its all a matter of science

We arrived at roots, finally managed to get in bed at around 3am.

the next morning we were straight into our coral conservation course with coral cay conservation (you can read about it by clicking the link)

each day it prettymuch battered my head so much that as soon as the day finished i was laying down with my head space app.

The course goes along with and deeper on the deptherapy target for protecting our oceans. Tom Dallison (head of science @coral cay-seen above) took the 7 of us though elements of the ecosystem, how to record and analyse the negative impacts that the fish and coral are facing.

The course is a hell of alot of information to take in for someone like me, but as soon as we got under the water it all made sense.

As im writing this on the way to complete a PADI Project Aware “dive against debris”.

The sea is something that all of us at Deptherapy rely on for peace, quiet and escape from ourselves. This is our place to find the new versions of ourselfs.

THESE ARE OUR OCEANS, AND AS SURLEY AS WE FOUGHT FOR OUR COUNTRY, WE MUST NOW AS THE SAME BAND OF BROTHERS, FIGHT TO SAVE OUR OCEANS.

Tom and {nearly} Dr Guy Henderson (Roots resident marine biologist) opened my eyes to new ways we can protect our oceans.

if you want to read some more about it click this: dive magazine link

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How far we have come

One year ago i was on my way to egypt with alot of random people, feeling more anxious and depressed than i ever have done before.

one year on, im on the same trip but as an experianced diver and its another group of guys that are going through the nervous time that will change their life.

We was coming down this morning and you could tell that one of the new guys (who was in with us) was getting more and more anxious each mile closer that we got to Gatwick airport.

We did our best to support him through the meet and greet with all the people that were in the same position but it just got too much for him today and he decided to remove himself from this trip.

ill not say anything more than that i was that guy last year and it massivly improved my optimism in the last year.

2018 is treating me pretty damn good so far, plenty diving, started rehab PT, met an amazing person who makes me laugh so hard it hurts.

anyway… im sure ill update you how the new guys and I get on thoughout this week.

speak soon,

jon

First dip 2018

hi all,

not really done a blog post for a while as i didn’t really want to drag my self through the thoughts and feelings i had been though. But here i am, as things are on the onward and upwards.

I’ll get the sad bit out of the way first….

so over christmas i went through a period of really low self worth, anxiety, and generally feeling like a nuisance or burden on those around me. in short i felt pretty shitty about myself, this was compounded by a “correspondence” i got. to cut a long story short…that correspondence just made all the feelings worse, to the point i started going through like the “It’d would be easier for people if i just wasn’t here….at all”

to say im ashamed that I let myself go down the thought route of ending it all is an understatement…im pissed off at myself for it!

luckily for me i have a pretty good support network, my dad and i went for a walk and a chat and that lifted some of the weight.

i could have really done with going diving or getting away for a little bit, but then again being with my own thoughts was probably not the best thing.

i really wanted to go clear my head but due to weather and an op on my hand i couldn’t go diving… but i got through it with the help of my friends, family, neurophyscologist even though 2/3 didn’t know about the thoughts.

now the uplift:

i had to give myself something to look forward to, something to provide a metaphorical ladder out of the hole i was trapped in…. so i set a date where i could self certify medically and get back into the water (and christen my drysuit 😁)

The date was a couple of months away but it would provide me with a light in the tunnel…..and it did.

Along with that it gave me the drive to do other things… like looking for houses. My best mate helped me to view around 8 houses in a day and to objectivly break down the advantages and disadvantages ( id already viewed about 30 in 2017) …it didn’t matter though….the 1st one i went to that day was the one! so im (still) waiting to move in.

things were really looking up, ill have my house and i am going getting wet with Steve and Dom.

unfortunatly as it came to the day before the diving Dom and Steve had things that they had to do (and they rightly went and did them)

Richard Cullen (deptherapy exec) knew i really wanted to dive so he told me to get in touch with a deptherapy instructor up north, Andy Frith.

now those who know me since the accident, i get anxious about meeting new people, as i worry they won’t like me.

Saturday 31st march:

so i had slept around an hour and half as i had been anxious about meeting Andy but i was also excited about getting my drysuit christened.

needless to say the anxiety drifted away when i met Andy, he made me feel accepted and that really helped. the deptherapy guys have a way of giving that big family feeling, and Andy made me feel exactly that way.

we got to the dive site, had our first dive..i had a little regulator malfunction (which we handled like the pros we are). it was good that it happened as my hands were bloody freezing.

we got out, sorted my regs, i spent a small fortune on some gloves (I may be from up north but im not that hard). we went in for our second dive…it was EXACTLY WHAT IS BEEN WAITING FOR!

i got out from that dive, with a refreshed head, a new friend, a damn site better morale!

i have now booked in my next dip, and when Andy has open water courses he said i can go and spectate and be his guinne pig.

