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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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  • #46
    Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

    Darren, I don't think you would offend anyone. We are all aware of your stance on this and that's your opinion and that's fine, just as I know you allow others their opinion.
    Sarah was right, this subject always spawns a lot of opinions and I think this thread was great and everyones opinions were great to read.
    Isn't it great to live in free nations like we do so we can do exactly that.
    Jim, don't give anyone any ideas about HCMers driving, as free as we are, you know there's someone around that would take that to task.
    Every great thing that has ever happened since the beginning of time has started as a single thought in someones mind.
    So if you are capable of thought then you are capable of great things
    Good luck and stay well.
    Glen

    Comment


    • #47
      Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

      I have to agree with Jim and Celtic here.

      This is not a health issue. This is an issue about civil liberties. Once the government starts to legislate paternalistically, where does it stop?

      If you say that the government can regulate all HCM patients, and tell them what activities they can engage in, where does it draw the line? If one person experiences sudden death while driving a car, then can they take away all of our licenses? If another drowns while swimming can they say we all must stay out of the water? Soon we will all be captive prisoners in our own homes.

      This organization is dedicated to helping HCM patients maximize themselves. If we support this type of system, we are supporting the creation of arbitrary guidelines which will prevent ALL HCM patients from being able to do the proposed activity. Is that fair?

      It's a slippery slope folks.

      Although I wouldn't want my son to play basketball, for example, with or without HCM, if he had an ICD, and was aware of the risks, and had done all he could to protect himself, then I would reluctantly have to let him play.

      Look at the way the post 9-11 security stops worked as an example. Suddenly, all Muslims and Middle Easterners, terrorist or not, were being harrassed, stopped, etc. because of a few bad apples in the bunch. Is that fair? Deport them all because there were a few who were evil?

      This is the same principle in a different context. Think about it.
      Daughter of Father with HCM
      Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
      Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
      ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
      Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.

      Comment


      • #48
        Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

        Celtic, I do have one question. I respect your opinions, although you know that I don't agree with you. But my question is this: Does truly living have to include pushing yourself all the time? In my life and my world the answer is no. I can live with myself if I don't go out running, lift weights, play hockey, or any other interest you want to insert here. I still have a good time and don't feel like I'm missing out on life. Sitting home on Saturday night playing Euchre is a good time for me. Do you feel that you have to push yourself in order to be fulfilled? I'm trying to understand where you're coming from, not trying to tear you down.

        Reenie
        Reenie

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

        Comment


        • #49
          Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

          I was thinking about this a little more when I was getting dressed....

          What do we do with people who have tested positive for the HCM gene but who have not yet shown any signs of HCM. Would we forbid them from certain activities too? What about someone who has a HCM parent, but in whom the gene for HCM has not been isolated, and they have no symptoms. Are they included in the class which is forbidden from driving and swimming?

          I am sorry. My lawyer mind is running away with me, but these are all different sides of the same issue.
          Daughter of Father with HCM
          Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
          Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
          ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
          Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.

          Comment


          • #50
            Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

            Cyn, in my opinion, the answer to both is no, don't restrict things yet. Don't start restrictions until the person shows HCM. I'm not talking about driving here. I'm talking competitive sports. My kids have a parent whose septum is 3.8cm. That's nothing to sneeze at. But each year they have an echo and each year I allow sports after reports come back saying all is A-OK. Just my thoughts.

            Reenie
            Reenie

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

            Comment


            • #51
              Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

              Reenie - That's my point exactly. If the government starts forbidding any activities at all for people with HCM, they can extend these restrictions to anyone who has a hypothetical risk factor. That is not fair.

              You have decided what is ok and not ok for your kids. That is fair. A parent has the right to say what their children can and cannot do. That is what the role of a parent is.

              In contrast, the role of government is to keep society in a working order without restraining civil liberties. That is what America is all about. That is why we ceded from Great Britain and started a new country. That's why we have a constitution and separation of powers.
              Daughter of Father with HCM
              Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
              Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
              ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
              Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.

