So, you know me, I’ve been trying to get someone to provide relief for Cora. My efforts have included reaching out to (and this will be a partial list because I can’t remember them all):

• At the Iroquois: Colleen, nurse manager; Sue Greer, nursing supervisor; Sonya Mosher, chief administrator
• Long Term Care Ombudsman at the state level, and local level, which is Catholic Charities
• At the NYS Dept. of Health: Alice, in the Case Resolution Unit; Donna, (title unknown), her boss Mark Brownell, and his boss Richard Rees, Director, Bureau of Complaints and Analysis, NYSDOH, Office of Health Systems Management, Division of Nursing Homes and ICF/IID Surveillance
• At the NYS DOH Regional Office in Syracuse, Supv. Karen Vendetti

I was told that Karen Vendetti would do an on-site visit at the Iroquois yesterday. When I called her up—still in tears from listening to Cora’s 81 pleas for help—Karen very pedantically and patronizingly told me how THE PROCESS works.


I have filed countless complaints orally and in writing for several weeks with the New York State Dept. of Health. Nothing has changed. People suffer and the DOH works its PROCESS.

And then something changed.

Nursing Supervisor Susan Greer, a known perjurer; Mia Ibrahim-Lester, Iroquois’ “Facility Representative”; and Colleen, the fourth floor nurse manager, walked into my room while I was still in enormous distress from listening to Cora’s 81 cries, AND THEY KICKED ME OUT.

That is, they handed me a Discharge Notice dated 9/4 stating the effective date of discharge is 9/6—Friday, i.e., tomorrow.

“Location to which the resident/patient will be transferred/discharged: McCarthy Manor Apartments.” They plan on sending me back to the apartment I left in an ambulance almost five months ago.

“Reason(s) for Transfer/Discharge: Appropriate as Anne does not require skilled services and is returning home.” “Is returning home”—you mean, ‘is being returned home’—don’t make it sound like there’s anything voluntary about it. The Iroquois is trying to dump me again.

Well, I started screaming obscenities at Sue Greer—not the worst I’ve ever screamed but damn near it. And you know what Greer did? She directed that Cora be brought out to the lounge so that she wouldn’t be near me. All Cora needed for peace and quiet was for Greer, et al, to leave.

Then I called DOH and appealed the decision.

Here’s what I think: I think Administrator Sonya Mosher started reading my blog and totally flipped out. There is no indication that anyone at the Iroquois prior to last Friday, August 30, had the slightest clue that I’ve been writing this blog about them starting around July 8. As of Friday, I have two reasons to believe that the Iroquois began to find out about my blogging but, you know, it was a long holiday weekend and nobody caught up.

Yesterday there were 400 hits on my blog. I, being a standard egoist writer, thought it was because I am brilliant. Nah, it was because everybody at the Iroquois was checking in and reading five or six blogs apiece.

Hey Sonya, Tonya, Mia and all the fun folks at the Iroquois: you all reading me today? Keepin’ up?

Then Tuesday I—being totally clueless—called and left Sonya a message inviting her to meet with me. I always do that. I always try to work with the resident powers before I go outside an agency and file complaints. First time I called Sonya was around July 8. She didn’t return my call then or Tuesday, but she did send a couple people—social worker and nurse manager?—to say that she would meet with me around 3:00. Then, as they were turning to leave, the folks said that they, also, would be present for the meeting because Sonya liked to work with “the team.”

Well, I’ve been an activist for a long time and I’ve learned that what an agency calls “the team approach” an activist calls “a gang rape.” Since that’s no fun for the rapee, I told the “team members” that I would not meet with them. If Sonya wanted to talk to me then she should come alone.

She, of course, did not come at all. Without her team, what is she? I am a child of God. I don’t need a bunch of other people to back me up, but I for damn sure am not going into a room where I sit on one side and three or four opponents sit on the other side. I’m tired; I’m sick; I don’t do gang rapes.

So Wednesday, yesterday, they got the doctor in here promptly at 1:30. We had a five-minute conversation about the catheter and the oxycodone, he put his stethoscope to my lungs, and then he left. How much do you want to bet that he wrote a progress note saying I’m fine and don’t need skilled nursing care?

And then social worker Brianne called and left a message on my Power of Attorney’s answering machine, saying that they were discharging me. He didn’t hear the message until several hours later. Meanwhile, Greer and “the team” came in and gave me the discharge notice.

So what’s wrong with “returning home?” Well, for starters, according to the Iroquois Resident Handbook, I will be “carefully prepared for moving out of the facility . . . Your social worker will assist you with all aspects of discharge planning to assure your safety once you leave Iroquois.”

Yeah, right. Let me tell you what actually happened. Sonya sat in the last hearing and announced that they were going to get rid of me—probably to a geriatric psychiatric facility—then she sent in Susie Parker.

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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