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Have you scuba dived?

Hello,

I have tonic-clonic seizures and absense seizures. I'm an outdoor kind of person and I was wondering if you have scuba dived. I've gone hiking, rockclimbing, white water rafting...ect. I just have never scuba dived. Have you scuba dived" Or should I just add it to one of the several things I shouldn't do.

Comments

Re: Have you scuba dived?

I have snorkeled, but never scuba dived.  Whether you should scuba dive depends on how well controlled your seizures are.  If they're well controlled and you have your neurologist's green light, go ahead and have fun.  However, no matter how well controlled they are, make sure you never participate in any of these sports alone! It could mean the difference between life or death. Make sure the people you are with you know Epilepsy First Aid. 

 

Re: Have you scuba dived?

I am actually a certified rescue diver and used to scuba dive at work before I was diagnosed with E. I had always had myoclonic jerks but didnt know it was JME until I had a tc at work. I have not done any diving since and I dont think I ever will again.

Re: Have you scuba dived?

Hi orla here, As long as your with an expert in First Aid and if you get a warning prior to your seizure i'd definitely give it a go. I suffer from Complex Partial Seizures and prior to each seizure i see flashing colours in front of my eyes and a horrible sensation of fear. In June 2008 while on a holiday in Turkey i went Scuba Diving of course it was ruined 3 or 4 minutes in when i felt a seizure coming me and the instructer had codes for each other thumbs up meant keep going and as soon as my eye twitched it was thumbs down and he brought me staight back up. But the experience is brilliant and on my next holiday depening if my seizures give me a break i'd defo do it again.

Re: Have you scuba dived?

I did it! it was the most amazing thing ever! I went with my 2 best friends and they know exactly what I act like before a seizure so I felt at ease diving with them. My neuro told me I shouldnt even think about doing it, even with my seizures under control for the most part, but I wanted to anyways. Im not saying you definatly should, but I feel like I want to live my life to the fullest. I even got my license. Good luck and have a great time!

Re: Have you scuba dived?

I've done it but I'd strongly recommend against it. 

If you have tonic-clonic seizures, then I can't imagine what it would be like if you were trying to breathe in SCUBA gear if you felt a seizure coming on while you were still underwater. The most dangerous thing about scuba diving is being in deep water and then rising up too quickly (or having a full-on seizure in deep water).

Because your body gets compressed below 10 feet, you risk something called "the bends" if your body decompresses too quicky. If you decompress to quickly, the nitrogen that builds up in your bloodstream while you're deep in the water goes from liquid to gas while it is still in your bloodstream and the bubbles in your arteries can go to your brain and elsewhere. If that happens, the bubbles keep blood from certain parts of your brain and you experience brain damage or you die.

If you dive below 10 feet, you do what's called a "safety stop" while going up from 10 feet below the surface. A "safety stop" is where you come up to a 10 foot depth and stay there for 3 to 5 minutes while your lungs are able to exhale the excess nitrogen that has built up in your bloodstream. When the nitrogen level in your bloodstream is back to a safe level, then you can go the rest of the way to the surface.

How does this relate to your seizures? If you go more than 10 feet down, you are going to need at least 3-5 minutes to go back to the surface plus a bit more to get back to a safe place on the boat. 

If you still want to go diving, I'd recommend that you do a "recreational dive" where you are always with an instructor and you stay above a 10 foot depth. They teach you what to do and then you get to jump in where your life jacket is completely full and you stay on the surface. When you're ready, you let air out of your boyancy compensator (an air-filled life jacket) until you're just below the water. If you're comfortable, you keep going. If you get scared, you just press the other button to inflate the bouyancy compensator and it brings you right back up. That's much less risky and an instructor would be much more likely to let you do that if you told them you had epilepsy.

The main thing I liked about diving was the peace and quiet that you experience with the water all around you. The other thing that I really liked was seeing everything from a different perspective. You can experience both from above 10 feet. When I was in Australia at the Great Barrier Reef, I had the chance to dive down to 30 feet (I had been seizure-free for 5 years before that). Over there, there really isn't much to see below 10 feet because the beautiful coral reefs are in areas where the water is only 5-10 feet deep.

