Cracked: new light on dementia

Published on Jun 3, 2015

Cracked: new light on dementia follows Elaine Carter’s journey from her diagnosis through to her new life in a long-term care home. Elaine and her children, Caroline and Clay, grapple with what the diagnosis means, if and how the diagnosis changes their relationships and how they struggle to be with each other in the present where Elaine calls them to be. Filled with poignancy, honesty and humour, this play brings to the fore the richness of the social world of dementia and encourages audiences to see the humanity of persons who are living with dementia. The play is an innovative research-based theatre production that casts a critical light on society’s one-dimensional view of dementia as an unmitigated tragedy. The play raises questions about the predominant discourse of loss that defines current conceptions of dementia, and the dehumanizing care practices that still prevail in institutional care settings. Inspired in part by Leonard Cohen’s words in Anthem, the play is intended to inspire alternative ways of seeing persons with dementia, instill the importance of maintaining strong relationships with them, and reinforce the imperative for good ethical care.

The play is based on research conducted by Drs. Sherry Dupuis, Gail Mitchell, [...] continue the story

Me, Myself, and My Depression

When I began putting together this narrative of my experiences, I had no idea where to start. I was feeling a little lost. Normally I’m very on top of things, I do my readings two weeks ahead of schedule and like to get assignments done a week before they’re due. But for some reason, I found myself procrastinating about working on this. I think it had something to do with the fact that finding words to form a coherent and cohesive discussion about my experiences with mental illness was extremely intimidating and scary. In the beginning This is me when I’m 3 on my first day of school. Apparently I was NOT happy to be going. Although I didn’t start feeling the symptoms until later in my teens, anxiety is something I’ve been dealing with for as long as I can remember. My parents put me in a bunch of different sports when I was a child and I can remember becoming extremely anxious before a swimming lesson or a softball game, the week leading up to it filled with dread. Reading through report cards from Grade 2, I read comments from my French teacher about how I cried a lot, especially [...] continue the story

Seeing beauty for a change: Rick Guidotti at TEDxPhoenix

Feb 12, 2012

In his TEDxPhoenix 11.11.11 TEDxTalk, Rick shares the inspiring story of POSITIVE EXPOSURE, and challenges us all to see and appreciate the beauty in our differences.

Positive Exposure was founded in 1998 by award winning fashion photographer, Rick Guidotti.  Rick worked in NYC, Milan and Paris for a variety of high profile clients including Yves St Laurent, Revlon, L’Oreal, Elle, Harpers Bazaar and GQ. He took photographs of what were considered the world’s most beautiful people. But one day, on a break from a photo shoot, a chance encounter on a Manhattan street changed everything. Rick saw a stunning girl at the bus stop – a girl with pale skin and white hair, a girl with albinism. Upon returning home Rick began a process of discovery – about albinism, about people with genetic differences and about himself. What he found was startling and upsetting. The images that he saw were sad and dehumanizing. In medical textbooks children with a difference were seen as a disease, a diagnosis first, not as people.

It has always been about beauty for Rick.  “In fashion I was always frustrated because I was told who I had to photograph.  I was always told who was beautiful.”   It became [...] continue the story

Fighting Crohn’s Disease on a Tandem

Posted: 08 Apr 2013 05:52 AM PDT

Hello to all my Crohnies old and new.  I am sat writing this latest blog while slightly spaced out on pain killers, home off work due to my silly tummy and even sillier IBD.

Over the weekend I helped celebrate my wife’s Grandma’s 90th birthday. This celebration included a lot of party food and subsequently led to a rather upset bowel.

Yesterday saw me struggle with diarrhoea which I tried to control with loperamide tablets (Imodium) then during the night I had really bad cramps which meant I didn’t sleep well and had to call in sick to work (I probably overused the loperamide).

As I’ve mentioned before, calling in sick to work is something I try not to do too often but sometimes there is no choice.

This is just a usual weekend for me and my Crohn’s and it isn’t even at its worse. It can be a horrible disease to have to live with. It is incurable. It can be suppressed by medication but not forever. You are always looking over your shoulder; waiting for Mr Crohn’s to return.

Because of this disease and its sister, Colitis, a charity called Crohn’s and Colitis UK was set [...] continue the story

Health Mentor – Season One – Episode 3 – Zal

By: Zal Press

The word “stigma” makes my blood boil.

The session started out with questions about my hospital discharge experiences. For the first 6-8 years of my illness I was in and out of hospital like a revolving door. On discharge I would be visited by a dietician who would give me a standard “low residue” list of foods. Basically stuff to stay away from that would get stuck in my gut and give me an obstruction. The amusing part of this list is that it was the same one year after year and became increasingly blurry as a result of generations of copied copies. I saw this same sheet for almost 20 years.

At some point in the conversation we started on the subject of access and equity of treatment. My medication costs $33,000 a year and I constantly worry about continuing availability of coverage and access to treatment. What will happen to me when I turn 65 in 3.5 years and the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan takes over my medication coverage? Will a debt laden government refuse coverage? Will a bureaucrat decide that it would be cheaper for the system to do surgery than medicate? I worry about those suffering [...] continue the story

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