Posted by Elaine on August 17, 2004 at 11:23:19:
In Reply to: Elaine & Melvin... posted by John M. on August 17, 2004 at 10:16:10:
I did it without drugs. Where I was they had maybe four monoplace chambers. Before I went in I was able to watch some little old ladies in their chambers having their wound healing or whatever sessions. I think that helped.
The first time I felt some panic, that I tried to hide. The tube is small and it creeks when being pressureized. I had a couple of my moments when I though about trying to dig my way through the glass. On the way down I found it harder to equalize than it is in water, and that really scared me. For distraction, I watched "Nemo" on the TV and that took my mind off where I was. I was also concerned that it is much harder for a girl to "pee" in there than it is for a guy. Both times I had my legs crossed trying not to think about dripping water faucets during the last 1/2 hour.
The second time was again with out drugs. I used the ear plugs this time. They helped to make clearing easier - I highly recommend them. There had been a local 3.8 earthquake earlier in the day and I was a little worried about what would happen if there was a bigger earthquake while I was in there. I think that they put "Shrek" on the TV, but I was too tired to watch it. Since it was an all night thing, I was able to sleep through most of it. Even with getting some sleep in the chamber, the next day I was wiped out. This time they put me in a bed across the hall for most of the next day, and I can't remember the last time that I felt so exhausted.
The chamber guy said that I did "really good" and that most people totally flip out. Convincing my mind that I was diving instead of what was really going on helped me the most. I looked at my heart rate a couple of times and it was in the very low 60's - and I remember thinking using the zen of diving was what was getting me through it.
Chamber diving is traumatic. I still need to talk about it sometimes. Maybe we need a support group or something - a Post Traumatic Chamber Ride hot line. Actually, in a weird way I now see tubes as almost comforting - a place to go to get ready to get back into the water again.
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