SCUBA Certification


(Kyle) #1

Anyone gotten SCUBA certified since being daignosed?  Just wondering what some of the problems you have faced in trying to get your certification or any thoughts on ways to do it as safely as possible. 


(megan.etheridge) #2

ok im not SCUBA anything at all but heres a tip for swimming where your not going to be really close to shore. you can put little tubes of iceing in the lineing or pockets of your suit and they dont get nasty in the water and are really easy to eat while treading water. that might be usefull for SCUBA cause you could actully eat it underwater too (might get some water in your mouth but thats not the end of the world)
Megan


(deevilish) #3

Here's the link for the Diver's Action Network (DAN)'s guide to diving with diabetes: http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/medical/articles/article.asp?articleid=18

Personally, I was certified as a SCUBA Diver through a PADI dive center in Dahab, Egypt last spring; however, I did have a few road bumps along the way.  Before I began the class, I had to show the dive center (Red Sea Divers - great outfit) the DAN guidelines (available as a PDF from the link above) and adhere to those guidelines while diving.  I also had to have a doctor certify, on a form available through PADI, that I was in good control and health. 

These were only the formalities - once the course started there were a number of other issues I had to deal with.  Luckily, my dive instructor was very understanding, very willing to be educated about diabetes and diving's potential effects, and very patient.  This may have been a very different senario if I also hadn't been the only student in the course.  I began a five day Open Water Diver course without much problem.  Unfortunately, the issues began when I started the practice dives.  For some reason, even with appropriate insulin adjustment, my sugars bottomed out whenever I went under.  I am an avid swimmer, so I thought I knew how my body would react.  Not so much: I've never had more trouble keeping my sugars up in the 20 years I've been a diabetic.  Finally, I figured out I needed to not only decrease my insulin/carb ratio prior to diving but also take extra sugar immediately before and after diving as well as carry a pressure-insensitive/water-tight glucose source in my dive vest. 

I thought I had it figured out when I got thrown for another loop - it turns out even with the above precautions, I'm unable to do more than one dive per day without feeling like I've been tossed through the wringer.  All of this was frustrating to say the least, and I was unable to complete the OWD in the time allowed.  I am happy I was able to figure out a way to dive at all, but it was the first time in a long time my diabetes prevented me from doing something I wanted.  Perhaps that is what bothered me most.

Hopefully, your experience will be better than mine, but if there is any advice I can give it is to make sure you are covered when it comes to your instructor, your preparation, and your expectations.  For me, being low is frightening but being low at 15 meters down was absolutely terrifying.  Hmm, I don't mean to finish on such a weary note, sorry.  In the end, I did have a blast and am excited to be certified, but I think I'll stick to skin diving with a snorkle from now on.  Strangely, I've never had an issue with that!

warmly.dee. 


(Kyle) #4

Thank you that is very helpfull.  I may wait or invest in some other sport insead since it sounds like such a pain.