HRT - Hormone Replacement Therapy in South VEnice, FL

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What Causes Menopause?

The most common reason for menopause is the natural decline in a female's reproductive hormones. However, menopause can also result from the following situations:

Oophorectomy: This surgery, which removes a woman's ovaries, causes immediate menopause. Symptoms and signs of menopause in this situation can be severe, as the hormonal changes happen abruptly.

Chemotherapy: Cancer treatments like chemotherapy can induce menopause quickly, causing symptoms to appear shortly after or even during treatment.

Ovarian Insufficiency: Also called premature ovarian failure, this condition is essentially premature menopause. It happens when a woman's ovaries quit functioning before the age of 40 and can stem from genetic factors and disease. Only 1% of women suffer from premature menopause, but HRT can help protect the heart, brain, and bones.

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Depression

If you're a woman going through menopause and find that you have become increasingly depressed, you're not alone. It's estimated that 15% of women experience depression to some degree while going through menopause. What many women don't know is that depression can start during perimenopause, or the years leading up to menopause.

Depression can be hard to diagnose, especially during perimenopause and menopause. However, if you notice the following signs, it might be time to speak with a physician:

  • Mood Swings
  • Inappropriate Guilt
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Too Much or Too Little Sleep
  • Lack of Interest in Life
  • Overwhelming Feelings

Remember, if you're experiencing depression, you're not weak or broken - you're going through a very regular emotional experience. The good news is that with proper treatment from your doctor, depression isn't a death sentence. And with HRT and anti-aging treatment for women, depression could be the catalyst you need to enjoy a new lease on life.

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Hot Flashes

Hot flashes - they're one of the most well-known symptoms of menopause. Hot flashes are intense, sudden feelings of heat across a woman's upper body. Some last second, while others last minutes, making them incredibly inconvenient and uncomfortable for most women.

Symptoms of hot flashes include:

  • Sudden, Overwhelming Feeling of Heat
  • Anxiety
  • High Heart Rate
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Typically, hot flashes are caused by a lack of estrogen. Low estrogen levels negatively affect a woman's hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls body temperature and appetite. Low estrogen levels cause the hypothalamus to incorrectly assume the body is too hot, dilating blood vessels to increase blood flow. Luckily, most women don't have to settle for the uncomfortable feelings that hot flashes cause. HRT treatments for women often stabilize hormones, lessening the effects of hot flashes and menopause in general.

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Mood Swings

Mood swings are common occurrences for most people - quick shifts from happy to angry and back again, triggered by a specific event. And while many people experience mood swings, they are particularly common for women going through menopause. That's because, during menopause, the female's hormones are often imbalanced. Hormone imbalances and mood swings go hand-in-hand, resulting in frequent mood changes and even symptoms like insomnia.

The rate of production of estrogen, a hormone that fluctuates during menopause, largely determines the rate of production the hormone serotonin, which regulates mood, causing mood swings.

Luckily, HRT and anti-aging treatments in South VEnice, FL for women work wonders for mood swings by regulating hormone levels like estrogen. With normal hormone levels, women around the world are now learning that they don't have to settle for mood swings during menopause.

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Weight Gain

Staying fit and healthy is hard for anyone living in modern America. However, for women with hormone imbalances during perimenopause or menopause, weight gain is even more serious. Luckily, HRT treatments for women coupled with a physician-led diet can help keep weight in check. But which hormones need to be regulated?

  • Estrogen: During menopause, estrogen levels are depleted. As such, the body must search for other sources of estrogen. Because estrogen is stored in fat, your body believes it should increase fat production during menopause. Estrogen also plays a big part in insulin resistance, which can make it even harder to lose weight and keep it off.
  • Progesterone: Progesterone levels are also depleted during menopause. Progesterone depletion causes bloating and water retention, while loss of testosterone limits the body's ability to burn calories.
  • Ongoing Stress: Stress makes our bodies think that food is hard to come by, putting our bodies in "survival mode". When this happens, cortisol production is altered. When cortisol timing changes, the energy in the bloodstream is diverted toward making fat. With chronic stress, this process repeatedly happens, causing extensive weight gain during menopause.
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Low Libido

Lowered sexual desire - three words most men and women hate to hear. Unfortunately, for many women in perimenopausal and menopausal states, it's just a reality of life. Thankfully, today, HRT and anti-aging treatments South VEnice, FL can help women maintain a normal, healthy sex drive. But what causes low libido in women, especially as they get older?

