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Paraplegic Swimming And Buoyancy..




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#1 angel888

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 01:50 PM

hi all. im ok now from those goosebumps..(from a different thread)..

I've been planning to go to the beach for the summer. The last time i went, I wore a life vest for floating. The problem is, i couldn't control my position since i can't move my legs. It's either i lay on my back or on my stomach.. I had to wear a snorkel just to breath if laying on my stomach.. This time, i want to be in a standing position.. How can I do it?..

#2 pistol_pete

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 03:00 PM

hi all. im ok now from those goosebumps..(from a different thread)..

I've been planning to go to the beach for the summer. The last time i went, I wore a life vest for floating. The problem is, i couldn't control my position since i can't move my legs. It's either i lay on my back or on my stomach.. I had to wear a snorkel just to breath if laying on my stomach.. This time, i want to be in a standing position.. How can I do it?..


Hmmm....maybe some weights on your feet and floatation up top. Beach is tricky
Last time I went swimming was at a public pool, I found it pretty hard to control my position due to spasms, but I found that if I grabbed the rails of the step ladder at the edge and pulled myself up my legs would spasm out straight and I would be effectively standing, albeit with very little weight on my feet, but just to be in that vertical postion again was awesome, though a little weird on the breathing.

I hope you have success angel.
Todays greatest labour saving device is tomorrow
My spine is all wrong but my backbone is strong.

#3 spot

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 04:07 PM

I agree with Pete. You can buy neoprene padded ankle weights in very low weights. You don't need much weight, as your body is close to neutral bouyancy. If you can get 1/2 kg weights (I don't know what weights are available in the kilogram scale, I always used pounds) at a dive or sport shop, that should work more than well enough. Do remember the floatation device on top or the weight may pull you down below the water level. Now I sound as though I am giving a lecture to a scuba class. Used to do that, back in my old life.

#4 Hapahowlee

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 10:07 PM

Anytime my hubby got into the water either pool or ocean, he'd get into an innertube. I can't remember where I got that darn thing.

Hubby took a pair of scissors to it a few years back because all through the 90s we have pictures of him using this PINK innertube. Problem was, I could not find another one the same size. Seems any innertube I'd find anywhere was too small as far as the inside diameter. The pictures always show a full grown adult inside with plenty of room, but these people must weigh about 100 lbs.

If I found one that was big enough inside, the outer diameter was too big for him to comfortably place his arms around to hold on if he went in the water with his feet dangling. It was fine if he sat in it with his butt in the hole.

I finally found this cool blow-up seat that I got really cheap and I bought a bunch of them in case something happened to one. I was afraid I'd never be able to find it again. They've actually been on the market for quite a few years now and I have about 10 in storage.

Hubby likes it, takes the pressure off his back and has a drink holder!!

Here's a picture of it. I think they sell on Amazon for about $15 or so. I got my first one for about $8, but found some at Walmart for $5.

If you want to be in a standing position, just put yourself in the open area between the seat and the back and either face forward or towards the back. The seat and the back each blow up separately.

Good luck and remember this is not a life-saving device so be careful.

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Edited by Hapahowlee, 23 April 2011 - 10:09 PM.


#5 pistol_pete

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 02:19 AM

I agree with Pete. You can buy neoprene padded ankle weights in very low weights. You don't need much weight, as your body is close to neutral bouyancy. If you can get 1/2 kg weights (I don't know what weights are available in the kilogram scale, I always used pounds) at a dive or sport shop, that should work more than well enough. Do remember the floatation device on top or the weight may pull you down below the water level. Now I sound as though I am giving a lecture to a scuba class. Used to do that, back in my old life.


Spot on there Spot.
I woke in the middle of the night realising how incredibly dangerous my advice of putting weights on your feet while in the ocean.
Just enough weight to negate your bodies natural peoclivity to float is enough. Don't go strapping great big Wylie Coyote killin'100 pounders on you.
Todays greatest labour saving device is tomorrow
My spine is all wrong but my backbone is strong.

#6 Tetracyclone

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 03:08 AM

inner tubes of many sizes can be had for nothing or cheap at a tire store.

#7 spot

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 05:43 PM

inner tubes of many sizes can be had for nothing or cheap at a tire store.

Inner tubes are great for floating, but greatly reduce the ability to see what is happening around you. Angel888 didn't say what her desires are beyond upright posture. Inner tubes for floating, ankle weights and floatation device for viewing toes or fish. :)

#8 kim wright

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 06:42 AM

I swim in an upright postion.
Like a sea horse.
I make sure the water is deep enough else your feet scrape the bottom.
My legs drop down and i just breast stroke with my arms .
I have done this many times in a pool but the sea may be different .
At first i used a thing called a woggle which is a long piece of foam which i just put under my arms until i got more confident .

#9 wheeliebear75

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 07:24 AM

Well a bay is different from a beach with currents & tides. Make sure you go with an AB buddy who is a STRONG SWIMMER & then go with whatever keeps you afloat without drinking any seawater. :icecream:
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#10 wheelzoffortune

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 03:18 AM

I swim in an upright postion.
Like a sea horse.
I make sure the water is deep enough else your feet scrape the bottom.
My legs drop down and i just breast stroke with my arms .


