Setting the Record Straight


To the NYS Dept. of Health:

My name is Anne C Woodlen.  I have been in Crouse Hospital in Syracuse for 82 days.  I am in room xxxx, phone (315) xxx-xxxx, and this is my complaint against Crouse Hospital for maintaining and disseminating a false list of diagnoses about me.

The NYS Patients’ Bill of Rights states that I have the right to— “(8) Receive complete information about your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.”

I have repeatedly requested that my listed diagnoses be aligned with reality.  In this regard, I have had conversations with— • Laurie Fegley, nurse manager of 5 South • Barbara Drapola, director of Care Coordination • Nancy Williams, director of Patient and Guest Relations • Dr. Erkin Seytnazarov, hospitalist • And various others

On or about November 22, 2013, attending hospitalist Erkin Seytnazarov, M.D. (known to me only as “Dr. Erik”) provided me with the following list of diagnoses: Diabetes Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus secondary to lithium Pulmonary fibrosis Immune dysfunction Chronic fatigue syndrome Fibromyalgia Cataracts Spinal stenosis Obstructive sleep apnea, on BiPAP Depression, history of suicidal attempts Chronic kidney disease Somatization disorder Bipolar Disorder Borderline personality disorder Learning disorder Morbid obesity Recurrent UTI secondary to indwelling Foley cath. Psychogenic polydipsia

The facts: Spinal stenosis:  I do not now have, nor have I ever been diagnosed with spinal stenosis.  In a previous hospitalization at Crouse, I was seen frequently by Dr. Ronald Fish of Psychological HealthCare.  Dr. Fish had extremely painful and complicated spinal stenosis.  He terminated therapy with me in order to go to Boston for surgery.  Crouse put his diagnosis on my chart.  When I asked Dr. Erik to remove the diagnosis, he replied, “Everybody our age has spinal stenosis.”  I do not.  He never examined me.

Somatization disorder is a mental illness.  According to NIH, “Somatization disorder is a long-term (chronic) condition in which a person has physical symptoms that involve more than one part of the body, but no physical cause can be found . . . this disorder was thought to be related to emotional stress. The pain was dismissed as being ‘all in their head.’”  No doctor has ever told me that I have somatization disorder.

What I have is CFIDS/ME (chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis) which includes tiredness, muscle and joint pain, headache, sore throat, blurred vision, irritability, chills, fever, allergies, numbness, dizziness and numerous other problems.  (Also from NIH)  Doctors still haven’t figured out what causes it or how to treat it.  I have no idea who made the diagnosis of somatization disorder, or when, but it is incorrect.  Physicians unable to figure out how to treat CFIDS have labeled it as a psychiatric disorder.

Bipolar Disorder:  I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1999 after a quarter of a century of taking antidepressants every day.  When I stopped taking antidepressants in 2001, I also stopped having any signs or symptoms of bipolar disorder, nevertheless, Crouse Hospital continues to carry forward a diagnosis that no longer is correct.  Around the same time that I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I also broke my left leg in two places.  Crouse has dropped the broken leg from my list of current diagnoses; now I want them to stop carrying forward the no-longer-present mental diagnosis.

Borderline personality disorder:  Crouse Hospital has on file two letters written this year.

One is from Dr. Nazri Ghaly, a psychiatrist who has known me for about twenty years.  Dr. Ghaly is particularly well-known and respected in the Greater Syracuse Area.  His letter states that I have a mood disorder “and no other psychiatric disorder.”

The other letter is from psychologist Dr. Katherine Lewis of Psychological HealthCare.  She has seen me off and on as my health has permitted for the past two years.  I began seeing her when the chronic hyperglycemia started causing depression.  Her letter states that the only psychiatric problem I have is depression.

Dr. Ghaly has known me long and well, and can speak to the overview; Dr. Lewis has treated me most recently and speaks to my current psychological status.  They agree that my only problem is depression.

Psychogenic polydipsia.  What I have, as previously noted, is Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus secondary to lithium.  Crouse Hospital inflicted upon me the evaluation of Dr. Thomas Falci a psychiatrist and a moron.  I have never in my 66 years met a physician so unable to think logically or rationally, and so terribly lacking in the ability to be reasonable.

