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?

I think  swimming, particularly in the ocean, is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS for people with pd. Even small waves can knock you over and make it difficult to get upright. 



Warwick Roger nearly died in the safest beach in New Zealand - the water only gets about 3 feet deep.

Never swim in the sea on your own!

ps your pd nurse, like so many others, is a moron. where do the find them???

It one more thing not to do when off.  Crossing the road etc.  Maybe the sudden change in environment triggered an instant off effect.  I have many off periods a day but still enjoy pool swimming every Monday.  The sea in Dorset is also lovely in the summer but best to stay in your depth and avoid strong tidal areas

My husband had the same experience as you when we went to Lanzarote . When we told the nuerologist he said that it is a common thing for Parkies they lose all co-ordination. Our nuerologist physio therapist said to try swimming in the pool with one of those pole floats that wraps round the front of the body but to be certain that someone is there with you just in case you panic. It put hubby off trying to go swimming. As for holidays abroad I think that will be our last one we have had to cancel two because he couldn't handle the stress when it came to the time of going so we are planning to take some in the UK for a while . Just another tick in the box for PD.

My OH still swims when we go on holiday but I make sure that I am there in case of a sudden off period.

Visionvalue, we haven't flown for years, I hated it and having to deal with all the luggage on my own was an ever increasing burden. The most difficult aspect though was medication and time differences of even a few hours as my OH medicates every two and a half hours.

We have found that taking a cruise  is, for us now, the best option. Any time difference is just plus or minus one hour a day and we can cope with that easily. Cruising, as a cost per day with all your meals, entertainment and so many different place to visit, actually works out less expensive than a stay in a good hotel in the UK. Additionally, there are also many last minute deals out there now with so many ships sailing from the UK that it's very affordable.

Coaches run from all parts of the UK to UK cruise ports and you don't have to haul your luggage about once you board the coach, it just arrives at your cabin. Recently however, for just a little more than the cost of the coach we have a cruise transfer company to take us door to door.

Many members of our local Parkinson branch cruise, individually and annually as a small group. All areas of the ship are accessible for wheelchair users, adapted cabins are also available and assistance to get on and off the ship. It really is a very relaxing holiday. For last month's branch newsletter I wrote a lengthy article on the plus points of this type of holiday for PWP.

If anyone wants more information on this type of holiday then just message me, I will be very happy to help.

Thank you all for your valued responses.

On reflection, I had forgotten that we went to Bude (Cornwall) a couple of years ago and I managed to wade out to chest-depth and have a bit of a swim without any problems.   Maybe it WAS a combination of the stress involved in flying, etc., in my original post that didn't help - I know that I had been very panicky in the airport on the way - not fear of actual flying but just getting really uptight about the whole episode of checking-in, boarding, etc. which I had never been like before.   Maybe it all came to a head as I began to relax when I dived in the pool?

Benji, i was really interested in your comments as my wife and I have been pondering over going for a cruise ourselves and it's good to hear you've had such positive experiences.   The only thing is, the size of some of these cruisers look horrendous - I think I'd find that a bit of an ordeal.  Could you recommend some smaller-scale examples if poss, please?