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Diving with Fibromyalgia

Discussion in 'Divers with Disabilities' started by JoyfulNoise, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. JoyfulNoise

    JoyfulNoise Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
    I had made a thread about this, but it's gone. Did something happen or do threads just get deleted?

    I also lost my original account here and had to re-register.

    Anyone else diving that has fibromyalgia? I'd love to trade tips and experiences.

  2. rollerboi

    rollerboi Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Pleasant Grove, Utah (USA)
    My wife was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and we just got certified a few days ago. It was a challenge for her; she has her good days and her bad days.

    She's able to dive okay (in my opinion) on her good days, but she's often very tired afterwards. I usually help with carrying her gear and driving afterwards.

    We have no experience or tips, but would love to hear of yours and others'! :)
  3. JoyfulNoise

    JoyfulNoise Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
    That's why I started the thread. I hear you with the good and bad days. I feel like a million bucks when I dive. The water exercise just doesn't cause a flair at all, however, I'm not suppose to life over 10 pounds. I love my husband who does all the toting. I make up the difference by doing the clean up and such.

    My biggest problem is how to get up a ladder with all that gear on my back. It just seems like an overwhelming weight. In most cases, I'm new to diving, the boat crew has been wonderful. Either they help by lifting the tank as I climb the ladder or they will take my BC before I go up the ladder.

    However, on a recent dive, the crew didn't help at all. I crawled up and crawled onto the boat. I was embarrassed and was in pain the next 3 days with a fibro flare.

    I was hoping more would speak up on ways they cope.
  4. cudachaser

    cudachaser Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Cocoa Beach, FL
    I have neuropathy in my legs which makes maneuvering on the deck a bit of the challenge. I often resort to "deck crawling". It's become a bit of joke on some boats, one captain said: "I gotta get a picture of this!"

    If you use crutches, don't leave them near the scuppers, I lost a pair when a wave flushed them overboard...well one of them...I was embarrassed when that happened.

    BTW...If the crew won't help you, don't use that boat again!
  5. Damselfish

    Damselfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    Make sure the boat you're going on knows what you need ahead of time, and if it's going to be a problem don't use them. If you need help, ask. (Did they know you needed help and ignore you, which would be pretty awful form - or was it a boat or crew that simply does not normally to do this or pay good attention, and you didn't ask?)

    The board crashed and had db corruption problems a few weeks back, a bunch of stuff was unfortunately lost, that's what probably happened to your account and thread.
  6. Sunset_Diver

    Sunset_Diver Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Willow Beach, Ontario, Canada
    Oh, I wish I had read your thread before it got deleted. Anyway I do have fibromayalgia, which I was diagnosed in 1989 and also have arthritic knees.

    I took up OW course last year and now am finished with my AOW training over the
    summer. My wonderful husband, a diver for five years helps me out and like you I clean up and pack them up except weights and BCs with steelplate and he takes care of all the heavy stuff. I could go on and on but you and I are in the same boat. Whether it's a boat or shore dive I prefer to take off my BC in the water I just don't have the strength to lift myself up the ladder or walking out onto the shore with a trilaminate drysuit.

    Finning for a long time especially my knees do hurt but still I enjoy the weightless of diving. I take prescription for them that helps a bit. Perhaps next year I would love to get an underwater scooter.

    Since youth I was into sports, horsemanship, and my last alpine skiing was two winters ago so I guess my scuba diving may be my last sport until my body no longer cope with it. It was very disappointing when I had a serious fall from a ladder that injured my neck and lower back and that changed my life. But I will fight on until ??? (I'm not even OLD! - will be 50 this year)

    Happy Diving,
  7. JoyfulNoise

    JoyfulNoise Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
    I feel very lucky and blessed not to have anything but the fibromyalgia. For me the only time I'm without pain is when I'm in the water. I could swim forever and just be so happy. I love that I have the option to be active in the water.

    The interesting story behind my diving is this. About 8 years ago, for my 40th birthday my husband "surprises" me with a trip to Hawaii. I was just a baby and wasn't all that thrilled. I was in so much pain from the fibro I just didn't think I could handle the trip. But I got there and decided to go snorkeling. I loved it. Did it for 7 days! And after about 4 days it dawned on me that while I was snorkling I was in no pain. I hadn't felt that way (no pain) in 5 years!!!!

    It was the best birthday gift ever. My attitude really changed. I went home and signed up for diving classes. Went through all the class work and when it got time to go to the pool, the instructor informs me that they don't have a wet suit big enough for me. He even said that he didn't think there was a wet suit big enough for me. I was so embarrassed, I wanted to just die!

    Last year my wonderful husband took me to the BVIs for our 25th wedding anniversary. It was this cool island hotel. By the docks was a dive shop that had a sign that said dive in one day. My husband was like...let's do it!!! I was like, no way I'd be so embarrassed when I was told there was no wet suit big enough for me. Well, my husband went to talk to the instructor and guess what! He had a BC for me and a wet suit! The instructor was so cute. He put the size large BC on me and said, "Well, this is a little too big for you, but I'm all out of smalls." Bless his heart, I felt like a million dollars.

    The happy ending is that I loved diving with all my heart. I am equal to anyone in the water and I am free of pain. My whole outlook and attitude in life changed. I am more positive and I've lost over 35 pounds. I want to be the best diver I can be and I know that means getting the extra weight off my body.

    It's hard to explain to others sometimes what it is like to always have some muscle in your body hurting or spasming. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me, I never want to hold up the boat or other divers... I always want to be the best diver on the boat!
    Imla likes this.
  8. miketsp

    miketsp Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: São Paulo, Brazil
    My wife has fibromyalgia.
    As for the diving it's no problem, we tell the crew and she just gets geared up at the platform. Either she goes in with a sideways push off from a sitting position or someone supports the cylinder weight while she does a giant stride.
    In the water it's no problem.
    Coming back she takes the BC off in the water and climbs the ladder without any gear.

    On a more general note, she has found that the most important thing for her condition is to get a good night's sleep and it took quite a long time to find the right type and dosage of sleeping medicine that worked for her (under medical supervision).
  9. JoyfulNoise

    JoyfulNoise Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
    I've tried to start a thread on this before, maybe this is the spot. I'm on Lyrica for my fibro and I've put on too much weight. My dosage has been lowered and it's helping, but I was just curious if there are any other divers here with fibro.

    With fibro you aren't suppose to lift more than 20 pounds (at least that's my doctor's absolute limit for me)...so entering and exiting the water has some special needs for me and most dive boats are GREAT! I'm allowed to put on my BC just before I enter the water. Anyone doing it differently?
  10. SoCalAngel

    SoCalAngel Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: 1000 Oaks, CA
    I don't have n fibro, but I do have three pinched nerves. When I go on dive boats, I usually jump into the water, and the crew hands me my BC, which I put on in the water. When I gewt back to the boat, I take my BC off before I get on the stairs or swim step, and the crew hauls it back to my space. I did start using a weight belt, instead of integrated, to make it easierfor the crews. It also places the weight below my last pinched nerve, so diving isn't painful.

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