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Old 14-07-2014, 11:50   #16
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Re: Seizures and Sailboats. Do They Mix?

"Should someone who suffers from seizures be sailing? "
Should they be driving on the expressway, driving at all? Riding a bicycle in traffic?

Will there be anyone else on the boat, who can take command while someone is seizing? That's a major consideration.

Personally I'd call it grossly irresponsible to be operating a vehicle in public, if I knew there was a good chance I'd flop down and leave the vehicle to commit mayhem on it's own. Pretty much like driving drunk. Oh, no, I'm not drunk, I only had dhree trinks. (Ahuh.)
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Old 14-07-2014, 14:58   #17
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Re: Seizures and Sailboats. Do They Mix?

Being drunk is a consciously made decision.

And I suppose if we all wanted too we could be born then immediately placed into a casket and grow up there - maybe if you were found to be of perfect genetic composition you would be let out into the world. If not, just stay in your box.

For the rest of us, making it safe for ourselves and those around us is done through comprehensive compromises and idea sharing through constructive conversation.

I can say I've never had anything happen while driving. In the last 3.5 years I have covered about 100,000 between Maine, Florida and California.

Much of that come from precautionary steps I personally take.
In much the same way I have never had a seizure on a boat underway.
Whethet racing or cruising.

How does that translate into longer passages, I don't know.

With longer passages there maybe a chance of getting people to go, however I do not know.

Is there potential for something to happen at the exact moment of pulling into a crowded area?
The potential is there 24/7.


Maybe this is somewhere technology can help in the future.
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Old 14-07-2014, 16:23   #18
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Re: Seizures and Sailboats. Do They Mix?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Will there be anyone else on the boat, who can take command while someone is seizing? That's a major consideration.
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Originally Posted by Ujin View Post
Being drunk is a consciously made decision.

And I suppose if we all wanted too we could be born then immediately placed into a casket and grow up there - maybe if you were found to be of perfect genetic composition you would be let out into the world. If not, just stay in your box.

For the rest of us, making it safe for ourselves and those around us is done through comprehensive compromises and idea sharing through constructive conversation.
I don't want to get in a debate about what is safe or good for you. You've been advised by some to go seek a doctor's opinion.

My only question is - What role do I get to play in your "comprehensive compromise" on my safety?

The odds of you and I meeting on the water are zero but I think you missed HSs point - Sail with someone else on board and you don't have to make any compromises on others' safety.

Just sayin'
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Old 14-07-2014, 16:33   #19
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Re: Seizures and Sailboats. Do They Mix?

Here I go again, but surely anyone that is allowed to and can safely operate a 5,000 lb automobile in congested traffic at highway speeds, isn't as much a safety concern to the public sailing?
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Old 14-07-2014, 19:11   #20
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Re: Seizures and Sailboats. Do They Mix?

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Here I go again, but surely anyone that is allowed to and can safely operate a 5,000 lb automobile in congested traffic at highway speeds, isn't as much a safety concern to the public sailing?
I don't know what state would knowingly allow someone having six seizures per year to drive.
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Old 14-07-2014, 20:12   #21
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Re: Seizures and Sailboats. Do They Mix?

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I don't know what state would knowingly allow someone having six seizures per year to drive.
Ever been to Florida?

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Old 14-07-2014, 20:29   #22
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Re: Seizures and Sailboats. Do They Mix?

If it were me I'd have someone else on board. A few minute seizure is one thing but several hour is another. I understand there isn't any ability to know or predict what is coming. I think I'd probably consider a helmet if solo so head injury wouldn't exacerbate the seizure. Since you seem to be pretty sure you'll be solo have you considered looking into a dog that may help you predict a seizure?

Not any sort of health care provider just offering a few ideas.
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Old 14-07-2014, 20:39   #23
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Re: Seizures and Sailboats. Do They Mix?

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Ever been to Florida?

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Live in Florida and know the law in Florida says no to someone with that type seizure record. Also know that more than one driver in Florida who has been told by a physician not to drive or has hidden repeat seizures to maintain driving permission has been criminally charged after a death causing accident.

Florida says no seizures within two years but will allow application for reinstatement after six months of seizure free time.
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Old 14-07-2014, 21:21   #24
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Re: Seizures and Sailboats. Do They Mix?

My very good friend who was a CF member was diagnosed with seizures. They made it from Hawaii to Texas before his time as a liveaboard was cut short. They settled in a home in Texas and I just don't see that he'll be cruising again. His wife is a sailor but he was the primary talent aboard. Doctor said no more sailing for a couple years until they got the meds straightened out. Even with the proper meds I don't think they'll continue. Disheartening since he was born on a boat and is early 70s now.

It is time to get in serious touch with your limitations. If you will ever endanger the safety of others due to any condition you have then I'd say "no." That's just me and I've had plenty of sailing. As a passenger with a crew that knew what to do in case something went wrong then ok.
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Old 14-07-2014, 21:36   #25
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Re: Seizures and Sailboats. Do They Mix?

I guess not solo.
IMO, a doctor will say "NO" by default because of liability issues. The only one who can really weigh up the risks is the person concerned, and then make sure the remaining crew can handle the boat, so it's not a danger to others.
I'd say go - you only get one life. Take what precautions you can, and go...
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Old 14-07-2014, 22:08   #26
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Re: Seizures and Sailboats. Do They Mix?

