The Low Hanging Fruit Might Be The Easiest To Pick ?

I keep wondering why no one has been able to find an attorney to help resolve these issues of pain pts and those with subjective diseases cannot get their legally prescribed, on time, medically necessary Rxs…

5/9/2014, US legal bubble can’t pop soon enough

Much of the flight from law school reflects the brutal reality of the employment market for lawyers. The National Association for Law Placement reports that fewer than half of lawyers graduating in 2011 eventually landed jobs in a law firm. Only 65 percent found positions requiring passage of the bar exam. At a time when many law school graduates are shouldering student-loan debts of $125,000 or more, compensation has declined painfully — the median starting salary for new lawyers in 2012 was just $61,000. And quite a few can’t find any work at all: Nine months after receiving their law degrees, 11.2 percent of the class of 2013 was unemployed.

Only some of this is cyclical. The legal profession, like so many others, has been permanently disrupted by the Internet and globalization in ways few could have anticipated 10 or 15 years ago. Online legal guidance is widely accessible. Commercial services like LegalZoom make it easy to create documents without paying attorneys’ fees. Search engines for legal professionals reduce the need for paralegals and junior lawyers. Maurice Allen, a senior partner at Ropes & Gray, is blunt: “There are too many lawyers and too many law firms,” he said in a published interview last week…

With almost 1.3 million lawyers — more by far than any other country, and more as a percentage of the national population than almost all others — the United States is choking on litigation, regulation, and disputation. Everything is grist for the lawyers’ mills. Anyone can be sued for anything, no matter how absurd or egregious. And everyone knows how expensive and overwhelming a legal assault can be. The rule of law is essential to a free and orderly society, but too much law and lawyering makes democratic self-rule impossible, and common sense legally precarious…

Because it is so overlawyered, “American culture is corroding before our eyes,” writes Philip K. Howard, a big-firm lawyer and well-known reform advocate, in “The Rule of Nobody,” his new book. “It would have been inconceivable, a few years ago, for a teacher to be scared to put an arm around a crying child, or for a fireman to stand on the beach for an hour and watch a man drown because he had not been recertified for land-based rescue. Creeping legalisms are eating away at America’s social capital.”

Click to access 04-28-medicalmalpractice.pdf

April 2006, Medical Malpractice Tort Limits and Health Care Spending

CBO finds that the estimated effects of limits on malpractice torts vary substantially across different measures of health care spending and across different types of tort limits. In some cases, specific tort limits appear to be associated with reductions in health care spending; in other cases, there appears to be no relationship; and in still other cases, tort limits appear to be associated with higher spending. Analysis of overall per capita spending on health care at the state level reveals that eliminating joint- and several liability is associated with an increase in per capita spending. The estimated effect of implementing a package of previously proposed tort limits is near zero.

The Fallacies of Medical Malpractice “Tort Reform”

The fact is, healthcare costs are not driven by litigation. The inconvenient truth is that they are a result of epidemic levels of medical error and the economics of the healthcare industry…

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies reported in 2012 that one-third of hospitalized patients are harmed during their stay.1  To Err Is Human, the Institute’s landmark study on hospital patient safety, found that nationwide up to 98,000 patients die from medical errors per year.2  New York was ranked as one of the ten worst states for patient safety in the 2010 and 2011 Health Grades Patient Safety in American Hospitals studies…

Medical lobbyists and groups funded by corporate interests such as the American Tort Reform Association and the American Legislative Exchange Council repeatedly claim that as a result of the fear of being sued, physicians order a tremendous amount of unnecessary tests and procedures. Eliminate the lawsuits and you remove the catalyst behind the rising costs of healthcare.

But the disingenuity of this claim has been exposed a decade ago. In 2003, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found: “[T]he overall prevalence and costs of [defensive medicine] have not been reliably measured. Studies designed to measure physicians’ defensive medicine practices examined physician behavior in specific clinical situations, such as treating elderly Medicare patients with certain heart conditions. Given their limited scope, the study results cannot be generalized to estimate the extent and cost of defensive medicine practices across the health care system.”6

The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) found that less than 8% of all diagnostic procedures were likely to be caused primarily by liability concerns.7 The OTA found that most physicians who “order aggressive diagnostic procedures…do so primarily because they believe such procedures are medically indicated, not primarily because of concerns about liability.”

