Water has been an integral part of my life experiences from the time I learned to swim at nine months of age to the present where swimming has been a fundamental part of my physical therapy and rehabilitation for joint replacement surgeries. I associate my “water experiences” to becoming a champion competitive swimmer in the Northwest, to my acceptance at a prestigious university with a swim- ming grant-in-aid, to “buoying” my acceptance to medical school, to becoming a US Navy Undersea Medical Officer, to becoming the Medical Director of a world-wide recognized clinical hyperbaric medicine program and to stimulating my interest in generating more than 100 citations and posters on diving-related subjects. Why and how is a matter of luck, serendipity and being in the right place at the right time. This warrants recounting (i.e., how I got to be where I am) with respect to diving medicine.
The experiences are described in more-or-less chronological order beginning with sections about the formative years, college, medical school and post-graduate training, operational Navy activities and clinical hyperbaric medicine with concurrent ortho- paedic surgery and Navy Reserve SEAL team affiliations. Many of the experiences at the time seemed trivial and only at a later time did they become fully appreciated as my knowledge of diving medicine accrued. Some experiences, unfortunately, were associ- ated with deaths of divers. Others led to talks, posters, papers and worldwide travels for meetings and diving in exotic locations. Some articles are versions of similar sub- jects, but typically reflect new information, refinements and/or more sophistication as my knowledge of these subjects grew. Finally, the experiences have culminated in generating contributions to diving medicine such as on decompression science and a hypothesis why pain occurs in the bends, hazards of breath-hold diving, and disordered decompression. Serendipity played a role with making major decisions at “cross roads” in my life. A major cross road was whether to focus entirely on orthopaedic surgery or wear “two hats,” as the expression goes, that is hyperbaric/diving medicine shared with orthopaedic surgery. This text and the ensuing accounts reflect the water-related “hat” of my professional life. Some of the information including personal experiences has been reported in one form or another in Diving Science...Revisited; but is repeated for completeness sake.