About That “Deep Sleep” Thing



My name is Anne C Woodlen. I have been in Crouse Hospital in Syracuse for 84 days. I am in room 5008, and this is my complaint against Crouse Hospital for refusing to give me a diagnosis.

In the past year I’ve had half a dozen episodes of apparent neurological shutdown. I can hear but cannot speak, open my eyes, or move any part of my body. The episodes last about three hours.

I have had four episodes while inpatient at Crouse Hospital, the two most recent being November 29 and 30. On the 29th, I asked the attending hospitalist, Erkin Seytnazarov, M.D. (known to me only as “Dr. Erik”) to request a neurological consultation.

He refused to do it, stating that I “didn’t have a stroke or brain tumor so there was no need.” In fact, I have chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome (myalgic encephalomyelitis), which is a neuro-immune disease.

I persisted until Dr. Erik finally said he would order a neurological consultation. Five days later, no neurologist has seen me and the nurses report that there is nothing in the chart to indict that a neuro consult has been requested.

I am constantly concerned that this neurological shutdown will happen again. The nursing staff doesn’t know what to do or how to help me when these episodes occur. We all need the guidance of a neurologist.

I want Crouse Hospital to get a neurologist to see me right away to diagnose the problem.

Anne C Woodlen
Dec. 4, 2013

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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