I have been involved in skydiving for about 3 years now. I've done 121 solo jumps and 3 tandems. Unfortunately, I have had 2 grand mal seizures now (both since I started jumping). I had pretty much written off the 1st grand mal to "bad luck" but now that I've had my 2nd in 2 1/2 years I believe that it is likely to occur again in the future.

I am curious if anyone else with Epilepsy is also a skydiver and how it has concerned him or her?


Re: Skydiving

To be honest my risk of injury from sz'ing is heavy enough. I was involved in some activities that put me at risk for injury but after being injured sz'ing, those activities didn't look so appealing to me any longer.

One thought I have had for you. The altitude or atmosphernic pressure changes from a low to a high jump, tandem or solo, are experienced very rapidly. There is a good research paper that was published several years ago that said a move to a higher altitude resulting in atmospheric changes can produce seizures in a person who is predilected to sz'ing, which obviously you are. We moved up in altitude and I started sz'ing the second day, never stopped. This phenomena may or may not effect you but I have sky jumped and the pressure in my ears alone told me I didn't want that kind of pressure in my brain or cranium, central nervous sysem either particularly if you consider that liquids can turn to gas at certain altitudes depending upon the liquid and altitude. This is a simple chemical known. An example is that once I didn't know I had an infected tooth until we flew up in altitude to go skiing years ago. The increased pressure turned the pus inmy tooth to gas and I had a whale of a toothache very suddenly, from the change in atmosphernic pressure I was told. I was also told this is not unusual.


Re: Re: Skydiving

Interestingly enough, the 1st grand mal I experienced was the day after a long day of jumping. I was physically exhausted plus my girlfriend and I shared a bottle of wine that evening. I am not much of a drinker, never have been, so splitting an entire bottle is alot for me. The thing that seems odd to me about the altitude is how I have been able to jump so many times in the past without the slightest incident. How I have flown my entire life (we lived overseas and flew all the time as a child). How I was on a week-long vacation in the mountains of North Carolina only 1 1/2 weeks before my most recent grand mal.

I was injured skydiving about a year and a half ago because I got fixated on something on the ground during a landing approach. I have wondered in the back of mind ever since if I had possibly "blacked out" for a few seconds during that landing as I had never made such a critical mistake before. I guess I'll never know.

Re: Skydiving

Why would anyone jump out of a perfeclty good airplane? :)

Re: Re: Skydiving

Ramblinman? Go away - lol.

Keep in mind airplanes/jets are pressurized. There is a slight depression of atmospheric pressure on take off and landing in a pressurized vessel, but not enough to warn those at risk. However driving a vehicle is not pressurized and if you are like me, and I live in the mountains so I go up and down a lot, my ears pop constantly. Once we decided to go over a pass we heard was beautiful. It was a little over 14,000 feet. I had had a concussion about a month before but was given a clean bill of health at that time. I kept falling asleep as we got closer to the summit, at least that's what I thought but my cognition was splat between my "naps" too. My husband was unaware of this until we got close to the top and I started talking about people from my high school days as if it were current. By the time we got to the top I managed to maintain enough consciousness to look over the vista and it was all in pastels. What I thought I saw isn't possible. It looked like a scene from Bambi, seriously. My husband knew by the time we were approaching the summit I was in trouble, decided to make a run to get over the pass and down again but wound up having the Rangers copter me down instead. I was hospitalized for 2 days - with pastel Bambi's flitting around. I currently live on the Continental Divide, quite high so I thought I'd be safe.

Your fixation many of us call mesmerized. That's not necessarily a medical term, one adopted on a thread. Where you start looking at something and can't stop? I do this often. Usually for me it's a certain color or specific movement, but I'm sure it can just happen in an aura too just because you're having an aura or simple.

I think you are saying you feel sky jumping is not safe for you. You may need personal justification to stop this hobby. I find that too is not unusual. Most of us need confirmation in our lives involving some activity we either should not or can not participate in again. I will say if you continue, do not do tandem jumps. That is not fair to the other. But I am not lecturing you. For the first 3 years or so after I was diagnosed I probably did the most dangerous things I've ever done in my life. Crazy things I'd never done before and probably wouldn't have done then but I was angry and I wanted to "show" people. It was really showing myself, and I lost. Now I'm more practical. I still struggle tho. I do have one activity I still participate in that is potentially dangerous - I am hired to train out problematic behaviors in dogs,some of which out weigh me, many of which are aggressive. I just finished up my last client and I am seriously thinking about the danger of this to me. Twice I've been to the emergency room from dog bites just in the last few months. I have to ask myself why I do this because really, I don't charge, I donate my time - and my arm and rear end that got bitten.