Stop exposing vulnerable people to Dr. Simms
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Dr. Kiri Simms is a very poorly rated psychiatrist in Victoria and is a danger to vulnerable people especially. All you need to do, to know that, is read people's horror stories on RateMyMD.com. It's mind boggling to know that Dr. Simms has been able to work in places like mental health/addictions, and psychiatric emergency. I have my own horror story and though I fought it, eventually proving my truth, much of the damages are irreparable. I've suffered and lost a lot. After six years of hell, and because of the way things ended up due to damages, I've decided to open up and go public about my story. I also want to point out that I am not the only one whose been hurt by Dr. Simms ...I ask Island Health how they can allow this 'doctor' to continue to harm people like this.
I need to share about what happened to me at the hands of Dr. Simms, and the damage she did because it's shocking. This may be a little long, but I've ran through it a few times over to keep shortening it as best I can. It was such a hellish and nightmarish timeline that it's hard to sum it up, but I'll try to sum it up more or less (note, there is a video link at the bottom of the page with read excerpts of her report.)
Dr. Simms is technically a professional, but seems to behave in really unprofessional ways that should not be tolerated by Island Health. From my impression, she seems to have led some of her colleagues, such as fellow doctors, and addictions counselors, to believe she is a 'nice person' whom can be trusted to be of help. She seems to present herself as an altruistic person who cares for and is concerned about social and environmental causes. But in actuality, once the door shuts, Dr. Simms behaves like an abusive and judgemental power tripper towards patients. She does serious harm to the confidence of and reputation of many patients who end up in her office. She seems to have a cruelty streak, especially if she doesn't like you. If you get on her bad side. If you try to stand up to her in any way - even if it is to inform her of factual information regarding your history - which she tends to dismiss. She sometimes leads people to believe she's listening, but then writes something cruel and defamatory behind their backs. She's also known to put words in patients' mouths. I experienced it too.
Dr. Simms' conduct has been completely unprofessional and cruel. She is known to be incredibly self righteous and does not listen to patients, and instead delivers abusively arbitrary power trips and defamatory 'reports.' She uses the 'power of the pen' ; writing cruel and defamatory things about suffering patients in need of actual help. This creates a damaging impression of these patients to medical services, resulting in the opposite; A lack of help which leads to medical and mental health neglect.
This doctor made a vicious misdiagnosis which almost completely ruined my life and damaged my life immensely, while not caring about the consequences of her actions, and ignoring actual preexisting facts about my situation.The results of her actions in my case delayed the diagnosis of a genetic condition with some serious complications. I was devastated by what she did, at a time where I was beginning to heal and was grasping learning about my Asperger syndrome. I know the devastation much further worsened my health (today I really struggle with my health and severe pain, including c-spine instability.) I was so shell shocked and heartbroken by her report, and the affect it had on my reputation and medical/mental health care, that I was not able to take proper care of myself when my health was already worsening. This led to an autonomic nervous system crisis (vaguely similar to a mini stroke) which happened when I was on a trip to a convention in the UK. I was never the same after that happened.
Before I saw Dr. Simms, I was beginning to finally recover from past trauma. I was making strides and only hoped to deal with something which I felt could be a threat to that. This is a bit personal, but I was beginning to struggle with T3s, due to increasing physical pain. I came out of that request for help in better dealing with my physical pain, with way worse trauma, thanks to Dr. Simms.
At the time, I'd been recently diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.This helped me understand a lot about myself and why I had experienced social traumas the way I did. I had gone undiagnosed for so long, which caused trauma in various ways, due to lack of recognizing social cues which had led me into bad experiences. I also had a painful and difficult upbringing. I was trying to make sense of it all and heal from it. I was still in the learning process of understanding how Asperger syndrome had affected and shaped me. Dr. Simms pathalogized, ridiculed, and had the gall to dismiss this in her public report - in spite of my having not one, but two, preexisting official Autism diagnoses.. and being a client of CLBC (Community Living British Columbia.)
I had also just learned that I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (a genetic connective tissue disorder) from a dermatologist, because they can recognize the skin type. It was actually a very valid diagnosis, but Dr. Simms negligently dismissed that. Learning about EDS was very distressing to me, because I'd been reading about the affects of it. I was beginning to experience some of that, and higher levels of pain. I went to Dr. Simms in an attempt to describe this struggle, in my socially awkward and different kind of way. She painted a very dark pathalogical picture of it which was ignorant, harmful, and blatantly ignoring of facts. In spite of those facts, her report went to the top of my public file. Grossly affecting my quality of medical care.
