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Friday, June 20, 2008

I've got Tiger Woods' injury

It had to happen of course on my vacation but thankfully on the last day of diving in the Red Sea. With my full scuba gear on, I stepped from the MY Fraser into the Zodiac. Poof! That was it, the last remaining shreds of my right ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) were gone as my right knee collapsed. A moment of brief pain followed by a few hours of numbness and swelling.

As I suspected and confirmed by my orthopedic surgeon and my MRI last Wednesday, I have completely torn my ACL ligament. There are some strain on the collateral ligaments but no fractures. After two weeks of physiotherapy, I can walk reasonably well but limp a little after long hours of ambulation especially after call.

What awaits me, possible surgery to reconstruction of the knee particularly if the mensical tears worsen (manifested by increased pain and grinding in the knee) and if the knee becomes more unstable over time. Arthritis is more likely in the right knee over time.

As I hobble about last Thursday night during a 3am delivery, the husband of one of my patients asked me what was the matter with my knee. I pondered about the extent of my answer....ACL tear, how it happened, prognosis but my immediate answer was "I've got Tiger Woods' injury." Of course, Tiger is a world class golfer and I am at best an avid diver. My injury was sustained after a relatively minor and low impact activity (walking into a Zodiac) as oppose to repetitive high velocity drives that probably left Tiger with his injury.

This husband replied "So, do you get to take the rest of the year off too?"
My retort was "No, sadly, I'd be lucky to get a month off to rest after the surgery!".

Thus perhaps illustrating the greatest difference between Tiger and myself.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Red Sea Diving...

This was my second liveaboard dive trip to the Red Sea. This time I was accompanied by my Honey Hippo and we were going to the middle part of the Red Sea (as oppose to the Northern segment). The tour was called "Simply the Best" because quite simply the wildlife on these reefs is the best (for now). The sites are quite remote and accessibly only by safari boats after a 6-8 hour trip. The three most famous reefs are the Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstoun. And they did not disappoint. Everything from the very small wonders to the biggest creatures were seen. This above picture was of an octopus who crawled as far back in to its hole as it could go. It was quite upset as it turned several vibrant purple and blue shades too.
I love the clownfish/anemonefish too. At Daedalus reef, we chanced upon a cluster of anemones at about 15-17m at one particular spot dubbed "Anemone City". Loads of the residents were about as well as few of their babies.
Daedalus reef is known for its large pelgaic creatures and at this time of the year, the hammerheads were in full swing. In fact, at Daedalus reef, we saw sharks on almost every dive and one day, on all four dives. This ranged from the oceanic white tip sharks (accompanied by their pilot fish) to Gray fin reef sharks to a rare thresher to the famous hammerheads (which are quite often seen at this reef at this time of the year). The above (and video clips on next posting) are from the first day of diving at Daedalus. This began with a 5am wake up call to our dive briefing on this day and we were in the water just after 6am which quite a feat for a non-morning person like myself. As we hovered in the ocean blue a few metres away from the sight of the reef, we saw our first hammerheads swimming ABOVE us bathed in the glow of the morning sun. Now that's a site with waking up for! This was just the start of a glorious day of diving.
The Brothers are two islands in the Red Sea which are so named for their similarity in shape. The large of the two, Big Brother has a lighthouse it. Both are renowed for their fabulous soft and hard corals, marine life (large and small) and clear waters...simply the best diving anywhere with the concentration of things to see! Big Brother also has two wrecks on it: The Aida and the Numidia.
This shot was taken at Little Brother. It is of several masked butterfly fish and as one of my friends has commented, it appears to have been taken in an aquarium. The reef that day was indeed awash in radiant beams. This is what much of the diving was the fish bowl presay with the other marine life.