It's difficult to find doctor who treats pain aggressively

Posted: Thursday, December 07, 2000

I'm in severe chronic pain, every second of every day, and I never get a break from it. I would like to talk about the subject of severe chronic pain.

You hear about suicides, mercy killings and chronic pain patients having to go to the streets to get their drugs, and that is not acceptable in our society. Why? Because we have the pain medicines to keep them out of pain, so suicides and mercy killings are a no-no!

Well, people let me tell the truth by experience! Yes, they have medicines, but try to get them. I have severe pain, inflamed from the "V" in my chest all the way around to my kidneys and then down my thighs. This is verified by physicians on the Kenai Peninsula and Anchorage area; it is all true.

Let's start with 10 years of severe pain, and they couldn't find anything, and because they couldn't find anything they became aggravated with me, talked down to me and would tell me that I wanted the drugs because I was a drug addict. (I have never been addicted to anything in my life.) They treated me like I was less than a dog, like I had no human rights whatsoever.

All they said was "Ken, the pain is all in your mind."

I couldn't get any medicines until it got so bad I ended up in the hospital. I had to spend about $1,000, plus the $500 for the ambulance ride. For what? They could have given me some medication for home, and it would have only cost me $18.

I was treated like a dog by 90 percent of the doctors, and I was talked down to and treated like I wasn't human. I mean a lot of doctors from here to Anchorage. I thought that they wanted to help people -- that's why they went into this profession, right? Wrong, most don't seem to care. They are not people persons; it seems like they became doctors just for the money. What happened to the oath of keeping the patients in comfort? (Believe me, people, it's not there!)

All those who have the same hurtful pain as I do, know this. Did you know that the Mayo Clinic on the Internet says that 98 percent of most severe pain is not being treated aggressively enough or not at all? (Now, make sense of that.)

If there is anybody in this area who has severe pain of any kind and feels like they have been treated the same way, contact me, Kenneth Travers, at 262-2206. I would like to hear from you. Something needs to be done. Now, let's talk about why I'm still alive today. It is because of Central Peninsula Counseling Services Community Outreach Program and Eileen Sverdrup, M.D., Internal Medicine. Both are in Soldotna. Dr. Sverdrup is the most understanding people person, caring, very professional doctor I have known. Dr. Sverdrup found in an MRI just part of my condition, so now I am getting pain medication.

I just hope that there are doctors reading this. Ask yourself this one question: Did you get into this profession for the people or for the money? I personally believe it's money, and there are very few that are in it for the people.

Please note that this is not an ad, this is just the plain yet complicated truth.

Kenneth and Nicole Travers


Community helps in trying time

I need to take this opportunity to thank the many friends who came out to show their love and concern for me at the benefit fish fry that was held Nov. 17 at the senior citizens center in Sterling.

We go through life, experiencing the ups and downs that come our way, and sometimes at those lowest points most of us have wondered, "If I died tomorrow, would anyone really care?" I have been blessed by having the answer to that question revealed in a most humble way.

Old friends and recent acquaintances came out in droves to eat, talk, listen to live music, and to show their support for Denise and me in this our most recent trial. We both want to thank each and every one of you for being there for us!

I felt a lot like Tom Sawyer must have felt when he faked his drowning and then sneaked back to town and into the church the day of his funeral, only to find the whole town had turned out to eulogize him. To know how many people loved and cared about him was a surprise, and changed him forever, just as this experience has me. Thank you all.

Helen Croom, who set up the event, deserves special thanks, as do the members of the Abundant Life Assembly of God in Sterling, Judy Warren at the Sterling Senior Citizens Center, Mike Silba at the Music Box, and Tom and Helen Ware at Sterling Car Quest.

God bless you all.

Kevin and Denise Hall


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