anyway , i think thats enough verbal diarreah from me!

i start PT today so hopefully this will help me get rid of some of the pains

thanks for reading,

Jon

not so HANDY MAN!

hey all,

those of you that know me personally will know that i like to make things with my hands, wether that be furniture or cakes.

as part of the aftermath of the accident i had nerve conduction studies (electrical signals sent down your nerves to check where they are broken), i had these because of the nerve issues i had in my left arm.

never conduction studies hurts like a bitch ( in short sharp bursts…..like a tens machine {the thing people use for a fake 6 pac}). although it hurts like a bitch, it apparently is really entertaining for anyone you take with you….my dad in my case.

we sat there with the doc making my hand doing mad crap, my girly yelping and my dad’s unmistakable laughter. i could see the doc laughing under his breathe at me and my dad, it was good fun all round….apart from the shocks.

anyway to the point of this post….during those studies there is a comparison done on the other arm/hand to provide a comparison. after the tests were done, i felt a small ball bearing sized lump at the base of my index finger on my ‘good’ hand.

after investigation with the surgeon, it shown that one of my ligaments had contracted and tied its self in a knot. I needed this releasing as it was painful to hold things in my hand (the only hand thats good grip).

so in Jan 2018 i underwent surgery to sort it out… it was only a day case, they put me under, i had it done, when i came round the nurses at Aintree brought me a bru and toast then it was back on the work.

I’m now a couple of weeks later…with usual jon luck my hand is infected and im on antibiotics and cant drink for my 30th.

anyway, that’s another chapter in the Jon’s saga.

hope you all have a great week!

ohhhhh bollocks (part 3)

hey all!

short and sweet update coming as i havnt updated in a while.

a bit of back story, i chrushed my bollocks against my motorbike tank in the accident. i have been getting alot of pain since. Basically im down to 1.25 bollocks

so…i have seen a private doctor who said there is an injection he wants to give me that goes in my back, it basically blocks the signals from my nerves.

Before you ask yourself, No, it wont affect sexual function and “sensitive areas” hopefully.

i also had a sperm test a few weeks back (weird as fuck wanking in a cubicle), well the results came back and my swimmers are just as good as a person with 2 healthy bollocks!

pretty much good news all round in my head.. hopefully once this injection is done i will be pain free down there.

anyway, said it would be short and sweet so 🙂

laters! .

jon

i have seen bigger. (thailand day 1+2)

its been a couple of days since i blogged and i have seen alot of firsts, and seen the group bond and grow as both divers and friends. 

i think it important to say at this point (whilst i still have your attention), just how much good trips like this do for people like me and steve. At home, i am a bit of a recluse, i work, burn out, sleep and then repeat. trips with likeminded people let me see glimpses of my old self, so for that reason, thanks to QE diving club for allowing me to tag along. 

right…..now on the the exciting stuff, first 2 days of the liveaboard i was with a dive guide called Maher (said “my-hair”, and because he poses alot) (pictured above), legend of a bloke and has some of the most ‘interesting’ fish identification signals (lets just say i think he made most of them up), it was bloody entertaining to watch and made each dive interesting. we seen alot of sea life, but if im honest not much new (that comes later in the blog).

on the second day we went to what i can only describe as a coral graveyard, a sunami had wiped out the coral and a rise in water temperatures had caused bleaching to what remained.

As we moved into day three we changed to a guy called kade (pictured above on the left), friggin spitting image of my little brother, i think i nearly called him Ash about 30 times throught the day too. Kade got the easy guifing job on one of the dives as we spotter 3 firsts for our dive team. if we hadnt screamed through our regulator he would have missed them all whilst asking us for our air levels. and he wore bright yellow shorts! couldnt lose him thats for sure!

Basically it was like the analogy about buses….you wait ages then 3 come at once. im not exaggerating, but the measurements that follow are a guestimate based on my own hight (6 ft). 

(argghhh it wont upload the video)

as Kade was asking for our air, an 8 ft wide sting ray passed under him… Chris and I were screaming for him to look down. when he eventually did, he pretty much did the dance moves for the song “tragedy” by steps. We changed out direction and started following the sting ray whilst celebrating how cool it was, then out of nowhere an 8ft freeswimming morey made us stop in our tracks. We watched the morey swim away, turned round and right infront of us we spotted a 6ft great barracuda. 

i ended up sleeping on the sundeck of the boat, i woke up with the worst pain i have had in my back in probably 2 months, lukily we have more doctors than you can shake a shitty stick on the boat. i got some meds and then in the water….as usual no pain.

i know i harp on about it….but find some good people, go try diving, watch your life get better immediatly!

until next time!

jon

Is that a manta in your pocket or are you just happy to see me. (day 3)

hi all!

