Butterflies in My Stomach: The true story of a woman with Down syndrome who overcomes discrimination, and her own fears, to blossom into an artist.
“Butterflies in My Stomach” is Teresa Pocock’s StoryHive project. It’s a pitch to produce a video which tells Teresa’s story about overcoming discrimination — and her own fears — to blossom as an artist in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.
Voting starts on April 3, 2018 and ends on April 6th. You can vote every day, so please do! Every vote counts. And you will be helping Teresa win support from StoryHive so that she can tell her story.
Here is Teresa’s 60-second StoryHive pitch:
Butterflies in My Stomach: Synopsis
This is the true story of Teresa Pocock, a woman with Down syndrome who has overcome discrimination and her own fears, to blossom into an award-winning artist and author. Four years ago, at age 49, Teresa was written off as “incapable” and was forced into a old-age nursing home in Ontario. Teresa did not want to live there. Her father and a sister rescued her, and Teresa moved across the country to B.C. to start a new life. “Butterflies in My Stomach” will tell her remarkable journey: How 26,000 people on Change.org, as well as civil rights organizations, and the media, helped Teresa get an apology from the government. And how Teresa’s new community in Vancouver, helped her to have confidence and emerge as a professional artist and a self-advocate.
What are they thinking? How many ships does it take for something to go wrong?
One accident with a Kinder Morgan Oil tanker carrying diluted bitumen — dirty tar sands oil — and our beautiful coast could be destroyed.
With almost three ships sailing through the Burrard Inlet everyday, the water will be contaminated with more ballast water and leaking engine fuels and chemicals.
With scores of giant industrial ships chugging through the Salish Sea constantly, marine mammals — like the endangered Southern Resident Orcas in the Salish Sea — will become disoriented and lost because of pervasive sound pollution from the ships, which harms their ability to navigate and communicate.
With hundreds of ships burning low-cost bunker fuel our air will be polluted with even more carbon and particulate matter.
How many ships? The numbers…
These statistics are based on the published estimates by Kinder Morgan, Trans Mountain pipeline and the Port of Vancouver.
* Projected numbers for ships are rounded to the nearest ten (10).
** Centerm terminal near downtown Vancouver is proposing to expand from “current 900,000 TEUs to up to 1.5 million TEUs”. A TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit) is the unit of the capacity of a container ship. If we assume average docked ship carries 6,000 TEUs, then we can estimate that currently 150 ships/year expanding to 250 ships/year. In fact between Nov 20, 2016 – Dec 20 2016, DP World Vancouver has scheduled 26 Vessels docking at Centerm, which is about 300 ships/year!
The bottom line: Too many ships. Too much pollution.
Modern Myths: Doctors and patients lost on the Sea of Medicine, an illustration for a story by Dr. David Healy.
“The clinics were different now to what they had been… The woman with burning hands, the mother with the autistic baby or the asexual son, were in the same place as her — no-one wanted to know them. Was there any way to unite all these people, each marooned on their own island, this new Archipelago of the Shipwrecked?”
Modern Myths: A trip back to the founding of the Church of Psycho-pharmacology, an illustration for a story by Dr. David Healy.
In 1957, interested in the fuss surrounding the new tranquilizers, she [Crusoe] dropped in to a World Congress of Psychiatry Meeting being held that year in Zurich. There was an extraordinary buzz — the excitement surrounding the discovery of chlorpromazine was growing not fading. It really did seem like a cure for schizophrenia or the harbinger of a cure that would arrive any day now.
The meeting was full of chatter about the next wonder drug about to appear and what it all meant…
It was openly accepted that the new College had been created by Sandoz, who had convened the Supper in Zurich. One delegate even joked that Sandoz’s boss, Rothlin, the President of the College, was the head of a new religion – a Pope. Rothlin though was a businessman – well maybe that’s what Pope’s were. Not someone anyone thought was likely to have had LSD himself.
