October 5, 2015
Born Free, that’s the song running through my mind this morning as I am writing this post.
Er, not the Kid Rock song.
I hope there are some readers who are familiar with the movie ‘Born Free’ and its theme song. Or perhaps they watched the TV series in the early 70’s…..I hope I don’t go too far at revealing my true age here (I’m a Baby Boomer) as I wax nostalgic about the beautifully filmed movie about a lion and its human family in Africa.
Perhaps it’s not surprising that this is currently the ‘theme song’ of my life, because I have Africa and ‘Wilderness’ on my mind: in three days I head out to South Africa en route to the 16th biennial congress of the South African Sports Medicine Association(SASMA 2015); and I’m still reading through and enjoying our fabulous September 2015 CJSM, entirely dedicated to the subject of Wilderness Medicine.
I want to note here and now that our Wilderness Medicine theme issue, published just a month ago, remains free as of this writing–each article is freely available for a time, the better to widely (wildly?) disperse the messages about pre-participation evaluation, risk stratification, and injury prevention in the wilderness adventurer/athlete.
One of the articles I particularly enjoyed was written by Tracy Cushing et al., “General Medical Considerations for the Wilderness Adventurer: Medical Conditions That May Worsen With or Present Challenges to Coping With Wilderness Exposure.” I especially liked this because I learned so much from it. If I have a patient heading to altitude who has a bleeding diathesis, how do I manage that? A patient with Parkinson’s heading to an Antarctic adventure of a lifetime–are there risks I should anticipate? There are so many similar questions, pertaining to combinations of disease and wilderness/adventure exposure, that this article addresses.
As things get a bit ‘wild’ in my personal life–as I toggle between seeing Big Cats on safari (e.g. Lions) and Big Dogs at SASMA2015 (e.g. Lyle Micheli)–I’ll check in as ever on this blog and on the CJSM Twitter stream. Follow the hashtags #SASMA2015 and #AMSSM2015TF for documentation of these adventures. Look me up, please, if you are in Johannseburg for SASMA2015, and look up the current issue of CJSM regardless of where you are–you’ll be sure to learn a lot about managing those patients heading to….well, places like Africa!