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OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

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Lisa Salberg Find out more about Lisa Salberg
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  • #31
    Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

    Jim, I'm not sure I said what I think. I believe that he shouldn't be allowed to 'serve his country' in that way because he's having others depend on him. I know it's not life & death, but they are still depending on him. I'm not saying he shouldn't ever swim again, but as anyone who has read past posts on athletes with HCM, I don't agree with pushing oneself like an Olympian must either.

    Virginia, you're so right about there being other ways to serve in the military with a disability, but most will get you discharged pretty quick. We're lucky that my husband was able to get his 20 years in and retire with full retirement pay.

    Reenie
    Reenie

    ****************
    Husband has HCM.
    3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

    Comment


    • #32
      Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

      As far as military service goes I was very angry when I was rejected. I had done four years of ROTC knew what to expect and everything all the while I unknownly had this. I had been promised the world by the Navy I was offered medical school! I was going there for my mind not my body but as soon as they found out my body wasn't 100% then I was tossed out like yesterday's garbage. At least when an athelete is diagnosed with the condition and they are on scholarship 98% of the schools still honor that scholarship. It is in my blood to serve the people. I was denied it by the military but found it in public service but I do have restrictions that is why I volunteer and not full time!

      There is an old chineese proverb I was once told. "Build your fence and stay in it".

      I know it doesn't sound that fun and your limiting your life but your not. You are the one determining the fence line. It may be a cautious one or you can make it one that allows you to live your life. I hear it all the time that I am over doing it. But there are times when I have reached my fence and I back off. There are somethings I just don't do like Gwazi at Bush Gardens or Rockin Roller Coaster at Disney. I did Gwazi once and I felt bad afterwards. Now I don't do it. RNR well magnets may interfere with my AICD could I ride it and get away with it yeah but I don't want to take that chance.

      enough of my blabbing!

      Mary S.

      Comment


      • #33
        Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

        Reenie I am so glad to hear that your husband got his 20 in.

        My son is on his 9th year and Thank God healthy. I am so worried about this doggon disease with him and the military. As well as my other children and grandchildren. My son's job is not physically challenging.

        Him especially because he has worked so hard to be where he is at such a young age. (27) Sgt. in the Marines hoping to get Staff Sgt. this year. The sacrafices his wife and him make. Which you are well aware of.

        My brother was dx with I.H.S.S. at age 36. I was dx at age 48.
        So far all are healthy and have been screened.

        I do alot of praying.

        Enjoy the retirement. Please tell your husband thanks for serving our Country. Thanks for standing by him too..............

        Comment


        • #34
          Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

          Virginia and Reenie,

          So if i understand you folks correctly, you are saying that he shouldn't be allowed to serve his country at the olympics, because if he died while competing he would be letting the team and his country down?

          Jim
          "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

          Comment


          • #35
            Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

            Jim,

            Would it not deeply sadden his team and his country because they didn't want him to compete in the first place.

            That would impact motivation and hinder the team to stride on, because they would know he died for them, his country and desire to be a fool. Besides the team would be stressed knowing he could die while competing. Is that fair to the team?

            Let me put it this way hypotheically I would like to enter the Olympics to run, because I love to run. I trained all my life. I have two forms of arthritis that hinder me in walking. Now I might be able to run, if the signal from my brain gets to my leg or I might not.

            I really want to represent my country and hope I can do this. Gee is that fair to my team? In fact I could fall down because if the signal from my brain does not get to my leg I lose my balance. It is all about my desire to compete and not my country and team, because I want to do this.

            It is true Jim I do have two forms of arthritis that does hinder my walking. I do lose my balance. I limp and drag my leg when I over do it.

            The reason is because the signal does not get to my leg properly. I love to shop and run and walk. For the past 11 years I have accepted I can't do this as enjoyment. I do what I have to do without hindering my family and friends. Their enjoyment is more important to me, than my being part of the crowd.

