Am I grounded before I start

Hello everyone, short time lurker and first initial post. I’m hoping to become a pilot after years of being told that I wouldn’t be able to for one reason or another (single parent, newly wed, even to old, ect). I’ve finally decided to take the plunge only to see I might not be able to due to having experienced a TIA (transit ischemic attack), or mini stroke, nearly 10 years ago. I’ve never had any ill effects of the event and didn’t spend 24 hours in the hospital for observations. At the time my cholesterol was very much out of control and the doctor thinks that a large piece cause a temporary blockage and subsequent TIA. Sense then I’ve gotten my cholesterol under control (without meds) and am in good health.

My concern is that with that history, regardless of how well I’ve been able to do afterwards, I’ll not be able to obtain my first class (or even any class) medical. What are my honest chances?

Thanks

Russ

Russ,

None of us are Dr’s, we’re pilots. Some may give you their opinion or some info based on their experience but the truth is every case is different. You need to contact an AME (Aviation Medical Examiner) and go for a consult or even an exam. Until you do no one can say for sure.

Adam

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Hi Adam,

Thank you for your response. I understand that the only person that can give me a definitive answer is the AME. I was hoping to info based on personal experiences on what difficulties I might be facing. Having waited this long to finally pursue my dream I have absolutely zero intentions on giving up now and will be talking to an AME soon regarding getting my certificate so that I can begin training. Again, thank you for your response.

Russ

Russell,

I totally get that but again every case is different and just because someone else was successful doesn’t mean you’ll be and visa versa.

Adam

Russ,
Sorry we can’t be a better help but things like this are completely unpredictable. We don’t want to get your hopes up, or crush them by giving you an answer that’s simply not our area of expertise. The only way you’ll truly know is through consulting an AME. Please keep us updated on your progress. Let us know if there is anything else we can help with.
-Hannah

Thank you Hannah,

I don’t have any intention of giving up now that I’ve made the decision to go forward. I also appreciate all of the incite that everyone is able to provide. I’ll be talking with an AME soon to begin working on getting my medical. I, of course, will be keeping everyone updates as I progress.

Russ

Update time:

So after a bit of a wait while building the necessary funds, I’ve spoken to an AME and checked the FAAs site. I have to see both a Cardiologist and Neurologist and get a handful of test done and the results sent out to the FAA with my AME exam. Of course everything is backed logged so I have a few more months to wait. Not just only the tests themselves but the FAA decision as well. In the mean time I’ve been finding someone to be a co-signer, if needed, for my loan and will be applying for that very soon (within days).

Along with all of that one thing I hadn’t mentioned before is my weight issue. Back when I first joined the forum and made the decision to start this journey I was in the neighborhood of 290 Lbs. I knew I had to loose weight not just for the program but my overall health as well. On that I made several major decisions not only with regard to diet but for increasing overall activity as well. While I’m not yet at (and hopefully below) 250 that ATP requires I am down to 262 as of my last weight in. If things continue I should be under the max weight by the time I get my Medical.

Russ

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Russ,

Thanks for the update. Doesnt sound easy but it does sound like things are coming together.

Keep us posted.

Adam

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Russell,

Good update, and good work with the weight loss. Please continue to keep us in the loop.

Chris

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Losing 30lbs is absolutely something to be proud of! Congrats, Russell!

Tory

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Russell,
Awesome update. You’re really doing all you can to make this dream a reality. Congratulations on your weight loss. That is a huge accomplishment on it’s own. Keep up the great work and keep us updated!
-Hannah

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Thank you all! Right now I’m having the age old problem of finding the elusive “Creditworthy Cosigner” lol. Have an appointment set with a Cardiologist and looking for a Neurologist. Just gotta get everything done now.

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Update time. Getting my needed tests and consults with specialist scheduled. I’ve had to switch from finding my own specialists to going through the VA due to costs. My weight loss is still proceeding well with my last weight check coming in at 257lbs. Still searching for a co-signer but not out of options yet lol.

Russell,

Thank you for the update, hopefully you have some good news to share soon. Keep up the good work on the weight loss.

Chris

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Thank you! Unfortunately I was just informed that the VA will NOT be doing the Neurological exams. So back to trying to find one to pay on my out out of pocket. All of which are currently taking about two months to see new patients. Oh well, this definitely isn’t going to stop me, just slow me down a little bit.

As someone that has been through this process, while I can’t help, I do empathize. As you know this is a long and expensive process. Hang in there.

Tory

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It’s definitely helping me work on my patience lol. From what I was told is that I need to go to a Neurologist that has been qualified by the FAA (or something like that) to do the evaluation. So gotta start the hunt for that.

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Russell,

Sorry to hear that frustrations you’re facing. It’s surely testing how bad you want this dream. Keep your head down and working on the things within your control. Great job on the weight loss. Thats no small feat in itself. Keep us updated. We’re all rooting for you.

Hannah

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Thank you Hannah,

It is definitely testing this dream. But I’ve allowed it to be pushed aside long enough!

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Well after what has felt like forever, but in reality has only been about a month. I have appointments maid to get a majority of the tests done (Ultrasounds and MRI’s) and an appointment for Neurology scheduled. Tests are for next month and Neurology near the end of June. While not happening as quickly as I would like, things are happening and starting to look like a reality.

On the weight loss front. I’ve seemed to hit a plateau. Still hovering around the 257 mark, though on a good note I haven’t gained either. Just gotta keep pushing forward.

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