The hormones responsible for low libido in women are progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.

Progesterone production decreases during perimenopause, causing low sex drive in women. Lower progesterone production can also cause chronic fatigue, weight gain, and other symptoms. On the other hand, lower estrogen levels during menopause lead to vaginal dryness and even vaginal atrophy or loss of muscle tension.

Lastly, testosterone plays a role in lowered libido. And while testosterone is often grouped as a male hormone, it contributes to important health and regulatory functionality in women. A woman's testosterone serves to heighten sexual responses and enhances orgasms. When the ovaries are unable to produce sufficient levels of testosterone, it often results in a lowered sex drive.

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Vaginal Dryness

Often uncomfortable and even painful, vaginal dryness is a serious problem for sexually active women. However, like hair loss in males, vaginal dryness is very common - almost 50% of women suffer from it during menopause.

Getting older is just a part of life, but that doesn't mean you have to settle for the side effects. HRT and anti-aging treatments for women correct vaginal dryness by re-balancing estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. When supplemented with diet and healthy living, your vagina's secretions are normalized, causing discomfort to recede.

Hormone Replacement Therapy South VEnice, FL

Fibroids

Uterine fibroids - they're perhaps the least-known symptom of menopause and hormone imbalances in women. That's because these growths on the uterus are often symptom-free. Unfortunately, these growths can be cancerous, presenting a danger for women as they age.

Many women will have fibroids at some point. Because they're symptomless, they're usually found during routine doctor exams. Some women only get one or two, while others may have large clusters of fibroids. Because fibroids are usually caused by hormone imbalances, hysterectomies have been used as a solution, forcing women into early menopause.

Advances in HRT and anti-aging medicine for women give females a safer, non-surgical option without having to experience menopause early. At Global Life Rejuvenation, our expert physicians will implement a customized HRT program to stabilize your hormones and reduce the risk of cancerous fibroid growth.

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Endometriosis

Endometriosis symptoms are much like the effects of PMS, and include pelvic pain, fatigue, cramping, and bloating. While doctors aren't entirely sure what causes this painful, uncomfortable condition, most agree that hormones - particularly xenoestrogens - play a factor.

Endometriosis symptoms are much like the effects of PMS and include pelvic pain, fatigue, cramping, and bloating. While doctors aren't entirely sure what causes this painful, uncomfortable condition, most agree that hormones - particularly xenoestrogens - play a factor.

Xenoestrogen is a hormone that is very similar to estrogen. Too much xenoestrogen is thought to stimulate endometrial tissue growth. HRT for women helps balance these hormones and, when used with a custom nutrition program, can provide relief for women across the U.S.

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What is Sermorelin?

Sermorelin is a synthetic hormone peptide, like GHRH, which triggers the release of growth hormones. When used under the care of a qualified physician, Sermorelin can help you lose weight, increase your energy levels, and help you feel much younger.

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Benefits of Sermorelin

Human growth hormone (HGH) therapy has been used for years to treat hormone deficiencies. Unlike HGH, which directly replaces declining human growth hormone levels, Sermorelin addresses the underlying cause of decreased HGH, stimulating the pituitary gland naturally. This approach keeps the mechanisms of growth hormone production active.

  • Benefits of Sermorelin include:
  • Better Immune Function
  • Improved Physical Performance
  • More Growth Hormone Production
  • Less Body Fat
  • Build More Lean Muscle
  • Better Sleep
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What is Ipamorelin?

