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[IP] Re: SCUBA Diving (pretty long)

Here is my experience and 2 cents about the diabetes and diving thing:

I was diagnosed 16 years ago at the age of 26.  At the time I was an active
NAUI instructor working at a dive shop on Oahu.  After experiencing a few
lows while leading groups of vacationers on dives I decided that I could not
live with myself if I caused somebody to become injured due to an extreme
low or ???.  I gave up the most enjoyable job I have ever had and became a
charter boat captain.  Eventually I married and my wife and I , who was also
a dive instructor, moved to California.  We didn't dive very often and
decided that it was time for a dive vacation.  Three years ago we flew to
Belize for 7 days of diving, bought new gear, computers, regulators, BCs and
everything.  On the second day of diving I suffered a type 2 case of
Decompression Sickness (the bends) with serious Central Nervous System
involvement.  I received 3 treatments in the hyperbaric treatment chamber,
which just happened to be 3 minutes away from our hotel and probably saved
my life, over the course of 3 days, each approx. 6 hours long.  I survived,
obviously, but not without consequences.  I still have minor problems with
some autonomic functions,  breathing, heart rate, temperature control ...
Needless to say our dive vacation was ruined and I have not yet returned to
the water.  I didn't do any one thing wrong to get bent.  I dove the most
conservative profiles of the group of 8 divers that were with us.  I made
safety stops on all ascents.  I dove with what is considered a conservative
computer.  I did not push the limits but I still got bent.

Enough experience, now for the 2 cents.

If you do dive remember that your circulatory system may be compromised due
to diabetes and good circulation is essential for off-gassing nitrogen to
prevent the bends.  That was determined to be one of many contributing
factors in my case.  my suggestion is dive shallow, a cardiologist I saw who
also has been bent says never go below 30 feet and you have nothing to worry
about, his words not mine.  Dive with a computer and set it so that it
thinks you are diving at altitude, the higher the altitude the shorter the
bottom time and the less absorption of nitrogen, limit multi dive days, stay
well hydrated, avoid strenuous activities after diving, allow extra time
before flying, watch those sugars and above all else do what feels right for

Sorry for the long post but I just needed to relate my experience.

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