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Chiari Malformation Community
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Avatar universal

SCUBA diving

Hi! I have chiari type 2, basilar invagination and EDS. I had decompression and fusion surgery a few years back. I am going to New Zealand in October with a friend and she is an avid diver and I have always wanted to try it. My doctor said it was okay up to a certain depth. I am really looking forward to giving it a try, even with possible repercussions. We only live once, got to take full advantage right?! Has anyone dove with Chiari before? Any suggestions on minimizing possible side effects?
7 Responses
1925822 tn?1333705617
Well i just give u my personal opinion.of what i understood is that gravity and pressure issues are a no go for chiarians.its true we only live once,but i would not risk to be even worse with things like diving and rollercoaster rides.but as i told u thats my opinion.i hope people can answer u who actually did this adventure.may i ask with what age they discovered chiari 2?how are ur symptoms now?anyhow i am glad u r still able to travel and enjoy life.
1823499 tn?1370090289
just be careful. when the pressure feels like its to much, dont go any further. i have no experience with the scuba diving tho. you are right tho, we only live once. be careful and let us know how it goes..... : )
620923 tn?1452915648
COMMUNITY LEADER

  Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.

U mentioned u had surgery already, but did not mention how u have been doing since, that should be what u look to, ur body will tell u what u can and can not do...no one not even Drs can say after this surgery u will be able to do this or that, or will feel like this by this time...there is no way for neone to know how ur body will react, respond what ever u want to call it....

If u were going to just snorkel I would say have a great time....diving for me is diff to say as I know I could not take the pressure, as I said we r all diff.

Just going there would be a Dream come true for me...wow u r so lucky....and as a few others said I would not want to do something that might make me feel bad the rest of the trip....I know what that is like...I went to Guatemala in Jan '08 and on the plane ride I think it may have been the tight quarters but my leg numbness started and the whole time I was hitting my leg as if to wake it back up and it scared me....this was one month b4 I got my chiari dx....so I had no idea...but now that I am 3 yrs post op I would go, but be very cautious of my activities as I know I still can have issues and would not want to be that far from home and have them.

JMHO
3060676 tn?1440702944
I have Chiari 1, PFD and a second surgery to remove hardware. I have a pseudo now. When I asked my NS about diving (because my fiance dives) he told me to try it! As long as I listen to my body and recognize the "red flags" then I should be ok. I am not ok with living life on the sidelines, so as soon as I can get my nerves frozen so I can wear goggles on my head- I'm totally going to try! Plus- you are required to do a check-out dive before you get your certification. You will know then if you can handle the pressure or not! This usually is scheduled before your trip! Also, during the classes, they should take you to lower depths slowly and at intervals- so you have time to adjust. Then you can decided if you want to go further.

Good luck and listen to your body! :)
Avatar universal
I was diagnosed when I was 18 after a few years of progressive symptoms. I respect all of your opinions, but this is something I am going to do. I made a promise to myself the day I had surgery that I would never let Chiari control my life, as it did prior to surgery, no matter the outcome. (Quick history: I was essentially bed ridden. A day I got from my bed to the kitchen was a good day. I was so nauseous all the time I lost 28lbs weighing only 87lbs when I went in for surgery. I was surviving, I was not living.) I have upheld this promise to myself through chronic daily pain, as I relearned how to walk, a couple spells of pseudo tumor, narrowly avoided multiple other surgeries and constant lack of sensation in my legs. This has allowed me run again, swim again, ride a bike again, fly on an airplane, ride roller coasters, jump on a trampoline, hang upside down from monkey bars and accomplish more than I ever thought was possible. That promise, no matter how hard it has been to uphold, has allowed me to live again and I will never give up on that. Chiari stole enough of my life now it is time to die living :D

irislita: My symptoms now are chronic pain, no proprioception from the hips down, little sensation from my hips to my knees, no feeling from my knees down, vertigo, blacking out, ringing in my ears, trouble swallowing and tingling in my arms and hands from time to time.

Sexy Bare: Tanks for the opinion.

Selma: I was living over seas and air evac'ed out of eastern Europe when I stopped breathing because of the compression. It is scary to be away from home, but I can't let that fear run my life. I am planning it at the end of my trip so I can only ruin the plane ride home and flying stinks as it is!

RheaAnn: Thanks for the encouragement. I have been swimming for about a year and a half now and wearing the goggles gets better over time. At first it was unbearable and now some days they don't bother me at all and others is moderate discomfort. I am looking forward to my certification course. I am thinking I will be starting it next week and do my pool dive on Friday and to the lake Saturday and Sunday! I will let you know how it goes and if I can offer any tips if you get the chance to go!
1903798 tn?1333905288
I was told no scuba but it was because of my EDS they found when checking my heart that I have lung issues from EDS.  I scuba dove in St Lucia before I was diagnosed and am so thankful for my once in a lifetime.  good luck!
620923 tn?1452915648
COMMUNITY LEADER

  Well I admire u desire and  will to overcome all of this....more power to u : )

And I am glad to hear u plan on trying the diving at the end of the trip, great idea as it can not affect ur the rest of ur trip.

Have a great time and do post and let us know how ur vacation goes : )
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