2am Ramblings on Hyperbaric Medicine

I’ve just been doing some totally random reading online about something called hyperbaric oxygen therapy. You know how it is these days; stumbling onto topics that have pretty much zero connection to anything going on in your life and somehow getting sucked into reading a bunch of info about them. Anyway, I’m going to regurgitate what I just  read so that you, reader, can enjoy a similar experience.

Hyperbaric therapy in Australia is pretty well established as a medical treatment for the decompression sickness sometimes suffered by scuba divers. It involves the patient going into a sort of tank or chamber in which they breath air with a higher oxygen content than is standard in our environment. This can be 100% oxygen, although I think milder versions might also be a thing.

In Melbourne, hyperbaric medicine is used in hospital settings to treat things like necrotising soft tissue infections and certain cases of non-healing wounds (like from diabetes or radiotherapy), as well as decompression sickness. Some people online have some pretty wild stories to tell about how it’s helped with things like chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and developmental delays, and even reversed brain damage. These reports aren’t scientifically supported at this stage, but there’s quite a lot of them about, which makes it hard to write them off. 

The chambers through which the treatment is delivered are even available as portable systems for home use, which means that people who could benefit from ongoing therapy can have relatively affordable access to it. I guess I feel like, if people have gone to the trouble of figuring out how to construct a portable version of this thing, there must really be something to it. I can’t imagine anyone being motivated to explore it that thoroughly if there wasn’t.

Anyway, like I said, I don’t really have any use for a hyperbaric chamber, portable or otherwise, in my life at this point (and I hope this continues to be the case, given the list of conditions they’re said to be able to treat). Even so, it’s got me thinking in new ways about the role of oxygen in the body.

Help for All Kinds of Addiction

And there you have it: video game addiction has now been officially classified as a disorder by the World Health Organisation. As head of Lawrence Corp’s gaming division, you’d think this would come as a blow. Not at all, in fact; I’m glad people will be getting the treatment they deserve, and in a strange way, it also legitimizes the place of video games in ordinary life.

No one should have to suffer through an addiction, but now the downsides are now officially recognised and given the attention they deserve.

I should know; I’ve suffered from it myself. Quite recently, in fact. I suppose it still has some way to go before people treat it differently to just playing too much, but I was slightly embarrassed. Fortunately there was the online community. One such friend went to see a psychiatrist in the local Mornington Peninsula; said it helped him immensely. In retrospect, that seems like what I should’ve done. That is, both go to see a psychiatrist AND shipped myself off to the Mornington Peninsula for a bit of rest of relaxation. It certainly would’ve beaten trying to get to a stressful office job every day and thinking about nothing but the game.

I know, there are people with worse addictions and mental problems out there. But that’s not a healthy way to think. And now that I work at Lawrence Corp, things are just better. This company *cares* about the mental states of its employees, even as they have us developing and testing games and consoles every day. The upper management knows the dangers of addiction. No doubt if anyone under their management needed a bit of counselling, they’d be allowed a trip to a psychiatry clinic in Mornington, and dare I say a bit of time to gather their thoughts on the beach. It’s truly a great company.

A wonderful company indeed.

-Adam

Merry Christmas! It’s Something Useful!

It’s official: Christmas is here. You can always tell, because Byers has their special Christmas window up on display, and strange people are queuing for hours just to see it when you can just stand there and admire from afar. Or buy a pair of binoculars, whatever you feel is more worth it.

But Christmas time in our household is a special time for special things, and there’s nothing more special than buying 100% practical presents. We have a little bit of a competition in our household and close family, and all of us get right into it! Most practical present wins. This year, I’m thinking the orthotics are sure winners. I went all the way to Cheltenham for children’s orthotics, because the ones Jasmine has right now are getting a bit worn. You might say that it’s a natural, parental duty to replace that kind of thing, but that’s the genius of our family Christmas. You keep costs down, and disguise essentials as presents. It’s practical, it’s necessary. It’s NOT  senseless waste of money for the sake of capitalism and feeding the corporate machine by buying into their nation-wide brainwashing campaign that has held this country and many others in a death-grip for decades because of clever and diabolical advertising. It’s practical! And orthotics will always be appreciated. If Jasmine runs without them, her arches get quite sore, and thus she has no reason not to be grateful. I thought taking her to the podiatrist last Christmas was a bit of a splash, but as it turned out, it’s actually set up years of potential and practical presents.

So that’s that sorted. Need to pick up some spare arch supports, Ben needs a new notebook for school (might even splash for some pens) and…well, Neil knows what he’s getting. Socks. It’s ALWAYS socks. Socks are the safe option, since he goes through them every year.

-Karina

The Chamber of Meetings

Alright, so we just did THE weirdest thing ever. Pretty expensive as well; Melbourne’s portable hyperbaric chambers aren’t exactly ordinary furniture. And even THAT can be pretty expensive. But we had our big planning meeting for the entire year, and a lot rides on that sort of thing. Shows are getting cut, others are getting renewed, and then I had to make my presentation on the merits of rebooting the old ‘Schmuck-Tales’ series. We only trialing children’s TV, so it might end up being a bit of a risk.

Then we arrived at the staff meeting, and there was no desk, and no chairs. The boss had filled the room with hyperbaric chambers…you know, like the ones you use to recover from sports injuries and for people with breathing problems. But now, he wanted us to all get inside, breathe in some sweet oxygen and communicate via intercom.

Yep. Weirdest planning meeting ever. But I have to say, I’m pretty sure it worked. Nothing like breathing in some extra oxygen to really get those brain cells going. Mark came up with this amazing idea to renew ‘The Fizzy Quagmire Show’, but move the setting to Sydney from Canberra and have the main characters trying to make it as pop stars instead of politicians. Kids will be much more into it. We were finally brought around to the idea that Ricky Louse was actually a terrible mascot and we need to rebrand with a more cuddly animal. And of course, my presentation on ‘Schmuck-Tales’ went off without a hitch. We’re meeting with an animation team tomorrow.

Dang, Melbourne’s hyperbaric oxygen therapy really does do the brain some good. I’ve never felt more focused. Hopefully we can hold onto the ideas, but…well, all those chambers are still sitting there. I thought they were rentals, but I guess we actually went ahead and bought all of them. Could be useful?

-Rav