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House Calls: Loved ones should know your wishes

House Calls runs every other Saturday. Today’s column is written by Molly Padilla, registered nurse at Sutter Coast Hospital and RN case manager for Home Health.

Have you ever thought about the type of health care you would want if you were not able to speak on your own behalf?

Who would you want to make decisions for you? In the event that you were terminally ill, would you want treatment that may prolong your life even if it caused great discomfort? Or would you rather receive treatment that could help you remain comfortable but may shorten your life?

It is important to carefully reflect what your wishes are for health care under these circumstances and then talk with your family and health care providers about your wishes. We all have different beliefs and ideas about what is right for us and it is good to share your preferences with people you are close to and trust.

Coastal Voices: Do you believe in love?

I’m pretty sure most holidays are scams propped up by companies — like Hallmark and Hershey — that want to sell cards and candy.

I guess that makes me not much of a romantic.

Yet here comes the quintessential romantic holiday, Valentine’s Day, another opportunity, I fear, to disappoint my wife Lynn by not making a proper show about it.

Her idea of a romantic occasion and mine are not the same.

House Calls: Croup can be scary; these steps may help

House Calls runs every other Saturday. Today’s column is written by Aleen Huston, respiratory care practitioner and certified respiratory therapist at Sutter Coast Hospital.

Your child goes to bed with a runny nose and a fever. In the middle of the night he or she wakes up, crying. It’s not so much the tears that worry you, but the loud and barking cough that is coming from the child’s room. This is called croup, which is a viral infection of the upper airway. Children get croup most often between 3 months and 5 years old. It is mostly seen from late fall through the early winter months. It is more common in boys than in girls.

Croup is an infectious illness that involves the respiratory system, mainly the vocal cords, the windpipe, and the upper airways of the lungs. The majority of the symptoms reflect involvement of the vocal cords.

Artisan Cuisine: Homemade sauerkraut a real treat

This time of year I find myself craving sauerkraut — with sausages or potatoes — or even in a good rueben sandwich on homemade pumpernickel bread.

Having a little German blood in me doesn’t hurt, but also having tasted the difference between fresh sauerkraut and store-bought, I admit to craving the stuff from time to time.  Most people who don’t care for it have only tasted the strongly acidic and bitter-flavored fermented cabbage served up on hot dogs, but the fresh, zingy flavor of the stuff you make yourself might change your perception as well.

There are also many claims that fermented foods can be good for you and your digestive system.  It’s so easy to make that you might as well try it and see if you become a convert. Here’s a simple method for your first time:


House Calls: Females have a bigger risk of ACL injury

House Calls runs every other Saturday. Today’s column is written by Sharryn Jones, a physical therapist at Sutter Coast Hospital.

Sharryn Jones
As basketball season continues, it’s worth noting there are some important differences between the sexes that should be considered during athletic training.

Studies show that females have a higher tendency towards ACL injures for several reasons. First of all, females tend to have a narrower groove in the knee where the ACL passes through. This can equal more force on the ACL, increasing the risk of injury.

Yoga Bites: Here’s how yoga may aid in weight loss

Yoga Bites appears every four weeks.

Folks in the fitness industry know that January brings many people to the gym or yoga class in order to shed unwanted pounds (holiday or otherwise). People often ask me if yoga can help with weight loss.

First of all, we must understand that many factors play into this subject such as age, genetics, lifestyle, individual will­power, and possible food addictions. We also know that in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight we must eat well, hydrate and regularly raise our heart rate to torch more calories than we take in.

There are as many styles of yoga as there are individuals on this planet. It’s true that more gentle forms of yoga practice won’t do much for your waistline, while more vigorous yoga styles can burn calories that rival most other athletic exercises. Yoga can be a killer workout.

Del Norte People: Golf film jogs memories of fairways past

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

Chuck Blackburn as a teenager with one of the trophies won while he golfed for Jefferson High School in Daly City. Submitted
Recently my wife Missy and I were in town shopping for food and goodies. She suggested that we stop by Spotlight Video for a movie.

I was sure that she would find something of interest, but to my surprise she came up empty. I had seen a cover of a DVD that had a golfer and a fly fisherman on it. I showed it to her and she agreed to renting it for a week. It was called, “Seven Days in Utopia.”

Its stars were Robert Duvall and Lucas Black. Lucas was a young man out on the professional golf tour and was actually leading the tournament going into the final hole. His father was his caddy and mentor and had a disagreement with him on the selection of his club off the tee. His father talked him into a driver when he wanted to use a three-wood to play a safer shot. This uncertainty led to a shot into deep rough. One bad shot after another led to a disastrous 14 on the par 4 hole.

House Calls: Think ahead to prevent falls at home

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

According to the Center for Disease Control, one in every three adults over the age of 65 and older falls each year.

Falls are the leading cause of injury and death among older adults. Most fractures among older adults are caused by falls. The most common are fractures of the spine, hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm and hand; 90 percent of hip fractures last year were a result of a fall.  The chances of falling and being seriously injured increase with age. Women are more likely to be injured in a fall compared to men. 

CRDN Report: Planning begins for March rally

Editor’s note: CRDN Report appears every four weeks.

As I write this, College of the Redwoods, Del Norte is in the middle of its winter break. Winter break this school year runs from Dec. 17 to Jan. 13, although the first day of on-campus classes isn’t until Jan. 17. The staff didn’t get quite that long of a break and the campus was open as of Jan. 3.

With classes not in session and students not on campus, the student-run clubs at CRDN don’t usually have anything going on during this time other than perhaps some planning about what they are going to be doing next semester.

Artisan Cuisine: Healthy soups homemade with bouillon

Many times when I’m in the mood for a healthy homemade soup I realize I’m out of chicken stock and I really don’t like to resort to using bouillon cubes that have MSG and contain mostly salt.

So, this habit of making a quick vegetable bouillon for flavoring soups is healthy, very handy and much better tasting than buying store-bought stock or bouillon. Here’s how you make it and one of my favorite winter soup recipes to try:

Clean and scrub your veggies well, then chop into 2-inch pieces as necessary to put into a food processor.

1 bunch of celery, including the leaves (about 8 stalks)

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