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Old 04-12-2010
gogglesnoseplugs gogglesnoseplugs is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 63

Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
I am both a swim coach and a physician, and I would venture to say that this is an unanswerable question.

State DMVs and neurologists use certain guidelines to reinstate driving priveledges. but if you shouldn't be driving, you shouldn't be swimming and vice versa.

The main difference would be that with swimming you own self is the only life at risk (as opposed to driving).

The only scientific paper I could find was relating to a study of acute swim stress in mice who were then administered a convulsant medication. Acute swim stress (10 minutes in cold water) raised seizure threshold, whereas repeated swim stress did not affect it.

here is one discussion of that study, and there are several similar studies.

The other common comment about seizures in water is that they can result in rapid submersion of air is expelled from the lungs.

Here is a position statement from a reliable medical publication (Clinics in Sports medicine) about seizures and sports, with a specific section on swimming.

I wish you the best of health, but I believe that anyone who speculates to answer this question is just making uneducated guesses.
Originally Posted by westyswoods View Post
I would like to address your issue from an emergency medical response point of view. Coach Suzanne makes very valid points in referencing the correlation between swimming and driving restrictions. Anyone who has witnessed or lived with epilepsy understands how scary seizures are to those not familiar, even though for the most they part non life threatening. The question which needs to be asked is, are the life guards at the pool able to deal with such an event when in the water? If and when you should continue to swim it would prudent to speak with the pool director and guards about your issues. I am sure you are not the only one with epilepsy who is swimming, I applaud you for taking others and your safety into consideration.

I wish you well and have admired your courage and fortitude through following your post.

All my best in your journey forward.

Originally Posted by KatieK View Post
I know a woman at the pool who has a service dog that can predict seizures. He sits at the end of her lane and watches her swim. I am not sure if he can sense them early enough to warn her or if he's mainly there to warn the lifeguard.

Good luck--I really hope you can find a solution that lets you get back in the water.
I want to "clarify" a couple things since my last post. My seizure activity is not necessarily of convulsive nature, but rather a spell of absence. That does not mean convulsive seizures are not possible. I have had epilepsy for a long time and been on meds for 20 years to have well-controlled seizure activity. I never have swam without proper lifeguard supervision; after all, I am smart enough to know how to keep safety in mind. That being stated, my recent activity has been determined as "breakthrough" and the doctor's plan is to have my seizure activity under control as soon as possible. Driving is temporarily suspended regardless the type of seizure. After some extensive conversation about what I can do from a physical standpoint at a follow-up visit, the doctor feels that my own choice to not swim to avoid an accident is wise, but he believes I should be able to return to the pool within the next month depending on how things go. He is a strong advocate for exercise to keep me strong as far as my CP goes, and he feels low-impact exercise is best. I am personally surprised by his take on this, and I think I will wait a little longer so I feel comfortable with where I am at. Thanks for your comments.
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