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scuba diving


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bberk1 Find out more about bberk1
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  • scuba diving

    Does anyone know if the docs typically allow you to scuba if you have hcm? I'm still trying to find new hobbies. I know the typical answer will be "you'll have to ask your doc. all docs are different..." I'm just trying to see before i call his office.


  • #2
    Re: scuba diving

    Well, lets think about what would be safe about it. First you would be with someone else because you NEVER scuba alone. That's about it. You would be wearing a heavy weight belt, tanks (probably would exceed a weight restriction), would walk in fins when getting in/out of the water. If you had an arrythmia, syncope, near syncope or a "SCD" event 60 ft down, there would be no warning, you probably would not be able to inflate your bouancy compensator to surface if unconsciou and would potentially loose your mouthpiece to your tanks and would drown. You can't call out to your friend who is 20 feet away that you are in trouble. The chances of them noticing the problem is slim because they have very limited peripheral vision (perhaps none) with a mask on. The boat is not going to be close to you when (and if) you surface and you would have to swim to it. There are no lifeguards on duty, so to speak. Is it worth the risk? Not in my opinion. I am PADI certified and knowing what I know, I would never consider going diving again.

    But with all that said, I think it's good that we put these kinds of things out there to get some feedback. Before you learn something new, you really don't know what it entails to see how it may or maynot be ok. And, most importantly, many HCMers are looking for new and exciting activities/hobbies.

    Hopefully you can find something that interests you and is safe.
    Onward and Upward !

    Diagnosed 4/07 HCM with fixed & dynamic obstruction
    Myectomy with resected cordonae tendonae 4/08 CCF
    ICD 10/08


    • #3
      Re: scuba diving

      not so sure about that but i think it may depend on how you feel post op if you indeed you have had a myectomy....in my case whenever i swim or get in any water where the water is at chest level i feel extreme pressure ......but post surg...i do not

      hope you find your answers



      • #4
        Re: scuba diving

        Although I was just diagnosed in December, I've been enjoying snorkeling for the last several years. I haven't asked my doc about it yet, but I sure hope it will be on my activity list. I may reduce the amount of time I spend under water holding my breath, but snorkeling has always been a very calming activity for me. Besides, if you snorkel too fast, you miss a lot. I would think it would be a nice alternative to scuba.


        • #5
          Re: scuba diving

          I am advanced certified (first certified 1982) and have done quite a number of dives in warm and cold water. After gettng an ICD I may be done. I still have all my gear, but I certaintly wont be doing any of those North Atlantic wreck dives any more. So much can go wrong on a dive as it is, now add potential other complications with HCM or the ICD device (e.g. does it work at pressure?).

          I can say I do miss the scallop dives, and the lobsters I've taken over the years. Oh the mussels I used to steam with Guinness.


          • #6
            Re: scuba diving

            I, too, am a certified SCUBA diver...and I agree that it's probably not such a great idea. I had a myectomy on 11/2/09 and have decided to "hang up my weight belt," so to speak. (I have done cave dives, wreck dives, night dives—even an ice dive!—and I will miss it terribly. But the trade off is this: I get to live!

            Besides, not only do all the aforementioned possibilities exist, but you are also responsible for your buddy down there. What if he/she needs your help and you black out or whatever...? And you'd better hope your dive buddy knows what to do when you go into Afib!! I wouldn't want to put that kind of burden/responsibility on anyone. You'd be putting both yourself AND your diving partner at risk.

            I'm heading to Florida in another week and hope to try some snorkeling. There's nothing quite as peaceful as the sound of rhythmic breathing thru a regulator but, for me, a snorkel will have to do!
            Diagnosed with HOCM, at age 48, Jan 09
            Diagnosed with Prolonged QTc, May 09
            Septal Myectomy, at Mass General, Nov 09
            LBBB resulted from surgery


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