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ElaineK
April 18th, 2010, 03:44 PM
Is there anybody out there swimming with Meniere's Disease? I would like to hear what challenges you have had and how you cope.

I developed tinnitus and Meniere's a few years ago, during a time when I wasn't swimming regularly. After 31 years away from swimming competition, I joined Masters in February and increased my swimming intensity from just swimming for fitness to sprint training for breaststroke events in competition. I had been doing open turns in freestyle during my workouts, because I wanted to concentrate on my stroke and figured I wouldn't be needing them in competition, anyway.

Well, I decided to start doing flip turns and noticed the quality of my turns went from decent to worse to horrible, throughout my workout. It got to the point where I was so disoriented once I entered into my flip that my legs wouldn't go where I wanted them to go. My brain was sending mixed signals to my body and I couldn't do a flip turn at all. Then, I started feeling seasick; something I never had experienced IN the water before (I used to kayak and body surf!). :confused: It finally occured to me it was the Meniere's causing the problem.

After a few more attempts at practicing flip turns during workouts and ending up feeling horrible (seasick!), I've had to give it up. :bitching:

Since I plan to compete only in breaststroke events this year, then add fly and/or IM in the future, I should be ok, for the most part. But, not doing flip turns is slowing me down in workouts and not doing my shoulders any favors.

Any advice out there? Any advice for improving my open turns? I'm beginning my turns the same as my breaststroke turns, but trying to get good at my SDK off the wall.

Thanks for any advice you can offer! :)

swimcat
April 18th, 2010, 05:53 PM
feel free to pm me. i was diagnosed with meniere's about 4 yrs ago in right ear. i hardly ever ever do long type swim with consecutive flips over 400. It seems to get worse if i fly, or change time zones.
make sure that a doctor diagnoses correctly.
my ent dr. told me to take bonine( meclazine) when it flares up . what a PIA cant' turn over in bed, have to sleep with head straight. i have more info. like i said PM me.
:)

no200fly
April 18th, 2010, 10:59 PM
I don't have meniere's disease, but I don't see anything wrong with not doing flip turns in workout. When I started back swimming, my lung capacity was substantially decreased. I couldn't do flip turns without quickly running out of air. I have increased my aerobic capacity substantially, but I still don't routinely do flips. I would suggest that you skip the flip.

swimshark
April 19th, 2010, 07:35 AM
I was diagnosed with meniere's disease about 2 years ago and the doctor said it would eventually cause me to have to give up flip turns. But since then, I haven't noticed any problem with the dizziness and I'm not sure I really have it. I do have chronic headaches and have since been put on maintenance drug for that and my meniere's disease seems to not be an issue since then.

Good luck. I hope that you can find a way to do flip turns and still control the meniere's disease. And see you in a few weeks :)

ElaineK
April 19th, 2010, 03:35 PM
Thanks, everybody, for your feedback, advice, and well wishees! And, thanks for the private messages, as well. I appreciate it! :agree:
Alison, I'll be looking for you at Nationals! :D Sorry to hear about your headaches! :bighug:

swimshark
April 19th, 2010, 04:24 PM
Thanks Elaine, sorry to hear about your meniere's. Less than 5 weeks and counting!!

fastback
April 19th, 2010, 04:50 PM
I have been living with meniere's since the mid-90s. Seems to be mostly under control and was never severe to the point of on-going vertigo. In the beginning I tried a lot of different approaches. Diuretics and low salt helped quite a bit. I can't hear out of my right ear and left ear ain't great. I wear ear plugs and would be in trouble in the pool without them. Haven't experienced the flip turn dizziness. Biggest swimming problem has been getting disqualified on the starts. I have been thrown out for coming up late on backstroke starts because I haven't heard the command. Between no hearing, ear plugs and a cap it's getting tougher and tougher. I have gone to getting hand signals from the starter when the amplification on the sound system is bad.

I will also be in Atlanta and it might be nice to have a meniere's support group meeting.