just a quick one from day 3 of the QE diving trip, every one is improving diving skills be that the girls on BSAC ‘sports diver course’ or just people like me experimenting with ways to decrease my air consumption (last longer in the underwater world).
With all the dive guides being PADI instructors and the dive team having 6 BSAC instructors we all had a wealth of experiance to soak up like a sponge, but it also meany that both BSAC and PADI divers learned good skills from both agencies. 

day 3 morning dive shown us all how much damage a sunami can do below sea level not just above. It turned out to be a really relaxing dive and a place i descovered how to reduce my air consumption by around 10 mins. 

we had a beach trip as the surface interval where some of the dive team went and stood on the highest point on the island, i stayed on the boat as im a boring old sod! (and my knees would have been in a bad way by the walk)

once everyone was back on the boat we headed round the corner to the next dive site.  the video below is our resident poser, connor.

now at this point, ill introduce our dive guides

Tiago (top left)- boat dive lead, also known as ‘Manta Misser’

‘myhair’ (bottom left) – other wise known as wanker fish… ( he knows im scared of sharks so swims up to me during i dive all flustered and signs… ‘BIG FUCKING SHARK BEHIND YOU’ …there was no shark, he just wanted to see me shit myself)

Aisha (bottom right) – the long haired general of the boat

Davy (bottom right) – the shrimp spotter

maitte – the dancer (never stops)

kade (top right) – the one who got the big stuff pointed out to him in the last blog.

so…..were at the dive site, there are 24 of us so had to drop in 2 waves. i was in the second wave, which, in retrospect made jelous of the first drop.
The first wave dropped in ‘Splosh’ , as we (the second wave got ready) to drop. On the boat we had no idea of the sights going on below the water. 

we start to drop, kades group (including me), then davys group, we hit about 8m and see a massive sillouette moving through the water gracefully but quick, then we see it flap as it passes below us….

MANTA RAY!!!! 

im screaming through my regulator in excitement!!! (my heart rate went up just typing that)

as it passes below us i see someone appear from under its right wing….its Chris Middleton, fist pumping, dancing and using about 60 bar (approx 15 mins of air) in around 2 mins. 

The only group who didnt see it was being lead by Tiago as he was the last off the boat and it had passed before they got down. it would be fair to say we give him a ribbing afterwards.

Just to finish off the night, one of the nurses we had was congested, the doctor gave her some sinus medication, with the direction of you spray it up your nose. needless to say, lou ignored the doctor and chose to spray it in her eye. it may not have cleared her sinus’ but it definatly gave us a laugh and a spank nomination. (lou is below).

until next time folks, stay classy.

jon

Trust me, I’m a doctor…..

Hey all, as you have probably seen in the other posts from Thailand, We have a hell of alot of medical proffessionals on this trip, from nurses to GP’s to field leading specialist surgeons. This blog will talk about a few of them and how i encounted their skills. 

We are on day four of the liveaboard, we have had many firsts this week that i have been incredably amazed by, but, the first i will speak about in this blog is one im neither proud of or wanted. 

i think its worth noting that although the medical proffessionals on the trip are great, we have the doctor “mike” who has been selected as dick of the day twice, and you have nurse Lou Finch who decided to ignore the nostral ingestion of the sinus spray and just spray it in her eye….

Three dives in for the day so far and i have just logged my dives in my PADI log book on the middle deck, i have a habit of kitting up and leaving my dive computer in the PADI binder i carry all my admin in. This time i decided to go clip it onto by BCD to avoid it. 

I get up walk over to the stairs to head down to the dive deck, like i had done 70+ times in the previous days. 

i go down the stairs then put my feet on the floor….thats where my nightmare started… lets just say i was doing a Michael Flattly trying to regain my footing, then crash!!!!

i slipped backwards, smashing my back on the stairs and winding my self. i lay there for a second on the wet floor and then the adrenaline decided sitting up was a good way to stop the windedness. I knew i had hurt my arm too but i just sat there with elbows on knees. 

As an Royal Engineer, Mick did exactly as expected. he simply put forward 2 statements. 

  • are you ok?
  • that looked like it hurt!

he got a thumbs up to both!!

so im sat there, still short of breath, adrenaline pumping through my veins in my own little bubble of hell. out of no where, in the triangle gap created by my arms and knees, a little face appeared…..

“Jon, are you ok….your not responding so im worried about you” 

This was Lauren (one of our nurses on board), the little beaut of a hero had heard the bang and come running. once she knew i was ok, she went and seen our duty GP on board, “Mike” and said i need looking at. 

Mike agreed, but as Mike is mike, he finished his dinner first. when he headed down to me, i had got over being winded. one of the boat boys said about my arm, he then grabbed my arm and lifted it. 

thats when the real damage was noticed, it started dripping blood all over the dive deck, Dr Mike investigated and said it had gone down to the facias (muscle in english). he used steri-strips to patch it up and put a dressing on it. 

i was banned from diving the final dive of the day! 

later that night, the senior surgion and trip leader Mark Foster said i needed the A+E doctor to take have a look as it was bleeding through the dressing.