In 2013, Dr. Simms committed an action which caused me massive harm and resulted in delaying diagnoses of my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and some serious complications of it. I went to her for help, and I do have challenges (because I'm affected by pain, have ptsd, and am autistic) - but what she accused me of is definitely not one of these challenges.
After meeting with me for less than one hour; After A) completely dismissing my factual, definitive diagnosis of Autism (formerly Asperger Syndrome) which was further confirmed by gov't support agency CLBC (for in which I have been a client for 7 years now) and B) completely dismissing my dermatological diagnoses of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (and dermatologists are highest in the packing order according to medical law - because they can identify the distinct EDS skin type) she accused me, or rather 'diagnosed' me, with Factitous Disorder.
Furthermore, without any evidence whatosever, she alleged that I am also 'likely to develop' Munchausen by proxy with my children .. which is insane. I have never even remotely tried to make or keep my kids sick, make a big deal out of them being sick even, and whatnot. I've only tried to encourage health eating and my level of concern for their health is normal mom stuff, maybe a little overprotective, but not what she alleged. What Dr. Simms alleged affected my childrens' medical care, too (and my younger son has traits of EDS - which is an inherited genetic disorder.) Shame on Dr. Simms, for not only blacklisting me from medical care, but also my children (until more recently.)
Note: Actual Factitious disorder is a serious thing and should be stopped. However, this disorder is rare, as well as serious, and medical professionals should be thoroughly investigating and coming up with actual evidence, before coming to such a serious conclusion. Misdiagnosis of this disorder, when someone actually does have a rare disease (for in which the medical professional is uneducated about) and/or is being misunderstood because of Aspergers' and/or CTPSD, is extremely damaging and dangerous to a person who genuinely needs help. This is what happened to me.
When my family and friends, who know me, read the report - they literally did call it 'insane'.
I was so terrified and devastated by this horrible, defaming 'diagnosis' she made that I didn't take care of myself, internalized a lot of stress, and sometimes self medicated. This worsened my health a lot and led to the autonomic crisis in the UK and continuing dysautonomia (common to develop with EDS.) I had EDS confirmed again by a world renowned expert in the UK. I developed pancreatic insuffiency by 2016. I suffered for a prolonged period of time with malnutrition due to emotional distress and GI problems which went unaddressed (because I was accused of purely 'doing it to myself').. I think this made the situation with my bones, joints, and spine a lot worse than it could have been.Today I am fighting for life and living in severe pain, with C-spine instability (diagnosed and definitive.)
I was told more than once that I had a strong medical malpractice/personal injury case based on negligence causing harm, but was unable to afford the legal fees, and legal aid does not do medical cases. I have now passed the time limit to file for malpractcw, but I still want to get a chance to tell my story and I want justice, especially if something does happen to me because of all this.
My nightmare went on for nearly four years, after Dr. Simms wrote that report. After the autonomic crisis in the UK (2014) I was still being neglected. The medical system was acting like I had somehow 'manipulatively orchestrated' my trip and what happened in the UK, to 'get what she wanted - to need to be sick and have someone confirm it for her." Disregarding that the 'someone' was Dr. Alan Hakim, a world renowned EDS expert. It was just crazy, disgusting and devastating. Our pediatrician even asked me "Were you even in the UK?" .. Excuse me? Of course I was .. and how could I pre-plan what happened? What happened to me that night in Scotland was terrifying. I felt like I'd die that night. I thought I was having a heart attack or major stroke, and I was really weak in the weeks after it. I wouldn't wish this kind of experience on anyone.
But still, genetics refused to see me when I got home. They had already refused me the EDS diagnosis a year before.They blatantly ignored many other features of EDS which I have, as there seemed to be an agenda to blacklist me. They said I wasn't 'hyper mobile' enough - even though I also have a diagnosis of early onset Osteoarthritis (which can be caused by EDS) by my rheumatologist. This causes more stiffness, yet I am still 'loose jointed.'