Rich Burns
rich@gnugroup.com

ElaineK
April 19th, 2010, 05:22 PM
I have been living with meniere's since the mid-90s. Seems to be mostly under control and was never severe to the point of on-going vertigo. In the beginning I tried a lot of different approaches. Diuretics and low salt helped quite a bit. I can't hear out of my right ear and left ear ain't great. I wear ear plugs and would be in trouble in the pool without them. Haven't experienced the flip turn dizziness. Biggest swimming problem has been getting disqualified on the starts. I have been thrown out for coming up late on backstroke starts because I haven't heard the command. Between no hearing, ear plugs and a cap it's getting tougher and tougher. I have gone to getting hand signals from the starter when the amplification on the sound system is bad.

I will also be in Atlanta and it might be nice to have a meniere's support group meeting.

Rich Burns
rich@gnugroup.com

Sorry about your hearing, Rich! :bighug: Hey, if it's too crazy busy to meet up at Nationals, we can at least have our own thread here! :)

swimshark
April 19th, 2010, 05:34 PM
With the hearing thing, at dry land on Sat, the coach was telling us what to do from about 15 yards away. I couldn't hear and kept asking the kid next to me what he was saying (yes, kid, I practice with age groupers). Finally he said "are you deaf?" and I said "yup". My left side is almost all gone and the right isn't much better. You get me in a pool area where there is a lot of echo and I can't hear well at all. Of course, dating that drummer in college and standing in front of the speaker while his rock band played didn't help, I'm sure.

Gina164
May 24th, 2013, 09:05 PM
Hi. I know you wrote this about 3 years ago now, but I am new to Meniere's and am hoping to learn what 'add'l info' you have on how to cope. Can you PM me? I am new here and cannot seem to contact you. Thanks.

renie
August 13th, 2013, 11:22 AM
Hi. I know you wrote this about 3 years ago now, but I am new to Meniere's and am hoping to learn what 'add'l info' you have on how to cope. Can you PM me? I am new here and cannot seem to contact you. Thanks.


Hi Gina, did you ever get a response to your post on this topic? I've done a lot of research on Meniere's, MAV, VN and Labs, so if you want to discuss, please PM me and I will give you my email address because this site for some reason on my computer, is agonizingly slow to maneuver around. I've had vertigo since childhood, and although some doctors are quick to dx Meniere's, I'm fairly certain I have Migraine associated vertigo. I can give you some excellent forums on the subject where you will learn more than any doctor can tell you. Good luck.

ElaineK
August 14th, 2013, 12:27 AM
Hi. I know you wrote this about 3 years ago now, but I am new to Meniere's and am hoping to learn what 'add'l info' you have on how to cope. Can you PM me? I am new here and cannot seem to contact you. Thanks.

Gina, I am so sorry I missed your post! I'm on the forums daily, so I can't figure out how I missed it, especially since this was a thread I started! :blush:

It sounds like renie can help you a lot more than I can. I never did learn anything new after my original post; I just figured out how to cope.

Meniere's has affected my swimming in four ways:
1. Repetitive flip turns make me worse than seasick, so I don't do them- at all. Instead, I have worked on a quick open turn for freestyle. For some reason, I am fine spinning sideways for a bucket turn, so that is what I do in backstroke.

2. I have to get up on the starting blocks slowly and not look down at the water until I am balanced, so I don't fall off.

3. I got seasick during the beginning of my first open water swim last summer, however, I eventually felt better when I increased my sighting frequency. This past summer, when I returned to compete in the 3K and 1K open water swims, I was able to handle it much better.

4. Swimming backstroke outdoors takes a lot of practice to get comfortable and swim straight. Not having anything to sight off of is very disorienting at first. But, with practice, I improved to the point where I swam 400 IM at Nationals and swam my backstroke fairly straight. The key was watching my arms on recovery and concentrating on them going back at equal distance from my head. Think of a clock and your head being at 12:00 and aim to have your arms at 10:00 and 2:00 or 11:00 and 1:00 at most. If your arms are symmetrical, you will most likely swim straight. But, you have to trust that you will and ignore the crossed signals your meniere's is giving you, so you don't overcorrect when you were going straight in the first place. You can also use your peripheral vision and keep an eye on the distance you are from one of the lane lines.

Good luck!