Ipamorelin helps to release growth hormones in a person's body by mimicking a peptide called ghrelin. Ghrelin is one of three hormones which work together to regulate the growth hormone levels released by the pituitary gland. Because Ipamorelin stimulates the body to produce growth hormone, your body won't stop its natural growth hormone production, which occurs with synthetic HGH.

Ipamorelin causes growth hormone secretion that resembles natural release patterns rather than being constantly elevated from HGH. Because ipamorelin stimulates the natural production of growth hormone, our patients can use this treatment long-term with fewer health risks.

Hormone Replacement Therapy South VEnice, FL

Benefits of Ipamorelin

One of the biggest benefits of Ipamorelin is that it provides significant short and long-term benefits in age management therapies. Ipamorelin can boost a patient's overall health, wellbeing, and outlook on life.

When there is an increased concentration of growth hormone by the pituitary gland, there are positive benefits to the body. Some benefits include:

  • Powerful Anti-Aging Properties
  • More Muscle Mass
  • Less Unsightly Body Fat
  • Deep, Restful Sleep
  • Increased Athletic Performance
  • More Energy
  • Less Recovery Time for Training Sessions and Injuries
  • Enhanced Overall Wellness and Health
  • No Significant Increase in Cortisol

Your New, Youthful Lease on Life with HRT for Women

Whether you are considering our HRT and anti-aging treatments for women in South VEnice, FL, we are here to help. The first step to reclaiming your life begins by contacting Global Life Rejuvenation. Our friendly, knowledgeable HRT experts can help answer your questions and walk you through our procedures. From there, we'll figure out which treatments are right for you. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to looking and feeling better than you have in years!

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Latest News in South VEnice, FL

The Case of the Two Grace Elliotts: A Medical Billing Mystery

Earlier this year, Grace Elizabeth Elliott got a mysterious hospital bill for medical care she had never received.She soon discovered how far a clerical error can reach — even across a continent — and how frustrating it can be to fix.During a college break in 2013, Elliott, then 22, began to feel faint and feverish while visiting her parents in Venice, Florida, about an hour south of Tampa. Her mother, a nurse, drove her to a facility that locals knew simply as Venice Hospital.In the emergency ...

Earlier this year, Grace Elizabeth Elliott got a mysterious hospital bill for medical care she had never received.

She soon discovered how far a clerical error can reach — even across a continent — and how frustrating it can be to fix.

During a college break in 2013, Elliott, then 22, began to feel faint and feverish while visiting her parents in Venice, Florida, about an hour south of Tampa. Her mother, a nurse, drove her to a facility that locals knew simply as Venice Hospital.

In the emergency department, Elliott was diagnosed with a kidney infection and held overnight before being discharged with a prescription for antibiotics, a common treatment for the illness.

“My hospital bill was about $100, which I remember because that was a lot of money for me as an undergrad,” said Elliott, now 31.

She recovered and eventually moved to California to teach preschool. Venice Regional Medical Center was bought by Community Health Systems, based in Franklin, Tennessee, in 2014 and eventually renamed ShorePoint Health Venice.

The kidney infection and overnight stay in the ER would have been little more than a memory for Elliott.

Then another bill came.

The Patients: Grace E. Elliott, 31, a preschool teacher living with her husband in San Francisco, and Grace A. Elliott, 81, a retiree in Venice, Florida.

Medical Services: For Grace E., an emergency department visit and overnight stay, plus antibiotics to treat a kidney infection in 2013. For Grace A., a shoulder replacement and rehabilitation services in 2021.

Service Provider: Venice Regional Medical Center, later renamed ShorePoint Health Venice.

Total Bill: $1,170, the patient’s responsibility for shoulder replacement services, after adjustments and payments of $13,210.21 by a health plan with no connection to Elliott. The initial charges were $123,854.14.

What Gives: This is a case of mistaken identity, a billing mystery that started at a hospital registration desk and didn’t end until months after the file had been handed over to a collection agency.

