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From The Hyperbaric Chamber To A Divemaster

Experience SMabbett COMMENTS 03 Jun, 2020

Since I was a kid I used to dwell into deep forest where I will be lost admiring the nature. Once hunger strike, I find my way back home. But the thrill of the unknown was so awesome, I was always enthralled to be diving into nature and to be connected to something I never really understood at that given time.

I discovered diving when I was a kid, only freediving as I could not afford scuba in Mauritius. Freediving is not for everyone, just as it was not for me at the start, I had to train and go beyond the mind, body and practice lots of breath-hold techniques to be good at it. Later when I was 17, I did my open water course, and I could not be happier since. I did many other water activities, to be in the water is a wonderful experience, it is the therapeutic to surrender fully in the limitless arms of the ocean.



How I Ended Up in The Hyperbaric Chamber

Since my last episode from the hyperbaric chamber, some kind of magic happened to me.

Long story short I will compressed it as short as it can be and anything you want to ask me, feel free. Every experience is exceptional.

It all happened 3 -4 years ago, I was on a freediving spree, wanting to master my craft and further develop my breath hold. I went diving near the Cerberus wreck in Brighton, I am a PADI freediver in case you are wondering. I was with two other buddies whom I was training with as a beginner, we said hello to the local coast guard and life saver to get all the info needed so we don’t violate any legislations. After my training session, I went to a deeper water which is 45 mins away from the wreck at about 15 metres deep, looking at all the amazing life which I think only a freediver will have more chance to explore. Well after around 23 multiple dives and surface interval, it got really choppy, with wind at around 45km/hr and waves crashing towards the shore. I also got pretty tired after 3 hours swimming around. I decided to head back as my other 2 buddies exit to the shallow water. Coming out at the rocky exit I got smashed against the rock and my toes got between sharp rocks, my toe nail flipped over.

I immediately went to the hospital, two nurses took care of me and assessed the injury. I explained that I was freediving, and that they may need to take that into consideration. I was advised that everything is fine as I was only freediving, and was given nitrous oxide for the pain ( I was so high) while they removed the toe nail and bandaged it.

Later that night my pulse dropped so low, and I was struggling to breathe. I went to the Alfred hospital, where the nearest hyperbaric chamber is. All kind of doctors saw me and could not find anything obvious. I went through all the major scans (X-rays, CRT and MRI) and tests with different doctors, and that went through to the next day.

Still in atrocious pain. No pain killers work and it was just exhausting.

Finally after the scans and test, they found something in my brain and nervous system. My pulse rate dropped so bad that the machine would screamed every minutes. This was something that I never ever thought a human would have to go through. I was not able to walk straight, and would near collapse every step that I tried to take. I had no energy left to even think, and was so much pain that I wanted to just break free from that misery.

But I never gave up, I was administered pure oxygen. I remember they were sending all these hot nurses to check on me lol. That pretty much kept me going, they talked to me forever, telling me stories. I spent a few days in hyperbaric chamber, started in a wheel chair. By day 3, I gained some movements and was feeling better. It was like diving with no water. I became accustomed with the hyperbaric unit, my freediving instructor called DAN and reported the incident, had a chat with them but they did not get involved as the head of the ICU was a current DAN doctor himself. Something happened with DAN and the hospital, but who cares I was alive. I was really grateful to see the light again. Many things could have turned South but looking at how much care I received from all the doctors and staffs, I feel so much gratitude. I didn’t think I would make it to become who I am today.

Today I am high on life, people would literally think I am on some kind of drugs. Almost losing everything I have made me appreciate, not anything physical but to thrive and connect to the ultimate source that drives us- “Oxygen”. There was lots of activity in my brain which looks like pepper dust on the MRI, The blue color decrease as I spend more time in the chamber. Every time there was something that cannot be explained, the ICU head told me that I am not alone in what I experience. Sometime I get no taste of the food I am eating and sometime I lose scent and can’t smell anything. I have never meditated before the incident but now that’s all that I DO. I was cleared after 7 month of treatment, started eating healthy and organic food. I am banned from drinking and taking any psychoactive or recreational drugs, pain killers does not work on me. Feeling like a superhuman today as what I see, feel and hear, the amount of activities in my mind is pure awesomeness. But, you lose some and to gain some. It is a fine line between how you feel and how you want to feel.

Becoming a Safer Diver and a Divemaster

Today I feel I am a very safe diver, I respect the air I breathe, I get high just by breathing it. I show gratitude every morning for the life that was bestowed upon me.

Joining ADI, meeting with Steve and Ting was a life changer. It changed my life coordinates for the best. I could not feel safer around these guys and today I am following their lead by becoming the safest diver anyone could ever want to dive with. ADI & staffs have integrity and is very loyal to its member. It’s black on white, they have only the best advice you can get and the most fun divers I have met along my journey.

Thank you kindly for caring for us and having a little blog space for us to share with each other. Thank you Steve and Ting for leading me into a better person than I was yesterday.




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