Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole
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Jerri Nielsen was a forty-six-year-old doctor working in Ohio when she made the decision to take a year's sabbatical at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station on Antarctica, the most remote and perilous place on Earth. The "Polies," as they are known, live in almost total darkness for six months of the year, in winter temperatures as low as 100 degrees below zero--with no way in or out before the spring.
During the long winter of 1999, Dr. Nielsen, solely responsible for the mental and physical fitness of a team of researchers, construction workers, and support staff, discovered a lump in her breast. Consulting via email with doctors in the United States, she performed a biopsy on herself, and in July began chemotherapy treatments to ensure her survival until condition permitted her rescue in October. A daring rescue by the Air National Guard ensued, who landed, dropped off a replacement physician, and minutes later took off with Dr. Nielsen.
This is Dr. Nielsen's own account of her experience at the Pole, the sea change as she becomes "of the Ice," and her realization that as she would rather be on Antarctica than anywhere else on earth. It is also a thrilling adventure of researchers and scientists embattled by a hostile environment; a penetrating exploration of the dynamics of an isolated, intensely connected community faced with adversity; and, at its core, a powerfully moving drama of love and loss, of one woman's voyage of self-discovery through an extraordinary struggle for survival.
partners looked stressed and hurried as they usually did at time of night, prime time for emergency medicine. this "Nielsen, really good to see you!" said doc Max, and fellow a friend he raced toward a trauma room. "Grab some charts, as we ER just took a big hit." No time to get a cup of coffee or converse, there were eight charts room in a big American city a crucible of is An emergency be seen. in the rack, representing patients ready to human suffering and des- perate
taught managed to practice medicine in the Third World were part of my inspiration to work overseas. The old surgeon told me The Hard Truth Medical Centre how he made ers retractors to open up body cavities and used spoons to make dissectors planes. Instead of cutting tissue, he had 81 with wire coat hang- through tissue for slicing to separate it to reduce bleed- ing because there was no blood bank at his rural hospital. me Seemingly archaic information of this kind often
but essentially the same. It didn't take long for me to realize that I did not want to return to corporate medicine. no longer interested to the job. ahead. I in the money or status or false was sick of playing the I no longer wanted to get ahead. political I I was glamour attached games needed to get was now thinking of joining the Peace Corps, or traveling in the Third World, seeing if I could find a way to use my skills in the my dren would be out of poorest places.
nicotine withdrawal. I don't have that much Valium!" In the end, my wish boomeranged, sent back to didn't matter. list McMurdo due our smokes, medical supplies, and mail. to The last flight was bad weather, and with Two hours later, it Mike was Comms shack to talk to the commanding officer of the Air National Guard in MacTown. He had suspended all further flights. No called to the one could reach Pole until next October. "We can't make it," completely on your own. As
members of being had "suppressed memories." I my hated had supposedly been abused I accused certain family falsely He didn't believe the lies he I 17 lied that I me about way to find a to separate us. was the source of all the problems in our my could just change how do things marriage. If I right, then wouldn't be so unhappy and everything would be perfect. I Sometimes, when he sensed to leave him — in fact I I behavior, learn had taken enough abuse and was