Early this year, Grace E. Elliott’s mother opened a bill from ShorePoint Health Venice that was addressed to her daughter and sought more than $1,000 for recent hospital services, Elliott said. She “immediately knew something was wrong.”

Months of sleuthing eventually revealed that the bill was meant for Grace Ann Elliott, a much older woman who underwent a shoulder replacement procedure and rehabilitation services at the Venice hospital last year.

Experts said that accessing the wrong patient’s file because of a name mix-up is a common error — but one for which safeguards, like checking a patient’s photo identification, usually exist.

The hospital had treated at least two Grace Elliotts. When Grace A. Elliott showed up for her shoulder replacement, a hospital employee pulled up Grace E. Elliott’s account by mistake.

“This is the kind of thing that can definitely happen,” said Shannon Hartsfield, a Florida attorney who specializes in health care privacy violations. (Hartsfield does not represent anyone involved in this case.) “All kinds of human errors happen. A worker can pull up the names, click the wrong button, and then not check [the current patient’s] date of birth to confirm.”

It was a seemingly obvious error: The younger Elliott was billed for a procedure she didn’t have by a hospital she had not visited in years. But it took her nearly a year of hours-long phone calls to undo the damage.

At first, worried that she had been the victim of identity theft, Grace E. Elliott contacted ShorePoint Health Venice and was bounced from one department to another. At one point, a billing employee disclosed to Elliott the birthdate the hospital had on file for the patient who had the shoulder replacement — it was not hers. Elliott then sent the hospital a copy of her ID.

It took weeks for an administrator at ShorePoint’s corporate office in Florida to admit the hospital’s error and promise to correct it.

In August, though, Grace E. Elliott received a notice that the corporate office had sold the debt to a collection agency called Medical Data Systems. Even though the hospital had acknowledged its error, the agency was coming after Grace E. Elliott for the balance due for Grace A. Elliott’s shoulder surgery.

“I thought, ‘Well, I’ll just work with them directly,’” Grace E. Elliott said.

Her appeal was denied. Medical Data Systems said in its denial letter that it had contacted the hospital and confirmed the name and address on file. The agency also included a copy of Grace A. Elliott’s expired driver license to Grace E. — along with several pages of the older woman’s medical information — in support of its conclusion.

“A collection agency, as a business associate of a hospital, has an obligation to ensure that the wrong patient’s information is not shared,” Hartsfield said.

In an email to KHN, Cheryl Spanier, a vice president of the collection agency, wrote that “MDS follows all state and federal rules and regulations.” Spanier declined to comment on Elliott’s case, saying she needed the written consent of both the health system and the patient to do so.

Elliott’s second appeal was also denied. She was told to contact the hospital to clear up the issue. But because the health system had long since sold the debt, Elliott said, she got no traction in trying to get ShorePoint Health Venice to help her. The hospital closed in September.

Resolution: In mid-November, shortly after a reporter contacted ShorePoint Health, which operates other hospitals and facilities in Florida, Grace E. Elliott received a call from Stanley Padfield, the Venice hospital’s outgoing privacy officer and director of health information management. “He said, ‘It’s taken care of,’” Elliott said, adding that she was relieved but skeptical. “I’ve heard that over and over.”

Elliott said Padfield told her that she had become listed as Grace A. Elliott’s guarantor, meaning she was legally responsible for the debt of a woman she had never met.

Elliott soon received a letter from Padfield stating that ShorePoint Health had removed her information from Grace A. Elliott’s account and confirmed that she had not been reported to any credit agencies. The letter said her information had been removed from the collection agency’s database and acknowledged that the hospital’s fix initially “was not appropriately communicated” to collections.

Padfield said the error started with a “registration clerk,” who he said had “received additional privacy education as a result of this incident.”

Devyn Brazelton, marketing coordinator for ShorePoint Health, told KHN the hospital believes the error was “an isolated incident.”

Using the date of birth provided by a hospital worker, Elliott was able to contact Grace A. Elliott and explain the mix-up.