In his first interview (which resulted in a five-page report in which he referred to himself as “we”) he observed me drinking a lot.  He asked no questions about the testing, diagnosis or treatment of diabetes insipidus, but decided—without benefit of any scientific testing—that I had psychogenic polydipsia instead of diabetes insipidus.

In the second interview, witnessed by Nurse Practitioner Peter Sinatra, I began to report the history of nephrologists and endocrinologists who had tested and treated me.  I said that I had been a research subject of Dr. Arnold Moses, a world-class authority on diabetes insipidus, working out of SUNY Upstate Medical Center, and Falci interrupted me to say, “You’re not telling the truth!  That’s not true!”  Falci appears to be unable to tolerate any data that would challenge his absurd diagnoses.  He has serious ego problems and should be referred to OPMC as a physician working impaired.

Falci also said that my fluids should be restricted.  If I did that, I would probably dehydrate into a coma within three days.  Falci has a medical degree, a long white coat, and is dangerous to patients.  Any competent endocrinologist or nephrologist—not to mention quite a few ER doctors—would confirm that Falci’s “restrict liquids” is wrong.

I have been profoundly damaged by Crouse Hospital’s continual reporting of multiple psychiatric diagnoses that are variously outdated, unsupported or bloody wrong.

The reason I have been in Crouse for 82 days is because they can’t find me a placement in a nursing home.  They can’t find me a placement because they are representing me as having multiple mental illnesses.

Under “Current treatment” Dr. Erik has put “Oxycodone, 02 via NC, BiPAP, laxatives.”  (In fact, I do not now nor have I ever been on oxygen via nasal cannula; Erik has attended me every other week for three months and has never seen me on oxygen; this is the quality of Crouse’s reporting.)

Crouse Hospital is reporting that I have multiple major mental illnesses without any medication.  If, in fact, I was that crazy and without medication then clearly I should be committed to a psychiatric institution—which Crouse has considered.

I want, first, for Crouse to stop sending out the baseless diagnoses about me.  Then, I want Crouse to prepare—for my approval—a statement in which they withdrawal all the wrong psychiatric diagnoses and make an affirmative statement that my only diagnosis is depression, caused by chronic hyperglycemia, CFIDS and hospital isolation.  That statement should then be sent out to every facility to which Crouse has previously sent the incorrect information.

This is what I want, and I want it within the week.  I have been trapped in this awful hospital for 82 days.  Get me out!

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About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
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6 Responses to Setting the Record Straight

  1. Holy Kamolly Anne, I understand your anger completely….and have suffered such fool-doctors myself and their diagnoses too. How brave of you to sue…and I hope you get somewhere with it. No one would ever take my case, alas, as I could never prove serious bodily harm or death…Too bad, I would be worth MONEY to a lawyer if only they had killed me…

    • annecwoodlen says:

      Where did you get the idea that I sued? First, the physicians prescribing pharmaceuticals damage you so badly that you no longer can work. Without employment, you become poor. Lawyers will not work unless they are paid a lot of money. Therefore, you cannot get a lawyer to sue those who made you unable to work.

      About 15 years ago, a study was done in New York State that showed that something like 85% of all New Yorkers legal needs were being met. Unless you were poor, then the rate dropped to something like 12%. All informed parties concur that the percent for poor people has dropped.

      The bottom line here is that poor people do not get their legal rights because they cannot afford lawyers. It doesn’t matter if you are an American; it only matters if you have money. Every time a poor person is denied their rights, the revolution comes one day closer.

      • Sorry, I realized after I reread the piece that it wasn;t a formal complaint or legal writing at all, just sounded formal…But it was a great piece of writing, which fooled me! NOT that lawyers can write, mind you, though some can. Anyhow my heart goes out to you, because I can see how you were/are in many similar situations to my own,,,

      • annecwoodlen says:

        I think that piece was a formal complaint.

      • Sorry, yes, i get my terminology screwed up. I can see that it was a formal complaint, but not a formal suit…as you said, you need a lawyer to sue. Besides, it is better written than any lawyer would write, and is not full of unreadable legalese. Very good complaint, though if yours was like mine, and i sent mine everywhere, it ended up “going nowhere.” Falling on deaf ears as they say.

        Pam

      • annecwoodlen says:

        Yep, deaf ears.

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