The proponents of the argument that “Frivolous Lawsuits” plague the civil justice system ignore just how the contingency fee system weeds out weak cases…

MLK Day History: Schools Teach Martin Luther King Jr. As A Historical ‘Relic’

Stern said that while working at a children’s day camp in Brooklyn over the summer, she overheard a conversation between students in the 5th and 6th grade who said “racism doesn’t exist anymore.” She attributed this attitude to schools teaching civil rights as a “finished issue.”

Perhaps these kids watch FOX “News”?

Yolanda Foster Updates Fans on Her Battle With Lyme Disease:

“I Have Lost the Ability to Read, Write or Even Watch TV”

6/26/2012, A Long, Painful Battle With Lyme Disease

Barbara MacLeod: And then I basically became a cortisone addict, and it always helped. And so every three months I would get these massive doses of cortisone. This literally went on for six, seven years. At this point, I knew I was getting worse…

I went from working five days a week to three days a week. But it was the days after working that I would pretty much fall apart at home. I was just at the end of my rope…

“Oh my God, if I just pull over, and smash into this tree, then this is all going to be done, and I won’t have to feel this way anymore.” And that’s when I thought, like, I need some serious help here…

OK, so I’m in my office now, in Kittery Point, and I’m going through some big boxes and files of old medical stuff, to try and jog my memory. One of them is a letter to my doctor in New Jersey and it’s dated Aug. 11, 1998.

“End of March was bad,” I write. “Ringing in ears, low energy, fatigue, right wrist sore, both shoulders painful, brain fog, trouble articulating.” I write: “By the end of March, my knees, shoulders were improving, some jaw, memory problems.” And this goes on and on.

It’s hard to pinpoint what it is that makes me so sad when I read this. I guess I’ve been pretty good about looking forward and not looking back with all of this and it just called it all up. All the, just the uncertainty and physical and mental pain of it all. It makes me angry and I know a lot of people are going through what I went through. And I definitely felt very alone during that time and at a loss of how to get better…

What do disabled pain patients do all day?

Maybe your friends or relatives look down on you for being disabled and wonder what you do all day. Maybe others think that being disabled is easy (it’s not) or boring (it is). There are many daily activities that cause increased pain, and pain patients literally have to force themselves to do the things that normal people do without thinking.

Unum (my long term disability insurance carrier) is fixated on assessing my functional capacity (an impossible task), along with requiring me to continually submit information about what my days consist of… If I can do things like go to the grocery store and post on my blog every day, why can’t I work for 40 hours a week?  (See “Being a chronic pain patient is a full time job.”)

So, what do chronic pain patients do all day?

A home treatment program encompasses many things, some of which are hard to articulate. For therapies like stretching, it’s something I do constantly throughout the day — not on any schedule, as the pain doesn’t usually follow a schedule.

If an activity causes more pain, why do it? (See “Shower Ambivalence.”)

Because some activities have to be done. (See “Sleep Ambivalence.”)

Today, I spent an hour giving myself a manicure and a pedicure. “How indulgent,” some might say. But for me, this activity is a lot more uncomfortable than taking a shower; in fact, it’s downright painful.

To prepare for this exercise, first there’s aspirin. Gotta adjust the heat, turn up the music, and to incentivize myself, I create an aromatherapy experience in my bathroom. Today it’s Candle Science’s Macintosh Apple fragrance oil and Bath and Body’s Winter Candy Apple shower gel (because my feet deserve it).

(Note: It’s always a good idea to plan a manicure/pedicure around the same time that you plan to vacuum.)

Even though I’m fairly flexible, clipping, scraping, and pumicing my feet causes pain in my head and shoulders. (Manicures are a lot easier than pedicures.) And so my thoughts roam… Where did all this dead skin come from? Is dead skin bad for the environment? Attempting to cut my big toe nail causes the most pain, and this time I’ve drawn a little blood — it’s better to draw blood now then suffer from an ingrown toenail later (I always say).

