We should all be grateful for most of our medical support system on the island | Letter

Letter to the editor.

by Laurie Miller

The Warren and Laurie Miller Trust

After nearly 30 years on the island this time, I want to thank Dr. Chris White for his diagnosis and help. With his rapid response, he discovered that I have recently been afflicted with the challenge of grand cell arteritis and have lost the use of my left eye. I have been expanding my understanding of all the parts of my body needing support to help minimize the inflammation which resulted in this loss and to work hard to protect my right eye. (Having been seen by an ocular neurologist, a rheumatologist, a vascular surgeon, and numerous other wonderful professionals who had to put up with my unhappiness at being in Harbor View for five days, I subsequently sent them all dozens and dozens of chocolate chip cookies, not knowing how else to say thank you.)

My Montana cardiologist, who Dr. Diane Boteler knows from coming over often to Montana to ski with Warren and me in the past, wanted me to find a local cardiologist as I’m not getting to Montana as much as I used to. With Diane’s help, I had an appointment with one in Bellingham. My experiences with his follow-up were not great so I turned back to Dr. Vincent Shu who I have been seeing for some time for acupressure/acupuncture. He has been helping me a great deal on many fronts and especially to combat the adverse effects of the prednisone prescribed by the rheumatologist.

A local resident, Dr. Shu who received his medical education (MD) in Taiwan, after serving 2 years of ROTC in the Navy as an ensign/medical officer, he moved to the US and started with his internal medicine residency/cardiology fellowship training at the University of California Healthcare System and with full accreditation has grown a long career of helping many, many people. I’ve seen first hand, and many times how… as much as, or more than, any medical professional I know, and as old as I am now, I know lots of them… he works tirelessly to help anyone with a problem. He is 1000% dedicated to the person’s well being.

Considering we have an aging population, and that we have no cardiologist available on the island and Dr. Alperin and our good physicians need support, I strongly urge you to see the incredible resource you have right here in our midst to have someone of such worth help with the clinic.

I am not proposing that you turn the clinic into a new-age support system (something, because of his ancient practice of acupuncture, probably discounted at by heavy-duty, AMA-types) but to look at the value of having his AMA-trained, dedicated abilities available to island residents.

I couldn’t be more grateful for his support…especially medically as he takes the time to explain the interactions going on in my body from every perspective from nutrition and lifestyle changes/needs (aiming at suppression of inflammation) to explaining all the UW testing that has been done to monitor my eye/stroke issues.

With our current third attempt (and I understand, probably our island’s only choice for medical support) of going under the umbrella of Island Hospital, I can only hope this time is a charm and the powers that be will see Dr. Shu as a dedicated and brilliant asset to that effort and enlist his services. Please help me support him to continue to help us.