AsiaRound The World TripThailand

Thailand: Koh Tao

Dive Master (no longer in training!) – Day #14

Paranoia Strikes

I think I’m turning into a hypochondriac.  I was CONVINCED – utterly convinced – that I was going to get decompression sickness (the Bends) from my four dives yesterday.  Not that I did anything wrong or that four dives is a bad thing, but I think that (given the Red Sea experience) my body reacts a little differently to Nitrogen than others.  PADI basically tells all divers: “Since little is presently known about the physiological effects of multiple dives over multiple days, divers are wise to make fewer dives and limit their exposure toward the end of a multi-day dive series.”  The Decompression Tables/Wheels are calculated conservatively, but every person reacts differently to Nitrogen exposure.  It’s not uncommon that even the safest and healthiest diver my get DCS sometimes.

So I spent the ENTIRE NIGHT last night completely paranoid that I was showing symptoms of the Bends.  Here was my night at various odd hours of the night/morning:

“What was that?…… Was that a pain in my joint?…. My fingers are tingling….. My toes are tingling…. What’s that prickly sensation on my arms?….. Do my elbows hurt?…. I’ll get up to go to the bathroom to see if I’m dizzy…… I think I AM dizzy…. Ow.  My knee just hurt….  Is my skin bubbling?….  No.  I’m fine.  I did everything right.  There’s no reason for me to have DCS…. But my fingers are tingling….”

And this went on for HOURS!!!!  Jon woke up at one point during the night and I told him that I thought my skin was tingling, but also that I thought I was being paranoid.  He was very nice to me and said that I should try to get some sleep and we’d see how I felt in the morning.  Meanwhile, he was probably thinking, “#$&$#@%&@)!!!  Who is this woman next to me?  Did I actually marry this person?”

After talking to him, I did feel better and fell into a restless sleep.  But I was still paranoid.

In the morning, Jon asked me how I was feeling and I said that I didn’t feel well, but that I wasn’t sure if this was because of the bad night’s sleep or not.  We decided that I should take the day off from diving, and that we would go down to the office to use the Ban’s Dive Wheel to calculate my decompression groups.   Jon – I’m sure – was secretly thinking “What the hell am I going to do with this woman?”.  So I sat and calculated my decompression groups and came up with this:

This won’t mean a thing to anyone who doesn’t dive, but to sum it up: I’m fine. The dives were completely safe and – according to the decompression tables – I should be fine.  So I felt much better after having done that, although I swear my fingers are still tingling.

Jon and I went to the Internet Cafe for a few hours to catch up on emails and news.  I still didn’t feel completely well, mostly because I needed sleep.  So I went to the room and spent the rest of the day sleeping, watching TV, and catching up on journals.  Jon went out for the afternoon dive and came back around 6:00.

Farango Pizza

At 7:30, we met a bunch of people at Ban’s to go to dinner in town.  We caught a “taxi” (read: the back of a pick-up truck) into town and met everyone else who was already at Farango’s Pizza.  We were there to celebrate Andre’s wife’s birthday.  There were about 15 of us total and we had a lovely time.  I ordered a seafood pasta that was much too creamy for my tastes, so Jon and Luis finished it up for me.

After dinner, we caught a “taxi” back to Ban’s.  I went to the room to crash and Jon logged in to the Internet.  Then he rang the room and said that he was going out to a bar with some of the gang from dinner.  He must have had fun, because he came back around 1:00AM.