Emma (the A+E Doctor), took the first dressing off it, and started cleaning thw dressing out. pulling peices of tissue and specs of floor out that mike had not seen.

emma said, “if we were at home now {uk} i would send you for an xray and i would stitch it” 

Emma was diligent and made sure it was fully clean, in true doctor fashion, she was sadistic too, prodding and poking all the sore areas …’investigating’ she called it.

Now for the bad bit, Emma called it and banned me from diving for the last day, this meant that my diving trip was over. My role then became records bitch, recording all the air in/out for the expedition logs. 

update: just took the dressing off now im home…its pretty much closed over….well done emma and mike, absolute miracle workers! no A+E for jon (whoop whoop)


regards. 

Jon

Just a dip

The morning started with check dives on a day boat, the dive site cwas pretty boring and essentially just a sand bottom, we seen a few jouvinile sea critters. The dive did what it was supposed too. i spotted a few things with gem, one of the new divers that i thought i could help with. we spoke after the dive about her trim and skulling rather than fin kicking and disturbing the sand. 

    The second dive was more of the same i wont bore you with the couple of things we seen. i was chuffed as a bacon butty with Gem though…bloody hell, that girl made me feel about ten feet tall because she took everthing i said on board and smashed both things! (it was definatly my great demo and instruction) other than that, pretty plane, but trust me, keep reading…. the day gets interesting. 

    After the diving was done and we got back to the hotel, we knew we wernt diving on sunday. we did what sqaddies do best, get on it! 

    we met and had scoff and the festivities began with a monkey called spanks. spanks is a hat for a dick of the day (for those who dont know…that is someone who did the stupidest thing that day). you then have to wear spanks until the next day.

    Mike the doctor got spanks first as he left meds in the airport, had needles in his hand luggage and a multitude of other stupid occurrences.

    we all headed up to a bar called the monkey bar (ironically) in town, a few of us were playing a thai version of jenga, its like jenga but not set up the same and a damn site more tense(as you can tell by the picture below)…so much so that we ended up with a audiance watching us play. a round of drinks were at stake so i was more focused than a surgeon (albeit a little more drunk than one). 

    lou, one of the new divers lost and got the round in. we ended up in another bar doind suicide taquilla (in the eye). i think its fair to say, we were all pretty hammered and got in the back of a taxi that took us back to the hotel. some “clever” person decided it was a good idea to suggest skinny dipping. (the photo below is of the boss having a pretty good time)

    ill paint a picture thats probably going to weird out alot of the people reading this so just bare in mind that squaddies have a different mentality to being naked than most ….

    (below is the taxi, and the boss having had enough)

    i remember having a competion with two others to see who could do the best dirty dancing lift. i was with pete, pretty stocky bloke , well lets just say we smashed it… imaging a stocky bloke (bollock naked) holding a skinny bloke (me, also bollock naked) forming what can only be described as the letter “T” but will a damn site more cock and balls involved. 

    The night ended just as weirdly as it had been with me Chris and Andy sitting in their room, still bollock naked, talking absolute drunken garbage…as you do. 

    some people didnt surfice today (sunday) until around 3 pm, and sounded like they chain smoked 60 cigarettes. 

    a good night all round and one of the wildest nights with the best people i have had in years. 

    anyway all! i hope you have had a great weekend, hope the snow in the uk isn’t too bad.

    jon

    Thai high

    Hey everyone, 

    This week i will be spending the week with 4 deptherapy guys and the QE hospital diving club. im not goung to blog everyday unless there is something really interesting happens. 

    so….

    it was the night before thailand,when all through the house, not a creature was sterring, not even a mouse. then in came Me with my excitement and glee, i couldnt wait to be diving free. 

    The transport started from mine at 0800, down to steves for 0900, then onto QE hospital, this is where we met Mac and some of the others we would be diving with. All of us at QE headed down to Heathrow airport to meet the other people we were travelling with!

    we got on our flight at 21:55 and we were off to bangkok. i slept around 1.5 hours. on the whole flight but the airline hosts and hostesses kept me fed and watered so i cant complain.

    we are just arriving at bangkok as i write this and its 08:45 in the uk. 

    we spotted our first lady boy in Bangkok, the usual question came up, “would you?”…..i wont name and shame the answers.

    we boarded our second flight, not much to tell about that as i fell asleep.

    we got to the hotel at 9pm (thai time), thats 2am uk time! what was we to do? go out….of course. 

    after some grub we headed out to party! we ended up in a great little neice bar, as usual it was full of british people, but it was a great night…it ended up with Chris, Mac and me getting the rest of the bar singing Oasis. 

    bed time for me! until next time! 

    jon