Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Under the Gun

I'm a little behind and very stressed about it, so I'm going to get right down to business.

I start with a little inspiration.  Michael Lazerow is the CEO of Buddy Media, which he is in the process of selling for a gazillion dollars.  He also has a congenital heart defect.  Which taught him how to live fearlessly.  Watch his inspiring video. We should all learn to live fearlessly.  I'm better at it with work than I am my personal life, although I'm getting better. 

In anticipation of the Supreme Court ruling, many are pondering what to do depending on the result.  But one thing's been made clear:  the GOP will not require insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions -- and that applies even to children.  It's the one place where discrimination is allowed -- and it's life and death to millions of Americans.  Somehow, this has to change.  But if we lose in the Supreme Court, I don't know that we'll see such change in my lifetime.

The problem of chronic pain -- trying to prevent overdose, trying to prevent patients from selling their meds on the street, but doing so without punishing legitimate pain patients -- is a very difficult one.  Here's one solution that I think makes sense -- real time reporting when a doctor writes a prescription and when a pharmacy fills it.   This allows for monitoring without making chronic pain patients feel like they're being treated as criminals.

The Army is reviewing a load of retirees' files to make sure they were not short-changed on mental health benefits. This is so important.  We owe our military for the harms of war, mental or physical.

Tele-therapy?  A study shows that psychotherapy by phone is as effective in dealing with depression as in-person therapy -- but that the results don't last long-term when you do it by phone.  I love the convenience of phone and internet for everything, but I can't imagine how a therapist can really work without being able to monitor body language, for example.  Therapy is hard work and it warrants the focus that comes from in-person sessions -- in my opinion.

I don't know what to make of this one.  African-American adolescent girls benefit less from exercise than their white counterparts when it comes to obesity.  Apparently, this has to do with slower metabolism and a difference in how African-American women oxidize fat.  But what's the take-away?  Surely, we don't want to discourage exercise.  I'm not sure where this goes.

New York has a pre-kindergarten program for kids with special needs.  It's run by private contractors, and the costs are through the roof, at about $40,000 per child, at least in part due to lax oversight by the State. 

Disney is going to stop running ads for junk food aimed at kids.  Good for them!

Sheryl Crow has a benign brain tumor.  No word yet on whether she's going to have it removed.  It is affecting her memory, but otherwise, since it's benign, it may not cause a lot of trouble.  Here's information about benign brain tumors.  And for my contemporaries, no, not being able to remember a phone number does not mean you have a brain tumor!

That's it for this morning.  Have a great day!  Jennifer

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