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Posted on Thu. Dec. 27, 2012 - 12:01 am EDT

Letters to the editor

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Knoxville shows how to handle parking

I hear from friends that Fort Wayne is doubling parking fines. Yet another way to discourage people from parking downtown.

Last night I went downtown in my new home in Knoxville, Tenn. There was block after block full of open shops and streets full of people. The two-year-old movie complex was showing nine films. Next door is one of the downtown groceries. It was doing well. They are also in the process of putting a shopping complex on the fringe of downtown with a big box store. Why do they have what Fort Wayne dreams about?

Knoxville has a number of large, well-maintained parking garages downtown. On weekends, any day after 5 and during all downtown festivals, parking is free. It’s free to the handicapped 24/7. You never see threatening signs from downtown land owners chasing people away. They don’t need to. They also have a limited free bus service to downtown from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. I live 14 miles but only two stoplights from downtown.

The mayor just announced 800 high-paying jobs coming to downtown Knoxville. The deal-maker was the city spent $3 million for the land where the private company will build a parking garage. The difference is, here those 1,000 spaces will be free to the public after 5 p.m. To fill all that free parking the merchants, not the taxpayers, provide a steady stream of free entertainment at the downtown festival grounds, which in turn provided a steady stream of customers. What they didn’t do was spend the city treasury on a downtown ball diamond. The team was told they had enough going on downtown as it was.

In downtown Fort Wayne a bank refused to make change for the parking meter. At the Three Rivers Festival a few free public spaces were being sold by a private organization. Downtown Knoxville makes you feel wanted. Fort Wayne makes you feel taken.

Doug Rodenbeck

Knoxville, Tenn.

Doctor eased pain, gave me back my life

Upon hearing the negative comments in the news Dec. 3, and again today, I had to calm down a bit before responding to these hateful allegations.

When I met Dr. Hedrick a few years ago I was a blubbering, depressed, humiliated, ashamed 40-something woman. I once had a job I enjoyed, socialized with many friends, did all types of activities with my two children and had at least 10 kids sleep over each weekend.

I became “disabled” in 2003 after a botched surgery, followed by six additional surgeries and three near-death experiences. My former doctor had me on 16 10-mg methadone pills a day along with several other meds. I could barely function, feeling half alive but mostly dead.

I was a hermit who scared my children by falling asleep face down on many dinner plates, would forgo showering for days at a time, didn’t venture out for fear of seeing anyone other than my doctor. Then I saw a Centers For Pain Relief commercial on TV and made an appointment. I literally cried through the first several appointments, begging for help getting off of the methadone, yet with intense fear of feeling the excruciating pain. Dr. Hedrick saved my life!

Working with him and his dedicated nurse practitioners and the rest of the staff, I was weaned off the drugs I had been on for many years and began taking less meds, getting trigger-point injections. Prior to those I was unable to lift my chin off of my chest. I can look up at the sky again, drive again, go shopping, for walks, visit friends and family, play with my grandchildren.

Yes, I’m still in pain, occasionally depressed (as this is not what I imagined my body to do or be), but I am here participating in life rather than merely existing and waiting to die! I have so many physical problems to name just a few, internal scar tissue that feels like my body is eating itself from the inside out, degenerative disc disease, osteoporosis, scoliosis, my spine is so twisted and sticks out so far that my sweet granddaughter bonked her forehead on a bone and got a goose egg like the ones you’d see on a cartoon.

Dr. H has done every possible test and procedure to relieve my pain. Each time a new lump, bone or problem arises he doesn’t hesitate to find out what it is. Any time I have a question he answers it with care and honesty.

I am so incredibly grateful to be one of his many patients. Even my other doctors are amazed at my progress. My family doctor told me at a recent visit that he is surprised that I am still here. We agreed that this fact is indeed due to the treatment I receive from Dr. Hedrick and his Centers For Pain Relief.

I would also like to mention my anger toward a doctor no longer affiliated with CFPR. His office contacted me to get a “spinal cord stimulator,” had he read my medical records (which I did not give him permission to take) he would have known that my body could not benefit from one, in fact it could possibly cause more harm. Shall I sue him and try to get him suspended?

Anyone who has chronic pain is going to become addicted to the medication. That is simply common sense. I will stand behind Dr. Hedrick all the way.

God Bless him for giving me back my life.

Kellie Stine


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