Age, Health, Certification and Trim

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Angelo Farina

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I was cleared by ear, nose, throat doctor to resume certification process. Instructed not to dive beyond 30 feet, and use sinus decongestion one day prior to dive.
Waiting for Dr's updated health clearance form to resume Sunday pool sessions.
Practicing ear pressure release techniques. If I had known how to depressurize my ears beforehand I wouldn't be in this situation.
This makes little sense. If the problems are solved and you can equalize, there is no limit of depth. Equalization problems are worst in the few meters, once your are at 10 meters (30 feet) going down further is much easier...
Is your doctor/ENT understanding diving physiology? Unfortunately , many do not...
If you have problems with your ears, I warmly suggest that you see a doctor/ENT specialised in diving problems (possibly free diving, as this is much more stressfull for ears than scuba diving).
Call DAN and ask for an underwater doctor in your area.
Do not stress your ears until you are cleared for diving by a diving-aware doctor.
In my experience as an instructor, the cases of people who are totally not suitable for diving due to ear problems are very rare. Doctors unaware of diving physiology are much more common...
Even more common are instructors which only teach the obsolete and dangerous Valsalva equalization method, whilst many other methods are known, who are both more effective and much safer: BTV, Frenzel, Toynbee, Marcante-Odaglia, etc...
 

rongoodman

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, I could not stand up when I exited the pool. My legs are too weak to come to a stand in near complete scuba gear.

I asked the Dive Master instructor if this would eliminate me from certification and I was told no. Is anyone familiar with leg impaired or handicapped exiting techniques from water to boat or poolside using a ladder?
Is this a permanent condition or just a matter of requiring some weight work to strengthen your legs? I've been on several liveaboards with divers who needed extra assistance from the crew in getting in and out of the water. They are usually happy to help.
 

Angelo Farina

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Last week was a near perfect training experience. I had the correct trim and no equalization problems! I said near perfect, even after removing 14 pounds of weights, I could not stand up when I exited the pool. My legs are too weak to come to a stand in near complete scuba gear.

I asked the Dive Master instructor if this would eliminate me from certification and I was told no. Is anyone familiar with leg impaired or handicapped exiting techniques from water to boat or poolside using a ladder?
The last time I attempted climbing on a ladder onto the boat, 3 years ago, I suffered some damage at my right Achille's tendon. It did took 4 months to heal...
I am 63 now, and at my age the correct procedure is to ALWAYS remove tank(s) and weights before climbing the ladder. I really do not understand why many boats expect that divers climb the ladder fully equipped.
It is stressful, dangerous, and does not provide any significant advantage.
The boat should be equipped with a number of ropes with a properly knotted carabineer at the end. You first remove weights and pass them on boat, then you remove tank and BCD and attach it to the rope (with some air in the BCD; so the thing is floating). Finally you remove your fins, your mask, and climb the ladder.
 

rongoodman

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Correct procedure for you, perhaps. Most can can climb a ladder without any issue. There’s no way I’d want to fool around with all that before exiting the water. Too much “help” can be annoying, as I was reminded of again on my last trip.
.
 

Marie13

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Last week was a near perfect training experience. I had the correct trim and no equalization problems! I said near perfect, even after removing 14 pounds of weights, I could not stand up when I exited the pool. My legs are too weak to come to a stand in near complete scuba gear.

I asked the Dive Master instructor if this would eliminate me from certification and I was told no. Is anyone familiar with leg impaired or handicapped exiting techniques from water to boat or poolside using a ladder?
Dumbbell squats are your friend, if you’re physically able to do them. Have greatly helped me, even with my knee issues.
 

tursiops

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I am 63 now, and at my age the correct procedure is......
It is not an age thing; it is a physical conditioning and strength thing.
I'm 80. I just returned from a month in Bonaire where I did 59 dives over 4 weeks (very relaxed!), 63% of which were from a boat, climbing the ladder with my gear on....but my weight pockets out!
At 63 I was taking technical training and was routinely diving steel doubles...from boats, and in caves. Lots of ladders.
It is not an age thing.
 

Angelo Farina

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It is not an age thing.
Partially true. Unfortunately I was not as lucky as you, my legs started having problems many years ago, and now I must adapt to what they can still do.
I have seen that for most people age does not help, strength and resilience are generally fading away as the age increases. There are exceptions, of course, but for most people after 60 y.o. it is safer to reduce the physical exertion.
Particularly for females, there is a severe risk of damages to bones, due to loss of calcium carbonate (osteoporosis).
The fact that one keeps the muscles strong and fit (by training, etc.) does not ensure that bones and joints are still capable of withstanding high forces.
In my case this was particularly true: the muscles are still in good shape, but evidently the tendons are not capable anymore of transmitting properly all the force the muscles can generate, and so I suffered of a tendon partial disruption.
And there is very little one can do about this, as doing more exercise simply wears out even more the tendons.
As I often say, humans are all built differently. Each one should know his body and its limits, and respect them, for avoiding damage. These limits change under various factors, depending on general health condition, specific medical issues, age, food, sleep, hydratation, etc.
It is important that a diver listens to his body, and respects the warning signals, modifying the behaviour accordingly. Up to yesterday you could do something easily, but today you cannot anymore.
Age is not the single limiting factor: I agree on this, a number says nothing about fitness, strength and resilience. But the fact that someone else, elder than me, can do something easily and safely, does not mean that I can do the same, as we are not equally built.
I did learn the hard way that I cannot anymore climb a ladder fully equipped.
It is nothing to be embarrassed, some people cannot do it at 20 y.o. I managed to do it up to 60 y.o., and now not anymore. So is the life...
 

rongoodman

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It was a little unclear as to whether you were speaking only for yourself or for everybody your age or older.
 

Subcooled

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Is anyone familiar with leg impaired or handicapped exiting techniques from water to boat or poolside using a ladder?
It depends on the boat does it not?

Two days ago I was doing some boat diving. And it was a small boat indeed. It had a TINY ladder and it was unusably small with fins or anything actually. I am not handicapped but I was not keen on using that ladder and so I doffed my gear and gave it to the crew, after witch my one leg and one arm were over the side of the boat and I was then rolled in like a tobacco. Some permanent loss of pride did take place, believe me :D

Hence, having experienced it first hand, with two functioning legs, may I suggest the "pull him up" method?
You can help a lot with your hands.

Caveat: I do not know anything about handicapped diving. This is just my best effort at giving some ideas.
 

Marie13

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@edhjr

Were you able to climb the ladder out of the pool without your tank/weights on?
 
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