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The Doctor is in! Ask a Flight Surgeon!

RUFiO181

Making Recruiting Great Again
Hi, first time post from a longtime lurker. I have a question about bringing new medical information to OCS.

Here's my situation: I went through MEPS in December, was deemed PQ, then prorec-y'd for SWO in March. In February however I noticed a bump on my heel and had it checked out by a podiatrist. He diagnosed it as an asymptomatic haglund's deformity, which is basically a build up of bone on the ankle (runners and hockey players tend to get them). I'm nervous I am going to show up in Newport only to be immediately NPQ'd for a problem that came up post-MEPS. I sent the relevant medical information to my recruiter, who seemed to think it wouldn't be a problem, though I don't think he passed the information on to anyone else. I will have to note the change in my records before commissioning, and that will definitely get some attention at OCS. Does anyone have experience with this type of issue?
I would have your recruiter insist on sending up the medical information. Otherwise it might go back on him for not disclosing information.

As the saying goes “don’t be the senior guy with a secret”. As for the condition itself, I would check the MANMED (you can google it) chapter 15 and find out yourself.
 
This is gonna be a little long-- sorry in advance!
I'm a firstie at USNA and will be commissioning almost exactly one month from now. I was elated to service select NFO and be one step closer to being a WSO. However, no one ever told me that it was career suicide to use the word migraine (which I used to think was synonymous with headache) or go see the doc for headache meds until it was too late.. I was told after service selection that I needed to get a waiver. I went to see a neurologist O-6 and he gave me a glowing AHLTA note (I do not have migraines and the problem has been resolved by not staying up for 24 hrs at a time), but NAMI still denied the waiver. However, they denied me due to having "migraine (G43) with presence of aura", which is completely incorrect. All of these headaches (five total over four years) were very mild, were treatable with OTC meds, and were due to major sleep deprivation/all-nighters. Not to mention that this past summer I successfully soloed (validated IFS) and worked with a USAF weather recon squadron flying 12-hr missions inside Hurricane Irma with no headaches whatsoever. My neuro guy was confident that the waiver would get approved and is now helping me fight it (he is actually friends with the NAMI neurologist, so that's good I guess). I want to believe that I have a fighting chance, but I know headaches are bad juju and the pipeline is already so backed up due to the recent T-6 issues at P-cola. Regardless, this is my dream job and I'm going to fight for it until every door gets slammed in my face. You guys have way more experience than me, so I'd appreciate any advice you can give me!
 

xcinman

Hopeful Future OCS Applicant
So I have recently run into a bit of a roadblock, my selection officer believes I still have a chance though. After sending stuff to MEPS to get cleared for processing, they have medically disqualified before I even went. They are quoting “osteoporosis”, but I have had no such diagnosis in my life. I have had a stress fracture 4 years ago and a stress reaction 3 years ago, but have been cleared for physical activity. We aren’t sure where they have gotten this from. They knew about the two past injuries, but my recruiter also believes we can appeal it and get cleared still. Realistically is there a chance of this happening? He doesn’t want me to lose hope, but I’m a bit worried to say the least. This is the last step before I go before a board for selection.
 

RUFiO181

Making Recruiting Great Again
So I have recently run into a bit of a roadblock, my selection officer believes I still have a chance though. After sending stuff to MEPS to get cleared for processing, they have medically disqualified before I even went. They are quoting “osteoporosis”, but I have had no such diagnosis in my life. I have had a stress fracture 4 years ago and a stress reaction 3 years ago, but have been cleared for physical activity. We aren’t sure where they have gotten this from. They knew about the two past injuries, but my recruiter also believes we can appeal it and get cleared still. Realistically is there a chance of this happening? He doesn’t want me to lose hope, but I’m a bit worried to say the least. This is the last step before I go before a board for selection.
Don't know how the Marines operate, but they should be able to submit your medical and MEPS documents up for a courtesy review to determine if a waiver can be granted. If they give the YES, they should be able to get you a MEPS physical. If not, then unfortunately it's very likely the end of the line.
 

xcinman

Hopeful Future OCS Applicant
Thank you, I hope that the review will come up with good results. If not, well, it’s been an interesting experience thus far.
 