            So I sit on the sidelines and watch. wishing I could join in. I do try, but I know my limitations. That is the key here. Knowing your limitations. When I try to push it everyone yells.

            With HCM you never know when that fatal beat can happen. Trust me you can be in the most condusive enviorment and still not survive a sudden death event.

            Comment


            • #36
              Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

              Hey folks,
              Every time you step off the curb you can’t be certain you will get all the way across the street. What your saying is even though you know the risks and choose to do something anyway, somebody else can override your wishes – like Mary. (Why would a doctor have to run forty miles to be a doctor?)

              To take this line of thought a step further; Look at all the accidents on the highways. Driving should be limited to trained professionals – truck and bus drivers only, - and they should have to face annual detailed testing and be totally physically fit. Being caught with a beer should sideline them for a week to insure that they are sober. They should require four hours off after every four hours of driving and no more then eight hours of driving in a 24 hour period.

              All police and fire fighters and medical personnel should be held to rigid standards and also pass stringent quarterly physical testing. All food service personnel should pass physical exams monthly. Catching a cold should put then out of work for two weeks past the time they again check out perfectly healthy.

              Because we can’t completely test everyone in school before they go out to PE all athletic activity in school should be outlawed.

              And how about the professional military man who has served his country with 17 years of service toward his retirement. One day he fails his physical and is thrown out with no pension or anything.

              Is this really the kind of world you want to live in? I sure don’t.
              Burt

              Comment


              • #37
                Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

                I agree with the Italians, I think they are looking out for the best interest for everyone. (besides my family is Italians )
                Jen

                Comment


                • #38
                  Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

                  Jim, I guess the answer is yes. The arogance of the guy who pushes on to be an Olympian doesn't take into account that if he's part of a team, not swimming for himself but for the team, he should step aside and let someone else do it who is more fit. Does this person have an ICD? What would happen if he did, it fired while he was in the midst of competition and he nearly drowned? How would that affect others. I don't condone competitive sports for any HCM'er, although I know that some will continue to do as they feel they should. It's more strain on the heart, therefore more likely that there will eventually be a major problem.

                  I think it's downright stupid for someone to take their love of competitive swimming and hold it with more regard than their teammates' 1. thoughts and fears, 2. chances of winning, 3. loved ones who will have to carry on when the blow falls. I know I'm opinionated. I try not to run over anyone else's thoughts or ideas on this board. However, you asked for my thoughts on the situation.

                  My own kids want to play soccer. I tell them, "If your echo is clear this year, go for it. If not, too bad. You'll just have to find something else to do." They understand this. It has to be a part of their lives. I'm still the parent and they have to abide with my rules for now. When they become adults and have more choices, I hope that my caution wears off on them.

                  Reenie
                  Reenie

                  ****************
                  Husband has HCM.
                  3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

                    I AGREE WITH RENEE 150%!!!!
                    Jen

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

                      This topic and variations on it are the most heated of anything that ever gets discussed around here. People have left the board over discussions about whether kids/adults with HCM should be allowed to play sports.

                      This thread has been great in that everyone is "playing nice" and being respectful of other opinions. Pat yerselves on the back!

                      I consider this one of the topics that is like Windows or Mac, Catholic or Protestant, etc etc. You are on one side or the other and never the twain shall meet.

                      (And y'all know I come down on the side of chain up the kids and teach them chess and yoga. I'm also an iPod-toting, iMac-owning, fallen-away-Catholic to boot!)

                      S

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

                        WOW!! Talk about a popular thread (I knew this thread would generate some good discussion).

                        Anyway, this has been discussed before.. but some of the items mentioned in the replies seem obvious to me and others don't.

                        **I want to first state the "obvious". Every persons situation is different and that needs to be considered. None of us were created with a "cookie cutter". Someone with HCM and severe blockage/symptoms/etc should live much more cautiously with regard to athletics than someone with HCM and no symptoms/blockage/family history of sudden death.**

                        Now, having said that...

