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Old 16-05-2012, 09:09   #16
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

The OP didn't really say what kind of boat they might be interested in (sail or power), nor how much (if any) boating experience they have. It would help to know...
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Old 16-05-2012, 09:32   #17
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post

I believe you can ask doctors in each specific field if sailing/cruising is OK with these specific conditions and what (if any) precautions should be taken. If there is a strong reason not go, they sure will tell you.
I agree - you really need to talk to your doctor about the issues of being further from advanced medical care.

In terms of approach, I agree chartering a couple times is a good way to test the waters before committing, and several organizations offer good cruising courses.

A trawler or powercat might be a better option in your case than a sailboat.
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Old 16-05-2012, 09:54   #18
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

Hi kids,

Lot's of good reasonable advice here but I would like to add a note.
Since this adventure is six years off, take that time to really work on WELLNESS. Even with all of the problems detailed in your post, A surprising amount of health and vitality can be recovered in six years... assuming that the will is there. It sounds like (correct me if I'm wrong) most of these ailments are "lifestyle induced". If your husband drinks, smokes, has a poor diet, no exercise, etc. it is likely that six years time will only make his condition worse. On the other hand, a concerted wellness program can do much to reverse/mitigate these problems.

It is unlikely (M.D.'s please don't flame me) a comprehensive wellness program that includes nutrition and restoration of wellness can be obtained from your local M.D..(it's just not what they do for the most part) I suggest, instead, that you contact a good Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (probably just called an acupuncturist where you are.) TCM focuses on wellness and vitality, not just the treatment of symptoms. Even with the numerous problems you list, a good TCM doc can help maximize wellness, strength and vitality. This is not to say that you should eschew conventional medicine completely... only that you might not see a high level of restoration of vitality without a comprehensive wellness program.

I have seen many people such as your husband recover health and vitality to an extent that they thought they would never see. Relying on pills alone to restore wellness is unlikely to improve true health. Take the next six years to explore your cruising options (the charter suggestion is excellent way to check this out) and work on health and wellness. Even if you decide that the cruising life is not for you, your husband (and you) will enjoy the benefits of having a healthier more vibrant life.

Best of health to you and yours,

mm
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Old 16-05-2012, 09:56   #19
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mangomuffins View Post
Hi kids,

Lot's of good reasonable advice here but I would like to add a note.
Since this adventure is six years off, take that time to really work on WELLNESS. Even with all of the problems detailed in your post, A surprising amount of health and vitality can be recovered in six years... assuming that the will is there. It sounds like (correct me if I'm wrong) most of these ailments are "lifestyle induced". If your husband drinks, smokes, has a poor diet, no exercise, etc.

mm
It certainly would be nice to know those facts from the original poster.
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Old 16-05-2012, 09:58   #20
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- heart attack at 35, emphysema, cirrhosis, sleep apnea, and fibromyalgia

Luna
another note...

...the above conditions would lead one to believe; high stress, smoker, drinker, obese, and the last one just plain bad luck and maybe led to the previous issues? Sorry for being personal or prying...

All of the above can be mediated by changing lifestyle, and 6 years is a huge amount of time for the body to heal itself. Regarding the fibromyalgia...

...I had your post in my mind and spoke to a GP friend today and they said many people with fibromyalgia have dramatic quality of life improvements by taking up yoga..

A quick google using the following keywords "fibromyalgia and yoga benefits" yields a lot of helpful info.

Life changes are very hard to maintain however goal oriented life changes are known to be more sustainable. Retirement and world cursing in 6 years would seem to me to be a huge motivator.....
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Old 16-05-2012, 10:00   #21
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@mango muffins

You beat me to it! Our threads must have crossed in the web o sphere...
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Old 16-05-2012, 10:05   #22
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

Foolishsailor,

Perhaps you should change your username to "wisesailor"

mm
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Old 16-05-2012, 11:13   #23
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

Like Celestial Sailor i had my heart attack's and didnt know it(or ignored the signs and kept working) now it's been just over Three years, and i have gone from depressed and angry at my new limitations, to depressed and angry but determined to push the envelope.. fully disabled so they say.
I have my Sea-runner waiting for me in San-Francisco, and i have my life on land hopefully drawing to a close(well...that's the plan ) i have some of my family brow beating me for being in their eye's *Irresponsible* for pursuing this life at sea. While my children wish me well with wringing hands.
I dearly love them all, and i do sympathize with their angst, but it's San-Francisco Ho for me.
Yes it's true,,i am not a sailor,yes it's true i could be doing the "Safe" thing and staying close to the Medics, but i must go where the four winds take me, and pray to the Gods that i have the guts and gall to follow through.

In truth i am full of fear and trepidation, but i cannot let that stop me.
I have often quoted to others... "get busy Living...or Get busy dying" ....now i have to eat those words and make it happen.

So for me,,i send my best heartfelt wishes to all of you who dread the unknown and pursue the dream and tell you,,,You are not Alone!! come aboard and have a beer with me whenever you can : S.V. Tamara....31ft Sea-runner...San-Rafael Yacht harbor. I will be there sometime in June.

