Complaint against Sunnyside Care Center


1. I cannot turn over in bed. At SCC I could power my bed down flat, grab the side-rails above my head, and pull myself up. At home, my hospital bed has no side-rails and I am too weak to turn over without assistance. As I repeatedly told SCC, I have no assistance except a home health aide and I am alone 21 hours a day. I have no family.
2. I was admitted to SCC on Thursday 6/25. I lost eight pounds in nine days at SCC.
3. When Natasha, a tall, African-American nursing supervisor, was discharging me on Friday (7/3), I asked her how I was supposed to eat. I subscribe to Meals on Wheels Monday through Friday. I would go Friday, Saturday and Sunday without food. Natasha said my aide would cook for me. She doesn’t know how to cook, and I had been in the hospital and at SCC for two weeks. My landlady had cleaned out the refrigerator, and I hadn’t been able to go grocery shopping for two or three weeks prior to that. SCC did not know or care that I would be three days without food on 4th of July weekend.
4. I was discharged home with ten prescriptions and no way to fill them:
a. A walker, a commode
b. Four scrips for insulin and needles
c. A scrip for treatment of thrush
d. A scrip for a pain killer
e. Benadryl
f. ?
5. The nurse practitioner had interrupted my physical therapy session to tell me that she’d written the prescriptions for my discharge. (A) I did not want to be discharged home; (b) my apartment was too small for a walker and a commode; (c) I had stopped taking the insulin; (d) I had never taken Benadryl. The nurse practitioner had never met me or talked to me.
6. After the admitting interview, Dr. Morrow, the only physician on staff, never spoke to me. I reacted to the insulin, and asked to speak to her. She didn’t come. The next day, an aide said, “Oh, you want to get on the book?” Yes, whatever. Dr. Morrow did not come that day either. The next day, nursing supervisor Natasha announced that Dr. Morrow had seen me the previous day. She hadn’t. That day the nursing practitioner stuck her face in mine and said she’d written the discharge prescriptions. I still was not saying yes to being discharged. On the last Thursday, Dr. Morrow came in and said she couldn’t talk to me; she had to go to a funeral. She went.
7. I asked Natasha how I was supposed to get the prescriptions filled. She said, “Your usual way.” I had no usual way. Prior to Sunnyside, I did not take drugs or use a walker or commode. I have been using a power wheelchair for about ten years; my aide does not have a car. SCC discharged me with ten prescriptions and no way to fill them.
8. When I got angry, Natasha grabbed the prescriptions and the discharge papers and left the room with my aide Ty in tow.
9. Ty, a very tall, 23-year-old African-American aide, is incompetent.
a. He took my vital signs. I asked him what my blood pressure was and he said 90. I asked what the other number was. He said 90. We went around and around on this until I turned the wrist cuff and showed him that “sys” was 160 and “dia” was 90. Ty did not know how to read a blood pressure.
b. He came into my room, turned the water on full blast to get it warm, and left the room. After 20 minutes another aide came in and turned off the water.
c. Every time Ty said he would be “back in a minute” then he would not return for half an hour.
10. Another aide also could not take my blood pressure. She came into the room with some kind of unit to check my vital signs. I asked her where the blood pressure cuff was and she said she didn’t know—she had never before checked vital signs. She left the room and did not return.
11. SCC used wrist cuffs to check blood pressure, not a manual cuff or a machine. It is my understanding that the wrist cuff is the most unreliable—and cheapest. To check temperature, they use some kind of thing that they hold against your temple.
12. Supplies always were in short supply. One day an aide dropped a washcloth on the floor. She put it in the dirty linen bag, left to get another one, and came back with a towel instead. There were no more washcloths.
13. Instead of using the standard pink pitchers, SCC uses 10 oz. hard plastic glasses with black lids that have a hole for a straw. A nurse took my glass for a refill. She did not come back with it. Later an aide went to get me another glass and came back to report that there were no more.
14. Antoinette is an evening med nurse who has been at SCC for 30 years.
a. She was the one who took away my glass and did not return it. (I have a rare kidney disease and put out four times as much urine as normal, necessitating four times the normal input.) When I saw her later, I asked her about it. She immediately went out to where she’d left the glass and brought it back.

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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