                        1. The coffee story is ridiculous. If someone buys hot coffee (even if the company knowingly sells their coffee "hotter" than other companies to make more $) and spills it on his/her crotch and then sues the company, they deserve nothing.. nada, zero, well.. actually, they deserve burned genitalia. That's the risk of buying hot coffee (maybe some people should stick with icetea?) I can't even fathom that we have allowed that type of case to make it in front of a lawyer, the lawyer should have laughed that woman out of his/her office. It's like the people that say "I'm fat and have high blood pressure because all I eat is crap and that is the fault of some restaurant" (maybe we should recommend that people with HCM not be allowed to buy high fat foods.. the increased weight can strain an already troubled heart.. No Ben and Jerry's? *I'll die before giving up Ben and Jerry's)
                        One serious observation: I hear alot about "sports and HCM" but I see very little mention of the risks associated with poor diet/fitness for people with HCM (I would bet that MORE HCM'rs die prematurely from poor diet/fitness than from sports)

                        2. ALL of life is about risk. We ALL are destined to die. To quote my favorite movie "All men die, not all men truly live"-Brave Heart.

                        If I see a handicapped athlete succeed in spite of the difficulties, I cheer him/her on.. if they lose, get hurt, etc.. I hurt with them but am proud of them for trying. When someone with one leg chooses to ski, the odds of getting injured are even greater than for someone that skis with two legs.. Does this make that one-legged skier an "idiot" or "reckless"? I don't know.. but I do know that most states don't allow skiers to sue if they are hurt while skiing (duh.. you are participating in a dangerous sport). Was Sonny Bono an "idiot" because he chose to play "ski football"? I don't know.. are Olympic downhill racers/ski jumpers/boxers/high divers/etc idiots (maybe the event should be olympic skiing on a bunny-slope without any flags to go around.. this would make the "skiing" portion much safer)? Clearly, all of these are dangerous activities. Maybe we could limit the Olympics to people that are perfectly healthy (many of the top athletes compete with injuries, they could and some probably do injure themselves even more because they choose to compete with these injuries) and we could only have events that are perfectly safe (hrmm.. putt-putt golf, single lap "walk/race", sitting contest). In reality, given the current terrorist threat, it's dangerous to even hold the Olympics.. maybe they should cancel them just to be safe. **Tongue very, very deep in cheek**

                        3. I guess it is all about personal accountability. Most people are in one of two camps... Camp 1: "I'm responsible for what happens to me" or Camp 2 "someone else is". I'm not happy to see someone smoke, drink, drive w/o a seatbelt, ride a motorcycle without a helmet.. but I know that they should be permitted that choice. In communist countries, that isn't the case. Here in America, for the most part, we still are free to make our own choices (good or bad). Yes, sometimes people do harm others and they should be punished (but certainly the maker of pools should not be sued if someone drowns.. unless there is blatant negligence, and the problem was not something that any person with common sense could see)

                        4. That's my 2 cents (more like 2 dollars) worth. My choice is to live life. To push the limits. To strive to be and do more than was thought possible. I'm not planning on being (too) reckless in the process, I do realize that there is increased risk and I strive to minimize that risk.

                        Of course, to quote another favorite movie, "It's a dangerous business...going out of your door. You step into the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to."-Lord Of The Rings.

                        When I do die, I would much rather that my family have to deal with the fact that "Darren may have lived longer had he not done..", than "Darren lived to be 80, he always talked about wanting to <insert desire here> but never got the chance because he was afraid of his HCM". Most great men/women in history took some serious risks, think about our founders, the first astronaut, the first man to climb everest...etc.

                        I want to live to see my children grow. I also want them to know that it's important to live (experience) life. If anything ever happens to me I want others to remember that. I don't want the focus to be "Darren could maybe have lived longer if..", I want people to remember "Darren lived life and loved every moment". (I'm not planning on going anywhere right away.. and my doctors seem to think I'm here to stay as well!)

