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

Richard Gottlieb: In Conclusion (Part II)


See also http://behindthelockeddoors.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/richard-gottlieb-in-conclusion-part-ii/

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Home Aide, Homeopathy and Immunology (Part I)


My day started with a greeting card pushed under my door by a friend. The card said— No matter how crazy my life gets, I know you’ll be there. And when it’s your turn to lose it, You can count … Continue reading

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The Right of Way


It started a few years ago with the A-frame signs. The signs were about two feet wide and three feet tall and they advertised what was for sale inside the business. The signs were placed on the sidewalk in front … Continue reading

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“I Don’t Know; I Really Don’t.” (Part IV)


Without aides— I only get a shower about once a week. The bed sheets get changed about twice a month. My income is $834/month. I spend about $60/month on private-pay aides. Because there is no one to wash the dishes, … Continue reading

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Call-a-Bus Meets Anne Woodlen


We interrupt this series of blogs about Medicaid patients being unable to get home health aides in order to bring you a short history of Call-a-Bus. Call-a-Bus, hereinafter referred to as CAB, is public transportation solely for people who are … Continue reading

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