Setting the Record Straight

To the NYS Dept. of Health:

My name is Anne C Woodlen. I have been in Crouse Hospital in Syracuse for 82 days. I am in room xxxx, phone (315) xxx-xxxx, and this is my complaint against Crouse Hospital for maintaining and disseminating a false list of diagnoses about me.

The NYS Patients’ Bill of Rights states that I have the right to—
“(8) Receive complete information about your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.”

I have repeatedly requested that my listed diagnoses be aligned with reality. In this regard, I have had conversations with—
• Laurie Fegley, nurse manager of 5 South
• Barbara Drapola, director of Care Coordination
• Nancy Williams, director of Patient and Guest Relations
• Dr. Erkin Seytnazarov, hospitalist
• And various others

On or about November 22, 2013, attending hospitalist Erkin Seytnazarov, M.D. (known to me only as “Dr. Erik”) provided me with the following list of diagnoses:
Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus secondary to lithium
Pulmonary fibrosis
Immune dysfunction
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Spinal stenosis
Obstructive sleep apnea, on BiPAP
Depression, history of suicidal attempts
Chronic kidney disease
Somatization disorder
Bipolar Disorder
Borderline personality disorder
Learning disorder
Morbid obesity
Recurrent UTI secondary to indwelling Foley cath.
Psychogenic polydipsia

The facts:
Spinal stenosis: I do not now have, nor have I ever been diagnosed with spinal stenosis. In a previous hospitalization at Crouse, I was seen frequently by Dr. Ronald Fish of Psychological HealthCare. Dr. Fish had extremely painful and complicated spinal stenosis. He terminated therapy with me in order to go to Boston for surgery. Crouse put his diagnosis on my chart. When I asked Dr. Erik to remove the diagnosis, he replied, “Everybody our age has spinal stenosis.” I do not. He never examined me.

Somatization disorder is a mental illness. According to NIH, “Somatization disorder is a long-term (chronic) condition in which a person has physical symptoms that involve more than one part of the body, but no physical cause can be found . . . this disorder was thought to be related to emotional stress. The pain was dismissed as being ‘all in their head.’” No doctor has ever told me that I have somatization disorder.

What I have is CFIDS/ME (chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis) which includes tiredness, muscle and joint pain, headache, sore throat, blurred vision, irritability, chills, fever, allergies, numbness, dizziness and numerous other problems. (Also from NIH) Doctors still haven’t figured out what causes it or how to treat it. I have no idea who made the diagnosis of somatization disorder, or when, but it is incorrect. Physicians unable to figure out how to treat CFIDS have labeled it as a psychiatric disorder.

Bipolar Disorder: I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1999 after a quarter of a century of taking antidepressants every day. When I stopped taking antidepressants in 2001, I also stopped having any signs or symptoms of bipolar disorder, nevertheless, Crouse Hospital continues to carry forward a diagnosis that no longer is correct. Around the same time that I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I also broke my left leg in two places. Crouse has dropped the broken leg from my list of current diagnoses; now I want them to stop carrying forward the no-longer-present mental diagnosis.

Borderline personality disorder: Crouse Hospital has on file two letters written this year.

One is from Dr. Nazri Ghaly, a psychiatrist who has known me for about twenty years. Dr. Ghaly is particularly well-known and respected in the Greater Syracuse Area. His letter states that I have a mood disorder “and no other psychiatric disorder.”

The other letter is from psychologist Dr. Katherine Lewis of Psychological HealthCare. She has seen me off and on as my health has permitted for the past two years. I began seeing her when the chronic hyperglycemia started causing depression. Her letter states that the only psychiatric problem I have is depression.

Dr. Ghaly has known me long and well, and can speak to the overview; Dr. Lewis has treated me most recently and speaks to my current psychological status. They agree that my only problem is depression.

Psychogenic polydipsia. What I have, as previously noted, is Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus secondary to lithium. Crouse Hospital inflicted upon me the evaluation of Dr. Thomas Falci a psychiatrist and a moron. I have never in my 66 years met a physician so unable to think logically or rationally, and so terribly lacking in the ability to be reasonable.

In his first interview (which resulted in a five-page report in which he referred to himself as “we”) he observed me drinking a lot. He asked no questions about the testing, diagnosis or treatment of diabetes insipidus, but decided—without benefit of any scientific testing—that I had psychogenic polydipsia instead of diabetes insipidus.

In the second interview, witnessed by Nurse Practitioner Peter Sinatra, I began to report the history of nephrologists and endocrinologists who had tested and treated me. I said that I had been a research subject of Dr. Arnold Moses, a world-class authority on diabetes insipidus, working out of SUNY Upstate Medical Center, and Falci interrupted me to say, “You’re not telling the truth! That’s not true!” Falci appears to be unable to tolerate any data that would challenge his absurd diagnoses. He has serious ego problems and should be referred to OPMC as a physician working impaired.

Falci also said that my fluids should be restricted. If I did that, I would probably dehydrate into a coma within three days. Falci has a medical degree, a long white coat, and is dangerous to patients. Any competent endocrinologist or nephrologist—not to mention quite a few ER doctors—would confirm that Falci’s “restrict liquids” is wrong.

I have been profoundly damaged by Crouse Hospital’s continual reporting of multiple psychiatric diagnoses that are variously outdated, unsupported or bloody wrong.