                        Night all, I hope I haven't offended too many. I do value everyones opinion (especially those who disagree with mine **i.e. Lisa **. This site is truly an awesome resource!

                        -Darren

                        -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        (Yet more blabber and opinion)

                        Some possible suggestions for governing "freedom of choice":
                        (aka: your right to throw a punch stops at my nose)

                        a. They don't physically harm others by their choice

                        (no, I'm not going to debate the "mental trauma" of someone dying or the whole abortion.. "does it affect another person"? Is it a baby or a "choice"? Issue. Most that have seen an ultrasound know the answer).

                        If someone chooses to fly a stunt plane, that is fine.. if they do it over a populated area.. not fine. If someone drinks too much, fine (sad.. but fine).. if they drive after drinking.. not fine. If someone has 10 kids and likes to rock-climb, fine.. if they don't have plans for "what to do if" something happens to them.. not fine (actually, anyone that doesn't have guardians designated for their children should something happen to them is truly crazy given how unpredictable life is)

                        b.They are old enough to make that choice (kids should be required to wear helmets/seatbelts and smokers should not be permitted to smoke in a public place that doesn't have fresh air or a way for non-smokers to leave.. including their home if they have children)

                        c. They accept the fact that if/when they are injured or killed, the state isn't responsible for "fixing" them. If the state can afford it, then great. If not.. well, the individual will have alot of debt to repay.. if they cannot pay the debt.. then (and only then) should the taxpayers have to help.

                        d. The event they participate in is not suicidal or illegal (yes, this could be disputed "what is suicidal?")

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

                          BTW,

                          I'm also a Mac lover (but Linux/Mac and Windows user), Christian (that needs ALOT of grace), and likes Italy. Oh, and did I mention that my wife is the greated and my kids are the cutest kids in the world? I too plan on limiting what they can/cannot play for sports in school based on what the doctor(s) say.

                          (boy am I gabby tonight!)

                          -Darren

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

                            Darren... I agree 100%.

                            In my mind, this thread hasn't been about whether or not HCM'ers should compete... this thread has been about whether or not the government has the right to tell someone they can't compete, even if that individual is willing to accept the risks and responsibilities associated with that. I vehemently disagree with the Italian government's actions on this one.... but certainly respect the opinions of everyone who has posted here.

                            I just have to wonder where we are going to draw the line. Driving a car can certainly be dangerous for HCM'ers... God knows i've had my heart palpitate a time or two on the expressway. HCM'ers have suffered sudden deaths while driving... potentially risking a whole lot more lives than just their own... and certainly more than an Olympic swimmer would if he died in the pool. Should the government take all of our licenses away?

                            Anyway, just my thoughts.

                            Good post Darren.

                            "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

                              Darren you make some very strong points and I respect your opinion. I'm just staying out of this thread other then to correct one small thing : It was one of the Kennedy(Bobby??) boys who was playing ski football and I believe Sonny hit a tree. That's all, rock on!
                              Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
                              Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
                              Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
                              SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
                              [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
                              Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
                              Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
                              Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

                                I want to point out one thing about the McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit. Everyone villifies that woman for filing that suit but it turns out that McDonald's had lots and lots of complaints about their coffee being boiling hot and had burnt a lot of people.

                                The woman had not initially asked for much from McDonald's after the incident, I think just medical bills, but they were so mean about it, she sued. She didn't ask for the huge sum the jury awarded her either, they did that on their own based on the long history of McDonald's blowing off customer complaints.

                                I know this is off-topic a bit, but I this is one instance where most people don't know the back story.

                                I do agree, however, that suing McDonald's because they "made you fat" is the silliest thing in the whole world.

                                I do believe we are each responsible for ourselves and that the government should stay out of our personal affairs as much as possible. However, when it comes to something national like the Olympics or team-based like college sports, those institutions have the right to protect themselves and us from ourselves in certain cases. In my opinion.

                                S

                                Comment

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