“I’m a little upset right now,” Grace A. Elliott told KHN on the day she learned about the billing error and disclosure of her medical information.

The Takeaway: Grace E. Elliott said that when she asked Padfield, the Venice hospital’s outgoing privacy officer, whether she could have done something to fight such an obvious case of mistaken identity, he replied, “Probably not.”

This, experts said, is the dark secret of identity issues: Once a mistake has been entered into a database, it can be remarkably difficult to fix. And such incorrect information can live for generations.

For patients, that means it’s crucial to review the information on patient portals — the online medical profiles many providers use to manage things like scheduling appointments, organizing medical records, and answering patient questions.

One downside of electronic medical records is that errors spread easily and repeat frequently. It is important to challenge and correct errors in medical records early and forcefully, with every bit of documentation available. That is true whether the problem is an incorrect name, a medication no longer (or never) taken, or an inaccurate diagnosis.

The process of amending a record can be “very involved,” Hartsfield said. “But with patients able now to see more and more of their medical records, they are going to want those amendments, and health systems and their related entities need to get prepared for that.”

Grace A. Elliott told KHN that she had received a call from ShorePoint Health in the previous few months indicating that she owed money for her shoulder replacement.

She asked for a copy of the bill, she told KHN. Months after she asked, it still hadn’t arrived.

Bill of the Month is a crowdsourced investigation by KHN and NPR that dissects and explains medical bills. Do you have an interesting medical bill you want to share with us? Tell us about it!

This story was produced by KHN, which publishes California Healthline, an editorially independent service of the California Health Care Foundation.

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‘I thought I could die’: Floridians awaken to power outages, flooding left in Ian’s wake

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — Millions living in southwest Florida woke Thursday morning to power outages and the destruction that Hurricane Ian left in its wake.At least 2.5 million people were without power early Thursday, and the storm even trapped some people inside their flooded homes.Though Ian was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm...

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — Millions living in southwest Florida woke Thursday morning to power outages and the destruction that Hurricane Ian left in its wake.

At least 2.5 million people were without power early Thursday, and the storm even trapped some people inside their flooded homes.

Though Ian was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm early on Thursday, its effects still lingered. In Venice Beach, on the state’s west coast, Channel 9 Reporter Dave Faherty said he could still feel the wind gusts nearly 12 hours after the powerful system passed through. Around 1 to 2 feet of rain fell in the area over a 24-hour period, with about seven hours of hurricane-force winds.

In one area of Venice Beach, Faherty could see a church surrounded by water and downed trees. The building’s lights were flashing in an area where most did not have power.

One couple told Faherty that they spent the night in the car after rising water forced them out.

“There’s 2 feet of water in the whole entire house, even in the garage. So we parked the cars next door and slept in the car. It was awful,” Dorene Hosier said.

Now, search and rescue efforts are underway in many areas. Firefighters in Venice performed welfare checks Thursday afternoon on elderly resident who chose to ride out the storm, sending their trucks into flooded areas.

Those who did evacuate attempted to navigate flooded streets near the town of Englewood as they tried to return home to check out the damage. Liam Smith said he headed out in his truck to help those who got stuck or just needed some help.

“(I was) just trying to get out and move stuff, help people get through, help supplies get in,” Smith said. Whatever I can do, you know.”

Overnight, Faherty stayed in a shelter, where he spoke to a man who said he barely escaped his car to make it there after he hit a wall of water.

“I had to crawl out the window, like, backwards,” he said. “I was kind of concerned. It was pretty scary. I thought I could die, to be honest.”

Faherty said the shelter had the capacity for 1,000 people. He saw families who had brought their pets, too. Many were waiting until first light to return home, but that could prove to be difficult with many of the roads in the area still flooded.

The shelter itself lost power in the storm, and Faherty could see crews working to get it restored Thursday morning.

One woman at the shelter told Faherty she regretted trying to ride out the storm.

