Annie’s Testimony (Part II)


On July 8, I left a message for Iroquois Administrator Moshier; she did not return my call.  I filed a complaint with the NYS Dept. of Health nursing home hotline, as directed by the Iroquois Resident Handbook.

On July 9, Investigator Alice from the DOH Case Resolution Unit called me and said she would be calling the Iroquois later that day.

I also was seen by psychologist Dr. Katherine Lewis from Psychological Health Care, Inc., whom I have been seeing, as my health permits, for support on issues of aging, for almost two years.  She is currently camping in Maine with her family and is unaware that she is needed to testify to the fact that I was in good shape that Tuesday.

I told her how happy I was at the Iroquois.  The aides, nurses and nurse managers with whom I worked on a daily basis were excellent.  I had discovered a wheelchair-height garden where I could work.  There had been an outdoor concert.  After living alone for decades, I now could go to the dining room three times a day and sit with others for meals.  I had been placed on Iroquois’ rehab floor because of my “cognitive competence.”  That competence was shared by three of the other people at my table who also had farm life in their background.  We talked about ordinary things like how you clear pinfeathers from a chicken.  I had friendly relations with my neighbors’ relatives.

I was happier than I had been in a decade, except for the problem of getting a doctor to prescribe medication for occasional acute distress.  Dr. Lewis proposed that she call the Iroquois in support of getting me to see Dr. Nasri Ghaly, who had been my psychiatrist, although I had not needed any psychiatric treatment for several years.

Krista Harder documented a discussion we had in the afternoon [PN 17], solely about how to get me together with a doctor who could effectively prescribe medication.  I do not have any psychiatric illness; I have symptoms that result from hyperglycemia.  Physically induced emotional problems cannot effectively be relieved by psychotherapy; they need medication.  Krista’s note made no mention of any aberrant behavior on my part, but did state she would (or had) contacted Lockwood.

Lockwood then dictated a Progress Note [p 18] without seeing me.  The note was being posted while he was in my room the next morning.  He “modified” the note after he sent me to the Emergency Room.

In the evening, Krista entered another note [PN 17] following her discussion with Dr. Lewis.  Again, there is no mention of any current psychological problem.  The discussion was about getting a doctor for medication.

On July 10, I came out of the bathroom at 6:00 a.m. and discovered Lockwood and the night nurse in my room.

Lockwood was rude, hostile and abrupt.  He refused my request for a single finger stick each morning, and refused my request for follow-up thyroid testing even though—I found out later from the notes—he already had ordered it.  Apparently he didn’t know anything about my case, including his own orders.  When I tried to explain the problem with the immune system and medication, Lockwood cut me off and demanded to know what I wanted.  I was beyond the point of wanting him to do his job, so I asked for an appointment with Dr. Ghaly.  Lockwood snapped “yes” and walked out, followed by the nurse.  The duration of the doctor’s presence was about six minutes.

Then, believing myself to be alone in the sanctity of my own room, I loudly announced to the ceiling that Lockwood was an asshole.  I probably said that he was a complete asshole, and may have elaborated.  Progress Notes [p19] indicate that Nurse Re and Lockwood were still outside my door and overheard my private declaration.

I strongly dispute Lockwood’s comments in his note, particularly regarding Dr. Falci.  I had filed a written response to Dr. Falci’s note, which was supposed to have been included in my hospital chart.  There is no indication that Lockwood read it.  Among other things, Falci didn’t even mention that I had hyperglycemia or that my moods should be assessed relative to that.

Around 9:00 a.m., Nursing Supervisor Susan Greer entered my room and announced that I was “being returned to Crouse” as if I was a product being returned to a store.  I asked why.

She said “Because we can’t meet your needs.”

“What needs?” I asked.

She replied, first, that they couldn’t do finger sticks. Okay, I said, I don’t want the finger sticks, thinking that if I had to choose between finger sticks and leaving the Iroquois, then I wanted to stay at the Iroquois.  Greer then spoke of the thyroid testing.  Again, I said, okay, forget that, take it off the table, I no longer am requesting that.

Finally, Greer brought up the appointment with Dr. Ghaly, telling me that I could not go off campus to see a specialist.  According to the Iroquois Handbook, I could; according to Nurse Manger Krista Hardter, I could; according to Dr. Lockwood, I could.  Why was Greer now saying that I couldn’t?

I argued that I was there for comfort care, that proper medication for pain—whether physical or emotional—was required, and that I needed to keep the appointment.  Greer walked out.  She had run the litany between Lockwood and me, and I had refused to be submissive and let myself be thrown out of the Iroquois.

Shortly afterward, she returned, this time announcing that I was being sent to the Crouse ER for a psychiatric evaluation.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because, by your own admission, you had a complete meltdown on Saturday,” she replied.

“Today is Wednesday,” I said.

“This morning you raised your voice and swore,” she said.  Expressing my frustration in the privacy of my room was now being used to falsify the need for a psychiatric evaluation.  During this conversation, Greer also slipped and made reference to me being transferred to the third floor.  (To be continued)

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 Annie’s Testimony (Part II)

  1. Felica says:

    Very good write-up. I certainly love this site. Keep writing!

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