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  • Scuba Diving

    I asked my cardiologist about scuba diving with HCM and she said she was not sure, but to be safe, don't! Anyone have a definitive answer on the possible effects of pressure on an HCM patient. I can't find anything.

  • #2
    Re: Scuba Diving

    Dear CBM,
    Under normal circumstances burst stress is not at all good for an HCM person. Now add to that the water pressure on the body and the fact that emergencies under water can happen in the blink of an eye. (That’s why divers should never dive alone.)

    Suppose you suddenly black out – it can happen. Your diving buddy then has to make sure you have your mask on and help you to breath while he also has to bring you to the surface and get you into the dive boat, and only then can they start to give you artificial respiration and/or other first aid care, and hope to get you to shore and medical aid in time. If you are at depth, there may be wait stops on the way up to avoid the bends, or your buddy could bring you up quickly and add nitrogen narcoses to your problems.

    Any way you cut it, it is not the best of situations. If you want to go out for sports – fine, but pick sports and athletic activities that are steady strain and not the burst type. You would also be wise to do these things where help is readily available.

    I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but a little rain is better then a flood of problems.
    Burt

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    • #3
      Re: Scuba Diving

      My ex-husband was into scuba diving all the time and when we got married, he just said, "there is no way you are going scuba diving."

      and this was before I'd even had a stroke or been in afib for a long time.

      It made sense to me that being underwater if I ever fainted or had severe tachycardia or an arrythmia or whatever would be a very, very, very bad idea.

      He didn't seem to think any diving instructor worth his or her salt would allow a known HCM case down below.

      S

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      • #4
        Re: Scuba Diving

        I used to scuba dive in the Carribean. What I'd suggest instead is snorkel diving. I used to hang out near reefs with enough weights to stay verticle just below the surface. I'd remain very still, breathing through the tube and let the fish get accustomed to me. It takes patience, but you can see and experience a great deal by this method, and you'll be prefectly safe.

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        • #5
          Re: Scuba Diving

          my dad and brother scuba all the time, and so of course HCM was a question when they wanted to get me ceritified. dr. maron said noooope because (an this is before the defib) if i were to feel symptoms or anything i couldnt just stop...its a long process to actually get back to land!
          ~janelle*
          \"The heart swells at the magnificance\"

          1 timothy 4:12: Do not let others look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.

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          • #6
            Re: Scuba Diving

            Listen CBM,
            If you’re sad about giving up your dreams about scuba diving, I’d like to suggest an alternative which is great fun, involves water, and is perfectly safe for HCMers.

            The activity? – Well it’s bubble bathing - - - with a friend or mate (I do not know your marital status.) I can tell you it is an absolutely marvelous pastime – and there’s no expensive equipment to buy. You want physical activity too - I mean beside the bubble bath itself? Well then, you can mop up the bathroom floor afterwards.

            You have to be creative in this world, and quite frankly of the two activities, I’d take bubble bathing with a buddy anytime. (Yes, you still need to rely on the buddy system.) I think it is pure ecstasy to sit there and have your buddy scrub your back. It’s better then – that is, it’s the same as - - what I mean to say is - - - well I’m sure you know what I mean.
            Burt

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            • #7
              Re: Scuba Diving

              Oh.... My.... God.... Burton....

              "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

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              • #8
                Haahhhahahah is this an XXX site or what lol. I dont think anyone wants my opion on ICDs of Scuba........(yes/no).

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                • #9
                  I meant soething a little different. I am debating on an ICD leaning VERY strongly to no. And I enjoy Scuba and for the right dive I would not hesitate. See I am sure you all think me reckless.....

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                  • #10
                    your call

                    what we _think_ really doesn't matter. it is your life and you get to choose what you do with it.

                    however, please keep in mind that whenever you are doing something potentially dangerous with other people (if their life could depend on your abilities in any way), then they need to know the whole story. and they should be allowed to make their decision with full disclosure.

                    hcm predisposes you to fainting and arrythmias at any time, medicated or not. underwater or not.

                    that's how i see it.

                    as for the icd, again, if you don't want one, you don't have to have one. no one is going to force you. your family may prefer that you stick around longer, but if you think having an icd is going to reduce your quality of life substantially, you should read zaplife.org. see what they have to say.

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                    • #11
                      Sarah,

                      I will be the devils advocate here not trying to be a jerk just to see where this goes out of interest. I understand and agree with you BUT

                      Do you drive?

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                      • #12
                        nope

                        No. I do not drive. I don't have a car or a license.

                        And while I see where you are going with this, let me point out that driving is not a strenuous activity involving heavy equipment and being underwater.

                        Yes, there is a risk of dying or fainting while driving, which could put others at risk, but _that_ risk is substantially lower than then the risk would be when you are pushing your physical limits in scuba diving.

                        We can't eliminate every risk, but we can mimimize them and we can take responsiblity for ourselves and not put others at risk when we can avoid it.

                        If seeing neato fish is essential, I recommend the Blue Planet documentary on DVD.

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                        • #13
                          Its ironic that we are talking about scuba diving As I had posted previously in a different forum that scuba was something I wanted to do before I die.I dont even know if to be scuba qualified you have to have a doctors note etc.It would be amazing to see life under the blanket of blue ,but worst case scenario I guess I could snorkel.though the water can get pretty rough on the surface.take care all mike
                          One day at a time.

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                          • #14
                            Padi

                            FYI

                            The PADI Medical Questionnaire states that if you answer "Yes" to any of the questions, you then need to submit a letter from your doctor stating that you can dive.

                            Questions that might trip up an HCMer:
                            do you take any prescription medication
                            do you have or have ever had a heart attack, fainting, or heart surgery
                            do you have heart disease

                            S

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                            • #15
                              Scuba

                              CBM,

                              I too LOVE to dive. The debate about diving or other situations that could be more dangerous for HCMers really comes down to the fact that it is your personal choice. Personally, I push it.. however, my enlargement is minimal and I have never had any symptoms or abnormal results on stress tests. The comment about driving was well made thebigheartedguy summarized my feelings. However, that doesn't give us the right to be foolish. Having HCM does not mean we cannot live. However, when we do something that involves risk, our condition adds to that risk. Me, I'd rather die living. BUT, I would rather live than die and therefore I may push it, but do so with as much caution as possible.

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