Pain Is Destructive

As a medical writer, I worked with a lot of doctors, and because I have congenital heart problems, I’ve been a patient plenty of times too. From both viewpoints, I think James Carlson’s claim that “you need to have pain” is wrong (“ ‘You Need to Have Pain,’ St. Joseph’s Doctor Says,”).

Sure, pain is a necessary warning signal of bodily malfunction or harm. But to imply that every patient who calls out for relief and gets it will get hooked on opioids is a sweeping generalization. And it’s just not true.

Yes, there is much abuse of prescription medications, but most of us are capable of using them wisely and discarding them as soon as possible.

Pain is terrible to experience, and it stops or slows down recovery from surgery or injuries. People with severe pain can’t eat, sleep or function; giving people a “pain pill” to get them through the hard times allows them to rest and tackle their plans for long-term health management.

Withholding moderate amounts of those little pills — or injections, if need be — takes away personal control, dignity and hope for a normal future. It reduces the patient to begging for relief and assumes he or she has no self-control.

It seems that Carlson’s idea of how to treat a person in pain is to blow them off with casual instructions to “use the pool.” Long term, that’s not a bad idea, but it won’t help someone who is in despair right now.

Carlson seems to look down his nose at the “nice Jewish ladies” who come to him with “terrible knees or bad backs.” They deserve more than his contempt.

Carlson needs to sharpen his compassion and quit assuming that every patient he sees is a potential drug addict. Give us some credit. Give us pain relief. And believe that most of us can handle it wisely and well.

— Maxine Rock, Atlanta

Sticks and Stones on Trump

I am pleased that my opinion piece (“Do Democrats Really Like Jews?” Aug. 19) caused people to consider the proposition that the voting home of American Jews for years, the Democratic Party, may not be as friendly now as in the past (“It’s Time for All Jews to Condemn Trump,” Ed Rappaport, Sept. 9). I do not want to get into point by point response with just a few brief notes.

Except for some personal insults to Donald Trump, not one of my points was refuted. Instead, we are treated to the talking points of the Democratic Party and the mainstream media, whose objectivity is certainly in question this election cycle.

Jeff Kunkes

Jeff Kunkes previously wrote an op-ed for the AJT. 

May I remind the readers that the daughters of both candidates married Jewish husbands. One still is a practicing Christian, while one, Ivanka, is a converted, observant Jew with the blessing of her father?

The six-pointed star with dollar signs behind it to denounce Hillary is not the monopoly of the Jewish faith (there were no connecting lines), but rather the same as is worn by Georgia sheriffs, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Texas Rangers and other law enforcement agencies. I do not associate them with anti-Semitism.

The dollar signs behind the star certainly reflect the money-raising efforts Hillary Clinton has made in Hollywood, the Hamptons, Martha’s Vineyard and other places the Clintons have been getting dough from the 1 percent while avoiding questions from the 99 percent in the form of a press conference.

Lastly, Mr. Trump has spent years doing land deals throughout the country, but especially in New York and Florida. He certainly has come across Jews in his dealings and has a healthy respect for their negotiating abilities.

His comments in front of 16,000 Jews at the national AIPAC convention were tongue in cheek and more complimentary to the audience than prejudiced. In fact, Trump got a standing ovation at the convention.

The comments of Mr. Rappaport remind me of my grandfather, who, when he got food delivered cold from the waiter, would say, “The cook is an anti-Semite.”

You are welcome to stay with the same Democratic Party that has made a shambles of inner cities. This is what makes elections so exciting and wonderful. But please do not get into name-calling; concentrate on who offers the best hope for America and Israel.

— Jeffrey Kunkes, Sandy Springs

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