I got LASIK in July of 2015. Ever since, I have had starbursts at night, the severity dependent on how late in the night it is, dehydration, and dryness of my eyes. Car headlights and street lamps are an issue in particular, and I don't drive at night if I can avoid it. That's not to say I can't drive safely at night, just that I prefer not to. I knew this could potentially be an issue flying, and I have made no attempts at hiding it. I'm in Primary right now, and a few flights away from my instrument checkride. I brought up my concerns with my onwing in September of last year, as well as the flight doc. Both essentially said not to worry about it until I actually had a night flight, and then to reevaluate about whether or not flying at night for me is unsafe. I have now had 3 night flights (1 instrument, 1 night contact, 1 night nav). I am completely unable to see blue taxiway lights from the air, until on final at about 50' AGL. I can see the taxiway lights on the ground with no issue. I also have trouble seeing dim white lights in heavily lit areas (think KCRP, where the airport is in a city). It seems that the saturation of so many brighter lights in the vicinity makes it much more difficult more me to pick out the dimmer runway lights. Airports in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by darkness I can see just fine. I have no trouble picking out the red obstruction lights. My main concern is identifying airfields in heavily lit areas, as well as identifying the correct runway when I cant see taxiway lights from the air. So far none of my night flights have been anywhere near unsafe, but I believe a large part of that is my familiarity with the local area. I have serious concerns about what will happen when I fly to an unfamiliar airport at night.
 

UInavy

Registered User
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
I got LASIK in July of 2015. Ever since, I have had starbursts at night, the severity dependent on how late in the night it is, dehydration, and dryness of my eyes. Car headlights and street lamps are an issue in particular, and I don't drive at night if I can avoid it. That's not to say I can't drive safely at night, just that I prefer not to. I knew this could potentially be an issue flying, and I have made no attempts at hiding it. I'm in Primary right now, and a few flights away from my instrument checkride. I brought up my concerns with my onwing in September of last year, as well as the flight doc. Both essentially said not to worry about it until I actually had a night flight, and then to reevaluate about whether or not flying at night for me is unsafe. I have now had 3 night flights (1 instrument, 1 night contact, 1 night nav). I am completely unable to see blue taxiway lights from the air, until on final at about 50' AGL. I can see the taxiway lights on the ground with no issue. I also have trouble seeing dim white lights in heavily lit areas (think KCRP, where the airport is in a city). It seems that the saturation of so many brighter lights in the vicinity makes it much more difficult more me to pick out the dimmer runway lights. Airports in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by darkness I can see just fine. I have no trouble picking out the red obstruction lights. My main concern is identifying airfields in heavily lit areas, as well as identifying the correct runway when I cant see taxiway lights from the air. So far none of my night flights have been anywhere near unsafe, but I believe a large part of that is my familiarity with the local area. I have serious concerns about what will happen when I fly to an unfamiliar airport at night.
Bring up your concerns to your on-wing and your flight doc again, immediately. Now that you've flown at night and found concerns- it is time to have them addressed. It may be your unfamiliarity with the environment and abundance of caution, or it may be a legitimate safety issue. Time to let the pros examine and decide. This doesn't necessarily end things for you, but the delay and investigation is warranted.

Seriously- don't fly again at night until you get a professional opinion.

PM me if you have additional questions.
 

HAL Pilot

Well-Known Member
None
Contributor
I am completely unable to see blue taxiway lights from the air, until on final at about 50' AGL. I can see the taxiway lights on the ground with no issue. I also have trouble seeing dim white lights in heavily lit areas (think KCRP, where the airport is in a city). It seems that the saturation of so many brighter lights in the vicinity makes it much more difficult more me to pick out the dimmer runway lights. Airports in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by darkness I can see just fine. I have no trouble picking out the red obstruction lights. My main concern is identifying airfields in heavily lit areas, as well as identifying the correct runway when I cant see taxiway lights from the air. So far none of my night flights have been anywhere near unsafe, but I believe a large part of that is my familiarity with the local area. I have serious concerns about what will happen when I fly to an unfamiliar airport at night.
First, I agree that you should consult a flight surgeon at the very least if you see halos at night or feel your nigh vision is impaired. But....

I've never heard of anyone using taxi lights from the air to identify runways. There is a reason taxi lights are blue, they are for use on the ground and not in the air. They're darker so they don't stick out or interfere with the runway lights.

It's always hard to pick out dim white lights in the vicinity of bright white light.

It's always hard to pick out airports in in heavily lit areas, even if you are familiar with the airport and area. This is why God made ATC and more specifically approach controllers. I can't count the times I accepted a visual at night only knowing where blob of airport lights are without seeing the specific runway lights.