I ended up having a nervous breakdown over how the medical system continued to treat me after I got home from the UK. Things were desperate. A petition called Stop Refusing Rose Medical Care' was put up and it gained over 200 signatures plus some powerful comments. My dad called genetics, too, and said something like 'you need to stop treating her this way, she's very, very depressed.' Only then did they eventually call and apologize. I also ended up seeing another, different public psychiatrist, who was concerned about how this affected me and advocated for me by saying she didn't think I was factitious, and further confirmed my autism diagnosis. Then my internist, who was the only one that somewhat listened to me, referred me to a Geneticist in Alberta, because although Victoria Genetics apologized to me, it was now a 'conflict of interest' to see me again. I had to pay for my own plane ticket. That Geneticist, Dr. Yee, not only diagnosed EDS again, from a genetics standpoint, but also diagnosed me as 'severely affected.'
After some more factual information was confirmed, I put an annotation package together, submitting both old and new facts and evidence, and asking her to remove that ugly 'diagnosis' off my file. Many friends and family offered support letters of concern, too. It was not only for my emotional healing, but for my safety, because I am genuinely ill and it means major trouble for me, for doctors to see such a serious thing on my life. However, she completely refused.
What Dr. Simms accused me of, and how she defamed my character:
(excerpts of the report itself read in a video, linked at bottom of page.)
Dr. Simms alleged that I had both the 'physical and psychological' types. First of all, the symptoms and affects of Ehlers-Danlos, a genetic disorder, are scientifically impossible to just 'feign and fake' - especially my neck instability. She went as far as to not only accuse me of apparently faking Asperger syndrome, but faking my history with trauma 'because she couldn't describe it.' Ok. When somebody with a major trauma history is asked about it on the spot, it's pretty darn hard to just describe on the spot. In addition, people on the spectrum can have difficulty with communicating words for feelings. Especially verbally. However, not only did Dr. Simms allege that I was faking my physical symptoms due to worsening EDS (which is a systemic connective tissue disorder) and autism - she suggested that I was claiming to have trauma for attention seeking purposes. She alluded that I attended a course in trauma at the Women's Sexual Assault Center, as part of being supposedly 'factitious'...This infuriated my friends and family, who know what I went through when it comes to trauma. I am a survivor (including of childhood abuse and assault later on) and Dr. Simms completely demeaned that and vilified my experience.
(Note: to add to the comment about childhood abuse/narcissistic parenting and some psychiatrists' cruel tendency to vilify survivors with CPTSD I wrote a short blog here)
Dr. Simms also went on to ridicule my adult autism awareness blog (which was helping a lot of people!) called "A Girl Outside The Box" in mocking tones writing things like 'She says she's The Girl Outside The Box - and that she was 'just a little girl with Aspergers.' She completely mocked and twisted everything I said to her around, to try and make it sound like I was some sort of pathological con artist. She also tried to make my typical Asperger syndrome related behaviours, which were socially awkward and verbose (hyperlexia) into a gross pathalogy (examples in video link at bottom of page.) But anyone who knows about autism will know that her depictions sound ridiculous and extremely contradictory. She also went on to suggest that I should not have one on one counseling, because I enjoy feigning for attention so much that I would only monopolize and waste a counselors' time with my pseudo-maladies. I'd not get anything out of it since, after all, I was not a human being who needed to talk to a therapist about genuine trauma, self medicating or autism related social confusion - but a monster and a con artist, instead.
I believe she did these things, in part, because she seemed to want to be nasty, and because I became irate and frustrated with her in the room. I tried to stand up to her. It was also because she may have been given the ignorant opinions of others (those who don't get Aspergers or AS expressions of trauma/hardship), such as my GP at the time, and the doctor on the ward.
Many medical professionals level of autism/aspergers awareness, especially in adults, is very poor and ignorant. There has been some change since 2013, but we still have a long ways to go. She began by grilling me about my Aspergers' diagnosis, in a condescending way, saying "oh so what makes you think you have Asperger Disorder, dear?" I tried to assert the fact that I had a definitive diagnosis and am a CLBC client. I felt threatened because of it sounding like she wanted to almost try and 'take away' my autism diagnosis, and I even said that. Many adult autistics have this fear, because knowing and having the truth is extremely important for identity and to access the right help services. I was no different. So I then said, in exasperation, something like "Look - females with Aspergers may seem to make eye contact. We're present a bit differently. Maybe you could read some information about it - I came in here for help to do with my inability to cope with the physical pain I'm experienced, not to be totally reassessed and have my autism diagnosis just taken away from me." My saying this was taken out of context.
