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    Cypres 2

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    Triangle Skydiving Center
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    Formation Skydiving
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  1. I worked with Jack at CSS. He was one of the best Instructors I've ever known. I was on the load when he had his Tandem accident that nearly paralyzed him, and was at the hospital with him when he took his first steps during rehab, without the crutches. The look on his face was priceless. I still have the video where he swooped in and stole a kiss from my wife on a tandem. Blue skies, my brother...You were one of a kind.
  2. If I was your tandem Instructor, I'd give you a full briefing, full dirt dive, and work with you all the way through the jump to make sure that your second jump was what it should be. Don't be worried about the overload on the first jump. That is exactly why tandems work so well. Now that you know what to expect, you'll be much better. Just remember to take several deep breaths heading to the door, arch on exit, breathe in freefall, and relax. You'll do just fine. By the way, please don't lump all of us TI's in with the few who treat students like a payload. I've done over 1700 tandem jumps in the last 4 years, and none of them was "just" another jump. If you are willing to place your life in my hands, I am willing to do the best job I can to make your jump a success. I'll bet your Instructor feels the same way. If you can't find an Instructor that will do that, let me know. And, don't let being 46 deter you. I'm 52. It doesn't deter me. Have a great second jump.
  3. Normally, the sinus cavities will equalize pressure as the middle ear area does. If you have sinus congestion, air may be trapped and cause a "squeeze" that will trap air inside the congested sinus and cause pain, although this usually will resolve fairly rapidly once your descent rate has slowed. The pain and pressure that you felt after the tandem jump was most likely due to the swelling of tissue around your tympanic membrane (ear drum), and as the swelling decreased, so did the full feeling in your ears. Please be aware that you must be 100% mentally "there" to get the maximum from your training. If any medication has side effects that would limit your ability to either learn or react normally to any problems, do not continue your training. Make sure that your Instructor knows of any meds you are on. I have found, in both SCUBA and Sky diving, that most people's bodies will adjust to the fact of pressure changes as they continue the activity. But, if you continue to jump, and have recurring pain, see your ENT. Hope you have fun with you AFF.
  4. The problem is called "rebound", and it has more to do with the medication wearing off at a time when it is most needed to allow the passages to vent expanding gas (air). Using a decongestant to allow equalization is not a very safe way to dive. The occurence you are describing is called a "reverse block" where the eustachian tube is either blocked by mucus or another obstruction, or is formed so that the path for the expanding air is not allowing the gas to vent as rapidly as it is expanding. Slowing your rate of ascent, stopping if you feel pressure, (or fullness), and re-descending slightly as you equalize again usually will allow a safe ascent with no damage. Remember, the last 15 feet of ascent generate the greatest pressure change, so your risk of this occurence is higher the closer you are to the end of your ascent.
  5. If you indeed do have a compromised tympanic membrane (ear drum), then you are not equalizing that side at all. There will be no pressure differential if there is not a barrier to pressure transference. Additionally, if you continue to jump/dive/shower/bathe, etc., with a perforated ear drum, you are risking infection due to the possible movement of foreign matter into the middle ear area. Your Doctor would be the best answer as to whether any activity would be ok.
  6. Please do not do this. Even if she could equalize during the descent, there is the distinct possibility a reverse blockage during the ascent could cause tympanic membrane rupture, or worse, inner ear damage. To the OP-if your friend currently flies commercially, she will probably be fine. Best bet, if there is any concern, is to see an ENT specialist.
  7. The amount of time spent at altitude on normal jumps would be a minimal exposure as far as DCS is concerned. This definitely sounds like a problem that you should take to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. If you can't equalize normally, or you continually have problems with your hearing after hypobaric exposure, you do have something that needs to be dealt with, before it manifests itself in a more serious manner. Hope you can get it resolved.