White Coat Underground

Archives for September, 2009

Health care rationing vs. freedom to go broke

In the current debate over health care, the Right is pissing me off. They are whining about a “government takeover” that will lead to rationing and death panels, but also about runaway costs. Guess what? You can’t have it both ways. I just got off the phone with a Major Private Insurance Company. In order…

I’m not OK with this

This morning I woke up early, showered, and dressed. Then my wife and I woke up our daughter, who seeing it was dark did protest loudly. But we got her out of bed, and a few minutes later she was her usual happy loquacious self at the breakfast table. We got her dressed in a…

In the latest conversation about placebos, Steve Silberman got a number of things just right, including these converse statements: Anthracyclines don’t require an oncologist with a genial bedside manner to slow the growth of tumors. …the placebo response has limits. It can ease the discomfort of chemotherapy, but it won’t stop the growth of tumors.…

BMI TMI Update

I’m not gonna lie: the holiday weekend wasn’t easy. Thankfully, I didn’t lose ground—I’m still at 205#. But that puts me in a difficult position. Obviously, my ratio of calories consumed to calories expended is still too high. I’m not doing great on the exercise—I just threw out my damned back again. Still, there’s plenty…

Bad Daddy

During our Labor Day fun fest, my kiddo lost her shit, leading my spouse to lose her shit. I was on one side of a crowded village green and got a phone call to come over and “deal with your daughter”. She needed to be dealt with. She was not getting her way and letting…

Sledding in summer and other holiday fun

I didn’t get my usual week up north on Lake Michigan this year, but the mild summer took some of the sting out of it. Now that Labor Day is here, we get into a whole other set of rituals. One ritual which is sure to become popular is summer sledding. It turns out there’s…

Before you trust that blog…

Doug Bremner has a blog. That blog sucks. Bremner is an apparently well-regarded psychiatrist, and takes a refreshing look at the influence of industry not just on pharmaceuticals but on the conduct of science itself. His outspoken views have led to attempts to squelch his academic freedoms. But his sometimes-heroic record does not excuse dangerous…

Writer’s block open thread

Holiday weekends are supposed to be quiet around here. People head up north for the last long weekend of the summer, eat ripe cherries, melon, and peaches, go to street fairs. Apparently they also go to doctors. But I have a brief lull before the next onslaught of twisted ankles, hand-foot-mouth disease, flu, strep throat,…

Speaking of health care reform

You really should be reading Zuska’s pieces. As usual, she cuts through the crap to the meat of the issue. Go now and read.

BMI TMI—new perspectives

I’m finding my “diet” remarkably tolerable. I’m still losing weight, albeit slowly, and enjoying what I eat. And aside from the weight loss, I’m eating better—lots of fruits and veggies, fewer simple carbohydrates. But I’m also noticing things that I hadn’t before. I’m noticing just how much everyone eats. Sure, it’s not like it isn’t…