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Monday, April 16, 2012

"The First is Last" painting session 11: TEDMED Day 4

I painted this backstage while I was surrounded by the easy camaraderie of entertainers and backstage crew.  This was the final session of a long show.  The day began will Jill Sobule leaving her soft chair and crossing the stage.  She began with a song that went “Ritalin Boy, Ritalin Boy, oh, look a squirrel!”  I laughed at that, as I have two very active sons and could relate.

Then Jill sang to us “Lucy at the Gym.”  It was so beautiful I thought I must show you the song within this blog:

“Lucy at the gym
She's there every time I go,
and I don't go that often, so she must live at the gym
I stare at her ribs they show through the spandex
Her little legs are working, she's going somewhere
She's climbing up the stairs
And when she reaches the top her dreams will be there

Lucy at the gym
Lucy on the scale for the third time
Thru thick and thin, Lucy's at the gym
She's staring at the clock and like the 2nd hand she never stops
She's Lucy at the gym

When she takes a shower, after all the hours
Does she have a place to go
Is there someone waiting
Or is Lucy all alone

I'm at the gym and Lucy's not there
It's got me kinda worried so I imagine the worst
She's made it up to heaven
And when she met her maker, he said "come right in"
"I'll show you around the gym"
"Everyone's beautiful and thin"
"And here there's no sin, 
and your life can begin
Lucy at the gym"

I painted Lucy in the center of this canvas and titled this piece “The First is Last.”  Here on the final session of the final day we were speaking about emotions and the underlying sorrow that can affect our health outcomes.    

Too Thin

Jill Sobule was followed by Dr. Jay Lombard, MD and Chief Scientific Officer at Genomind. He furthered the conversation that Jill began as he talked of the final frontier in health: biomarkers for psychiatric conditions.

Leslie Saxon, MD Executive Director and Founder of USC Center for Body Computing spoke about the future of implantable wireless heart devices. I was saddened that I did not hear her address the need for patients to access this data just as much as the provider and the manufacturer.  Patients such as Hugo Campos fight daily for access to the data of these devices implanted within their very own bodies. So I painted a patient with a heart device looking stoically from the canvas.

Device Data

Next Ali Ansary, co-founder of SeventyK currently a medical student, began a diatribe against non-compliant patients.  This session had began with such promise, focusing on mental health issues and the explaining the underlying reasons that people act as they do. I was deeply disappointed in Ali’s speech.  His delivery reminded of a game my 13 year-old sometimes plays with his little 6 year-old brother.  It is called “Why are you hitting yourself?”  The game consists of my little Isaac holding his hand in front of his face while my older son Freddie repeatedly smacks Isaac’s hand into Isaac’s face while saying in a sing-song fashion “Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself?”

Why are you hitting yourself?

I painted Ali into the painting with a simple doctor’s progress note saying “Why are you hitting yourself.”

Mark Hyman, Founder and Chairman of the Institute of Functional Medicine, spoke next.  He delivered an amazing speech about the coming epidemic of “Diabesity.”  He spoke of his time in Haiti and his questions to the local doctors.  He was surprised to hear the most common diagnosis in pre-earthquake Haiti was diabetes.  He spoke about the effects of over medication, lack of exercise and poor food choices.  He said such a path was killing us. But gave us a thread of hope as he spoke of Project Daniel, a program that helped entire Church congregations’ loose weight, he added it is not your parent’s weight that effects you as much as your friends. Community can save your life.  So a woman from Haiti holds the shoulders of another figure in the frame.

But that is the only human contact within this piece. The colors are so dark. Lucy looks so lost.  
I wish that I could save her.

The First is Last

This painting was given to Steelcase and Nurture for their support for TEDMED.

1 comment:

  1. I've read all your posts about TEDMED - made me feel a little like I've been there - cool!I was sad, however, to see it was so driven by the doctor perspective and paradigm. All the stuff about "healthy lifestyle" was devoid of the emerging evidence I've been reading/hearing about that the whole calorie-in-calorie-out view of obesity is woefully wrong. In fact, you have so inspired me that I finally started my own blog - please check it out!

    thanks Regina!