I cruise on and off with a dog who has idiopathic epilepsy. About one seizure a week, though no more grand mals thanks to meds.

I wouldn't feel comfortable sailing solo if I thought there was a chance of having a seizure, but there's also the saying, "You live with epilepsy and not for it"
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Old 15-07-2014, 01:46   #27
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Re: Seizures and Sailboats. Do They Mix?

I'm regretting saying this to Ujin, because I know full well how hard it could be to give up sailing.

But, I really don't think 5 seconds is adequate warning to get the sails down. I don't know that it's adequate to turn off the engine.

And I really do think one should not endanger others.

There is no way whatsoever to know when the seizures are going to come far enough in advance to make sure you're offshore and die there. You cannot count on that.

It is right to plan on letting others deal with your body when they find it? Is it how you want to think of yourself in the world? Maybe one day you don't wake up from the seizure. What then?

I am feeling sorry for sounding harsh, but really, I think you're asking for honesty here.

FWIW, no one chooses intentionally his/her genetic weaknesses: we're all stuck with them, so it is entirely irrelevant if you've had a seizure when your boat T-bones my grandkids--they'd still be dead, and at your hands...because you decided to risk others as well as yourself.

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Old 15-07-2014, 02:24   #28
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Re: Seizures and Sailboats. Do They Mix?

I am asking for honesty and I am glad people are willing to express their honesty.
I do appreciate it.
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Old 15-07-2014, 05:01   #29
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Re: Seizures and Sailboats. Do They Mix?

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To answer some questions; warning time is about 3-5 seconds, frequency is about 6 per year, duration of seizure can be seconds to several hours. I do drive. As far as other people around; never has been so probably will not be. No medications

the seizures have gotten worse over time so an increased level of precautions is certainly needed.
There are issues here at several levels.

1. The diagnosis is unclear from the above description. Grand Mal seizures as in typical epilepsy result in complete loss of consciousness with abrupt collapse to whereever gravity takes you. There is no partial control. They occur without predictability. There may be tonic clonic seizure movements. They are bad for the brain (hypoxia etc) and 6 a year is too many! Seizures that last hours are extraordinarily dangerous. Seizures may be followed by a prolonged period of drowsiness or sleep during which the person is not acutually fitting but is rather obtunded and largely incapacitated. Perhaps this accounts for the loger periods (I sincerely hope so). Partial seizures take two forms. One type affects a part of the body, such as a limb which moves without control. Most often consciousness is not lost. The other, (Temporal Lobe Epilepsy) commonly causes phenomenon such as auras (visual, olfactory, auditory) , absences, vacantness or altered consciousness but rarely loss of consciousness. There are other mechanisms for transient LOC including repetitive "fainting" as in vasovagal or vasodepressive syncope, caused by transient disorder of the brain stem centres that control heart rate and blood pressure. Finally, LOC can occur because of cardiac issues such as arrhythmia (very fast rate or very slow rate). In any case, this should be better defined with a genuine diagnosis. To choose no treatment is just crazy. Its not the third world where you live. There are very likely to be solutions for you that may abolish these events or at least bring about much better control/frequency. I urge you to consider this option.

2. Public health and legal ramifications - responsibility to others. All western juridictions will prohibit individuals from being in carge of a vehicle (car or otherwise) if they have unexplained periods of LOC regardless of the cause. Further, to fail to comply with the legal requirements carries very significant consequences and ramifications. Clearly there is a very strong moral responsibility as well. It is not about what you get away with 99 times out of 100, it is about what you didn't get away with the 1 time in 100, especially if innocent bystanders become victims. We should all feel concerned when someone with such a condition uses a vehicle in disregard to these principles. It is only where there is a timeline of "control" and and absence of events over a period of time (generally two to three years) is a person permitted to participate again.

3. Balancing risk and personal consequence. Factors that might suggest a low risk of sustaining meaningful consequence whilst sailing include frequency of events, frequency of exposure to risk (percentage of days sailing), frequency of being solo, capacity to adequately be teathered (cat better than mono), duration of incapacity consequent to an event, locality of sailing (density of boats, obsticles, topography). We all know that 10-15 minutes away from the helm even when coastal sailing is too long with regard to traffic, course corrections etc. 5 minutes in closer quarters would be too long.

Personally, I'd suggest you get assessed, diagnosed and treated. One event every two years on treatment is a very different game to having six (and increasing) in a year. Events lasting hours are a very significant worry both health wise and also from the perspective of risk while sailing.....
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Old 15-07-2014, 11:28   #30
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Re: Seizures and Sailboats. Do They Mix?

As a physician who does sail and treats seizures in recovery room, I have growing anxiety while reading this thread. What scares me the most is driving and seizing. Sailing in a congested traffic lane is just a slower form of driving.
My advice is to see a neurologist who is an expert in your specific condition. Optimise your meds and diet and exercise, then see where you are. If you play the odds like you are now, you will eventually run out of luck.
Not all of us can do everything. As mentioned, being safe is about others, and not just you.
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