A few thoughts about "First responders"

Updated: Oct 12


Here in Florida this week, it's easy to acknowledge our first responders who are tending to the needs of many throughout our state in the wake of Hurricane Ian - our paramedics, EMS, law enforcement, coast guard, and military. We are so thankful for those individuals that serve our communities and nation as first responders. These outstanding individuals come to our rescue when we hurt; they keep us safe, act heroically, and are willing to sacrifice their personal needs and health for others. First responders do what they do out of love, often without thanks or acknowledgment. Yet, they serve because of their highest calling - love. It got me thinking about so many women who may not be paramedics or military, but they are the first responders to our families, homes, and so much more.


Let me tell you a story to help explain. A young woman of 35 years contacted my office and requested a consultation to determine if Chinese medicine could help improve her chronic fatigue. She presented one evening in my office for her evaluation, looking tired, depressed, and withdrawn. I listened as she related her life events over the past two years.


"Two years ago, my husband decided to return to school as a full-time student reducing our family income by half. I became the primary source of income for our family. The COVID pandemic had just started, and I lost the opportunity to work in my current position. I had to take on another job to make ends meet. Homeschooling my three children due to the pandemic became another one of my jobs. To make matters worse, one of my close friends had lost her husband to COVID. She had turned to me for comfort and support. For the last two years, I have had a history of significant pain stemming in my lower abdomen from undiagnosed endometriosis until a physician finally found significant growths on my ovaries as the cause. Tomorrow, I'm going in for a biopsy of polyps in my uterus that are most likely malignant."


She stopped talking and looked down, tears welling in her eyes. "I can't continue at this time to support my family or be there for my friends. I feel like I'm falling apart. The only thing I do know is that I'm committed to putting my health first as a priority. I recognize that I can't care for anyone else if I am sick. I hope you can help me."


This isn't the first time I have listened to women at their wit's end. Single women raising a family alone, senior women caring for their debilitated spouse, and middle-aged women caring for their parents. Young women who are challenged medically and financially are trying to make it on their own. What is shared among all these incredible women is they feel like there's no more of them to give. They are right. They know they need help, but they haven't lost hope. These silent First Responders commit to prioritizing their health and getting the care they need. I'm committed to supporting them in their healing journey.


If you routinely put yourself last and have recognized that your health is compromised, I would urge you consider scheduling a consultation and evaluation in my office. Too many women suffer needlessly from headaches, fatigue, insomnia, muscle and joint pains, neck and back pain, allergies, digestive disorders, or hormonal imbalances. They put off placing their health as a priority and spend their energy, time, and money on material things while jeopardizing their ability to care for others. They don't commit to caring for themselves. My pastor once told me, "if you want to know where people place their priorities, look at their checkbook." You have two choices. The first choice would be to continue doing the same thing you have always done and expect your health to improve. The second choice would be to do something different by taking charge of your health and getting the natural care you need and deserve. Choose the latter. Symptoms don't go away; they only get worse. Let us help you. Call my office or schedule online now for a consultation and evaluation, and choose you!




In good health,

Dr. Stuart Shipe DAOM, RPh, Dipl. OM (NCCAOM) Board-Certified Acupuncture & Herbology, Pharmacist

Founder & Lead Physician

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