Everything you describe sound normal to me. And don't let the NFO wings fool you - I have 17 years and 12,000 hours as an airline pilot.
 
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Thanks for the quick replies and advice. Ended up going med down, and got prescribed some eyedrops for the starbursts, which have apparently worked for other pilots who have gotten lasik.
 

xcinman

Hopeful Future OCS Applicant
Don't know how the Marines operate, but they should be able to submit your medical and MEPS documents up for a courtesy review to determine if a waiver can be granted. If they give the YES, they should be able to get you a MEPS physical. If not, then unfortunately it's very likely the end of the line.
So, it turns out that because of the two injuries I had early in college, regardless of being from athletics with very high volume of activity, they think this is a recurring issue. How two makes it recurring, I am unsure, but it isn't my place to say and I am not the doctor. My OSO is sending my paperwork to the Navy Bureau of Medicine I believe to try and allow me to get a MEPS physical. I had a DEX scan once upon a time and I think it is what has officially hurt my chances, though nothing conclusive was found. I don't want to be hopeless about my chances, but I am very doubtful and believe that the news I will get back will tell me this is it. It is disappointing since I was confident in my package and my chances, but, it's not for everyone. It's not over for sure as of yet, but I think it may be time to brush myself off and figure out a plan for what is next. My father has been a state trooper for 30 years, so it may be that I follow his footsteps.
 
Hey everyone, I have been reading through these forums for awhile now and am hopefully getting my package for SNA in this board. I never thought anything of it until now after seeing a random post about it. Eczema is disqualifying for a commission? I only ask because I had something documented in my record as having eczema on my arm, which was a rash that went away after a week about the size of a quarter. I am currently active duty with 7 years in. I have already gotten the smallpox vaccine prior to a deployment with no issues. Does this mean my package for SNA will most likely be denied? Not sure the stipulations with active duty having this documented on my medical record. Thanks in advance.
 
Hello future shipmates. I am currently at OCS and will have my graduation in just a few days which is very exciting. Unfortunately I hit a roadblock in my career path and I could use a little guidance.

Before coming to OCS I had to get a waiver for ADD which was a pain but with persistence I was able to serve. When I did my first ‘flight physical’here at OCS, I found out I now needed a waiver for flight as well. During Indoc phase (running on little sleep and attempting to adapt to the chaos) I went and did these random tests and met with a psychologist.

Long story short, he did not reccomend to NAMI that I should get the waiver, which he played off like it was completely normal for that to be the case. Turns out that was bs and NAMI agreed with him.

I was highly successful before coming to OCS to be an SNA, I got a 60 8/9/8 on the ASTB, I passed everything he at OCS with flying colors and ADD is not something that affects me in any way.

I am not ready to give up on this but I need to know the next place to turn to get a retest or someone I was put pressure on. I tried turning to my class team but they were more focused on convincing me to go SWO. The only advice from them I got was that I should of never put it down in the first place. My game plan is to call NAMI, BUPERS, and the flight surgeon on Monday to press for a retest or an appeal.

Any guidance would be helpful.
 
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Hello future shipmates. I am currently at OCS and will have my graduation in just a few days which is very exciting. Unfortunately I hit a roadblock in my career path and I could use a little guidance.

Before coming to OCS I had to get a waiver for ADD which was a pain but with persistence I was able to serve. When I did my first ‘flight physical’here at OCS, I found out I now needed a waiver for flight as well. During Indoc phase (running on little sleep and attempting to adapt to the chaos) I went and did these random tests and met with a psychologist.

Long story short, he did not reccomend to NAMI that I should get the waiver, which he played off like it was completely normal for that to be the case. Turns out that was bs and NAMI agreed with him.

I was highly successful before coming to OCS to be an SNA, I got a 60 8/9/8 on the ASTB, I passed everything he at OCS with flying colors and ADD is not something that affects me in any way.

I am not ready to give up on this but I need to know the next place to turn to get a retest or someone I was put pressure on. I tried turning to my class team but they were more focused on convincing me to go SWO. The only advice from them I got was that I should of never put it down in the first place. My game plan is to call NAMI, BUPERS, and the flight surgeon on Monday to press for a retest or an appeal.

Any guidance would be helpful.
When I got my ADD waiver from NAMI I brought multiple letters from my doctors that I had gotten ADD meds from as well as tests showing that I "no longer had symptoms". I assume that those played a a role, so maybe try doing that? I hope it works out for you cause that's really a rididculius reason to keep you from flying