I frequently have to stop, straighten up, stretch, and wait for the pain to pass before I continue. And once all the dead skin is gone, my feet are even more sensitive…

Yes, the tingling and buzzing (like electrical shocks) in my feet have increased exponentially. My feet are protesting and I think they want to go to sleep and never wake up (like Juliet of Romeo and Juliet).

Ah, but they are now clean and smooth, and covered with peppermint moisturizer and socks with Christmas lights (see “Thanks, Sock Fairy”). I hobble to the window to gaze at the Sandia Mountains (see awe therapy)…

Okay, my feet still hurt. The aspirin isn’t helping, and I’m beginning to think I’m only getting a placebo effect from all the aspirin, anyway. The muscle spasm in the back of my right shoulder begins to act up and a twitch near my eye… Should I try self-hypnosis or massage next?

My pain level — usually a 7 — has crept up to an 8…

Nah, it’s time for some dessert. (There’s no law that says you can’t have dessert before you eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner.)

So, what did you do today?

1/15/2015, What Happens When You Outsource Your Anxiety

It worked like this: He gave Anxietybox a list of the things he most commonly freaked out about, and he also programmed in some phrases that turned those fragments into full sentences. Then, a dozen times a day, the bot would email him his own anxieties, resulting in some creepily undermining messages…

Ford told “Reply All” that seeing his anxieties emailed to him in a stilted spambot voice took some of the sting out of them, simply by rendering them a bit ridiculous. It made those thoughts seem like what they really, essentially, are: mental spam…

I had a little bit of fun imagining how this would work if it was used by DEA agents… Would their anxieties look real or ridiculous?  Could we use technology to undermine their ability to do their job, thus creating a beginning for the end of the drug war?  (Look, if Martin Luther King Jr. can dream, so can I.)

(Photo from first day of legalization in the state of Washington.)

1/15/2015, So What Really Happens in an Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting?

A very (very) long time ago, I attended an NA meeting with a friend.  I don’t remember much, but I do remember how very depressing it all was.  Seems to me that AA was founded by men, and is mostly used by men.  And as we know, men and women have very different ways of communicating, especially when it comes to health care.  (See “Medicine’s military metaphors are counterproductive.”)

I think it’s great that people get help through AA/NA, but I don’t think this kind of treatment should be mandated by the government and required by criminal courts.

How Stress Kills Our Ability To Feel Compassion

Stress isn’t just bad for our physical and mental health — it may also inhibit our ability to empathize with others, according to new McGill University research. The study, recently published in the journal Current Biology, found that a drug that blocks stress hormones can increase the ability of both humans and mice to “feel” others’ pain… 

Earlier this year, Italian researchers found that while stress undermines empathic abilities in men, but boosts these abilities in women. Namely, their research showed that stress rendered men more self-centered and less able to distinguish their own emotions from those of other people…

The Panic Attack That Changed My Life

I was scared to receive the diagnosis. I was humiliated. People don’t take mental illness seriously. But at the same time, I was relieved, because there was something I could do to fix it. With mental illness, our black and blues are on the inside. I think that’s why people don’t see it. If you see someone with a broken leg, you know that there’s something wrong with them. All my life I feel like my struggles were kind of brushed under the rug because, well, “You look fine, so go back to work.”

I’ve learned that as someone with a mental illness, there’s no such thing as being selfish, it’s called self-care…

What’s it like to be rich? Don’t ask me, dude.

Richest 1 Percent To Own More Than Half Of The World’s Wealth By 2016, Oxfam Finds

Not surprisingly, the richest were titans in the finance, health care, insurance, retail, tech and extractives (oil, gas) industries, and they paid fortunes to lobbyists to maintain or increase their riches. Seventy of the world’s wealthiest were men…

“I would prefer even to fail with honor than win by cheating.” Sophocles

Patriots May Have Used Deflated Footballs In AFC Championship Win Over Colts: REPORTS

“Drug use, within entire teams continues unabated. It is planned and deliberate cheating, with complex methods, sophisticated substances and techniques, and the active complicity of doctors, scientists, team officials and riders. There is nothing accidental about it.”  Richard Pound

Very few professional athletes have to face the consequences of the drug war.