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Diving with Fibromyalgia

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

  1. JDenning

    JDenning Solo Diver

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    I'm glad to find this thread. My wife Tammy has Fibro... Also RA and OA. She is a certified diver. But hasn't had a chance to dive since she's been symptomatic. We're off to Curacao on the 15h. I plan on doing quite a bit of diving. She fully intends to at least snorkel. And hey she might put on SCUBA also.

    She is also 5 years cancel free. The worst of Fibro has hit her in the last 3 years.

    So thanks for the encouragement. Tammy might get on here and report on her diving upon our return.
     
  2. Sunset_Diver

    Sunset_Diver Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Willow Beach, Ontario, Canada
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    You're welcome! I'm glad your wife is doing much better after being cancer-free. I would love to hear from Tammy on this thread... whenever she feels up to. Enjoy your trip! :)
     
  3. JoyfulNoise

    JoyfulNoise Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
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    What treatment is Tammy doing (if any)? I have found Lyrica to really be a HUGE help with the only down side being weight gain, which I don't need, but that's finally under control again. The hardest, but best thing I've found is a doctor who is really up to date on fibromyalgia management. A flair can last a day or two or months, so it's always best to take it easy and get as much help from dive buddy and crew. I used to be embarrassed to ask for help, too much stubborn pride on my part and after diving for over a year now, I've found that my fellow divers are generous!

    When we travel I do take a pain medication with me, approved by my doctor for my activities. I also have something to help with sleep, without 8 hours I will flair within a few days. The first day after flying I take it easy too, something about flying seems to cause fibro to act up a bit. And I'm sure ya'll know, but get up and stretch as much as possible when flying or driving long distances. If ya'll would like some easy stretches to do while sitting just let me know!
     
  4. ScubaTexan

    ScubaTexan ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I found your thread (and it looks like another one that had been merged with it) and merged it with this one.
     
  5. JDenning

    JDenning Solo Diver

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    I'll try and get Tammy up to speed on SB so she can jump in herself. Or at least for now I'll have her read and post under my name. We like to share:)
     
  6. JoyfulNoise

    JoyfulNoise Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
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    I'm a team too with my dive buddy and husband. It's easier to remember one name and password rather than 2!


    And thanks for finding the other thread for us, oh wonderful moderator! I'm going to blame it on a fibro fog!:dork2:
     
  7. ScubaTexan

    ScubaTexan ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Happy to help! :D
     
  8. williama

    williama Instructor, Scuba

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    This thread has been pretty helpfull for me to learn a little about fibro(just learned the lingo from reading the pevious messages).

    I have two Open Water students that mentioned they are diagnosed with fibro and currently take lirica. We are planning on doing their course next month and as we went over the materials and forms this came up. I requested they get a doctor sign off before we start the course since that is required by PADI standards.

    My concerns have increased since reading this thread. It's great to hear how divers enjoy being underwater and how it has helped and motivated them to stay active.

    I do feel the need to change the course from a full certification to a Discover Scuba program where they can try it before doing the full class. Or refer them to an instructor/program that might be better suited at accomodating divers that should have a little more assistance.


    Can I request those of you who have completed recent certification courses that you PM or email me your instructor or diveshop information? I would like to learn more about how they accomodated meeting the certification requirements and also being sensative to the students needs.

    My initial reaction is to just go snorkeling all summer and then talk about doing a scuba class after they have built up comfort and experience.

    Thanks
     
  9. pasley

    pasley Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lakewood, CA
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    Williama,
    Congratulations of taking the time to research your students. May I suggest that you take a course from Handicapped SCUBA Association (HSA) Handicap Scuba Association and get certified as an instructor for the handicapped. There is a lot to know, and while the course is only 3 days it is packed with information. I will PM you with some local instructors who are already certified.
     
  10. rollerboi

    rollerboi Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Pleasant Grove, Utah (USA)
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    One thing you may not be aware of is that Fibromyalgia typically is an "umbrella" diagnosis. When everything else has been ruled out, and the symptoms are consistent* with the category of Fibromyalgia, then that diagnosis is given.

    *I highlight this because two people with FM may have radically different symptoms, and nobody can be judged on anything other than an individual basis. It's more like a list, and if you have 3 out of 10, or however many symptoms there are, then the diagnosis is given. Most of it deals with chronic pain and fatigue, and water can actually be a big comfort for pain sufferers.

    My wife has FM. It mainly affected her in the mornings, but once she got going, she was fine. Until she ran out of energy, that is, but only she could be the judge of that. (I say was, because she's 5 months pregnant now and the game is completely different for us! :) :) )

    I wouldn't be so concerned to the point of turning them away - obviously, they feel their energy levels are such that they can tackle scuba diving. Putting them through a Discover Scuba program is a good idea, but I think the main thing is just to be responsive to their needs. Good communication is the key here, as they are the ones most likely to know and understand both their symptoms and responses to said symptoms. My wife would be most upset if she was excluded simply because an instructer either didn't understand, or assumed, her needs.

    In our pool sessions and open waters, I would carry her tanks for her so she could reserve her energy for in the water. There was a time or two when she needed to call it a night, but that's true of anyone. That's pretty much the extent of accomodations that she needed. Sometimes she paid for her exertions the next day in terms of pain, but that was a choice she made for herself, and it did not affect her while she was actually in the water.

    Bottom line, talk to your students and be receptive to what they need, but don't be paranoid about it. One size does not fit all. :)
     

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