Readers’ comments: May 10, 2024

Empathy with ‘Pain is a bandit’ author
Dear editor:
Being in bed for eight years from a car accident, as well as having taught drivers education, I empathize with Zoe Brins’ auto accident [“Pain is a bandit,” April 26] and wanted to share some insights.
Even though required by state ed code (section 51220(j)), students in California high schools no longer get taught drivers education. Increased testing schedules took away teaching time and electives, so our universities helped out by not offering drivers ed credentialing courses anymore. No credentialing courses=no teachers=no more high school courses.
Our “leaders” let society down in the hopes California students would catch up to other states academically, while getting people out of their cars and onto public transportation. The real consequence is all new drivers have to learn about the vehicle code, police interactions, road etiquette, financial responsibility, and strategies for staying alive, elsewhere.
Texting is “distracted driving,” and is just one of many ways to not pay attention, and police should not be exempted!
Being a positive ray of sunshine while in pain is a matter of God, mental focus, genetics, a great doctor, and trying not to think of the medical bills! My journey has been blessed with 14 surgeries, a fused spine, being disavowed by a church, central apnea, inability to count, new skills, two patents to save lives for any vehicle (, being with my kids when they needed me most, and writing to editors.
Having a severe radiculopathy (my spinal cord constantly sent “your hands/feet are on fire” pain signals), I used drugs, sleep, and self-hypnosis (think athletes getting “into the zone” or the Lamaze birthing method) to fool myself into blocking pain — just long enough to achieve goals. Finally, a great neurologist from Casa Colina entered my life and I could walk and hold my wife’s hand again.
Leslie Watkins

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