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Thread: Very strong gag reflex & scuba diving & phobias

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    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    Very strong gag reflex & scuba diving & phobias

    Wasn't quite sure where to put this topic, but since it's sort of relationship related, this was as good as anything.

    My possible new beau is an avid scuba diver. I did some googling and it was interesting reading. He's actually a recently certified dry suit diver. Anyway, I thought I'd do some reading since it's a big interest of his. He's not said anything that he would like me to try it yet (sort of early for that), but I've got one heck of a strong fear of deep water. I don't like being in water deeper than I can stand in with my head out of the water. I can swim, but learned as a teenager. Come to think of it, I'm fine on boats and other floaty things on the Great Lakes. It's swimming pools that seem to trigger the fear, now that I think about it. Anyway, I've come a lot of blogs and such online from people who used learning to scuba dive as a way of conquering their fear.

    The other issue is a strange one. I have an extremely strong gag reflex. I have to have an empty stomach (other than water or tea) when I have a dentist appointment. A couple of years they did impressions for something and my breakfast of cereal and milk came up, all over me. The heaving didn't stop until my stomach was empty and beyond. I'm wondering if the mouthpiece (regulator?) used in scuba diving would set off my gag reflex. I have a "flipper" from the dentist to cover a missing tooth (needs an implant and they are thousands of dollars). The flipper covers a good portion of the roof of my mouth. It hits the spot towards the back of the roof of my mouth that triggers my gag reflex. I can't wear it, as a result.

    Any ideas or thoughts? Thanks!

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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Go take a look at the mouthpiece of the regulator - it doesn't go into your mouth much at all. You hold it in place with your teeth, and only a teeny bit extends past the area of the tooth.

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    There is no way I would do scuba diving. I would be perfectly happy snorkeling, though, and you can see a fair bit snorkeling.

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    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    I've never done snorkeling either. I've never been to the tropical places I associate with snorkeling. I don't think there's much snorkeling done on the Great Lakes!

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    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    Thanks, Bae. I've not seen one in person yet so I couldn't tell much from pictures.

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    Just cause he likes something doesn't mean you have to. That's as silly as saying he should give up scuba cause it makes you gag.

    You are two separate people who can have two separate groups of interests.

    This is, I'm convinced, why my husband and I are still happy after 35 years of marriage. We don't do everything together. In fact he's taking two vacations this year without me. It's to places I don't want to go. Doesn't mean he can't.

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    It is early days for this, but good for you to want to explore his likes/interests.

    My son is a dive instructor. If you get a good one, they can work with you to overcome any fears. Here in Florida, most all the lessons are done in swimming pools, then the check out dive is done in open water (frequently lakes, fresh water springs or the ocean). If a pool is a problem but a lake is not, again a good instructor should accommodate.

    Hubby has a strong gag reflex, too. He has cut off the "ears" of his snorkel and regulator. You must then ensure you hold them in place with your lips - not a very secure placement, but doable.

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    Also, what tammy said. ...

    And:

    I don't dive, but am happy to be the spotter who stays on the boat and makes sure everyone is ok.

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    I grew up on a lake but don't like to be under water very far. I attribute that to my older brother holding me under against my will and feeling like I was drowning. so I know just what you mean about that. My sister had the gag reflex you mention so could not wear top dentures and had to get all implants.

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    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tammy View Post
    Just cause he likes something doesn't mean you have to. That's as silly as saying he should give up scuba cause it makes you gag.

    You are two separate people who can have two separate groups of interests.

    This is, I'm convinced, why my husband and I are still happy after 35 years of marriage. We don't do everything together. In fact he's taking two vacations this year without me. It's to places I don't want to go. Doesn't mean he can't.
    I didn't said I had to do it. However, even if nothing happens, I've learned something new from my research. I enjoy learning new things. So maybe the guy and I get together, and he wants to keep the diving hobby with himself and his buddies. That's fine, I'm got my own stuff. But if he asked if I was interested, I can say I've done research and yes or no on whether I want to try it or not. I could also talk halfway intelligently about it.

    He was talking about diving at lunch on Saturday and mentioned having to ascend slowly. "Yes, to prevent the bends" I commented. He looked surprised and said I know my stuff. I had been really into the space program when I was in school and did a lot of reading on it. There seems to be some information crossover between diving and the space program.

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