News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 29, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: July 29, 2012


---- — Thanks to Davis

for all he’s done

I’m writing on behalf of Dr. Henry Davis. I’ve been a patient of his since he came to Terre Haute.

I have R.A., and the time I first got sick, I thought I would die. The pain was terrible. I was in bed for almost a year and I had to be in a wheelchair and use a walker.

Dr. Davis was a bright light at the end of the tunnel. He assured me I would slowly get back on my feet and I did.

I thought my life was over at that time. I take several medicines. Dr. Davis put me on Humira. I did not have insurance at that time that would take me.

Dr. Davis helped me get on the Safety Net Program. It is for people who haven’t any insurance or the money to pay for it. I take two shots a month and they cost over $2,500. Also, Dr. Davis put me on pain pills. Thank God. I don’t know what I would have done if he hadn’t.

Most of Dr. Davis’ patients are in pain. We don’t go to him for minor things like colds, etc. We are chronic. We need medicine in order to be able to walk, work, raise families, etc. Sometimes we have to have shots in our joints and water removed from our knees. In order for our hands to work we get shots in our hands and wrists. After having this done, I am ready for a pain pill.

I think Dr. Davis with all of my heart for all he has done for me.

— Michelle Sappington

Dennison, Ill.

Good assessment

of bad situation

I applaud Ron Mott’s commentary, “Lessons of Paterno, Penn State”, in the July 21, 2012, Tribune-Star. My plaudits are for the ultimate solution to the problem, but also for his assessment of Notre Dame’s position regarding academics and athletics.

The iron hands of Fr. Hesburg and more recently Fr. Jennings have assured that at Notre Dame, the tail does not wag the dog.

— Bob McDavid

Terre Haute

Punish those

scofflaws who

do trivial things

On June 21, a 92-year-old gentleman, Philip Lodge, 50 years a smoker (but clean since his 70s), wrote a provocative letter to the T-S.

The bottom line: “Relax on the courteous smokers.” He suggests that if you don’t wish to enter an establishment that allows smoking — or liquor, for that matter — don’t. We don’t ban 16-year-olds from driving even though 13,000 per 100,000 die each year. Nor do we ban sugar because 25,000 per 100,000 die from diabetes.

Mr. Lodge does, however, allow that the “effects of smoking are no doubt harmful.”

My problem, then, is this: Is there no one with the cajones to stand up for the virtues of the so-called “nanny” state?

Let me try.

First, my compliments to Mayor Bloomberg of New York City for proposing a legal ban on super-sized soft-drink cups.

What this country needs is a Department of Virtue Enforcement. Something akin to what allows Saudi Arabian officials to arrest scofflaws who, for example, kiss in public, wear scanty clothing, drink alcoholic beverages, or commit other “immoralities.”

In this country, one in five deaths results from the use of tobacco; 443,000 die from it each year, and 49,000 die from secondhand smoke.

In line with Mayor Bloomberg’s bravado in calling for restrictions on soft drinks, I suggest laws mandating the arrest of smokers, whether in public or elsewhere.

And while we’re at it, incarcerate all who eat too many calories. Say, over 2,500 per day. Or even over 2,000 since two-thirds of adults and one-third of kids are overweight.

Also, let us allow no more than three alcoholic drinks or three containers of beer per day, two for women since studies show they react more to alcohol consumption. Maybe for the overweight, no more than one drink or one can of beer per day.

We could call it the “Scared Slim Congressional Act” since violators would do prison time.

Would not the overweight, faced with eating and drinking limits, see their pounds drop off like mosquitoes zapped with Raid?

To reduce the rate of teenage pregnancies and abortions, adolescents should not be allowed to have sex. Nor get married, for that matter, since they are too young and naïve. Nor should they be allowed  to drive since stats show higher numbers of accidents among teenagers.

Those who jaywalk, litter, or spit on the street should also suffer penalties. The latter two, I believe, are punished in China. But we must be merciful. Punishment for these crimes should be less stringent than that meted out to the aforementioned violators by the Virtue Police.

Needless to say, in order to enforce the new laws, we will need surveillance cameras not only on the street but in the homes, especially the dining rooms and bedrooms.

Isn’t it about time we did something — beyond jailing pot smokers and other dopeheads — to combat the endemic decadence in America, the erosion of the American Dream, and the loss of our spirit of American triumphalism that has made us the greatest nation on earth?

— Saul Rosenthal

Terre Haute

Case against doctor

seems unbelievable

Having read the article and claims against Dr. Davis as reported in the Terre Haute Tribune-Star dated July 7, 2012, I feel compelled to respond.  

My 94-year-old mother was one of his patients for over three years until he was forced to close. Due to extreme reactions and massive bleeding from aspirin and other “nsaids”, she is forced to use only morphine-based pain relievers. She suffers from extreme pain in her legs and hips arising from a variety of problems, knee replacement, a broken hip, and has been diagnosed by multiple doctors with  neuralgia, Parkinsons, fibromyalgia, multiple compression fractures of the spine, and similar problems. When my mother first saw Dr. Davis, she had been on Avinza and Darvocet for four or five years.