“We were in south Venice. We were right off South Venice Boulevard, and everything was fine,” she said. “And then all of a sudden, the house flooded. It just started going deeper and deeper. And then by the time we were walking out, we were mid-thigh in water.”

Channel 9′s Dave Faherty arrived in Florida as residents prepared themselves and their homes for what was then Hurricane Ian.

Since Monday, Faherty has been in Sarasota County, tracking the massive storm on the ground. Then on Wednesday, he was in Venice, Florida as the storm made landfall. Faherty said the wind and rain was picking up in intensity.

Hurricane Ian’s most damaging winds began hitting Florida’s southwest coast Wednesday, lashing the state with heavy rain and pushing a devastating storm surge after strengthening to the threshold of the most dangerous Category 5 status.

Fueled by warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Ian grew to a catastrophic Category 4 hurricane early Wednesday with top winds of 155 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm trudged on a track that would have it make landfall north of the heavily populated Fort Myers area, which forecasters said could be inundated by a storm surge of up to 18 feet.

“Severe and life-threatening storm surge inundation of 8 to 10 feet above ground level along with destructive waves is ongoing along the southwest Florida coastline from Englewood to Bonita Beach, including Charlotte Harbor,” the National Hurricane Center said.

Ian menaced Florida after bringing destruction Tuesday to western Cuba, where two people were reported dead and the storm brought down the country’s electrical grid.

In its 5 a.m. EDT advisory, the agency said the storm, which had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph, was about 40 miles southeast of Orlando and 35 miles southwest of Cape Canaveral. It was moving northeast at 8 mph.

“Right now we’re focusing on west central Florida area as the main area for impact,” hurricane specialist Andy Latto told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Faherty said one location in Sarasota County had already filled up more than 15,000 sandbags ahead of the storm in anticipation of Ian’s strong winds and rainfall.

People were also spotted boarding up several businesses in the Venice area. Many said they are concerned the area could see rainfall lasting more than 24 hours and packed up to leave their homes.

“A little terrified. We did a whole renovation on our house here, so hoping it doesn’t blow away after all our hard work,” resident Sue Spiak said.

The Englewood Fire Department said it was getting ready for the storm by gassing up a huge truck that can make it through flooded areas. Firefighters said they won’t respond after sustained winds reach 40 mph because of the danger it puts first responders in.

“We’ve seen quite a few storms come through. This one is apparently going to be the worst on that we have seen,” Fox Furniture manager David Fiederer said.

Channel 9 learned 7,000 members of the National Guard were activated for the storm. Resources were also seen moving south, including power crews.

>> We have team coverage on the ground and in Severe Weather Center 9 tracking every development of the storm. Watch Eyewitness News for the latest.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

ADDITIONAL COVERAGE:

(WATCH BELOW: Channel 9 heads to Florida as Hurricane Ian hurtles toward coast)

Red tide advisory lifted for south Sarasota County beaches

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The red tide advisory that has been in place at beaches in south Sarasota county have been lifted, teh county health department said Wednesday.The advisories in effect at Turtle Beach, Nokomis Beach, North Jetty, Venice Beach, Service Club Park, Venice Fishing Pier, Brohard Beach, and Caspersen Beach since Oct. 19 have been lifted.The beach advisory signs have been changed at all beaches at this time with the exception of North Jetty, due to a temporary road closure associated with hurricane Ian clean-up...

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The red tide advisory that has been in place at beaches in south Sarasota county have been lifted, teh county health department said Wednesday.

The advisories in effect at Turtle Beach, Nokomis Beach, North Jetty, Venice Beach, Service Club Park, Venice Fishing Pier, Brohard Beach, and Caspersen Beach since Oct. 19 have been lifted.

The beach advisory signs have been changed at all beaches at this time with the exception of North Jetty, due to a temporary road closure associated with hurricane Ian clean-up. The signs will be changed as soon as possible once the area is accessible.

Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County officials received testing results Wednesday that showed zero cells for red tide were present.

There are no advisories in place for any beaches in Sarasota County at this time.

