Saturday, January 30, 2010

Scuba diving

I have a life-long ambition to go scuba diving. I've done it once - a trial run round the bottom of a Cornish cove. Cornish coves are terrific - great underwater forests and a reasonable number of fish swimming in them.

This year I thought I might achieve it. We're planning a holiday in a bay with training centres and warm water.

It occurred to me to check the medical criteria. I've found the self-certification form used by one of the training centres. No chance! If you have allergies, sinusitis, rhinusitis or a history of ear problems, you cannot just turn up and dive. You have to get checked by a doctor. So your breathing has to be perfect.

Today it's not feeling perfect. I have chronic catarrh and my left eye is sore again. It's probably been aggravated by a glass of whisky last night. I am fairly sure none of this is the common cold. But I don't feel any difficulty breathing. And when I flew last year I didn't have any problems.

The way it seems to work is that you sign up to a dive centre, they give you a medical form and then tell you to go and see a doctor. We cannot risk that happening on holiday. So I need to get hold of the most official form I can.

I can imagine my doctor's reaction. I guess they could jump either way - don't do it because it will be their fault if anything goes wrong - or what's the fuss about? Really I need to find a specialist doctor who knows what the risks are. Do they exist? Should it be a problem?


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