The reason I have been in Crouse for 82 days is because they can’t find me a placement in a nursing home. They can’t find me a placement because they are representing me as having multiple mental illnesses.

Under “Current treatment” Dr. Erik has put “Oxycodone, 02 via NC, BiPAP, laxatives.” (In fact, I do not now nor have I ever been on oxygen via nasal cannula; Erik has attended me every other week for three months and has never seen me on oxygen; this is the quality of Crouse’s reporting.)

Crouse Hospital is reporting that I have multiple major mental illnesses without any medication. If, in fact, I was that crazy and without medication then clearly I should be committed to a psychiatric institution—which Crouse has considered.

I want, first, for Crouse to stop sending out the baseless diagnoses about me. Then, I want Crouse to prepare—for my approval—a statement in which they withdrawal all the wrong psychiatric diagnoses and make an affirmative statement that my only diagnosis is depression, caused by chronic hyperglycemia, CFIDS and hospital isolation. That statement should then be sent out to every facility to which Crouse has previously sent the incorrect information.

This is what I want, and I want it within the week. I have been trapped in this awful hospital for 82 days. Get me out!

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 Setting the Record Straight

  1. Peters says:

    “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.”

    Strange how you say you no longer have bipolar disorder yet you tell otherwise in your about me section.

    What medical background do you have anne? Did you study psychology? Did you go to medical school? Nevertheless- you are unfit to diagnose yourself.

    You’ve burned so many bridges that local facilities refuse to take you- not because of your “psychiatric” issues. Because YOU are the issue. No facility will ever be good enough for you. You will constantly battle with each and everyone of them. Even if they bend over backwards and kiss your feet. And for the mean time, Crouse Hospital is stuck with you. Not by choice.

    You are a self centered, irrational human being.

    • annecwoodlen says:

      Since writing the thing about inheriting bipolar disorder, I have learned a lot–some people do learn. I no longer am sure whether bipolar disorder is a legitimate diagnosis for anyone or not. I am quite sure that I do not have it.

      My I.Q. is 139. My board scores were high enough to get me into medical school. There are those of us who are capable of higher level independent study and who do not seek society’s acclaim or licensure.

      I have been held in an isolation room for 83 days. How sane and rational do you think you would be after that? I have been kept isolated solely because I exercised my right to free speech, as you have just done. Good luck with that.

    -People with higher rates of inflammation are more likely to show signs of depression
    -About one in four people hospitalized with schizophrenia had urinary tract infection when admitted
    -“We just didn’t understand how much of a role the immune system plays in how we think and feel and act,” says Andrew Miller, a professor of psychiatry at Emory University. “An overactive immune system or when there’s something going on in the immune system, it can have consequences on the brain.”
    An immune response, including inflammation, new research suggests, may help explain why:
    • Brain conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease all affect mood;
    • About one in four people hospitalized with schizophrenia had a urinary tract infection when admitted to the hospital;
    • Mothers with auto-immune conditions such as lupus are more likely to have a child on the autism spectrum;
    • People with higher rates of inflammation are more likely to show signs of depression than those with healthy immune function. A study in mice presented earlier this month at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual convention showed that the immune changes came before the emotional ones.
    -For those with schizophrenia and urinary tract infections, for instance, acute psychotic symptoms often improve after a few days on antibiotics, according to Brian Miller, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Georgia Regents University in Augusta, who is studying the connection between the conditions. This isn’t to suggest that all people with schizophrenia should be on antibiotics, Miller says, but patients with both might get as much or more relief from antibiotics as antipsychotics.
    -Tips for keeping down inflammation, which might help promote good mental health:
    • Keep stress to manageable levels (inflammation probably causes stress and stress can cause inflammation; both are bad for the body and the brain.)
    • Exercise.
    • Maintain a healthy weight (excess fat leads to inflammation).
    • Get adequate sleep — 7½ to eight hours a night, on average.
    • Avoid serious infections while pregnant and in early childhood.
    • There is a little evidence that anti-inflammatory drugs, including aspirin, might help improve mood, though that research is very preliminary and these drugs are probably not strong enough to treat full-blown illnesses, say researchers.

    • annecwoodlen says:

      Thanks very much for this information, which provides some new and interesting ideas. Have you checked out PNIE–psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology? It is a relatively new area of study that tracks emotions, the nervous system, immunology and hormones, and the interplay between them. For example, people with immune system problems–psoriasis, asthma, lupus–are more apt to have psychological problems than their non-immune-complicated peers. Back pain is apt to run concurrently with depression. Post-partum hormones can cause much bad craziness in women who otherwise have been emotionally healthy.

      A woman with multiple sclerosis had an immune system that could not tolerate the full dose of medicine that she needed. She was repeatedly exposed to pictures and the smell of roses at the same time that she took her medicine. In the end, she could take 1/4 the dose of medicine, think “roses” and experience the benefit as if she’d taken a full dose. Lots of interesting stuff being learned and done in PNIE, sometimes just called PIE. BTW, there’s a lot more to the immune system than just inflammation.

  3. deena wakes says:

    when you say ‘i sense a psychiatric commitment coming: well thats because you know damn well how you are acting.

    i pity anyone that has to put up w/u.

    • annecwoodlen says:

      I learned a long time ago that the person who was the biggest pain in the hallway was the one suffering the most in the group therapy room. Guess you still have that to learn.

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