Swimming (or not) with Parky's

About 5 years ago (7 years after dx), my wife, our teenage daughter & I went to Madeira for what was to be, unknowingly, our last holiday abroad.
I had minimal symptoms at that time and, as soon as we had unpacked, my daughter & I went to check out the very inviting-looking pool. As usual, being a fairly decent swimmer, I dived straight in at the deep end but, as I came back up to the surface, I suddenly came over all panicky - I couldn't get my breath, I had lost the ability to tread water, I couldn't swim properly and felt like I was swallowing lungfuls of water. Somehow I managed to get to the side where I held on for dear life til I got my breath back. Although it felt like I was making a hell of a noise gasping for breath, I only noticed a couple of pool-side sunbathers giving me funny looks - most people hadn't noticed my predicament (including my daughter - but I had to explain to her what had happened).
After that, I tried on several occasions while there to have a dip but, every time I strayed out of my depth, the panicky feeling came back and I found myself gasping for air again.
It was such a shame as I normally loved joining my kids in the pool (we have 2 older sons who weren't with us on this holiday).
Eventually, on a visit to my neuro some time later (with my Parky's nurse in attendance) I related my experience to them and the nurse said that it must have been down to the trauma of going on holiday!!!
She has since left, thank goodness, but, until the subject was brought up on another forum, I had never heard of it being a widespread problem for PwP's.
Since this happened, I have been vary wary of going near water again (apart from showers!) and have not dared to risk a repeat performance.

Has anyone else had episodes like this?

Hi gas I found went swimming in  Lindos in rhodes I jumped off the jetty at The.end of the beach To find I could not swim with my left arm it just kept on sending me around in circles because it was too weak to follow through in the same manner as my right.  We have every intention of going back there again and I will go swimming even if I have two use Lilos as not being able to swim Is unacceptable, i make sure don't to far out therefor my husband is able To come and get Me. Give it another go Starting  By going in to children's pools therefore if you had a panic attack the water is shallow  hope you managed to conquer your Demons In regards to swimming.


Kindest regards been BB


Well here's mine I go for a swim sauna and steam room most days well about nine months I had to wait for my back injections so I was in alot of pain so went to gp I am on a lot of pain killers so she said it's about time I go on tramadol as been on for 8 yrs become immune so here we go cloud nine felt well let's say not inn this world so it felt like gp had found cure for pd so went swimming banged out 15 lengths over arm two days later come back to this world tramadol got use too shoulder, killing me back to gp well 3 quarter zones later and ultra sound got one trapped tendon and two swollen tendons so now I swim with one arm and one leg as lost the use of left leg to pd so my intake of water is quite a lot but it does not stop me.waiting for opp on sholder.thats pd for ya
Been on co codomol for 8 yrs sorry

Hello everyone.  This is my first time posting, but I wanted to reply to the question about swimming.

It was my husband who had Parkinson's, and although I regularly read the forum when he was diagnosed and struggling and juggling with the usual issues and medications, since he died 2 years ago (suddenly, of a heart attack) I have returned less often, just to keep up to date etc.

About 18 months after diagnosis and a bout of pretty bad depression, we went for a swim at the start of summer. (I live in Greece, so we're talking about sea here, not pools!) He was an average swimmer, but I had noticed the two previous summers that he was very low in the water and seemed somehow not as buoyant as one usually is. Anyway, on this occasion, after a few minutes I noticed his mouth and nose were under water, so raced across the 2 or 3 metres between us.  In brief, he was helped out, still conscious, given oxygen and then taken to hospital. It is not like on Baywatch when water gets in the lungs - a few splutters and then back to normal!  He was a week in intensive care, and then took 6 months to recover his strength.

The reason I write this is to remind other pd sufferers, perhaps particularly those in the early stages, when walking is not a problem, no episodes of freezing etc - to think twice about where to swim, whether to go out of your depth, and always to have someone with you.  When swimming seems so effortless and weightless, it's easy to imagine that you won't have problems moving, but as the poster above found, even treading water needs a certain strength in the muscles, and the water resistance for each stroke may be more than you bargained for, not to mention dizziness which can strike at any time.

Swimming is obviously good exercise, so don't be put off completely.  We went again the following year, and if you're not a serious swimmer, but just want to be in the water and paddle around, I recommend a noodle!  A metre-long polystyrene tube you can tuck under your arms, either backwards or forwards. It's a great buoyancy aid if you lack confidence in the water, and was very reassuring for me too! 


Hi All

I haven't been swimming since before my diagnosis but the last time I did swim I experienced trouble swimming in a straight line. I haven't swum since purely because of lack of opportunity. My only other (worrying) experience with water was in a hot tub when I had difficulty keeping my legs down in the water.Has anyone else experienced this?

A high ambient air temperature and relatively low pool temperature can cause a heart attack so always aclimatise by entering pool slowly
Diving in the pool on a hot day when you are hot anyway is not a good idea
Thst can happen to anyone not just pd related