To The Visiting Nurses Association

ANNE C WOODLEN                                             ___

501 S. Crouse Ave.,  Syracuse NY 13210                     


July 20, 2012


Executive Director

Visiting Nurse Association

1050 W. Genesee St.

Syracuse NY 13204


Dear Gentlefolk:


I have been a patient of the VNA for about a year.  Sharon has been my nurse.  I have a lot of stuff wrong with me so Sharon came today for an emergency visit.  Lately I’ve been having trouble thinking clearly and, among other things, my glucose was 350.


Sharon was talking rapidly, asking me things I didn’t understand, and telling me things I couldn’t remember.  I got overwhelmed and snapped at her.  Why didn’t she just think, “Okay, Anne can’t deal with this.  I’ll follow up with her doctor or Health Care Proxy?”  Instead, she started lecturing me on proper behavior.  She’s been my nurse for year.  She knows I know how to behave.  Why did she scold me?  Why didn’t she just understand that I’m too sick to cope?


I told her to leave, which she did, then a couple minutes later I got a call from Amor B. [a ranking authority at the VNA], who immediately told me that Sharon wouldn’t be coming back and I am terminated and blah blah blah.  I couldn’t follow all she was telling me.


I asked her if I could please explain and she said NO! 

What is wrong with you people?  This is America.  There are two sides to every story.  What kind of people do you employ who won’t even listen to the other side?  You think your employees don’t ever do anything wrong?


I trusted you.  Now, your nurse puts her feelings ahead of her patient’s needs, and then your administrator puts the nurse ahead of the patient.  Why didn’t anybody say, “Why is Anne acting this way?  What’s wrong with her?”


Nobody’s ever given me any warning that I might get terminated and I don’t think it’s fair to terminate me without warning.  What kind of sissies are you that when the going gets rough, you quit on me?  I haven’t quit on you, despite provocation.



Anne C Woodlen

 Cc:      Dr. James Tucker

            Dr. Steve Wechsler

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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One Response to To The Visiting Nurses Association

  1. wurson says:

    I’m pleased I located this site,

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