500 and Climbing


Today is a gray, overcast day in Syracuse. The sky has been weeping off and on for several days. I’ve been out and gotten totally soaked a couple of times. Some of the trees are in early yellow-green as their leaves begin to bud.

The chancellor’s mansion is about on eye-level with me four blocks away. The ex-chancellor moved out in December, then they started renovating the manse while the new chancellor and his wife lived downtown in an apartment in Armory Square. After the renovations, the chance moved into his new home and—to let us know he was in residence—he hung a Syracuse University flag out his back window. Problem is, the flag is orange and orange is just plain ugly.

From my bed I see a span that is about five blocks by three blocks and there is not a single thing in those fifteen square blocks that either is similar or complimentary to the color orange. In a word, the S.U. flag is an eyesore. I’ve thought about pointing out to the chancellor that he is perpetrating ugliness, but he probably wouldn’t take it kindly—or remove his flag—so I’ve kept quiet and just prayed for the leaves to grow.

On my computer, Pandora radio is on “My Shuffle,” currently playing “The Gridiron Club, March for Band” by John Philip Sousa, and previously playing the overture from My Fair Lady, Karen Akers singing “Send In the Clowns,” k. d. lang’s version of “Hallelujah” and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence.” Hey, did you hear that Simon and his wife got arrested for a shoving match? It’s only their fourth fight in 22 years of marriage. Their problem is inexperience.

Speaking of problems, I recently learned that an old friend is in bad trouble. He kept me afloat when I was detoxing from prescriptive medicine, so I’ve reached out to offer him a hand. A young friend is giddy with new love. Another friend came to visit, gave me a lot of hugs, and moved my cartons and furniture. Most people, when you yell at them, they shut you out of their lives. This guy yells back at me. This is a very good thing.

Today got off to a bad start. My glucose has been steadily rising; today the 14-day average is a flat 500. I can’t take insulin, probably because of the immune aspect of chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS) but nobody really knows. I always thought that the topnotch physicians doing teaching, research and clinical work at Upstate Medical Center would deal with the most serious, complicated and rare diseases. Turned out I was wrong.

Only a coordinated approach might be helpful but the physicians are each little tyrants working in their own field and will not cross the lines to work together. CFIDS is rare and nobody know how to treat it; drug intolerance needs to be addressed by an immunologist, but there are none; uncontrolled diabetes cannot be treated without understanding CFIDS but nobody knows . . . Upstate sucks.

So the homeopaths came and sat in my living room a week ago and asked me if I’d had any exposure to chemicals. I thought ‘asbestos, lead paint, working in a factory’ and said “No.”

Then I said, “Well, I took antidepressants every day for 26 years.”

Duh.

They gave me a remedy—three itsy-bitsy little pellets of some kind of mercury thing—to take on Monday, which I dutifully did. On Wednesday I received word from Upstate, via MyChart, that I have a really bad bacterial urinary tract infection, so the boss homeopath told me to take ten drops of the remedy last night, which I did, and now I feel horribly worse.

Ah, what the fuck.

I got a home health aide a week ago. She’s young, petite, the single parent of three little girls, certified as a nurse’s aide, an EMT, and a phlebotomist. In September she will start training for her R.N. I am struck dumb with wonder at the remarkable energy and courage that some of these young women have. She came this morning, got me breakfast (darn kid acted as if she’d never heard of a banana and peanut butter sandwich on toast), cleaned up the place, made my bed, and left me to—

My psychologist, who had checked and assured me that I could either go to her office or have her come to my home, no matter. She also told me that Medicaid wouldn’t pay for her visit today because I am earning too much money. See also “For Want of $5.00” https://annecwoodlen.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/for-want-of-5-00/

So I call my Power of Attorney (POA) and he says he sent the county two checks, each for $5.00, one for April and one for May. Then he calls the county and they won’t talk to him because he is not on my account. He now has to take time off from seeing his patients so he can go to the Civic Center and get put on my account as POA and THEN ask the bloody incompetent fools why they didn’t appropriately credit the checks.

I hate the county government so bad that it gives me a headache. Or maybe the headache is from the 500 average blood sugar. It’s really hard to think when your glucose is that high, not to mention nobody should be out wandering the streets in this condition.

So here I am home in bed looking at the chancellor’s ugly orange flag and listening to “Liebestraum (3), Notturnos for Piano (After Songs Lw N18), S. 541, Lw A103,” a little ditty whipped up by Franz Liszt.

It could be worse.

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
This entry was posted in Alternative therapies, American medical industry, drugs, Government Services, Medicaid, Medical care, Onondaga County, Pharmaceuticals, physician, Poverty, Values. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 500 and Climbing

  1. 500 glucose ranges are not good, not good at all…no wonder the headache. I feel bad for you. But you surely are a good writer, for all the troubles in your life. I wanted to tell you that. You have a real flair for words if nothing else. Brava for that. I know it is small comfort, but maybe it is a little comfort, I dunno. Hope you feel better tomorrow.

    • annecwoodlen says:

      It is more than “a little comfort.” Emotionally, I am in a good bit of pain as a result of the homeopathic remedy. Your words of comfort and appreciation mean a lot to me. Thank you.

  2. BY the way, what ever happened to your carbuncle. that was an interesting story, one, but two, it was left up in the air as to how you would or did fare. Is it healing , has it gone away? How did you ever survive taking the doxy? Good luck in any event. My one time boyfriend had a classical carbuncle on his thigh and they had to cut it out of him, left a wicked looking scar right near his groin…Are they certain that what you have is a carbuncle? I thought carbuncles were more like massive boils? Or opened up boils…? That they had to be lanced very carefully…?

    • annecwoodlen says:

      Sorry I never followed up on this. Time passes and stuff happens. Yes, a carbuncle is a massive boil. I variously (a)was told that carbuncles are self-healing; (b) received a healing Reiki treatment; and (c) took the antibiotic doxy-whatever. Somehow, someway, the carbuncle healed. Time and Reiki did no harm; the antibiotic did considerable harm. After three doses, I had to stop taking it.

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