Join Date: Dec 2009
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Your continuation of sailing with a seizure disorder (and one instance a disorder does not necessarily make, see your MD) is your personal decision. However, as a pre-hospital type, I have a few recommendations...
Brief all crew members prior to leaving the dock. A gentle explanation of what might happen, along with a mild exhortation not to panic. Also, try to dissuade them from trying silly things they have either heard or seen on TV. The last thing you want if you actually do have a seizure is for someone to shove a stick/sheet/winch handle in your mouth. Tell them not to restrain you, but to make sure you don't hit yourself on anything (and there's lots to brain yourself with on a sailboat, without seizing, as I rather frequently demonstrate).
I think the biggest issue (besides crew panic) is post seizure in the postictal state. I've seen people do the strangest things, and they're often combative. The only effective treatment is time and oxygen. So you might consider getting a scrip from your doc for O2, or snagging a setup from DAN (the diving folk) or similar. Perhaps even take an O2 provider course through one of the dive agencies. Then a quick orientation to the crew on where it is, and how to use it.
A seizure doesn't have to be treated like a medical emergency every time. I'd be very hesitant to call "mayday" for a seizure if I knew the person had a history of seizure. Talk to your MD, and perhaps set a duration of seizure to trigger an emergency response. That way, if you seize for (as a totally random example) more than two minutes, then upgrade the episode to emergency status, and activate EMS (more than likely the Coast Guard). Everyone has to make their own assessment, but for me the risks of evacuation (by air or even boat to boat) far outweigh the risks of the seizure. In addition, where I am in southern CA, it takes at least 20 minutes for the Coast Guard to spin up a helo and get to us, longer in a response boat. By then you will have more than likely made a full recovery (hopefully accelerated by the above mentioned O2 kit).
All these decisions are personal to you, but it's good that you're planning in advance.