I had specifically asked the doctor on the ward, Dr Janet Ray, to not refer me to someone if they were not female Aspergers' aware and/or open minded. She falsely reassured me 'oh, I'm sure she's up on that stuff.' However, Dr Ray, as it seems, pretended to listen to me as I tried to assert my concern, assert that my challenges and why things were further complicated due ti Aspergers'. She pretended to be interested in a book I was reading, but obviously didn't actually get what I was trying to say.
My GP at the time didn't get me at all, and would often get annoyed and defensive when I'd try to explain my symptoms and suggest what could be going on with me. He was very defensive about Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. As per my other petition, Stop The Zebraphobia (currently supported by over 60 people) many medical doctors discriminate against EDS patients, as it is. As for the EDS, Dr. Simms completely ridiculed all the physical symptoms I described to her (only because she asked me to!) She twisted my descriptions completely out of context. EDS is a systemic condition, causes very high pain levels, and other problems in the body - but she made it sound like I was somehow putting on, or wanting to have, 'all these problems' ... when I was only desperate for answers and help.
Dr. Simms caused a witch hunt of me, in the medical system. Today I am now I am fighting for life (not an exaggeration, I have a diagnosed life threatening issue) in extreme pain with cervical spine instability and other issues. I'm losing my functioning though I have been trying hard to fight that. I am also diabetic now, and it took a long time to get help for that too, because of what Dr. Simms did. I had to get really sick, in order to be taken at all seriously. I had many really traumatic experiences, including in the ER, because of this horrible 'label' and being seen like a monster and a criminal. There were a couple times where I was forced out by a security guard. It's horrible to be falsely accused and seen in that light, especially when you are actually really sick. This only terrified me more and increased my anxiety and panic hugely, which then made me look even worse, because of what was written about me as it was. I'd get kicked out of the ER and come home to pass out in my bed, exhausted, devastated, frightened, neglected and sick. My husband and my friend Mary recorded some photographs of me in those moments, and I looked pitiful and obviously ill. It's hard to look at those photos.
I not only had to get really sick to start being taken seriously, but I had to do a few Go Fund Me's, just in order to travel to the USA for proper diagnostic help, including for the unstable C-spine (atlantoaxial instability.) In 2016, I was so sick with GI problems and seriously underweight, ending up being hospitalized, but they treated me very badly, assuming I was being eating disordered, attention seeking, and neurotic - and kicked me out prematurely. It turned out that I have pancreatic insufficency, and I had to guess it first. My internist prescribed the medication to me as a 'shot in the dark' trial, and it worked. Like a night and day thing. I need to take prescription pancreatic enzymes ongoing.
It was really hard to have no choice but to fund raise for help, because I am a strong person and don't like to seem like I am desperate or begging. But sadly, I was desperate. Now that I have already 'worn out my welcome' in terms of the Go Fund Me's (because I had to raise money for care that my own medical system was supposed to be providing) it makes it harder to run a Go Fund Me - now that I actually need to raise money for the proposed specialized neurosurgery. I need this surgery to get out of pain and progressing debility, and save my life. I am on the wait list to speak with a local neurosurgeon, but I don't have high hopes, because so far Canadian neurosurgeons have been turning down EDS patients. (This relates to a whole other issue involving inadequate EDS care in Canada.) Also, they don't have the same level of experience that Dr. Henderson (whom I saw in Maryland) does, to do this intricate surgery on people with EDS.
Present day (aftermath and damage.)
I have been warned that I could lose my life if I do not access a specialized neurosurgery to fuse my unstable C spine, which is also extremely painful and exhausting to live with. It's really affecting my quality of life. I'm becoming progressively weaker and in a ton of pain. I need pain medication to at least make it bearable. It's not very good for my liver. Some with EDS are able go to the USA for stabilizing medical care, if they become very ill with some of the complications. I am not in a financial position, and I have no way of being, other than to try and fundraise again. I'm am trying it via my music artist site and offering my music as a gift of gratuity. I want to give back.
