FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
JOSEPH S. ANDRESEN, MD Editor, The Bulletin
Finding that Balance By Joseph S. Andresen, MD Editor, The Bulletin Russia invades Crimea. Malaysian flight 370’s disappearance remains a mystery. A massive mudslide buries the rural town of Oso, Washington. The Hobby Lobby contraception case goes before the Supreme Court. Six million are newly insured with private insurance through health care exchanges, as the deadline for enrollment approaches. We are continually bombarded with this 24-hour, 7-day-aweek news cycle. This frenetic world hovers over our daily lives, adding weight to the many responsibilities of a busy clinic schedule, hospital rounds, or the care of our sickest patients. What do we do when this all becomes a bit too much? How do we find a reasonable distraction and departure from the pressures and worries of our daily professional and personal lives? Seeking new challenges, finding a renewed purpose, and recognizing the need for a new equilibrium may answer these questions. A brisk walk outside, liberating us briefly from fluorescent office habitat, may do the trick. An unscheduled day with nothing planned provides simple pleasures that surprise us. Should we make more time for that hobby that always caught our interest or for renewing a dormant friendship? Rejuvenation is the key. A recent and spontaneous trip opened my eyes to many of these questions. How long will I continue to be able to be active and independent? How many more years will I be able to do the things I choose to do and not take them for granted? Is this not what our patients ask of us? To help them maintain their own balance. “Come down to Miami and we can get you sailing on a Moth,” replied Ian Andrewes, the manager for the 2013 Red Bull America’s Cup America Youth Sailing Force team. I was one of many thousands who became mesmerized by the sight of America’s Cup 72-foot catamarans flying above the water as much as sailing across the San Francisco bay last summer. The Moth became a one-person training platform for many of the skippers learning to “fly” their boats in a seemingly precarious new way. I couldn’t pass up this opportunity and one hour after my 24-hour call shift ended, 8 | THE BULLETIN | MARCH/APRIL 2014
was on a Virgin America flight bound for Florida. A Northeasterly wind whipped across Biscayne Bay, as I drove across a bridge bringing me to the Miami Rowing Club. With a setting sun, I arrived just in time as sailing coaches Ian Andrewes and Jonny Goldsberry were stowing gear at day’s end. “It’s pretty windy today from a low pressure system passing through. Hopefully, the wind will moderate a bit tomorrow for your first lesson. See you then,” Ian replied, as I departed. Indeed it was windy the next morning, with gusts sending darkened ripples and whitecaps in a chaotic dance across the water. “Steady 22 mph with gusts to 28 mph,” I called out while reading a wind meter app on my smartphone. “Let’s go get lunch at this great Cuban café and check back after lunch,” Ian suggested. It sounded like a great idea as I nervously eyed the 62-pound narrow carbon fiber hull, bounded by small trampoline seats on each side and sharp wing-like foils underneath. In fact, the Mach 2 Moth looked more purpose built for flying than floating. That afternoon, the wind subsided a bit and I donned a shorty wet suit, gloves, and booties and jumped into a small RIB powerboat that took us out in a more central part of Biscayne Bay. The setting was spectacuJoseph S. Andresen, MD, is the editor of The Bulletin. He is board certified in anesthesiology and is currently practicing in the Santa Clara Valley area.