4 minute read

Pain Relief
Thank you so much for “Healing the Hurt” [March 21]. Those of us who suffer chronic pain are often met with skepticism and prejudice. It is refreshing to see an article in which doctors admit they aren’t yet very good at treating chronic pain. A recent Canadian study showed that the majority of interviewed physicians saw patients with fibromyalgia as “malingerers.” Recognition of chronic pain as a real problem is a first step toward trying to solve it.
Sharon Davis,
Fremont, Calif., U.S.

As a retired physician and a person living with chronic intractable pain, I can wholeheartedly say that you covered every base — save one. Not one mention of the American Pain Foundation? We are the first and largest organization of its kind in the world.
Patrick McGahen,
Milford, Conn., U.S.

Many doctors who treat chronic-pain patients are so worried about addiction that they undermedicate. If the physician prescribed enough pain medication, the stress of running out early, rationing and looking for alternative sources, known as pseudoaddiction, would be gone. None of us want to have to take medications, but you do what you have to in order to function. My neurologist has said that undermedicating chronic-pain patients is akin to withholding insulin from a Type 1 diabetic. I thank God every day that my doctor is not only brilliant but also compassionate.
Julia E. Hail,
Ridgecrest, Calif., U.S.

Emily Dickinson said something more fundamental about human pain in a few words than what has been written in all the articles on the subject: “Pain has an element of blank;/ It cannot recollect/ When it began, or if there was/ A time when it was not.”
Hilbert Campbell,
Christiansburg, Va., U.S.

How to Help Libya
Re Fareed Zakaria’s “The Libyan Conundrum” [March 21]: Libya is not a present danger to the U.S., but Gaddafi’s fight to stay in power does threaten international security. The U.N. Security Council, not the U.S., should act decisively to end the fighting. Nothing will undermine the Libyan opposition faster than unilateral American intervention.
Paul Kozar,
Harwich, Mass., U.S.

I’m disappointed to hear Zakaria recommend that the U.S. supply arms to the Libyan rebels. This is a tactic reminiscent of CIA strategies from decades ago that have since humiliated and embarrassed America. While most of us hope to see Gaddafi’s fall, throwing more weapons into the conflict without real commitment to the rebel cause would be irresponsible and have unknown consequences — and would tie the U.S. to further bloodshed.
Alexander Saunders,

Zakaria’s assertion that the U.S. “has done pretty well” arming rebels in Central America is patently absurd. He must be aware that thousands of people were murdered in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras because the U.S. government chose to support and train the forces of the brutal regimes there instead of those fighting repression.
Kevin Casey,
Cologne, Germany

Revolution Redux
Re “1848 vs. 2011: In the shadow of the past” [March 21]: If I were an advanced-placement social-studies teacher and Kurt Andersen had turned this in as his senior thesis, he would have received an A-plus (and a standing ovation) for pulling all these events together in such a coherent manner.
Patsy A. Jaynes,
Conifer, Colo., U.S.

Campaign 2012: An Ugly Start?
Re Joe Klein’s “Huckabucking” [March 21]: President Obama’s more cosmopolitan and nuanced worldview may well be influenced by his upbringing. Mike Huckabee’s narrow worldview, dislike of the President and obsession with the anticolonial Mau Mau of Kenya are almost certainly influenced by his having spent his whole life in Arkansas. The state’s antimiscegenation law would have prevented the President’s parents from marrying.
Stanley Kalemaris,
Melville, N.Y., U.S.

Republican leaders should announce that anyone who makes the President’s citizenship an issue in a campaign will receive no funding from the Republican National Committee. They should be telling their constituencies that their party has far more important things to work on — health care, the deficit, global warming, the economy, the size of government, etc. Anyone who wastes time and money harping on something that is both not true and pointless to discuss is not concerned with the best interests of the citizenry and their party.
Philip Barnett,
Scottsdale, Ariz., U.S.

Language, Language
I’m hoping you simply overlooked the offensive, provocative nature of the title of your story on Scott Walker [“Wisconsin Governor Wins, but Is He Now Dead Man Walker?”, March 12]. As a longtime reader of TIME, I find it deeply disappointing that employees of your magazine approved such wording. Please change it.
Darcy Mahler,
Madison, Wis., U.S.

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