Time to Decompress

As part of my research for an upcoming event I stumbled on a book written by one of the divers involved in the dramatic rescue in 2018, of the “Wild Boars” a junior football team trapped in the caves of Tham Luang Nang Non, locally known as the “Great Cave of the Sleeping Lady” the cave system is in the Tham Luang-Khun Nam Mang Non Forest Park in Northern Thailand.

The book itself is called – Thirteen Lessons that saved thirteen lives: The Thai Cave Rescue by John Volanthen

The title grabbed me partly from an interest point of view and partly and as I have promised myself that I would start to make a bit of time to do some leisure reading and so I downloaded it to my kindle. 
I haven’t yet read the whole book (although it is quite gripping and it wont take me that long to have read it all), but lesson 4 “Rest and Decompress” struck me so forcefully I wanted to share it with you here.

I have never done caving or cave diving (doesn’t really appeal to me) but I do enjoy scuba diving in some of my (excuse the pun) down time and as such I am familiar with the risks of Decompression sickness (DCS Commonly known as the bends) and its a term that even non divers are familiar with.

Quick physics lesson here. The bends is a potentially fatal condition that is a result of the way gas (in this case air specifically nitrogen in that air) behaves in the body at increased pressure. So as a diver descends deeper the pressure on the body increases and some gases dissolve in the bloodstream. As the diver then ascends,  if those gasses don’t dissipate then potentially they form bubbles in the bloodstream or in joints. Its a bit like opening a bottle of fizzy drink quickly where the pressure escapes and it bubbles over as opposed to opening it slowly and allowing the pressure to escape more gently. Anyway suffice to say its not a good thing. For that reason divers always build in a “safety stop” to decompress or “De gas”. 

The author of the book draws a parallel with our need to build in decompression time into our routines. Taking your leave, your lunch break some me time, that kind of thing.

Something that I personally haven’t been great at but we all know how even if we don’t feel we have the time, taking a short break refreshes and revitalises us and we come back with renewed energy.

During the pandemic my working pattern altered a great deal (like plenty of us I guess). I’m lucky to live in a great part of the world and on my doorstep are plenty of natural sites that are really relaxing so I haven’t felt the need to take a holiday as such and anyway what would I do, I’m not good at doing nothing, my relaxing is usually a lot more active, perhaps I need to live up to that promise and read a few books.

Take care and don’t forget to make time to decompress