Hi guys, Here's a question, How many of you who have had a seizure or haemorrhage have went swimming again afterwards ?, I ask as its always on the back of my mind as a qualified life guard about water safety and I always think what if I had a seizure in the water !, But I'm glad to say that I've not had one since 2007 and even then I've only ever had 2 in my whole life before surgery. I now take Keppra each day and don't feel like I would have one at all, But safety in the water has always been something I've thought about, So Its stopped me from taking up swimming again or even taking my young sons also. I would really hate to think about this happening when my sons were there :( , Am I being too over cautious ?, I would guess my risk is very low but higher than the "normal" persons due to having 2 craniotomies. So I guess I'm asking for more support and positive reassurance than anything else. Its a mind set thing for me and I find this is the only area I different in after surgeries is confidence. Thanks guys.

I asked this exact question yesterday to my husbands therapists. How do I know if he is safe in the water? And what kind of water safety should we know? They immediately signed him up for water therapy. Scott and I are excited for this!!

Hi Danijo, Thanks for your reply :) , that sounds like fun :) . As a lifeguard anyway I'm sure i'd be fine and I haven't had even signs like minor/focal seizures, So I'm sure it would be fine as long as I take it easy and not really push it.

I never had a seizure but after the craniotomy I had to give up a few things for the first year so the scar could heal. I don’t remember swimming becoming an issue at all. Confidence was always an issue after the stroke but I was young and had a lot of support from friends and family. You may have a few setbacks in life but always go for the things you enjoy. Look how far you have come…you’re a survivor, don’t let it stop you!

Hi Caryn, That's the right attitude to have ! :) , I totally agree and yes will more than likely go for it , I just wanted to get opinions. I used to say "yes that's the answer" and be sure of it, now I say "yes that's the answer, I think" lol, This is the only change I've seen in my mind set and other than that I'm good to go, Whats also funny is that I am unable to drive at the moment but don't have a second thought about that !, Which is more dangerous !. Thanks again.

Hi, Martin. I could tell you my story but I can't tell you if it's the same for you. I had caniotomy in April 2014 (before summer). I never have a seizure before and after the operation. So when summer came I swam normally as I did every summer before. See, I live in the Mediterranian so it's near the sea and very sunny. The sunny part was a problem for me, I am not supposed to be exposed to strong sunlight beacuse my head hurts afterwards and there's always a possibility of seizure.
I started swimming beacuse I wanted it so badly! I am stubborn I guess, after I could walk (which was about a two weeks after the operation) I wanted to do everything I did before because I didn't want to feel like this avm was something that defines me, I said to myself :' Okay, stuff like this happens, life goes on, I can't live in the past' haha so that is me but i believe you should talk to your doctor.

Do you have restrictions on weight lifting or exercise, if not, then I would say if the docs let you drive, you should be ok to swim. I work-out alone, with weights in my basement. My docs never said I couldn't but I never asked. My AVM event was 28.5 years ago.

Hi Stevek350, Nope as far as I'm aware !, My docs cleared me for both weights and driving and have no concerns at all, They even said I could come off the Keppra if I wanted, but if I don't that then I could not drive as the "just in case" would grow. So I guess when it gets a little hotter (here in Scotland that's about 2 weeks of the year ! lol ) I will take my kids swimming :) , but still think I will go with the wife just in case to look after the kids I guess. Thanks again for your comments.

I got off the anti-seizure meds about a year after my only seizure. (caused by my avm leakage) As I recall it was a long ween-off due to worry from possible seizures because of getting off the drug.

Hi Martin,

I'm in the UK.

I was a keen swimmer usually doing 2 miles a week. I really miss the exercise and the sheer joy of swimming.

I had an AVM sub-arachnoid haemorrhage in 2012. I subsequently had many seizures. I had Gamma Knife radiotherapy which still has a year or so to go before I know if the AVM is gone. I am now taking Lamortigine which has kept me seizure free for nearly 2 years.

My doctor told me I should stop swimming for 3 reasons. Firstly I could have a seizure swimming which could be life threatening if the life guards don't act quickly enough. Second, the increase in blood pressure, by the act of swimming, could further rupture my AVM. The haemorrhage left me with constant vertigo so the constant turning of my head would make it virtually impossible to swim comfortably.

I hope that is helpful.

Empathy and kind regards




How many of you who have had a seizure or haemorrhage have went swimming again afterwards ?

My answer to the above question is, I completed a triathlon in 2008 after having an AVM hemorrhage in 1997 at the age of 16, spent two weeks in a coma and literally had to relearn how to be a human again. Down to remembering who my family was.
Yeah, It was tough but in this life if you want something bad enough it’s apart of the process.

The last seizure that I had was in January 2000 and still today I remain on seizure medication. With you being not your normal Joe-Blow,your a certified life guard and clearly are qualified to take your sons swimming. Hey don’t stop there start train for a triathlon. It has provided me far more than a medal it has shown me that i’m the only barrier from accomplishing anything that I want to do.

Martin, One of our AVM Survivor friends lives at the ocean in Queensland, Paradise Point. She struggles with seizures even though she has been on many different types of anti-seizure meds. If she hasn't had a resent seizure, she will swim, although always with a buddy.

In 2007, I had my brain rupture and because I was a scuba diver, the first thing I asked my neurosurgeon during my follow-up appointment was "When can I scuba dive". His response was "I think you can snorkel, but hold off with the scuba diving". Haven't scuba dived since but wish I could.

I also live on the ocean, have seizures and take Keppra and the first time I went swimming, I got caught in a rip tide, which make me know that I couldn't go that far in anymore.

As always, ask her doctor and get his advise.

swimming is the only exercise I get. deep water walking, it's called. I wear a floatie belt. it's wonderful. as far as the confidence thing...I find that I am hesitant about doing things and that is because we are aware of what CAN happen! however, if I just go ahead and try, I find that I can usually do it. for instance, it took me forever to give up the walker, thinking that I could not go without it. but when I eventually tried using the cane I found that I could do it, no problem. same with driving. my license was never taken away but I KNEW I couldn't drive. so I didn't for years, but when I finally did I found I could do it. good luck to you and your family.

Hi and thanks for sharing this information :) , I have only thought about the life guard aspects thankfully and also I will be taking it easy and relaxing, just getting back in the water will be nice :)

Hi Michael, and thanks for your reply, Its very nice to hear of one of our members who is so active after such a serious condition and your correct as you said lifes tough but we all set our own limitations, I guess reading this I know in my heart that there's nothing stopping me from going for it and that's what I plan to do ! :) . Thanks

Hi Louisa, Thanks very much for your valued input :), I think on the grand scale of things I'm very low risk for seizure to be honest and also agree that having a buddy would be an immense confidence booster even if the first trip is only to float about and not actually do laps of the pool :) . Just getting back in the water would be great and its really only confidence that's stopped me. So time to "take the plunge" :) I'll let you guys know how it goes. Thanks

Hi Martin, good for you in posting here and I find the members' responses very interesting. I commend you for your concern about those 3 precious and adorable sons of yours and yes, please post after you enjoy your swim.

Thanks Susan, And yes I agree a kind of mixed bag of responses which I like to see as it gives both sides of the situation, But think I will be waiting on warmer weather :) its a little too cold here for swimming just now I feel.

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Martin, Please let us know when you take the plunge! I also love having a floatie with me. Go for it...when you love swimming, you can find a way to get it back.

Thanks Louisa, I was like 90% sure I was going to do it anyway but thought I'd open it up for opinions also :) . Thanks again.