In his user-friendly reference manual House Calls, Dr. Terry Hollenbeck shares knowledge and guidance on an array of interesting and useful topics relating to everyday health awareness in today’s world. A neighborhood doctor with 40 years’ experience, Dr. Terry has for more than 10 years shared his knowledge and insights with the community through his column “Valley Doctor” in the local newspaper, the Press-Banner. A selection of those writings was compiled to create this book.
Dr. Hollenbeck recently retired his practice as an urgent-care physician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Santa Cruz in Scotts Valley, California. Born into a family with several generations of doctors, Dr. Terry remembers the time when doctors would make house calls.
In tune with the open-hearted approach Terry’s patients have appreciated through the years, his writings include reflection on his personal journey with cancer treatment for multiple myeloma.
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Introduction: “I used to go on house calls with my physician father when I was a young lad. I thoroughly enjoyed going into strangers’ homes and watching my dad as he treated the homebound patient. House calls fell out of favor when physicians no longer had the time to do so, and also because of the modern changes occurring in the practice of medicine, such as the increasing need and use of X-rays, lab tests, EKGs, and other new technologies that were impractical to bring to a patient’s home.
As an urgent care physician for more than 35 years and seeing people in my clinic for their various illnesses, I realized that a significant number of these patients had problems that could be diagnosed and treated without an actual office visit. Then I thought back to the old house call days when all this could be done in a patient’s home. It made me think about what I would want to say and do if a patient was sitting in front of me in my office. I like to think of this book as bringing my office experience and expertise into your home.”
Dr. Terry Hollenbeck received his medical degree from The Medical College of Wisconsin in 1971. He came to California to do an internship at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose with the intention of returning to practice medicine in Milwaukee, as was the family tradition. But as he says, “California grabbed ahold of me and never let go.”
Dr. Hollenbeck joined the Santa Cruz Medical Clinic in 1987 and spent “28 wonderful years” practicing urgent care medicine in Scotts Valley. He began writing for the Press-Banner more than 10 years ago and has published some 200 articles to date. He lives in Felton with his wife Beth, a busy music educator, and their daughter, Emma.
CARDIOVASCULAR ISSUES IN WOMEN
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, responsible for more deaths each year than from all other causes combined. Between the ages of 45 to 65, one in nine women develops some form of cardiovascular disease. After age 65 the ratio climbs to one in three women.
In a recent study, 58% of women 55 or younger hospitalized for a heart attack didn’t suspect heart problems, despite having chest pain. Delayed treatment is one reason women are more likely to die after a heart attack than are men.
The following are risk factors for women that should be discussed with your doctor:
- Prior history of heart disease
- Age over 55
- Family history of early heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Elevated cholesterol/triglycerides
Obesity has been associated with increased cardiac mortality and weight loss is beneficial, but repeated weight loss and weight gain, called “weight cycling,” actually increases mortality. This is one of many reasons to lose weight and keep it off.
Common symptoms of heart attacks are chest pain often radiating to the left neck, jaw and shoulder, shortness of breath, nausea, and sweating. Women having a heart attack may have the above symptoms as well as the following:
- Fatigue and trouble sleeping
- Feelings of anxiety
- Discomfort between the shoulder blades
- Sense of impending doom
Recommendations for women to reduce cardiovascular disease:
- Daily physical exercise
- Avoid cigarette smoking
- Weight reduction
- Healthy diet
- Treatment of high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol
If you have any of the above issues, I recommend that you work closely with your doctor to achieve a longer and healthier life.