Red tide can cause some people to have mild and short-lived respiratory symptoms such as eye, nose, and throat irritation like those associated with the common cold or seasonal sinus allergies. This can cause severe symptoms among individuals with respiratory issues like asthma.

Usually, symptoms stop when a person leaves the beach or goes indoors. It’s best to avoid the beach or go indoor if issues present themselves.

Results for Sarasota County beaches will be posted today at www.ourgulfenvironment.net.

FWC red tide status updates are posted on the FWC website at https://myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/

Mote Marine’s Beach Conditions report is updated twice daily beaches with lifeguards at https://visitbeaches.org/.

Copyright 2022 WWSB. All rights reserved.

As Ian floodwaters rose, a rush to rescue residents – and livestock: 'We ride in a boat, but the horses can’t'

VENICE, Florida — Battling rising floodwaters on boat and horseback, rescuers plucked stranded residents from their homes and herded cattle to higher ground as the Myakka River overflowed its banks Saturday.Locals and rescuers, long familiar with how hurricanes push water into their neighborhoods, said Hurricane Ian drove unusually high flooding, which came three days after the storm’s passage.The heavy storm surge was exacerbated by hours of pounding rainfall in Central Florida – leading to dee...

VENICE, Florida — Battling rising floodwaters on boat and horseback, rescuers plucked stranded residents from their homes and herded cattle to higher ground as the Myakka River overflowed its banks Saturday.

Locals and rescuers, long familiar with how hurricanes push water into their neighborhoods, said Hurricane Ian drove unusually high flooding, which came three days after the storm’s passage.

The heavy storm surge was exacerbated by hours of pounding rainfall in Central Florida – leading to deep inland flooding. Several longtime residents blamed new developments for destroying historic floodplains able to soak up the water.

“We’re used to flooding, but we’ve never seen anything like this,” said Jennifer Stringer, 50, a high school teacher who has lived alongside the river since 2011. “All that water has no place to go.”

The high waters forced a nearly 24-hour closure of Interstate 75 over the river as engineers assessed the damage to bridge piers about seven miles inland from the coast. The closure caused massive traffic jams Friday night as returning evacuees struggled to get home.

'WE GET IT LAST':After Ian hits Fort Myers, Black neighborhood residents say they aren’t counting on much help

Stringer said when she left her house two days earlier, water was 6 inches below the front door of her stilt home. The water was significantly higher Saturday, and she worried what she’d find as she boarded a small boat to float down the road into her neighborhood.

'Worst I've ever seen it here'

By Saturday afternoon, a flotilla of boats was buzzing around the neighborhood, from small fishing boats to kayaks and stand-up paddleboards.

Bruce Phillips, 61, grimly climbed aboard a borrowed kayak to paddle to his longtime home off Border Road, near the Sleeping Turtles park. He and his family have lived there for 45 years, and he feared what he'd find.

Phillips evacuated his elderly mother before the storm arrived, and came back Saturday to check on the property. Phillips remembered minor flooding during previous storms and floating around on 55-gallon drums as a kid. Ian, he said, was different.

"It’s the worst I’ve ever seen it here," he said.

Most of the flooding took place inland of Venice, impacting several cattle and horse ranches, including Stepping Stones Farms, where volunteers swam eight horses out to dry land Saturday.

'Man, that's a lot of water'

“You see the water and it’s like, 'man that’s a lot of water.' It’s crazy," said Jason White, 40, who helped tear down fences so his friends could remove the animals. "But the horses intuitively know what to do.”

Chelsea Sunderman, 33, rode out out on a horse named Ringo, snapping a selfie midswim. She said she helped rescue a calf the night before, and returned Saturday to help other volunteers with the horses.

"I can't believe we did that," Sunderman said after loading Ringo into a horse trailer for evacuation.

Scott Benge, 54, who owns Stepping Stones Farm, said bringing the horses to a safe barn where they could be fed and watered was an immense relief. He said he and his family had been wading through the waters as they rose, trying to keep the horses fed, watered and safe.

