Name that Roommate

Submitted on 2013/11/08 at 8:48 am
Maybe you should take some time and self-reflect on this situation? Would you want to be your roommate? Would you like someone blogging about your personal business on the Internet without consent? By reading just the past few blogs- it appears as though you do not have any boundaries when it comes to others. Sounds like the hospital keeps you secluded for those reasons. And if this hospital is as bad as you make it sound… Why don’t you just leave? If you are as sick as you are saying- go to a different hospital. “You can’t help someone who won’t help themselves”
Your opening comment reveals a remarkable level of—what shall I call it?—silliness? ‘Take time and reflect?’ What, pray tell, do you think I have been doing for the past two months?

Would I want to be my own roommate? I most certainly would have when I was admitted two months ago.

‘Blogging about personal business’–show me where I have. Make this a specific, concrete discussion of actual events–because I have not. I HAVE NOT GIVEN ANY SPECIFIC FACTS THAT WOULD ENABLE YOU TO IDENTIFY THE SUBJECT. I have not given out names, addresses, work sites or anything else that would enable a reader to trace what was written back to the subject about whom it was written. I fully and totally protect the identities of the people about whom I write.

I interviewed a home health aide for employment, during the course of which she named another client she had and talked about very intimate toileting details in her care of that woman. I told her that I attended business meetings with that woman, and it was totally wrong for the aide to under-cut the woman’s professional relationship with me by putting in my mind a picture of her vulnerability and weakness.

We each get to present ourselves as we choose. No third party has the right to gain intimate knowledge and use it to the detriment of others. If she had not named the woman, then it wouldn’t have mattered. I could have sat in meetings for years without ever knowing that this particular woman had to have . . . whatever.

I defy you to identify the subject of anything I have written. If you can trace anything I’ve written back to the subject about whom I’ve been writing, tell me. Show me. You need to know that someone, somewhere, is going through what these people are going through. You need to know the stories of humanity, which is what I tell. Apparently I have succeeded well in that I have made these people so real that you feel you know them. You do know their human condition; you do not know their names, where they live, where they work, who they’re related to or any other personally identifying things.

I would not choose to move to another hospital because this hospital is the best of the three available in my area, and there’s the pity.

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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2 Responses to Name that Roommate

  1. Peters says:

    Maybe I should have put this in more simple terms for you Anne. For example- I read one of your blogs that talks about a roommate that you had who had an addiction of some sort. You became close with her and her “hubby”. You blogged about how one night she asked for pain medicine- and you decided to call the “hubby” and tell him this. You see- you do not need to add in this patients name, work, address or any other identifying factors. If this particular woman found out about your blog and read this- she would know it’s about HER. That identifies the patient right then and there. Let me ask you another simple question? If you had a roommate who also liked to blog- and one day you stumbled across her blog and saw numerous details about the conversations that you two shared- your medical history- your bad days- your deepest secrets.. Although she never actually said your name in it.. How would YOU feel? I know that I would be extremely upset. The hospital is protecting its patients rights.

    • annecwoodlen says:

      That identifies the patient TO THE PATIENT and guess what? She already knows what she is doing. I have not in any way, shape or form identified her to others.

      Reference the Holy Bible in which it is repeatedly written that what is done in the darkness will be revealed in the light. Do you understand at all? My roommates know who they are and what they’ve done. I’m not telling them anything they don’t already know. And, since I leave no identifying factors, I am not telling anyone else.

      I’m very sorry that this is beyond your ability to grasp, but I’ve explained it as best I can.

      “If this particular woman found out about your blog and read this- she would know it’s about HER.” And she is the ONLY person who would know that it is about her. Nobody else would know. Her privacy is completely intact. “That identifies the patient right then and there.”–but it ONLY identifies her to herself, not to anyone else.

      I am told that I should have greater compassion for you because you are not very smart, but I think that if you are smart enough to write then you should also be smart enough to make sense. You know, I could be more compassionate if you would be less mean.

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