Thursday, 5 April 2018

Swimming with Menieres Disease

You may have noticed in my latest blogs that I have a pink earband around my head. That's because I have developed Menieres Disease, which without getting too boring about it, is a condition of the inner ear affecting balance and causing vertigo and all sorts of horrid stuff. One treatment which seems to be successful is the insertion of an ear grommet (just like the little kids have when they suffer 'glue ear' etc).

The upshot is that I can't risk getting water in my grommet-ear. So, to help keep an ear plug in place, I use the neoprene headband.

It's not perfect though, and so, reluctantly, I have had to adapt my swimming to head-out-of-water style. I really really miss gliding along doing freestyle, water slipping over my body, caressing it.  But, needs must!

I also found I was getting an ear infection most times I swam at the public pool .

This year I used part of my retirement savings to install an 'Endless Pool' - one with a swim jet. It works really well, and is a decent substitute for lap swimming. Keeping up exercise is also really important with Menieres, and for general health. As anyone reading my blog knows, swimming is just something I have to do!

So, I have devised a routine involving a retro 'ladylike' head out breaststroke (while trying not to strain my neck!), side-stroke, which I've always loved, and an on-the-back kicking and 'scooping' motion, or beating with my arms like a Pilates "Hundreds" move.

Fortunately I can also still enjoy trips to calm conditions beaches, and have even risked snorkelling in Fiji, with all the headgear in place. And some antibiotic drops in case of infection!

So far, it's all going well!

The getting in end. The water is pushed through the grille at the end and returned via the channels located under the side benches.

The swim jet and filter at the one end. The jet can be adjusted to your swimming pace. 

I do a bit of step pool-robics too. I put music on and go for it! 

Still love a bit of sea baths (or beach as long as it's gentle - no diving through waves!) swimming. Here at Newcastle baths.

And a dip this summer in the Tuross River.