Sandoz and other companies bankrolled the meeting, paid for the delegates to be there, paid for the delegates to be there, and put on the coaches that took them from Rome to Castel Gandolfo.”
After 20 years on antidepressants, is it possible to become drug-free? Psychiatric drug withdrawal symptoms — like burning feet, akathisia and emotional hypersensitivity — are daunting, but recovery is possible as shown by this story of one woman’s path (Katie B-T) to redemption.
“After 20 years on antidepressants, I decided I wanted to taper off. It was important for me to see what life was like without them and if I could claim more of my sexuality. I had no idea what I was in store for….
“I started SSRI’s when I was 12 years old. I haven’t gotten to try out and experiment with what I like and don’t like in relationships with the new feedback my body gives me. Some of my interpersonal dynamics related to my sexuality never got worked out because I didn’t know they existed. Now I have support to explore these concerns in therapy, playing catch-up, but knowing that I won’t have to go through life missing out on this important part of myself.”
With the stroke of a pen, Teresa Pocock’s human right to decide where she lives was wrongly taken away.
In a heart-breaking move, Teresa, my sister-in-law who has Down syndrome, was forced against her will into an old-age nursing home, by the Toronto Central CCAC (Community Care Access Centre) and two of my siblings. Four days later, she was rescued by my 91-year old father who was “adamant” he did not want his daughter living in a nursing home. But then the nursing home called the police, in a shockingly callous and bizarre effort to force her back.
Teresa is demanding an apology from these two institutions, the CCAC and the Rekai Centre. This is a sorry mess. Her records show that the crisis list was manipulated to get Teresa to the very top, and placed in the nursing home. Her profile contained false information which made her appear to need 24/7 care. See the presentation I made with Teresa, to the Ontario Government’s Select Committee:
On July 22, 2014, the Ontario Government’s Select Committee published their final report. It states: “Long-term care homes are pressured to accommodate young and middle-aged people with developmental disabilities without any medical need for this type of care or any training to support this group of clients.”
By signing this petition you can help Teresa get an apology for the harm done to her. Teresa is asking the CCAC to apologize for wrongly taking away her human right to decide where she lives. Teresa is asking the Rekai Centre to apologize for calling the police in a completely unnecessary, intimidating and callous attempt to force her back into their institution.
Over three months ago we filed a 12-page complaint with the Ontario Ministry of Health. We have only heard they are “inspecting” the matter.
We need a full apology from both institutions because this is not just about one person — it’s about standing up for and protecting the human rights of all people with disabilities.
On November 27, 2013, at the age of 49, Teresa was forced into a nursing home against her wishes and against the wishes of her father. Four days later, Teresa’s father went to the nursing home, and as her Senior Power of Attorney signed the paperwork to have her discharged, and Teresa returned home.
Police Were Called to Force Teresa’s Return
But the police were called to force Teresa’s return to the nursing home. Luckily the police decided that Teresa was safe living with us.
Petition for an Apology
On World Down Syndrome Day, March 21st, we launched a petition asking the CCAC (Community Care Access Centre) and the Rekai Center to apologize for the harm they caused Teresa. Specifically Teresa is asking the CCAC to apologize for improperly taking away her human right to decide where she lives. She is asking the Rekai Centre to apologize for calling the police to force her back into their long-term care home.
However, the Rekai Centre has still not apologized. The Rekai Centre CEO, Mary Hoare, has not responded in any way to Teresa’s petition. Are they trying to ignore Teresa? Hoping that the problem will just go away?
Teresa’s human rights should never have been disabled.
That is why we need more people to sign her petition, and demand an apology from the Rekai Centre.
One pill makes you smaller.1
One pill makes you stall.2
And the ones your doctor gives you
Make you feel nothing at all.3
Just numbness4 and dumbness5 in bed.
Remember what your lover said,
“Lose your meds. Save our bed.
Save our bed.”
