Leaving the Iroquois


So today I went back to Crouse Hospital. Within an hour of arriving in the Emergency Dept., Peter Sinatra–only the kindest nurse practitioner in the county–arranged for Reiki, which was a blessing that I had been missing a lot at the Iroquois.

I left the Iroquois by ambulance after attempting suicide. I don’t know how much you want to talk about that, or how willing I am to talk about it, but let me know and we’ll talk about what we can talk about.

I’ve been admitted to med/surg at Crouse, with no long-term plan.

Ain’t that the truth.

But one of the hospitalists, who has his mother, mother-in-law, and nine other people living in his house, says I can come live with him.

It’s not the truth, but it’s a great kindness to say so.

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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6 Responses to Leaving the Iroquois

  1. maieliiv says:

    Anne: I’m glad we still have you. Big hug and prayers, too. You’ve had to withstand so much. Maie Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2013 01:09:10 +0000 To: maieliiv@sympatico.ca

  2. John Frantz says:

    I sent you an email. – John Frantz

  3. Sue Schuh says:

    Anne, prayers and peace thoughts to you from the Schuh women!

  4. Kay B. Orr says:

    Within time, the young Mature Flower wanted to visit her mother and her family. She made preparations and departed the lodge of the Sky Chief, and she remembered her father’s admonition not to talk to any strangers. The journey to her village was quite far but the young woman traveled quickly. Before long she heard a voice crying out to her, “Wait, I would like to speak with you.” It was the Great Fire Dragon but she did not pause in her journey. After a while, she was again hailed, “Please stay with me, I am so lonely. I would like someone to talk to.” That was Aurora Borealis. She did not speak to him but hurried on her journey. At last she came to the stream not far from her village but here was a Chief standing with a gourd of water. “Here wouldn’t you like a drink of cool water. You have journeyed far and must be thirsty.” But again, she hurried on her way not speaking to him.

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