As always, you have to make the judgement call and listen to your doctor. 

Another key thing to remember, if you go deep and risk killing yourself by having the bends, you also risk killing the guide/instructor who also risks getting killed because they are required to stay with you.

 

 

http://www.scubadiverinfo.com/2_safety.html

http://scuba.about.com/od/scubaterminology/f/What-Is-A-Safety-Stop.htm

http://reefexperience.com.au/scuba-diving-tours/resort-scuba-diving-tours/

 

 

Re: Have you scuba dived?

Hi there. I am also an outdoorsy person and have always worked for outdoorsy companies. I never placed limits on what I could not do because of my epilepsy. My epilepsy started when I was 9 months old and is therefore a part of me. Why should I let it limit me in life?

Do what is true for you. Have fun. Enjoy life.  You only have one. ( :

 

Re: Have you scuba dived?

It is on your option and you're the only one who can decide if you'll add it to your recent activities. In my case, I scuba dive regularly and I have gone to different countries just for scuba diving. I'm currently booked at a Cebu diving package in the Philippines and that would be this coming September 13. I can testify that scuba diving is a great outdoor activity, but of course it comes with a lot of safety precautions.

Re: Have you scuba dived?

You understand the risk and it is totally up to you. My only comment to you is - "think if its worth taking the risk", may be you do not mind getting hurt / putting youself at risk but think about your love ones.

Re: Have you scuba dived?

After reading some of your accomplishments and then "etc.", I'm not sure if you've ever been skydiving. You could jump from 14,000 feet, but you would be attached to someone above you. This is called tandem jumping. Your training is not 8 hours, but 10 minutes. You are told what to expect. You will free-fall for approximately one minute and then glide after the chute is opened for approximately 4 minutes.  President Bush Sr. did this at age 80.  It is 5 minutes that you will never forget.

Re: Have you scuba dived?

hey my friend I would say don't let epilepsy get in your way from having to live your life to the fullest, I sure know I don't. I love to be out doors myself and be a little crazy going myself and its all about the person you are. I say go for the gold each and every day ( you know how it is when you are missing just a few days for getting better and you just cant get it back ever). all I can say is enjoy yourself because so many out there are just too depressed and watch their lives go by don't  let yours. life is just to short don't you think my friend?

 

Re: Have you scuba dived?

I have myoclonic seizures quite often, probably every few days. It does hold me back a bit, but I went on a snorkeling trip for a week with friends and I had a great time and had no seizures whatsoever. The water was very calming and I could dive 20 or 30 feet down without having to worry. I would go for it if I were you.

Re: Have you scuba dived?

When I was young I was the fish.  If I was near the creek I ended up in it. After having my first grand mal that stopped. I was 13 and I was told by doctors not to swim unless someone was next to me watching every move I made and they were life guards.

As for outdoor activities. Thats where I loved spending time. I have been a rock hound most of my life. Arrodheads, I also like fossiles and I go to central Texas and there are plenty laying on the ground. Getting to some of those fosslies you have to climb what some call mountains. That area is called the hill country of Texas.

However I will not tell you not to go diving. I will sat talk to your neuro if he says ok then go. I know I will not risk my life and the hurt it will cause to my loved ones

Re: Have you scuba dived?

While I don't have epilepsy NOW, back in the '80's when I DID so, I never let the seizures hinder my pleasure. After learning to swim,I went on a vacation to the Caribbean and one of the activities offered at the resort was scuba diving. The first time we all got masked up and started to walk into the water. After walking for about 3/4 of a mile we swam up to the sea level. The next day we were taken out on a boat and after masking up were shown how to throw ourselves backwards out of the boat into the sea.
After the initial confusion about where I was and when I had regained my gravity I swam with the fish (and a few others) for what seemed like an eternity. My experience was like swimming in an oversized tropical fish tank, which I wouldn't have missed for the world.
I did have petit-mal seizures, which, while they were very mild, were a lot more frequent, on average I was having one every two weeks.