Contrary to the allegations reported in the paper, Dr. Davis has diligently tried to remove sedating and narcotic medications from my mother’s treatments.

Dr. Davis spent several years attempting to find alternatives for her.  

He tried steroid-based shots into bursal sacs, and referred her to Dr. Bailey for cortisone injections into her spine; cortisone injections in her knees; physical therapy for three years almost continuously with  different therapy organizations trying to find one that would work best, including massage; referred her to two pain specialists; in consultation with her family had her examined by specialists including two different neurologists; recommended that she be examined by IU Medical Center specialists and worked with all of these specialists attempting to find the source of her pain and a solution; tried several different painkillers for her, trying to find something that would minimize her exposure to narcotics; when that failed to work because of the constipating effects of most morphine-based painkillers, he spent months trying to find one that would kill the pain, not be terribly constipating, and not be overwhelmingly sedating.

Not a single other doctor ever helped my mother’s pain problem. Dr. Davis did. Four or five different morphine-based pain killers prescribed by other doctors either sedated her terribly, or constipated her terribly, or both. At IU Med Center, after only four visits, the doctor stated, “I don’t know what is wrong with you, and I can’t help you.” Dr. Davis at least tried and tried until he had some success. He also weaned her off of Ambien when he found out she had been taking it for four years. He finally found a painkiller that worked somewhat, although it was too weak to really succeed all of the time, but it was one she could tolerate fairly well and it helped some.

If anything, my mother is a visible reason why Darvocet should still be available to some patients. She took it for as long as it was on the market for pain, it never caused her any problem, and it resolved her pain and made it tolerable. Dr. Davis spent years trying to find a substitute. Some people just have no alternative.

To blame the doctor for the idiot who takes narcotics and gets behind the wheel of a car is absurd. To blame the doctor for the criminal who sells her prescribed pills is absurd. To make vague allegations about deaths that may or may not be related to narcotics is disingenuous at best, and at worst, immoral, prejudicial and libelous.

Dr. Davis’ specialization in rheumatoid and osteoarthritis is a specialty that deals in pain and pain relief. Of course he would be prescribing more painkillers than the average doctor.

It begins to look like the State of Indiana has decided that it is threatened by the success of a black doctor, and that someone (the attorney general?) is looking for political publicity for future political office at the expense of someone he can bully.

Why did the newspaper not report that when the state Medicaid task force raided Dr. Davis’ office in March that the attorney general’s office called the news media before the raid so it would be on TV and in the news?

Why did no one report that when they went in to seize paperwork that the police involved went in wearing flak vests and with guns drawn. For paperwork? And this occurred in a doctor’s office with mostly elderly patients present.

Why didn’t anyone report that the police first went in and raided the wrong office?

Almost every person who worked at Providence Medical Center knew this information, yet none of it was reported by any media.

The public needs to be aware that the state PR machine is in full operation and there is an obligation on the media to notice that and report it. Deliberate over-dramatizing and incompetence should be reported. Not everything officials say is true.

As a person with several years of  firsthand experience of Dr. Davis and his attitudes and approach to patient care, nothing in these allegations is believable. These claims, are in fact, the opposite of any actual experience.

— Craig A. Fox

Terre Haute

Event benefits

animal shelters

The Rio Grande Baptist Church Youth Group recently organized a very successful Mutt Strut fundraiser to benefit the Harmony Haven No-Kill Animal Shelter and the Terre Haute Humane Society.

Participants bringing dogs of all sizes and breeds walked laps around the ISU Memorial Stadium, stopped to admire other “strutters,” and obviously had an enjoyable time. Related activities for both adults and children continued throughout the morning.

Such a well-planned and organized event took many weeks of work by both the youth and their adult leaders. It is particularly gratifying to see a group of young people willing to devote their time and effort to make a positive difference in their community. This is a great example of putting your faith to work.

With the current economic situation, more and more people are unable to afford to keep their pets, which translates into animal shelters being on overload. Non-profit organizations are struggling to continue to provide much-needed services.

So, on behalf of the staff and animals from both shelters, we extend our sincere thanks to the Youth Group for their support.

— Carol Walker

Harmony Haven

No-Kill Shelter

— Fred Strohm

Terre Haute Humane Society

Vote fraud is

just like theft

I was in Terre Haute for a school reunion the weekend of July 14 and I read your editorial regarding the voter ID law in the July 13 paper.

It is obvious you are ignoring the history of elections when more votes were cast than registered voters and the infamous “Tombstone Vote”, all of which I’m positive many of your readers grew up reading and hearing about.

A fraudulent vote is a theft against our electoral system that is envied in many parts of the world and yet the media attacks anyone who wants to keep it as honest as possible.

I can understand your somewhat lonely position on this matter as you are wrong, period.

If your paper wants to get serious about secure elections then have the computer program code “dumped” (printed on paper) at the end of the voting process and have it reviewed by computer programmers. It is very easy to manipulate the votes and change the outcome of an election.

How do I know how easy it is? Because I have been employed as a computer programmer.

Remember what the dictator Joseph Stalin is reported to have said: “The person who votes is not as important as the person who counts the votes.”

— Ray Henderson

Marietta, Ga.