Author Archives: annecwoodlen

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

Fatty Carbuncle

Have you ever heard of Fatty Arbuckle? He was a comedian and silent screen star whose professional career began in 1906. It nearly ended in 1916 when, at a weight of 386 pounds, he got a carbuncle on his leg, … Continue reading

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Flying into Healing

V has to be returned to his mother today. That’s a 10-hour roundtrip for his father to drive so his father’s friend said, “Not a problem. I’ll fly you—four hours tops.” And so V—six years old, twinkly blue eyes, blond … Continue reading

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You Tell Me

I am absolutely totally wrecked and don’t know where to turn. I am going around in circles with no way out and don’t know what to do. I am in enormous pain. First, it was the carbuncle, apparently the result … Continue reading

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If I Can Find It, Why Can’t You?

Maureen Miller, Administrator Joslin Diabetes Center 3229 East Genesee Street Syracuse, NY 13214 Dear Ms Miller, I am writing to file a specific complaint against Tulsi Sharma and a general complaint about the Joselin process. Who is Tulsi Sharma? I … Continue reading

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MYALGIC ENCEPHALOMYELITIS (a/k/a chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome) “International Consensus Primer for Medical Practitioners” Please note that of the 26 authors listed, only seven are Americans. The world is way ahead of the U.S. on this.

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The Bad Fellow

[I am falling further and further behind in posting because showering, washing dishes and doing the laundry and grocery shopping is sucking all the energy out of me. No strength left. I do some writing but can’t get anything finished. … Continue reading

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Funny Thing About That

Last week I got a letter from Crouse Hospital. It was addressed to “Dear Patient” and was co-signed by Nancy Williams, head of Patient Relations, and Betty O’Connor, director of nursing. The letter invited me to dinner on Thursday, April … Continue reading

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Why I Haven’t Posted

I’m not dead, just thinking. The story goes that when Bill Gates was a kid, his parents set up the basement as his private apartment, installing an intercom to reach him. One day his mom repeatedly called him on the … Continue reading

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Wednesday 2 April 2014

The sun is shining. THE SUN IS SHINING. THE FREAKING SUN IS SHINING—DO YOU HEAR ME? Seriously amazing. The temperature is 52 degrees, the crocuses are blooming, the tulips are sprouting, and the snow piles in the corners of parking … Continue reading

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Dr. Sarah Myhill: Happy Me (Part II)

(Continued from yesterday [] ). I started applying these techniques during the 1980s in Annesley Woodhouse in Nottingham, where I was working in a mining community. Within a few years I had interest from friends and relations of my NHS … Continue reading

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