Elaine & Melvin...

Outer Bamnks diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by John M. on August 17, 2004 at 10:16:10:

In Reply to: Trip Report: Diving in Southern California Hyperbaric Chambers posted by Elaine on August 14, 2004 at 10:43:19:

How'd you fare in the little monoplace chamber? That was one of the worst experiences of my life -- literally. I've never been claustrophobic before in my life and never had a panic attack before in my life, but when they put me in that little smaller-than-a-coffin tube after a night of literally no sleep and fear about being bent, I completely lost it. Had a panic attack which literally lasted about four hours... until I was too exhausted from freaking out to continue freaking out. It affects my brain to this day, although a lot less than it did in the first year or two afterwards. I couldn't get in one of those kid crawl-through-the-tubes things without freaking out for a while, and I was a mess at deep, bad vis diving (it's a form of claustrophobia -- no visual reference).

Afterwards, I talked with several physicians who said that they're supposed to drug you before putting you into one of those things, so that just this kind of thing doesn't happen. Did they drug you? How'd you do in the confinement?

To anyone else, if you ever have to take a ride in a monoplace chamber, absolutely do it... but ask for serious drugs first.


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