WA News Letters Armchair adrenaline junkie
Armchair adrenaline junkie
Written by Dr Lindy Roberts
Thursday, 03 August 2017

Dear Editor,

I thank Phil Chapman for his very personal piece about what drives medical thrillseekers to push themselves to physical extremes, despite knowing and (worse) seeing in their day-to-day clinical practice the possible consequences (Risk it All…Pay the Price?, July).  

Having looked after several colleagues now with pain from acute traumatic injuries, the drive to pursue the endorphin rush that Phil describes appears extremely strong. In my experience, in the medium term, not many doctors seem to put aside their sporting gear after such an event, unless forced to do so by the injury itself.

I was particularly interested that Phil seems to be weighing up whether the cost of ‘going to the edge’ is worth it and how this might change his extracurricular interests. As a film enthusiast and amateur musician, my passions outside work are far less physically extreme. His reflections set me thinking about whether “music, arts, literature …” are only for those who are starting to recognise their physical limitations (and that their naturally degenerating spine might let them down when literal push comes to shove!).

Being part of a successful musical performance has its own “high” and movies can certainly get the adrenaline going (schlock horror or zombie flick anyone?) –  all without the physical pain of being pounded or dropped or in free fall. On balance, I decided well before my 50s that my adrenaline rush is best had without leaving the ground.

Dr Lindy Roberts, Pain Specialist, SCGH