Same, except I only do butterfly. Using the butterfly stroke is the only way I can swim without sinking too much. If I want to do other strokes, I have to use a aqua jogging belt or some other sort of PFD.
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#11 goose

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 03:58 AM

try wearing beach shoes or sneakers. they'll protect your feet and help weigh you down. if they aren't enough add some weights. i was told to always wear some kind of shoes. good luck and enjoy the sunshine.

#12 benok

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 02:14 PM

Hi everyone, sorry for this question. How do I transfer from the pool when I am wheelchair bound. I can manage with a walker. Lastly, how do I alight from the pool and then back to the wheelchair. Any advise will be much appreciated. Thanks
http://ronaldlora.blogspot.com/

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#13 dangerousdave

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 02:19 PM

When on the beech in open water, do as you discover
But remember the current drift
Where you come out - will not necesarily be where you went in
Yep, that gave me a reality check in 1974

#14 Hapahowlee

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 11:43 PM

When my husband and I had our home built in Arizona in early 2002, we opted to also have the pool put in at the same time.

We came up with a design where my husband could transfer from his wheelchair to a series of steps and then down into the jacuzzi that is connected to the rest of the pool and I'd help him get into the pool from the spa.

Each step went down about 6 inches. Problem was, it's f***in' hot in Arizona. It can get up to 120 degrees. We have what's called Cool Deck placed on top of the concrete, but that only gives you a few seconds more to stay on the deck than if it was just plain concrete.

So, we bit the bullet and got a portable pool lift. We didn't want to drill into our decking b/c it would void our warranty. The lift we bought several years ago, cost about $5000+. The price might have gone down. It's been so worth it though.

Are you looking to be totally independent? Do you need or have someone who will be with you? I'd never let my hubby go into the pool himself, so it was fine to get the portable lift, which weighs a ton. But, either the stationary or portable lifts are made to be used for someone who wants independence as long as it's in a good place and you truly are confident with being alone.

You can lower the boom w/seat to whatever height you need to transfer back into your wheelchair. PM me if you have any questions.

#15 wheeliebear75

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 01:58 AM

Do you have GOOD upper body strength? Like can you do a floor to chair transfer? If you can do a floor to chair transfer unassisted then you may be able to get in & out of the pool how I do.

1st off although I'm doing the "muscle" I've still got B/F or Mom or a friend go with in case.

To get IN: I pull up to the VERY EDGE so that the casters are just at the lip/edge of the pool. Get to the VERY EDGE of my seat &.....PUSH OFF! (be careful that your feet are on the edge of the pool or footplate so you DO NOT get hung up OR scrape your feet)

To get OUT: (I find the corner of the DEEP END easiest) I grab the edges of the corner and bob up & down & then pull my body up on the side much like a walrus pulling up for a rest on an iceberg. Once I've gotten the hips & up on land I can army crawl the rest of the way up & then it's like any other floor to chair transfer.



Pretty much I do it about the same as THIS GUY.
*Enjoy every sunset, but be grateful for every dawn.*
*Wheelchairs are made of a special ocular magnetic alloy......they're "eyeball magnets".*
*I USE a wheelchair, that does NOT make ME a wheelchair!*

#16 benok

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 05:47 AM

Do you have GOOD upper body strength? Like can you do a floor to chair transfer? If you can do a floor to chair transfer unassisted then you may be able to get in & out of the pool how I do.

1st off although I'm doing the "muscle" I've still got B/F or Mom or a friend go with in case.

To get IN: I pull up to the VERY EDGE so that the casters are just at the lip/edge of the pool. Get to the VERY EDGE of my seat &.....PUSH OFF! (be careful that your feet are on the edge of the pool or footplate so you DO NOT get hung up OR scrape your feet)

To get OUT: (I find the corner of the DEEP END easiest) I grab the edges of the corner and bob up & down & then pull my body up on the side much like a walrus pulling up for a rest on an iceberg. Once I've gotten the hips & up on land I can army crawl the rest of the way up & then it's like any other floor to chair transfer.



Pretty much I do it about the same as THIS GUY.


Hi wheeliebear, thanks for the video, very helpful ,do you wear a knee cap too?
http://ronaldlora.blogspot.com/

If you cannot face your problem,
the problem is your face.

#17 wheeliebear75

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 06:18 AM

No I don't wear anything & yes I have gotten the chins & feet scraped a bit here & there, so it's not a bad idea.
*Enjoy every sunset, but be grateful for every dawn.*
*Wheelchairs are made of a special ocular magnetic alloy......they're "eyeball magnets".*
*I USE a wheelchair, that does NOT make ME a wheelchair!*

#18 wheelzoffortune

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 10:15 PM

I finally got around to uploading a video of me doing some swimming when I was in Florida. It is at a pool, but maybe you'll glean something from it.




Also, here is a video of me moving around the pool in a different way:




...and transferring from a hot tub to my chair. I didn't do such a great job, actually. It could have been better:


Edited by wheelzoffortune, 30 May 2011 - 10:16 PM.

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