From Dr. Eastwood, Sorta

Today, July 2, I received a letter from Upstate University Hospital dated June 26. Herewith an exact facsimile:

Dear Ms. Woodlen:

Please have this serve as notification that we are in receipt of your correspondence to Dr. Gregory Eastwood [ and dated June 18, 2014 of which we received on June 24, 2014 regarding several concerns you have had while being seen in the Rheumatology Clinic at University Health Care Center (UHCC).

We will be conducting a review of your concerns and will respond to you within thirty (30) working days. If you have any further questions or concerns I encourage you to contact me at . . .

Karen A. Wentworth, M.S.W., Director
PATIENTSfirst! Patient Relations & Guest Services

My “several concerns” included Neuroimmunology, Adult Medicine, the Joslin Diabetes Center, and the Nephrology Clinic, in addition to the Rheumatology Clinic. Oh well, maybe Ms Wentworth didn’t read the whole letter.

Then, a couple of minutes after I read her letter, I got a phone call from Joslin Diabetes Center offering to have Dr. Kelly see me this afternoon. Two problems with that: Medicaid transportation requires three days’ notice, and this afternoon I have an appointment with The Good Doctor, and I will never give up a guaranteed platinum appointment to take a chance on an unknown.

So the clinical manager says Dr. Kelly will be on vacation next week, and we’ll work on something for later.

I have no editorial comment to make.

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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