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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #11  
Old 11-15-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captbillc View Post
i was sailing with a friend on his 40ft steel ketch. we were rolling & i was leaning back and watching the sails for a long time. when i got home & got out of the car i took a half dozen steps & fell flat on my face. i called my doctor and he examined me. it was caused by sediment in the semicircular ear canals & not a heart attack which caused me to lose my balance. they did some head positioning exercises which eliminated the problem. this was about 10 years ago.
finding the cause is part of controlling them...goood work! i am glad it was something correctible......
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  #12  
Old 11-15-2009
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I need more information. What was the duration of the event? How long were you unconscious, if at all? Was it a violent seizure or did you just pass out? How quickly were you back to normal afterward. These answers along with the diagnosis you get from the doctor would guide my response if I were you. Good Luck,

Mike
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  #13  
Old 11-16-2009
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Thank you!

Firstly, thanks for such a fantastic response; I haven't used this community to ask for help before and I'm overwhelmed by the speed and number of responses.

I'm still going though tests, CT, MRI scans, etc. Thankfully (a) free here in the UK, (b) all clear so far (no brain tumours).

Thanks for the medical concerns; I'd rather not divert this thread into the medical side, except to say that I'm preparing for the worst, hoping for the best (one of the many lessons I've learned here). My reason for posting was to tap into experience / advice on how it should affect my sailing.

I'm reassured at the majority response that I should take precautions, but not stop sailing. Especially so since I've come to it quite late in life (had never set foot on a yacht until 3 years ago) and it has become a great passion. I acquired my own yacht last year, giving me wonderful freedom. My greatest problem is the 3 hour drive I can't now do to get to it. I was on the brink of single handing, and often drove over alone just to potter (my word, what a lot of pottering there is to be done!).

I'm not sure about the Mayday. I've heard several while at sea, all quite a hoo-haa, whereas I feel there is no need unless I was seriously injured, in which case the MayDay would be due to the injury, rather than the seizure per se. I think it would be prudent however to alert the Coastguard without triggering any action, hence the PanPan plan. I'm happy to hear more advice on this (and ashamed I don't remember exactly what the rules are; and I only got my radio licence last November!).

Once again, thanks so much for the correspondance. This status of complete independence but copious help if you ask for it is one of the great aspects of this sport.

On a lighter note I think it's always best to be frank and tell it like it is - davidpm your seizure appears to have turned you into a dog!

PS the driving regs in the UK allow a return to driving after 6 months from a first and only seizure, or 12 months seizure-free, or 36 months with night-time seizures only.
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  #14  
Old 11-16-2009
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The risks of a repeat seizure fall into two catagories. First is the risk to yourself. You have recieved lots of suggestions about this. The second is the risk to others. Which is why authorities prohibit automobile driving after a seizure. The mayhem caused by a heavy vehicle driven at 70 MPH by a suddenly incapacitated driver can be awesume. Loss of innocent by-standers lives is not uncommon. Granted that a yacht run amuck can cause lots of property damage, loss of innocent by-standers lives is unlikely. The choice is of course entirely yours, but the risk/benefit ratio seems heavily weighted in favor of continuing to sail.
Have you considered telling a few good sailing friends at your marina of your situation? Should you have another seizure it would be nice to have someone around who knew the situation, and was able to react in a calm fashion.
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  #15  
Old 11-16-2009
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I would say, no single handing, but, that's not so bad - who wants to go sailing all by themselves anyway.
I have a close friend in Corpus Christi who sailed - not single handed - until he was 92 and out lived most of his crew. He donated his boat to the Sea Scouts and now they take him sailing whenever he wants - what a deal.
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  #16  
Old 11-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerToo View Post
I've come to it quite late in life (had never set foot on a yacht until 3 years ago
I'm 1 year older than you. Could you PLEASE cut out the "quite late in life" cr@p?

Mike
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  #17  
Old 11-16-2009
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I think if your doctor thinks you're safe to drive, you should be safe to sail also. Perhaps if you were on an anti-seizure medication, the risk would be low enough for safe sailing?

This has happened to my dad 3 times in his life, and it hasn't stopped him from driving, scuba diving, or boating by himself. The chances of it happening while doing one of these activities is almost zero, especially since he's on anti-seizure medication.

The laws can be horrible though, as many people will lose their jobs if they can't drive to work anymore!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerToo View Post
PS the driving regs in the UK allow a return to driving after 6 months from a first and only seizure, or 12 months seizure-free, or 36 months with night-time seizures only.
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  #18  
Old 11-17-2009
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Yes, calling the Coast Guard is a good step, but it can be a cell call.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerToo View Post
Firstly, thanks for such a fantastic response; I haven't used this community to ask for help before and I'm overwhelmed by the speed and number of responses.