*Fair Winds* Alex.. aka..Ali...or Big Al...
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Old 16-05-2012, 14:17   #24
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

the only listed problem unable to be repaired is the cirrhosis--that will NOT reverse.
i sail with mild emphysema, caused by reynauds disease and cough variant asthma. lifestyle changes can reverse most of the rest.
most of the world has medical doctors, and many of those were trained in usa, so saying backwards mds-aint no sichuvathang. rewording is important. many places have much better programs than does usa. c heqaper to effect, also, sthe places we cruise do not haave insurNCE LOBBIES AND LOBBYISTS AND TORT LAWYERS AND SUCH INTEGRALLY IMPLANTED INTO THEIR GOVERNMENTAL SYSTEMS. they have straigh tmedicine. much better program. leave out the greed mongers and live.
just be awre the cirrhosis can become end stage liver disease very rapidly and is a very important thing to monitor.
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Old 16-05-2012, 18:05   #25
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

As one who has gone from complete health to disabled in a few months, I have had to deal with a lot of medical issues this last year. It is amazing how many people assume your illness or the destructive aftermath is somehow your fault. But since we are not a medical forum, and our purpose is of helping others in the boating community can we Please veer from the talk of smoking or drinking, of blame ( frankly can't believe I even gotta say it) and can we stick to the boating / medical aspect.

The op asks 'Can people with disabilities crew on cruising boats?' I've already answered it, but I'll do it again. Based on what the op has written, I say Hell yes, go play.

Stay close to the US, someone mentioned 'The Loop', I think that is a great idea. Staying close is not chicken just practical as you may need to have yearly check ups or tests, only you know the answer. You may have the money to fly back every year, if that is the case, then you may be able to venture further. I need yearly MRIs at Johns Hopkins so Rain Dog needs to stay close to the US for at least a couple years.

Good advice so far about getting the doc onboard, though I have a passel of doctors and some of them would not comprehend the cruising lifestyle. Find a doctor who is willing to take phone appointments. My neurologist allows me to call him for my appointments, and I download my neuro info directly from my iPad to his computer ( the guy is a total geek :-) ). I have at least 4 months before I gotta fly back to see him. I use national laboratories for blood draws, they have locations everywhere in the US. And my doc gives me 3 months of meds at a time.

Zee had a good point about healthcare in other counties.

Also consider buying a boat now, a little 25-30 foot trawler. Something stable, power anchor retrieval, simple systems. Take her out on the weekends or just sit on her in the slip! That way you can take your time getting the boat ready to cruise, might have to do some modifications or upgrades.



Hope this all made sense, not too preachy ( though I was shooting for a little preachy at first ), and especially, I hope this was helpful to the op. I lost a grandfather and uncle to emphysema , they played, sometimes with a 02 tank strapped to their side, but always with a twinkle in their eyes :-).

Cheers,
Erika

PS
Nemo55
Give em hell, have fun out there, hope the ocean heals you like it is healing me
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Old 16-05-2012, 18:17   #26
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

if there is nothing to stop ye from sailing or going asap-- then do it soon and enjoy it ALL--we never know when the time is no longer gonna be here....enjoy while alive and feeling good.
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Old 16-05-2012, 18:26   #27
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

Try and find a sailing school that offers an "Able Sail" program. The boats, although somewhat small, are specifically set up for disabled sailors. It would give you an idea of what can an cannot be done.
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Old 16-05-2012, 18:35   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunadragnstar
.

I think the lifestyle would really benefit him, fresh air, healthier food, a little more activity, etc..

What is your opinion?

Luna
Bless your heart Luna. I am sure you love the man and reading between the lines you are concerned about him.

Buying a boat won't make him change his lifestyle. If, as you point out, diet and exercise are part of his issues maybe you need to get radical and do some sort of family intervention.

I would definitely not buy a sailboat unles you decide that you will sail it and be responsible for it. A sailboat can be easy most times but when "all hands on deck" is called things need to move quickly and he may need to help with a short term bout of high energy.

The only way I would recommend boating for you is in a small trawler on inland waters. BTW - when I get too weak to pull strings and climb masts this is exactly my plan. I hope it's in my 80's but ya never know.

And to my respected peers who have posted "anything is possible" - I agree. But in this case unless the spouse is self motivated to get as healthy as he can it is a disservice to recommend dropping $80k of retirement money on a boat that may not get off the dock.

Sorry about the tough love attitude...
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Old 16-05-2012, 20:44   #29
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

What a great bunch we have here at CF! Not a negative comment from anyone... the only thing I could add to all this great advice and encouragement is to find a Doc who sails or enjoys boating. I bet he will be one of your greatest supporters!
The ocean is a wonderful elixir and will help cure or make bearable even the most daunting of ailments.
God bless you for searching out an activity that you and your partner can enjoy together. That is what dreams are made of, Luna... cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 17-05-2012, 10:11   #30
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

Thank you all for the encouraging words. A little more information that you may find helpful.

We believe that most of the issues he has stem from the Fibromyalgia. The Cirrhosis is metabolic not alcoholic based and his liver still functions normally. Even though he is stage 4, his doctor said recently that odds are something else that he has would be more likely to cause him problems before the cirrhosis. The heart problems are not a current issue other than him taking blood thinners and hbp meds. The sleep apnea is the only one that he needs a machine for. He is on quiet a lot of medication, but as long as we can be somewhere in the states (or US territories) every 3 months he should be able to get those without issues.

As far as sailing experience that we have, that would be zip. I grew up on various boats, speed boat, pontoons, and even house boats. He was in the Navy and misses the sea. We did take a cruise last year and never felt better than we did on the water. We had been talking about what we want to do after the kids graduate and were considering an RV and travelling but after the cruise we switched to a boat.

He has the background for navigating and such, and I am still "healthy" As far as lifestyle goes, we don't drink, and while we smoke, we are trying to quit. We are currently working with VA to get my husband healthier and more active. He does have mobility but it is limited to walking with a cane but if he needs to walk long distances he does have a scooter to use.

I am aware that the odds are that I will essentially be sailing single-handed and don't have a problem with that. Although, it would be better all around if we can get him to the point where he can also help or even do some sailing on his own.

I do plan on taking sailing courses and doing a charter sail at some point before we make the final decision. Although my husband did tell me that if for some reason he passes away before we get to our "retirement" he wants me to continue on and get a boat.
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