SAVAING PETS:He rescued cats and dogs amid war in Ukraine. Now he's saving animals from Ian's wrath.

“It’s a huge burden lifted off our shoulders," he said. "We can ride in a boat, but the horses can’t.”

About a half a mile away, Keith Stafford, 27, sat in the bed of his pickup looking out at the water surrounding his home. Stafford and his friends drove through the water earlier in the day when it had been lower.

“We’re OK, but this is definitely the highest I’ve seen it here. We went through Hurricane Charley and it didn’t even come close to what we’re seeing," he said. "Now we’ve got our own private island."

Concerns time was running out

Authorities had no reports of deaths from the flooding, but were concerned about the safety of a Sarasota County water treatment plant.

Late Saturday afternoon, the waters were still rising, and Nikki Duyn worried aloud about her neighbors and livestock.

Duyn's home was spared, but she fretted about the cows and goats still stuck on grassy islands within the flooded areas. Her family spent several days helping extract horses and other livestock from the flood zones, and Duyn shared their work on TiKTok to her 56,000 followers, prompting a flood of requests for help.

As the sun began to descend over the flooded neighborhood, Duyn fretted there wasn't enough time to help everyone, despite the best efforts of her husband and his large extended family.

Even her 12-year-old son, Cody, was pressed into service as a rescue boat captain, zooming over the top of fences, dodging submerged mailboxes and circling neighbor's flooded yards.

“It just keeps coming,” Duyn said.

This Small Florida City Has More Canals Than Venice — and It's a Top U.S. Summer Destination on Airbnb

Craving a lazy gondola ride down Venetian canals, but can't fly to Italy this summer? Consider Cape Coral, Florida, instead.The small Florida city has more canals than anywhere else in the world — including Venice. That's why it's known by locals as ...

Craving a lazy gondola ride down Venetian canals, but can't fly to Italy this summer? Consider Cape Coral, Florida, instead.

The small Florida city has more canals than anywhere else in the world — including Venice. That's why it's known by locals as "Waterfront Wonderland." The city of less than 200,000 residents was also just named a top summer destination, in Airbnb's latest travel trends report, which found the most-searched destinations in the U.S. Cape Coral came in at No. 6, behind several other Florida enclaves, including Cape San Blas and Mexico Beach.

There are more than 400 miles of navigable waterways in Cape Coral that can take you to the Calooshatchee River, Matlacha Pass, and the Gulf of Mexico. Or you can journey via canalways down to Cape Coral's downtown district. (If you don't have your own boat, you can easily charter one — or try to befriend a local.)

Cape Coral's downtown is relatively new (the city was founded only about 60 years ago), but it's already thriving. In 2017, Forbes named Cape Coral the fastest growing city in America. Downtown, you'll find everything that bigger cities offer, like restaurants, bars, shopping — and even an art gallery and history museum.

But there's still a small-town charm to Cape Coral. The farmers market is still one of the city's most-beloved attractions. Stop by to meet locals and savor fresh produce, homemade jams, and even made-on-site guacamole. Or you can book a tour of the nearby Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery and sample the best spirits the area has to offer.

But no attraction can compare with the city's access to nature and wildlife. Cape Coral sits on the Florida coast, right across the Calooshatchee River from Fort Myers. It's a unique ecosystem, with rivers, bays, and estuaries aplenty. Opt to explore the coastline via kayak for up-close looks at the vibrant coast, filled with oyster bars, mangrove islands, and seagrass flats.

Journey to Matlacha Pass National Wildlife Refuge, where you might glimpse threatened and endangered species like the West Indian manatee, eastern indigo snake, or bald eagle. Or you can explore the 97-acre Rotary Park Environmental Center with its wetlands, salt marshes, and boardwalk. Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve is also a beloved local destination where you can chill out at sunset and maybe even catch a glimpse of dolphins in the water. Just remember to bring bug repellant. This is south Florida coast, after all.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.

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