I am believed at this point, but doctors here only do what they can with limited resources. Ideally I'd need to go to the US for the neurosurgery and to see specialists, and come home with a care plan that educates my carers. However, my chance to access this is pretty slim. Dealing with this fact has been devastating to me, and very stressful for my family, who are not in the financial position to help me. I am low income, and vulnerable, and yet someone like Dr. Simms can succeed in 'kicking a dog when it's down' by making things even harder for me, times ten.
My situation has become heartbreaking for me, and my family - my husband, who also has Aspergers, got very burnt out himself and it destroyed our marriage. My kids who are 11 and 12 have been impacted. It's not fair to them at all. Shame on Dr. Simms, and the medical system, for doing this to my family. There has been stress throughout much of the marriage thanks to my not being able to access the right help, but the final blow has been tension over the pressure of how the heck I am going to get this neurosurgery. My husband is not able to help with this, at this level, and it's caused so much tension we're having to go our separate ways to lessen the impact. This puts new challenges on me though, and it's been really stressful, because my alternative options for safe housing have been limited.
I truly believe that not only were my proper diagnoses and help delayed, but my health was way, way worsened by how upset I was about being falsely accused of such a horrible thing. How powerless and devastated I felt inside by this, and what I know that did to my body.Though EDS is an incurable condition, I believe it'd only be half as bad, had I gotten the right help on time, and not gone through this. Sadly, this kind of thing happens to other patients with EDS, as well as autistic people, too. I've been through the worst of it.
I am an independent music artist and producer, as well as a writer and advocate (www.dreamerqueen.com) In spite of this ordeal, I went on to pursue my dream of recording a music album in 2017, recording it in my own self made bedroom studio, and in tandem with a very talented co-producer who mixed and mastered it. Recording the vocals was especially hard with my neck and physical weakness, but I did it - sometimes even from bed, under the covers, with my microphone running into my computer. After I began to believe in myself.. and recover from gaslighting by the medical system, I realized that maybe I do deserve to pursue my biggest dream in life - to make a music album. I called the album "Live To Dream" because it's what I did, and what I am still doing, to get me through life. My stage name is "Dreamerqueen" because I decided to 'rule and own my dream.' Spelled the way it is, it's also symbolic of a warrior, which I have had to be, to survive and fight for myself this whole time.
Today I am really suffering on a day to day basis. I am losing functioning. It's all been too much for my marriage and I am now in the process of divorce, which feels heartbreaking to me. I will go roomate with my brother, as long as I'm able to barely take care of myself. My kids will have to stay with my ex husband primarily, as I am too ill to have full time custody of them. My support workers are not even sure if I am able to be fully on my own, due to current health reasons. I'm going to try my hardest to remain as independent as possible, with the help of home support care coming in a few times a week. It's a struggle to even make food for myself, many days, which is bad because I'm diabetic. We are exploring options, but this has been extremely hard for me, because I'm a strong willed independent person and I do like my space and to be on top of my own care. I struggle with eating but manage to barely scrape by with meds. I still cannot get into a GI Dr. and preparing the food, and chewing, can be difficult too. I have become physically debilitated and weak, and my mobility is now affected. I cannot walk that much, require weekly IV hydration, and a medical neck brace that I have to wear at night and when driving my mobility scooter (when I'm even well enough to drive it.) I am on a handful of medications, including pain medications, just to keep my body somewhat functioning. I don't like being on medications like this.
I really want to do a second music album, just to cope by doing what I love, but it will be really challenging with vocals and not being able to sit up at my table and play my keyboard, for long at a time. I am often in bed.However, I still hope to try. I am going to attempt to do some very basic physio that I was prescribed, as I can, because if done lightly it can maybe help me retain some strength. When I move (end of February) I will set things up for further healing, while I take some time to, and hope I might be able to get somewhere with this. I'm going to try my best though I'm on disability and really limited.
I hope that by sharing my story now, I can raise awareness for these kinds of issues, and the impact that they can have on people's lives. My life has gone in a way that is sadly an example of just how much damage a doctor can do, when they make ignorant snap judgements and/or abuse their power. In spite of this, I am still striving to heal from it and find peace.
I want justice for what Dr. Simms has done to me, as well as others, and the potential harm that she could continue to do if this is not addressed.
Excerpts from the report read on Youtube (unlisted video.)
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