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Healthy Living: Echocardiogram: What’s really in your heart?

House Calls runs every two weeks. Today’s column is written by Randy Landenberger, a registered diagnostic cardiac sonographer at Sutter Coast Hospital.

I think there’s an echo in here, an echo in here, an echo in here…

An echocardiogram, that is. The first thing I’ll say about this test is that the name is confusing because “echocardiogram” sounds so much like electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG). Specifically an echo is an ultrasound exam of the heart, and is also known as an echogram or a cardiac ultrasound. Many patients tell me they’ve had echos on their gallbladder, their neck, or their legs. What they really mean is that they’ve had ultrasound exams on those areas. Echo refers specifically to the heart.

Del Norte People: Remembering boat that went the wrong way

As we grow older I think that we look at our life’s experiences a little differently than in our younger years.

I have had a chance to reflect more on the unbelieveable experiences of coming out west in 1946 with my father, Wes Blackburn. He had such an impact on me in teaching me about living, surviving, working and having good moral values.

I wrote my book, “Kneebockers,” to honor my father and what he did for me. He died on Easter Sunday morning in 1976 of a heart attack.

Del Norte Students: Homecoming: How it all comes together

Emma Card
Del Norte Students is a new column that will appear periodically. Today’s column was written by Emma Card of Del Norte High School.

The beginning of another school year for us Del Norte High students inevitably comes around at the peak of our summer fun.

The sound of that tedious alarm clock early in the morning brings with it the stresses of grades, sports and school in general. Any teenager can be overwhelmed by these responsibilities.

House Calls: Mammogram: Have you had one recently?

House Calls runs every four weeks. Today’s column is written by Wendi Workinger, supervisor of diagnostic imaging at Sutter Coast Hospital.

I have been doing mammography since 1999.  I learned from the master of mammography in Del Norte County, Susan.

That same year I was sitting with a close family member and we were discussing my work. I asked her if she had a mammogram yet.  She answered “No,” and I was kind of surprised.  Here was a smart woman in her 50s and she had yet to go in for her first baseline mammogram?

Her father was a doctor and she was well versed in medical issues. It didn’t make sense to me. I asked her, “Are you afraid of the test?” She said, “No, I am afraid of the results.” I convinced her that she needed to make an appointment with her doctor and discuss getting a mammogram.

Del Norte Gardening: Plant a winter cover crop in order to protect soil

Del Norte Gardening runs monthly. Paul Madeira and Julie Jo Ayer Williams own Ocean Air Farms in Fort Dick.

As October draws near, there is one job on our minds that takes precedence above all others.

It is the winter cover crop, which we feel is the most important and time-sensitive task that will be the most beneficial to us in the spring.

For those of you who have never heard of a cover crop, we will do our best to explain. A cover crop is any plant, such as winter rye grass or clover, planted between periods of regular crop production to prevent soil erosion and provide humus or organic matter. Also known as a green manure, these crops tend to grow quickly and achieve a large mass of plant, or “organic matter,” as is commonly phrased.

Hey Ranger: Enderts Beach: overlook to history

Enderts Beach looking south: beautiful and rich with history. Photo courtesy of Redwood National and State Parks
The “Hey Ranger” column written by employees of the Redwood National and State Parks  is published monthly. Today’s column is by Park Ranger Michael Poole.

As a park ranger I am often asked which, out of all the abundant wonders of the parks, is my favorite place.

That’s easy! For me, it’s got to be the Crescent Beach Overlook area — partly because it’s just a beautiful place and partly because it’s rather historic.  

The overlook is one of the prettier coastal viewing spots in Redwood National and State Parks. Atop a 200-foot cliff, it commands a view that stretches from Point St. George to the bluffs north of Damnation Creek.

House Calls: Physicians’ assistants, nurse practitioners are vital

House Calls runs every other Thursday. Today’s column is written by Christopher B. Cutter, a physician at Sutter Coast Community Clinic.

Rural areas such as Del Norte County present many complex challenges to the delivery of high-quality health care.

They tend to have many people who are elderly, disabled, unemployed and often with limited resources. When this is combined with a limited number of primary care physicians and specialists, the difficulty is obvious.

Without ready access to qualified primary care, it is very difficult to keep a population well while attending to day-to-day needs. People need competent providers to manage their medications, ar­range for appropriate monitoring, and take care of their urgent medical concerns. Without a primary care base serving the population, all of the specialists in the surrounding areas could never accomplish much lasting good. People need family doctors. Period.

Del Norte People: An educator who brought history to life

Editor’s note: Longtime Del Norte County resident Chuck Blackburn’s column appears every fourth Thursday.

Who are Captain Jack, Curly Headed Doctor, Schonchin John, Hooker Jim and Scarfaced Charley?

What was their relationship to General E.R.S. Canby, Albert Meacham, Reverend Eleasor Thomas and Major General Alvan Gillem?

These names, places and events were introduced to me by my good friend and educator, Ed Anderson, Team C leader at Crescent Elk School in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Ed taught history at Crescent Elk and worked in the team teaching group with Harold Martin, Ron Darlington and Ted Weber.

House Calls: Tennis elbow: No racquet required to be a sufferer

Editor’s note: House Calls runs every other Thursday. Today’s column is written by Bradley R. Kime, staff physical therapist at Sutter Coast Hospital.

Lateral epicondylosis, aka “tennis elbow,” is a condition where the outer part of the elbow becomes painful and may radiate into the forearm and wrist.

It is the tendon that attaches the wrist muscles to the outer part of the elbow that is affected. It is generally painful when a person shakes hands, holds a coffee cup or turns a doorknob.

First recognized in people playing racquet sports in the late 1800s, it was given the name “tennis elbow.” However, it commonly occurs in people who’ve never before played tennis. The majority of cases occur in people ages 31-50, and it equally affects both genders and generally occurs on the dominant side. The condition affects 3 percent of the world’s population and increases to 10 percent within the older age ranges.

House Calls: There are ways to lower risk of having a stroke

Editor’s note: House Calls runs every other Thursday. Today’s column is written by Beverly Sutter, physical therapy supervisor at Sutter Coast Hospital.

The term “stroke” is often used to describe a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) — a sudden, crippling, sometimes fatal occurrence.

Although young people, even children, occasionally suffer strokes, they most typically affect older people. When a stroke occurs, the blood flow through one or more blood vessels of the brain is disrupted. If the disruption is severe and prolonged enough to deprive brain tissue of blood and oxygen, the involved tissue will cease to function and die.

The warning signs of a CVA or stroke include dizziness; unsteadiness; sudden falls; temporary dimness or loss of vision, particularly in one eye; temporary loss of speech or trouble in speaking or understanding speech; or sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm and leg on one side of the body.

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Del Norte Triplicate:

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P.O. Box 277
Crescent City, CA 95531

(707) 464-2141

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