Diving Diary from Curacao: cigarettes nearly ruined my dive trip

Diving Diary, 1st week of September: couldn’t dive today. I spent so much money coming from the U.S. to Curacao to dive and scope out real estate to move here.  But I came mostly to dive.  And I learned a lesson – a valuable one – about the respiratory system. As some of you know, I quit smoking a few years ago. But a few nights ago I went out here in Curaçao and ended up smoking WAY too many menthol cigarettes. When I get a few gin drinks in me, the desire to smoke a cigarette comes on strong.  Way strong.  Drinking and smoking always used to go hand in hand for me.  So I started smoking cigarettes that night like I needed them to live.

And all of that smoking fucked up my throat – I wasn’t used to it.  That combined with 2 days of breathing compressed air from diving led to extreme irritation. I called the DAN medline today to ask if I should dive and received quite a lecture on how very bad it is for a diver to smoke and to not do it anymore.  I was told all of the biological effects on the lungs and how that didn’t jive with being underwater.  She said I may even end up with a respiratory infection and to not dive until it is checked out.
I’ve worked too hard and spent too much time and money to be a diver to mess it up with something this stupid.  I do not want to ever smoke again – ever. It is NOT worth it and not part of who I am anymore.
I think I thought I could incorporate some of my old lifestyle into my new one, but it’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole – the 2 do not go together anymore. I am not the same person I was – I used to love to party and be out all night and smoke all the cigarettes.  But I don’t know, I ain’t feeling it anymore.  Partying like
I am 35 just sounds exhausting to me.  And no good for my diving goals.
I have learned so much about who I am by being on this island and by diving. And those cigarettes must go FOREVER! I cannot believe I went there and I am kicking myself – these stupid things screwed up my Open Water certification plan today. I am really pissed at myself. #dontdostupidstuff #ilovecuracao #nevergiveup #girlgetyourprioritiesstraight [Editor’s Note: I did finish OW the next day, but still lost a day of diving in paradise because of smoking.]

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