• Posted by john styles on April 27, 2022 at 9:30 am

    I suspect that more people who drown are just starting out with our disease, weather they are aware they have the disease or not.  In 2017 I was newer to the disease and did not understand the slow nature of the progression PF.  Consequently while snorkeling in the Caribbean I almost drown in area that should not have bothered me, lucky for me my wife was there to talk me in.  While talking to another member who has this disease he told me early in the process of PF  he was swimming in a regular area he normally swims and would have drowned if not for people in a boat that noticed he was in trouble. Its the slow nature of the progression of this disease that’s newer people need to be aware of if swimming.

    Diane replied 5 months, 3 weeks ago 6 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • Pat Jorgenson

    April 28, 2022 at 10:15 am

    Thank you for your message.  I have been wanting to go on a beach holiday. I did not realize that my PF might get me in trouble in the water. Maybe I’ll rethink my plans.

  • Sylvio tabet

    April 28, 2022 at 2:25 pm

    I am not getting it ? what can happens when swimming

    I was diagnosis with the disease 2.5 years ago I swim around 3 times the week 20/30 m underwater with a snorkel .. what should I be aware of ?

    I am not recommended to swim in high altitude , even if swimming with the snorkel I do not feel short of breath , because the low oxygen is the same underwater


    • Gina Myhill-Jones

      April 18, 2023 at 7:34 pm

      Hi! Old scuba diver here ! It takes a full relaxed breath to clear CO2 from the snorkel and replace it with a draw of clean fresh air. Panting when you’re short of breath can mean that not ALL the CO2 is expelled, so levels can build up. The same thing happens with a scuba regulator and hoses. Snorkelling is fun… I limit myself to calm waters and always have a flotation device for rests if I get to be S.o.b.

  • john styles

    April 28, 2022 at 3:58 pm

    Sorry you missed the heads up.  There are a lot of different forms of Pulmonary Fibrosis and most if not all forms gradually decrease the lung volume, in 2017 I was swimming and then could not get enough oxygen while snorkeling in area I normally snorkel and had snorkeled the previous 10 years and very near drown. Talking to another member who had the disease and he commented he almost drown doing a regular swim.  So if you have our disease you should be aware that you could be in trouble if your lungs are compromised, sometimes the deterioration is slow but at different times. I truly believe a lot of drownings can be attributed to this disease.

    • Christie Patient

      April 28, 2022 at 6:29 pm

      Thanks for clarifying John, this second message is more clear and is a good warning to PF patients to use caution when swimming.  We sometimes think we know our limits, but find out that we’ve gone past them only when it’s too late. It’s good to examine our risks with things like snorkeling with PF and plan accordingly.

      Some risk management strategies to continue to enjoy watersports could be:

      • Go with a buddy, and practice having them swim with you in tow/help you leave the water
      • Only swim where there are lifeguards present
      • Use a PFD, or tow a flotation device as you swim that you can use to rest
      • Practice techniques to remain calm if you feel short of breath in the water
  • Gina Myhill-Jones

    April 14, 2023 at 1:43 pm

    IPF can mess up any activity. BUT you can “McGyver” ways to mitigate or remove risk. I will be snorkelling the Belize Barrier Reef next week !  I will have my portable concentrator on board the boat, with a 50 ft hose so I can swim up and sip O2 as needed.  I’m going in a light roofing/climbing harness with a tow line, and a line with handles for getting a little assist getting back on board.  I am self limiting to the surface ( shallow at the best it’s) and I’ll have an easy inflate PFD designed for surface tests from or back floating.  Now, to get those sharks to behave !

  • Diane

    December 6, 2023 at 5:22 am

    Looks like this is an old question but one I never found an answer to. Last summer the apartment complex I live in has a 4ft pool, thankfully, because when I tried to swim across it I sank like a rock! I have not been in a pool in years but have always been a great swimmer. Was that my lungs or weight gain?

Log in to reply.