              Comment


              • #52
                Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

                Well Golly,
                Darren you know we have disagreed in the past about you pushing yourself to the limits with HCM, but if you’ll look back you will find I always said that in my opinion you shouldn’t – but I never said you couldn’t. There’s a world of difference there.

                It reminds me of the story about Hitler’s rise to power.
                First he attacked the mentally deficient, but that didn’t affect me, so I did not stand up for them.
                Then he attacked the physically deficient, but that didn’t affect me, so I didn’t stand up for them.
                Then he attacked the Gypsies, but that didn’t affect me, so I didn’t stand up for them.
                Then he attacked my group, and when I looked around for help, there was nobody to stand up for me.

                If we do not fight to protect everybody’s rights, all the time, we soon will have none of our own. There will always be some logical sounding reason to take our freedoms from us, but they are fallacious attempts to gain power over us – nothing more – nothing less.
                Burt

                Comment


                • #53
                  Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

                  Reenie,

                  Living is not about "pushing" oneself. I like to push myself in many areas of life. I also enjoy a relaxing afternoon by the pool (or in a hammock), or with a book on the couch. For me the issue is not that I HAVE to push myself. At times, I do WANT to push my limits.. as I said, few people have made history w/o pushing the limits. Is it ok that many people don't want to push themselves or strive to excel past the status-quo? Sure. Is it ok that some do? Sure.

                  -Darren

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

                    Darren and Reenie,

                    I think we also need to bear in mind that everyone's limits are different. Darren is at a place right now where his HCM symptoms are very mild, and his risk of sudden death is considered to be low. The limits he pushes physically may be much higher than those the rest of us have had to accept. Before my myectomy, i had a huge gradient, disabling symptoms, and much worse CHF issues than i have right now. Just doing my own grocery shopping some days was considered pushing my limits, and hurt me every bit as much as Darren might hurt competing in a triathlon. Now that i'm post-myectomy, i'm able to start setting that bar a lot higher now... and i'm loving every minute of it.

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

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

                      Remember Darren’s long post. Just wanted to say I agree with every word. Couldn’t have written it better myself.
                      Just wanted to add a few points that may have been floating around Darren’s sub conscience.
                      • This swimmer’s family has every right and a moral obligation to try to talk him out of competing. So does his friends, his coach, and his teammates. But if he wants to compete anyway, there should not be any individual, committee, group, and especially any government, putting forth any rule, edict, decree, or law to stop him.
                      • What if the worst case scenario did happen? He drops dead in the pool during the finals. What is the end result? Grief for those who knew him and the rest of us feel bad because we witnessed it. Is “feel bad” a good enough reason to deprive a person of their liberty?
                      Liberty is the most precious concept we have. None of us are getting off of this planet alive. Don’t sacrifice freedom for perceived and temporary security.
                      • Let’s say that you have the most popular spectator sport in North America. Many people are earning their living participating and supporting this sport. It is great for the economy because it is a powerful tool for advertising.
                      But this sport requires 40 cars to travel almost 200MPH in a very tight space. There is no way to completely separate the possibility of sudden death from NASCAR. I would venture to say that the odds are greater for a NASCAR driver to die (witnessed by millions who will feel bad) then it is for an Olympic swimmer with HCM.
                      Most people who know a little about NASCAR would acknowledge that the greatest driver of the modern era was Dale Earnhardt (personally, I’m a Jeff Gordon fan). He died on one of the safest tracks during the sports premier event. What are the odds?
                      (BTW, I’m a Jewish boy from Brooklyn who is a Jeff Gordon fan. This means that I am NOT a redneck!).
                      Now the Italians have their own motor sports, but they choose to make rules that prevent this athlete from competing?


                      BTW Darren, I think that you should stop entering triathlons. But you make up your own mind.
                      Fx

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

                        Originally posted by Virginia
                        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.
                        You'd have every right to compete in the olympics for your country, arthritis or not. In fact... you'd be a hero! The very fact that you had overcome such incredible odds, and trained hard for the event, and were able to qualify for the olympics (as the Italian has)... then i should think that your team and your country would be all the more proud for it. Medal or not... you'd be a hero. So why is it that when the swimmer wants to compete and represent his country, he's being called an idiot, a fool, and selfish? All words from your own posts folks... and a bit unfair i might add.

