Just finished an amazing 3 weeks at Joyo’s Surf camp in the jungle: fractures, firing Speedies, fungus & fun times! Here’s a quick update of what went down…
Kicked off with a serious 7 day flat spell when we first arrived at G-Land during which time we explored alternative activities to ward off the insidious cabin fever: snorkelling the reef, flying kites (badly), extremely competitive pool competitions, muddy jungle treks and general lazing about with Bintangs (something I excel at…).
Tom Longworth, barrel hunter & final year med student from Newcastle, helped me undertake the massive task of cleaning out the old medical cabinet & kitting out the new infirmary, which was freshly built earlier this year during the Surfing Doc’s Conference (thanks Tom!). We’ve done a pretty extensive stock-take, bringing a new load of long-overdue medications out to camp (my bag was so much lighter going home).
I did a bit of research in Kuta re: what medications you are able to get over the pharmacy counter, and you’ll be surprised! Most medications are easily available & cheaper than buying in Aus, but there are some exceptions worth noting; Flucloxacillin, Ciprofloxacin, Benzodiazepines, Morph & Ketamine are not available. Laurenz is still attempting to work out an arrangement with a local doctor to enable us to stock some of these essential medications safely at the camp for the season. Another new addition is an official Stock-take Book (please fill out at the start & end of your stay so we can keep track of supplies) and a Consultation Book (to record medical notes on people we treat at the camp). If these records are kept accurately, they will no doubt yield valuable information for future improvements to our clinic. Sink, desk, fan, lights, new cabinets are in place and a bed is on the way – almost fully operational!
Rat poo infested cotton bandages binned behind us we eagerly awaited a big swell hit on Sunday 11th July. We woke up to smoking 8-10ft Speedies barrels – yee-haw! The only casualties that day were 15 broken boards, but when the swell pulsed again on Wednesday, one chap was not so lucky. Whilst bottom-hand turning Speedies he got hit by the lip in the back & twisted his ankle between board, reef and a few ton of water. With some crafty boat skills, Capt Agus got him back into the beach were we assessed the damage. I was hunching a guess on a left trimalleolar fracture given the deformity & the amount of the crunching it took to reduce & backslab it, all of which he endured like a trooper with the help of the little green whistle (Penthrox). Since our stoic mate had no insurance, once we’d stabilised the fracture, it was a matter of co-ordinating a return to Bali via 4WD, which arrived 4 hrs later. The lads knocked up some jungle crutches to help him move about and padded with pillows & painkillers we sent him off. 3 days later we’re happy to hear he’d made it home to Puerto Rico to have some heavy metalwork put in and is healing well. We are looking forward to seeing the X-rays soon bro! Check out the below link for further details & some gnarly pictures of the day’s barrels:
Apart from this there was plenty of reef bites & infections, urchin removals, perforated eardrums, influenza, Bali-belly and strange rashes to keep me busy over my stay. The dreaded skin fungus struck again but with the weather drying out, it was mainly limited to one suspect Yoga-instructor’s underarms (not that it stopped him spraying it around some epic tubes with style). Thankfully there is enough Ketoconazole to smother a small nation in the clinic now.
There was another incident before I came out during the Quiksilver event in early June. I believe it was a suspected lumbar spinal injury in a body-boarder from Bobbies camp flown out by helicopter, which although no doctor was present, was expertly handled by joint camp staff. If anyone has any further details, it would be great to hear how it went down. See the attached photos care of Willy, Joyo’s Camp resident photographer….
Both incidents highlight the importance of the service we are trying to provide at G-Land and how valuable travel insurance REALLY is! I’ve immensely enjoyed my time out in the jungle and hope to return again next year for another stint. I think the next big step for Surfing Doctor’s is to start thinking about the KEY MEDICAL EQUIPMENT we should install at the clinic, so I encourage everyone to get busy thinking/discussing/fundraising/sourcing in the next few months! For any Doc going out in the near future, be assured that Bobbies camp does have some equipment we are missing (such as Laryngoscope, Stretchers, Oxygen) and as evidenced recently, we have been working well together in adverse times.
Peace out all