I'm still going though tests, CT, MRI scans, etc. Thankfully (a) free here in the UK, (b) all clear so far (no brain tumours).

Thanks for the medical concerns; I'd rather not divert this thread into the medical side, except to say that I'm preparing for the worst, hoping for the best (one of the many lessons I've learned here). My reason for posting was to tap into experience / advice on how it should affect my sailing.

I'm reassured at the majority response that I should take precautions, but not stop sailing. Especially so since I've come to it quite late in life (had never set foot on a yacht until 3 years ago) and it has become a great passion. I acquired my own yacht last year, giving me wonderful freedom. My greatest problem is the 3 hour drive I can't now do to get to it. I was on the brink of single handing, and often drove over alone just to potter (my word, what a lot of pottering there is to be done!).

I'm not sure about the Mayday. I've heard several while at sea, all quite a hoo-haa, whereas I feel there is no need unless I was seriously injured, in which case the MayDay would be due to the injury, rather than the seizure per se. I think it would be prudent however to alert the Coastguard without triggering any action, hence the PanPan plan. I'm happy to hear more advice on this (and ashamed I don't remember exactly what the rules are; and I only got my radio licence last November!).

Once again, thanks so much for the correspondance. This status of complete independence but copious help if you ask for it is one of the great aspects of this sport.

On a lighter note I think it's always best to be frank and tell it like it is - davidpm your seizure appears to have turned you into a dog!

PS the driving regs in the UK allow a return to driving after 6 months from a first and only seizure, or 12 months seizure-free, or 36 months with night-time seizures only.

My wife is a very brittle diabetic, and we have had a few pass-out episodes or similar. We carry basic supplies to deal with this. In each case, if the was weather or navigation issue, or any chance I might need help, I put in a cell phone call to the local station. Keep these numbers on-board.

In one case (she had a medical equipment failure) her condition required me to seek an inlet I knew to be troublesom and poorly marked, and that I might not get there until dark. It was not our intended stop, but it had a pharmacy. I called the CG, gave them a report, and they asked me to report back at certain times. A few minutes later, they called back with the lat/lon of all the channel markers (they shift them due to shifting bars and they are not charted), as well as the locations of 2 that were off-station. Very profesional. We made the inlet at dusk, and I called and thanked them for their help. Much better than doing it all over 16 and 22a. No emergency or undue fuss, just caution.

We still sail a lot and feel it is safe. But I would not go across an ocean with her. It doesn't feel prudent.

She doesn't leave the cockpit much and we leave jacklines set 24/7. Make them out of rope so they can stand the sun.

Sail Delmarva: Search results for jacklines
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  #19  
Old 11-17-2009
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Prepare, then go!

My hubby has had multiple strokes over the past 5 years (each one milder than the previous one, thankfully), but continues to singlehand.

We work hard not to let fear control our lives; some days we do better than others. But life is for LIVING; waiting for a ax to fall is NOT living. Sailing gives him great joy. I would rather he die from a stroke while sailing, than die sitting at home having never sailed again.

We've made the following preparations:

- He carries a note in his wallet at all times that gives his name, brief medical history, meds he's taking, his doc's name, emergency contact info, etc. If he has a stroke (anywhere, not just sailing) he can pull that out and quickly communicate the emergency (his strokes have impacted his speech)

-he led all lines back to the cockpit, so he does not need to leave the cockpit when singlehanding: if there is a problem with the boat that he cannot handle from the cockpit, he drops sails and comes home.

-he ALWAYS wears a PFD. We are looking at jacklines and tethers.

-he has emergency numbers programmed into his cell phone; when we upgrade our phones, he will program in emergency text messages

We're constantly looking for ways to keep sailing, safely (for him and for those around him who might be impacted by him having a stroke)....
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  #20  
Old 11-18-2009
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Lived with peti-mal Epilepsy from age 6 until now! got off meds at 18. Did a few things docs told me not to, ie ran xcountry and track. Did some mtn climbing later, ie after 18......Used to get in trouble ALL the time in elementry school reading. I had 1-2 sec seizures, so I had them at times in the middle of sentences, was told I put a period/comma pause in the middle.....yee haw! of course I argured.....off to principles office I went. Even after diagnosis, teacher was told, and meds starting working......

Anyway, I solo sailed as a teen in Lake Washington, still on drugs, Ran when EEG tests showed heavy breathing was a typical cause, ie lack of Oxygen to brain in strenuous activity........ You learn to deal with it.

I was told I could not climb Rainer as a teen, made it age 24, along with Adams, baker and a few other locals that I thought I would never do. Keep your chin up, learn what you can about what caused it. It may have been a food allergy or equal that may never be figured out. or, then again, it could be Epilepsy, diabetes or some other equal style issue.

marty
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