Monday, January 19, 2009

Grounded. Dammit!

Once again the Libertarian in me is screaming for the government to get the hell out of my life. But, my wails fall on deaf ears. Here's the situation: Almost a year ago, I was awakened by a pain in my back. The pain was getting stronger and stronger and I recognized it as being caused by a kidney stone. I had one about 9 years earlier and it is hard to forget that intense pain.

I got out of bed, drank a bottle of water and hoped that it would pass. When it became apparent that the pain was getting worse, I asked my wife to drive me to the hospital. (I'm not married any longer, but it has nothing to do with a kidney stone). The first time I had a kidney stone, I drove myself to the hospital after experiencing pain for 4 days.

The E.R. doctor gave me some saline and a flomax injection. Flomax is usually for urinary trouble resulting from an enlarged prostate, however, it also helps people pass kidney stones. I was x-rayed and they confirmed that I had a stone and that it had already moved down the ureter. I asked the doctor for some coffee and orange juice because I still didn't seem to have an ability to urinate. Finally, the beverages had the expected effect. I passed the stone - it sounded like a b-b hitting the urinal, but it was actually very small.

I left the hospital, went to the airport and caught a flight to Boston - I had missed my earlier flight.

The point of all this detail is that although kidney stones can cause debilitating pain, in every situation, I have managed to deal with it and I am certain that if I had one in flight, I would have no trouble landing the plane.

The FAA doesn't see it that way. Apparently, I was supposed to tell them as soon as I had the stone. I didn't realize that. When I went for my bi-annual medical review, the doctor told me that I would have to obtain the records from my hospital event, visit a urologist and then send the results of this to the FAA. According to the doctor, I should be able to fly by March.

I haven't gone a month without flying since I took my first lesson. I was told that I could go up with an instructor, so that would be ok, but more expensive. Oh well. I just have to jump through the bureaucratic hoops if I want to fly.

1 comment:

  1. I had to deal with similar issues after being diagnosed with type II diabetes. Grounded shortly after earning my ticket. I had to jump through hoops with the FAA. My medical is only good for 12 months at a time now, have to have constant blood work (even though my blood sugar levels remain well within tolerances). I sometimes wonder if it is worth the hassle...then I go flying again and forget about all the hassles.