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Fear of getting the Bends

Discussion in 'Near Misses and Lessons Learned' started by Fruitographer, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Fruitographer

    Fruitographer Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Crystal River, FL.
    45
    5
    8


    A ScubaBoard Staff Message...

    This thread was originally added to a 10-year old thread, and it was moved to a new one so it would get the attention it deserved.


    Recently I've been skin bent on three separate occasions following a very conservative table and all with nitro. These were all during cave classes or during my deco certification. Each time I was on O2 for about 1.5 times the duration specified on my Shearwater Petrol. My Buddies and I were all trying to figure out what the cause was since I was so conservative. One of my buddies and his wife both work in the ER and had no idea what it could be.

    Skin bent is different than a regular rash and should be easy to tell the difference once you've felt it. There was the itchiness but also felt like a pressure as well that wouldn't be felt with a standard rash. For me there was the obvious rash symptom but I could see a dark area that looked almost like a bruise. The darker area was difficult for other people to see and notice but since I was used to what my body should look like, it was pretty obvious to me. I've uploaded images of what it looked like and if you look close enough you'll see the small darker blotches that almost look like a slight bruising that wouldn't be on a normal rash.

    The first time it happened was around my hips and abdomen, the second was around my chest starting on the right side and them moving to the left side, while the third started in my right tricep which then moved to my left butt cheek. the last one was during my deco / advanced nitrox class where my instructor mentioned a possible Patent Foreman Ovale (PFO).

    Each time I felt symptoms I would start breathing pure O2 from my deco tank and the symptoms would go away pretty quickly.

    I eat a raw plant based diet and make all my own food from scratch which is extremely healthy. Normally I eat 2-3 watermelons a day and while everyone else is eating BBQ during the surface interval, I have a 3 gallon tub filled with watermelon I eat all to myself. So I'm extremely hydrated and exceptionally healthy. I weigh the same today as I did when I graduated from high school 20 years ago.

    I have definitely stopped diving as much since I've become more concerned about getting bent. I have an appointment with my doctor in 2 weeks and have already asked to be checked for a PFO. Once I find out the results I'll post with an update.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2018
  2. Fruitographer

    Fruitographer Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Crystal River, FL.
    45
    5
    8
    I have a Shearwater Petrel which I consider one of the best dive computer companies around. It allows you to adjust how conservative you want to be for your personal parameters. I still got skin bent.

    Speaking of temperature variations and dive tables, I've heard of people getting skin bent from using heated vests during cold water dives. Something to do with changing the circulation and bring the blood closer to the skin. I was told a heated vest was only for the safety stop but it also depends on who you ask. I don't have a wide knowledge base on the temperature ranges and deco sickness but I've read that gas solubility is inversely related to temperature and warming a saturated tissue can be enough to cause the form of bubbles. Same concept as taking a hot shower after a dive or getting in a hot tub.
     
  3. ofg-1

    ofg-1 Course Director

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    Hey fruit guy, are you diving wet or dry?
     
  4. Chilly_Diver

    Chilly_Diver Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Dublin
    82
    74
    18
    I assure you, it’s not pleasant.
     
  5. Chilly_Diver

    Chilly_Diver Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Dublin
    82
    74
    18
    Most agencies do not support deep stops.
     
  6. Rred

    Rred Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: In a safe place
    773
    281
    63
    Mea culpa, missed the ancient thread start. I try not to do that.
     
  7. flyboy08

    flyboy08 Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NYC
    1,602
    868
    113
    Blurred tunnel vision is a sympton of carbon monoxide...buildup...are you hyperventilating during the drift?
     
  8. Fruitographer

    Fruitographer Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Crystal River, FL.
    45
    5
    8
    I'm diving dry, and have an appointment on 26 Jun for an Trans Thoracic Echo (TTE) test to check for a PFO.

    In case you didn't notice this thread was an old one that I posted to. It already had a bunch of good information in it and rather than start the same conversation over again I thought it would be better to add to this one so the information was consolidated. Plus I always see where people say to look at past threads for something so I thought this would be better than starting a new one, which maybe I should have. So if you're asking somebody a question that posted several years ago from earlier in the conversation, they're more than likely not going to chime in. Lesson learned start a new one next time. My apologies for any confusion
     
    Chilly_Diver likes this.
  9. ofg-1

    ofg-1 Course Director

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    If you are diving dry, my suggestion, after looking at the photos, is to dump some air out of your wing and put it in the drysuit. Give yourself some additional space in the suit and do not compress your skin anymore than you have to. In the chest area, glue a pad of wetsuit material to your inflate valve (inside) so it is not pushed into your skin. Make sure your straps are not too tight.
     
  10. Fruitographer

    Fruitographer Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Crystal River, FL.
    45
    5
    8
    Only the first few dives I've made were wet and everything else as dry after that. I have the proper amount of air in my drysuit so that there isn't a squeeze but also not a gigantic bubble that's going to migrate through my suit and burp out my neck. If anything I'm usually trying to get air out and it's never been a problem with having to much squeeze for me. Once my suit has the proper amount of air in it, I use my BC after that and continue to balance them both out through out the dive depending on depth and squeeze. The majority of buoyancy is done through breathe control. I've also got a padded inflator as well. Straps are not to tight and if anything I've bee told to put them tighter but leave them at a comfortable position that doesn't restrict my movement.

    It doesn't seem to be consistent with anything that could possibly cause pressure against my skin. It's usually been in an area where nothing is pressing against me. The last time was on my right tricep and my exhaust valve is on my left arm. Then it moved down to my left butt cheek which had no equipment that would've caused pressure.

    I'm also diving sidemount so I don't have a backplate to press into me either.
     

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