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

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

                          Jim and Darren,

                          I am starting to see where you are coming from. While I strongly disagree with doing it yes it is your right. I mean look at Lance Armstrong he is my hero. I'm sure many told him not to do it but he did and he accomplished it.

                          I have been known to really push my limits too. Although, its not in sports in other loves. My local cardiologist told me I'd never make it through EMT school. Well, I did and I had my AICD implanted during that time. It has its risks too. We were talking about those risks the other night Jim. My emotions as of late have been running high.

                          The responsible attitude has made me look at it in a different light. I guess I don't see sports as being important enough (in my opinion). Just be as safe as you can. I know if something cardiac happens to me I'm in the best place possible.

                          Mary S.

                          Mary S.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

                            Celtic, thanks for clearing that up. I really did want to know.

                            Jim, I'm not angry with Darren. I'm cool, it's his decision what he does with his life. I know all are different. I live with a guy who by all reports ought to be half dead, but he acts as if there is nothing wrong. He still has few symptoms with a septum of 3.8 cm. I watched him run from a dead stop across the yard after his 4 year old niece yesterday. I hate the stop and start running, but don't hound him. He makes his own decisions. I just wish he would slow down sometimes. I don't know if any of this makes sense, but my point of view is from the one who would be left behind if something tragic happened. Would that burst of running afer a squealiing kid have been worth the cost?

                            Reenie
                            Reenie

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

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

                              Originally posted by Reenie
                              I watched him run from a dead stop across the yard after his 4 year old niece yesterday. I hate the stop and start running, but don't hound him. He makes his own decisions. Reenie
                              Exactly! You don’t like it, are fearful of the consequences, yet you don’t hound him about it, and you let him make his own decisions.

                              How would you feel if the state took away his drivers license? How about if they put a monitor around his ankle and if he ran he would be thrown in jail? What if he had to stay indoors all the time? I mean it’s for his own good isn’t it? - - is it really?

                              Here you have a trained athlete that probably trained daily for years. He has won enough races to win a place on the Olympic team, and has medals to show for his prowess in the water. He knows his condition and knows what can happen. He is ready to again compete in the Olympics – but strangers say – No, we won’t let you, we know what’s best for you. If you like swimming so much become a coach, but stay out of the pool.

                              G-d, Shield me from people who want to protect me out of my life. When you think about it, it is not much different then the bloody inquisition. We will protect your soul for you. We know what’s best for you. It doesn’t matter if we kill you in the process.
                              Burt

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Re: OLYMPIC BREASTROKE athlete has HCM

                                I think it would be foolish to risk your life merely to compete in a GAME. Then again life is a game, as I said before.

                                I watched my best fried of twenty eight years run for her life trying to save it while melonoma cancer took it in less than 49 weeks, at age 48.

                                If the Olympic swimmer has no concern for his life then go for it. It just makes those of us trying to save our life look foolish.

                                Needless to say it shows in one respect having HCM life can go on. In the other it diminishes the risk of HCM and the research into it.

                                Ultimately he is not only representing his country he is also representing those of us with HCM. Now the question is do we want that kind of representation?

                                Let's say he does have a sudden death event, God Forbid, will that put the spotlight on our choices that we take for granted with intelligent decisions? Gee she/he has HCM they could have a sudden death event, look at that swimmer he just collapsed. Do we want these people driving?

                                I have driven twice in the past seven weeks due to being lightheaded and in A-Fib. I will not risk my life or anyone elses for that matter. I guess I am the fool here.

                                I agree he should compete because he trained so hard for it. Then I disagree because he should value his own self worth and how precious his life is.

                                You have to think of others and not your own self. What will be the repercussions if he does swim and have a sudden death event? The point is, it is not just about him and his own desires, it is about all involved.

                                Comment

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