio. I think he paid a couple of times and it was like pulling teeth to arrange the money transfer. I think he thought that’s all it would take. And what I found out next, I could not believe. I cannot remember now how I found out.

Alex did not have insurance. Not just liability insurance to cover my physiotherapy. He also did not even have the car insured to be on the road at all. That’s right, for the road. Smooth move ex-lax. Colours a far larger graver picture doesn’t it for crashing your dream car that you put your own time and money on only to crash it on your first long test drive. He worked on that car all summer. He had it parked at camp. Everyone at camp knew that car. And that drive to city hall? He was charged for not having insurance and his license was revoked. That’s why he wanted me to drive him out of the lot. He wasn’t legally supposed to be driving. So he dumped a wad of cash into first buying this Porsche 911 Targa. He lost that money in a heartbeat. He was charged by the city of Kingston for the hydro pole $3000.00. Gone. And now I needed money to pay for my physiotherapy. The picture was getting so much better no?

{ to be continued… }

Love to Hear From You • I would love to hear what you think.
Write what you want { kind words } by clicking  in the “comments” text~box below.
• “Subscribe” to this blog so you receive my newest novel entry into your mail box.
• You can also follow me on twitter { runninghearts } and
• ‘Like’ my Facebook page for  { Kate Flood Author }

This is the official link to my novel blog:

Aways to go yet!

By Kate Flood
• 4:13pm, Starbucks
State of Being: Hot and cold at the Starbucks. Listening to best dance song and essay writing on a deadline song: “Silence” Delerium and Sarah McLachlan.