swim or sink?

Taking the plunge, decided to try swimming to help lose some weight. Got into the water and stood feeling wrong, how did I swim in the olden days, pre MS? Can’t float, swim, bring legs up inro horizontal position, just curl up in a foetal position. Should I get lessons to learn what I enjoyed doing as an able person? Any advice or other experiences please.

Hi, I used to love going swimming. I managed to go on my own for a while, but then needed help to get changed and dressed. Then I used to try to walk in the water to move my legs. I could swim whereas I couldnt walk.

After a few months, I found moving my legs so difficult and began using carers for everything.

The last few times I went where not enjoyable anymore. i would turn over on to my side…like a dead fish!!! I kept slipping under the water and swallowing gallons.

So that`s another thing this ??? has taken from me.

Is there anyone who can go with you, to keep trying those legs? I hope you can re-gain some ability.


when its not school holidays i go with a friend once a week to a women only session.i use to use the disabled steps but now I have to use the hoist to get in and out of the pool. a bit enbarrising but when needs must. my swimming has gone down hill fast, when i do breast stroke my left leg just hangs there. i cant do backstroke unless my friend is ready to turn me over at the other end as i just cannot turn myself anymore. I do sometimes get upset about how the MS has affected my abillity to swim especially as this is the only form of exercise i can do but once i’ve had a little cry i just pick myself up and carry on going. It does make me wonder though how long i’ve got left before i cant do any swimming at all Lisa x

I went swimming on Saturday for the first time since my last relapse which put me in hospital. What a shock, I have been able to swim since I was 9 and suddenly I realised how important your legs are, particularly when you are out of your depth!. Most people agree though if your can get in and out safely it is great exercise if you have MS, you can be upright longer and you use he muscles that could have become idle. Take care, Peter.

Firstly I would like to thank those brave enough to share your experiences with me, much appreciated especially as I realised I was not alone with the swimming inability. My local pool and public gym are recently rebuilt and are very user friendly, I can get into the water down a ramp and there is even a waterproof wheelchair if required. My friend has offered to come with me, she says this will encourage her to exercise too! I have a number to call for a lady who will help with lessons which I think I will take after the school holidays, don’t want to run the risk of bumping into ex-pupils having been a teacher at the local secondary school for 17 years so I seem to know many people! I will try to swim again or at least waft arms around in water. By the way I have been a colleague of MS for about 30 years so should not be surprised that it still throws a curve ball every now and then. I just didn’t know that this was to be expected so thank you again for sharing. Will let you know how it goes.

Thank all of you who have been kind enough to share experiences in the water, very helpful and has made me want to try again especially as the local pool and gym are new and user friendly. My friend wants to come with me as she says it will make her exercise too. There is a ramp to get into the water and a wheelchair (waterproof) if needed. A local swimming instructor for disabled will give lessons which I think I will do, after the school holidays though as I don’t want to run the risk of bumping into ex-pupils. MS and I have known each other about 30 years so I should know that it can throw up curve balls evey now and then. Just wasn’t prepared for this one so thank you again for your comments. This is my first attempt at the forum and it has been a very nice chat. Will let you know how it goes. Linda x