Saturday, October 18, 2008

Prepping to Dive

We are getting ready to go out of town for my 4th open water dive (5th dive since August 8th). This August is the first I have been diving since March 2004 due to the ordeal I have had with the problem brain tumor. It is not because of actually having brain tumors that I could not dive. The pressure inside the brain remains the same at depth. The issue was that I went through a year of being sick, dizzy, and having vertigo.

On the third day of radiosurgery treatment I almost drown in 4 feet of water in a hotel pool when I was alone and closed my eyes under the water. Once the sickness and dizziness resolved, I almost completely lost my balance function. I say almost because I did not have to rely on a wheelchair and I got away with using a hiking staff for a cane.

Since then, I took swimming lessons in 2006, started snorkeling with a floation vest, and have been consistently going to water aerobics and lifting weights starting in winter 2007. All of these things have been in preparation to dive again. First I needed to adjust to the water and become comfortable in it again. Then the last part I have been working on for over a year has been to improve my balance so that I can handle wearing a tank and heavy gear.

I have had many things to figure out with a new body and needing to get appropriate fitting gear. It is amazing what a difference in size makes for what gear to use and how streamlining as much as possible is important when you have a loss of balance function.

All dives so far have been a practice to try out gear and try to solve bouyancy issues which I am working on but getting close.

Tomorrow I will be trying a new thermal configuration and doing a second dive on a new BCD which I found to work out for me last weekend. I will be trying out a new inflator on the BCD, playing around with the weighting again, discovering if the undergarment and thermal setup I now have will keep me warm without affecting my bouyancy, and diving from a boat for the first time in 6 years.

There is a lot to know and work out. An experienced diver of 40 years told us it takes about 20 dives to get oriented and really comfortable with your equipment. So if this present setup works, I have 19 more dives to get it downpat. I can't wait for the day when I once again feel like a fish under the water and that being down there is natural! (That means everything is working out just grand with my weighting perfect; I have been so comfortable down there in the past that I could almost take a nap!)

Ok. Gotta go get ready. More later!

Have a nice weekend! ;-)

No comments: