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Diving Again!

Discussion in 'Divers with Disabilities' started by Fennelle, Nov 28, 2019.

  1. Fennelle

    Fennelle Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Ellensburg Washington
    I got certified in 1993 and became a vacation diver after that. But now I am disabled. A bad back injury 13 years ago has prevented me from being able to don equipment in the boat, and constant pain made me not want to do it at all. I’d say I’d tried to dive maybe three times after that, but it was not enjoyable. I’ve gained a ton of weight, too, and couldn’t fit into a rental BC anymore, and never had enough weight.

    In January of 2019 I received a Spinal Cord Stimulator, implanted into my spine. I was told that I could safely dive to 4 ATM by the equipment manufacturer, but my doctor was less certain. It’s was a $60,000 procedure, so I didn’t want to screw it up. But I really wanted to try diving again.

    I was told by my friend, a dive master with 35 years of experience, that I should buy a custom BC. That he would help by handing me my equipment and letting me don in the water. And that he would make sure I had enough weight.

    I got the custom-made BC, a Zeagle Stiletto, and I love it! With the integrated weight system, I don’t have to mess with a weight belt. With 26 lbs of weight (ugh), I can finally get neutral again. And with the spinal cord stimulator, I’m not in pain the whole time I’m diving - or afterwards!

    In the last month I’ve completed 12 dives, including a wreck and a wall to 100’. I’ve had no issues with my stimulator, and I’m so stinking happy!!!

    Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
  2. 20Hz

    20Hz Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Malibu
    Fennelle et al, so glad to hear you're doing so well.

    I'm awaiting the lifting of 'stay at home' due to Covid so that I too can have an implanted stimulator. You didn't say which company's unit and model you had implanted. I'm hoping you and others will post up-to-date information on units that allow 100' or more and how well they're helping with the pain. I've only found 2 thus far, HF10 from Nevro which is rated for 100' and the Abbott/St Jude.
  3. BoundForElsewhere

    BoundForElsewhere Waiting for the zombies ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: NYC
    Finally. Some good news.
  4. Fennelle

    Fennelle Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Ellensburg Washington
    Yes, I have the Nevro HF-10, and I’m incredibly happy with it; it truly has given me some life back! I can’t do much on land, but water is a whole different game. As every diver knows, the feeling of peace and freedom and joy in being in the water is simply incomparable; I don’t feel so broken anymore!

    Nevro is a really great company; it’s been over a year now, and the reps still check in with me from time to time. They are happy to hear about my diving experiences, so they can pass the news on to other divers who are prospective patients.

    Today I completed #30 and 31 since October. I dive weekly when I’m on my island in the Bahamas, and find that my dive/master is totally down with assisting me. He thinks it’s great that I have such a passion to dive that I will do anything I can to make it happen!

    I cannot encourage other pain patients strongly enough to go for the Nevro HF-10 Spinal Cord Stimulator!!! And do not worry about diving with it - you won’t even notice it’s there! Cheers!
    divinh likes this.

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