Antidepressant (SSRI) Sexual Side Effects:
Post Antidepressant (SSRI) Sexual Side Effects:
Symptoms of sexual dysfunction may persist years after quitting SSRIs, resulting in the complete loss of genital sensation.
SSRI Meds linked to Sexual Dysfunction: Lexapro, Cipralex, Cipramil, Paxil, Seroxat, Prozac, Celexa, Zoloft.
When your doctor spends more time looking at your charts, than looking at you… You might wonder about their recommendations, especially if it’s medicated prevention strategy based on a statistical probability, like the way the health care system treats osteoporosis.
For example, if your bone-density is falls within certain guidelines, your doctor will automatically prescribe medication (in order to reduce his/her liability) for the rest of your life. Theoretically this will reduce your risk ofhaving a fracture, but the meds certainly come with a host of bad side effects, which may outweigh the benefits…
Here’s a story about one woman who decided not to surrender to her doctor’s fears.
My first bone-density scan… and now I have a label: Osteoporosis.
The primary care physician kept me waiting for 40 minutes after the time of the scheduled appointment. When she came into the office she sat down in front of a monitor and said nothing while she brought up my records. Then she spun the monitor around so I could see it. Displayed on the computer screen was my risk of osteoporotic spinal fracture – 12.4% – and hip fracture – 2.4%.
I was flustered and did not think to ask exactly how this risk is calculated and what it represents.
While I accept that I am at a higher risk of fracture than a young adult woman, I still feel my risk of fracture is not great and I don’t appreciate being made to feel fearful of my risk – or at least unduly fearful. I do not want to compromise other quality of life factors because of some very small risk of spinal or hip fractures.
She went into the risk of death from hip fractures. Yes, I am aware that a hip fracture is often the beginning of a downward spiral to death but this just doesn’t seem like the place where I am now in my life, while the risk of stomach upsets, oesophagus damage, and/or general malaise from a biphosponate seems much more immediate to say nothing of an increase in a risk of fractures in the extremities from this class of drug.
Drug companies maximize the sales of new drugs by hyping their benefits while downplaying significant risks. In 2010 the European Medicines Agency began releasing patient-level data from the clinical trials used to approve new medicines in Europe – a development hailed by American, and European researchers and researchers around the world as a major step towards drug safety.
This process has been shut down by a lawsuit taken by two American corporations – AbbVie, makers of Humira, the number one selling medication in the world with projected sales of $10 billion in 2013; and InterMune, whose pulmonary-fibrosis drug Esbriet has recently been approved in Europe at a cost of over $40,000 per year.
The posters are being translated into many languages including French, Dutch, Hindi, Kannada, Spanish, Mandarin, Italian, and German as part of RxISK‘s world-wide campaign for open data on pharmaceutical research and drug safety trials.
Humira is a monoclonal antibody – one of the new biological agents that acts on the immune system. Its side effects can be so nasty it has a black box warning on it.
Despite this, it’s on its way to becoming the best-selling drug of all time. You don’t get to be a best-seller on this scale without pushing the marketing envelope way beyond those who are seriously enough ill to warrant taking risks with a dangerous drug. Without running a marketing campaign that is to old-style drug marketing as a HumVie is to one of the smaller European cars.
The company have already been warned by the FDA for promoting Humira for milder conditions and misleading about its safety. The marketing includes many emotive messages – with images suggesting children are repelled by a single patch of psoriasis.
“There are many of us with bad Rheumatoid Arthritis or Crohn’s Disease who would gladly take these risks, especially if the drug produced a real benefit. We might be much less inclined to do for milder conditions. But in all cases the trade-off should be ours.
Ideally we should be helped by our doctors and pharmacists, but doctors and pharmacists who truly know what the problems can be. When AbbVie hide their clinical trial data, they make anyone who was involved in a clinical trial of their drug or a doctor prescribing it or pharmacist dispensing it into a potential accomplice to injury and perhaps homicide because the missing data is used to argue that ‘we’ve done trials and look there is no risk’.”