THE GREAT LAKES MARINER
WHAT EVERY BOATER SHOULD KNOW
The Most Important Secrets
You Must Learn
In Order to Live a Happy, Healthy and Productive Life with Epilepsy
What Every Boat Lover Should Know About
Boating and Epilepsy
“Learn How Boating Can Help Your Epilepsy”
BOATING & EPILEPSY
Did You Know…?
When people are busy and active they are less likely to have seizures.
Boating, Children & Epilepsy
Through the eyes of parents who have a child who suffer from an epilepsy disorder, the world may seem an especially dangerous place. If you have a child with epilepsy, you may secretly wish that you could surround your child with a room full of nurses on call 24/7, or you may feel like you want some type of protective bubble so you can protect your child from all harm that the world carries. All parents worry about the worst things that could happen, the what-if scenarios.
While these fears are completely normal for any caring parent, they generally aren't realistic or the best choice. The fact is that most kids with epilepsy do fine in life and live happy, healthy and productive lives.
Back in the day before epilepsy was brought out into the open there was a huge emphasis on what children with epilepsy can't do, but nowadays, doctors try to stress to kids and teenagers not what they cannot do, but what they can do.” Quoted by William R. Turk, MD, Chief of the Neurology Division at the Nemours Children's' Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.
Boating & Epilepsy
In the vast majority of cases, people with epilepsy lead completely normal lives. And most people with epilepsy can do just about anything including boating.
Epilepsy & Limitations: Taking Precautions
Many individuals might think boating might seem out of the question for people with epilepsy. But as long as someone is with them watching over them they should be okay. In almost every case, the benefits outweigh the unlikely risks.
There are a few extra precautions that people who want to go boating with epilepsy need to take, especially around the ocean waters or the bay. These precautions include:
- On boats, adults and children with epilepsy should wear a lifejacket.
- As long as someone's keeping an eye on them they should be fine. The most dangerous place is not a pool or in the ocean - it's the bathtub. When it comes to water more people with epilepsy have more injuries in the bathtub than anywhere else.
- If you have epilepsy then you should not go boating by yourself. Bring a friend with you. It doesn’t matter if your seizures are controlled. It’s always good to be safe than sorry.
- If you have epilepsy make sure that your companions know you have epilepsy and be sure they know how to help if you have a seizure. The Epilepsy Foundation web site provides great insight for first aid. You can view their first aid tips at http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/about/firstaid.
Thought for the Day
It’s only natural to want to protect the one you love with epilepsy but, remember that being over-protective or unfairly keeping a tight rein on the one you love with epilepsy may be more psychologically and socially damaging than the epilepsy itself. So try to relax and let the one you love with epilepsy have some leeway.
Boating is a great thing for people with epilepsy. Boating is very relaxing and can reduce people’s stress levels. Stress can trigger seizures, but boating is a great way to escape the stresses of life and enjoy the wonders of the waters. Boating can also boost a person with epilepsy’s self - esteem. Not only are they doing something they enjoy, but in the back of their mind they know that epilepsy doesn’t go away, but life goes on and even though you have epilepsy you don’t have to stop living and experiencing the joys of life including boating.
I have had epilepsy since the age of five and boating has always been a big part of my life. It relaxes me, brings me happiness and most of all it’s a love and a passion that everyone in my family has that helps keep us stay close and well bonded.
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Stacey Chillemi began her first book, Epilepsy: You’re Not Alone, while in college. It was published six years later. Since the birth of her children, she has been a freelance journalist. She won an award from the Epilepsy Foundation of America in 2002 for her help and dedication to people with epilepsy.
Article appeared in The Great Lakes Mariner Magazine
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