March 12th, 2014


faa medical deferred

seriously trying to start flying again - March usually gets us some nice weather so my plan was to start now.

I tried to get my FAA medical renewed this month and it didn't go right. It was related to my migraines - I'm a little nervous.

Apparently on my initial medical in 2009 I did not check the box saying I had "severe headaches" - I checked the box for "vision problems", and I attest that I definitely wrote in the comments that I had auras that were treated with migraine medication, but that was an old paper form that's not available to my new AME (Aviation Medical Examiner - basically a family doctor who's got an FAA authorization to determine who's a safe pilot).

Honestly in 2009, I don't know that I'd ever had the headaches associated with migraines. I checked in my notes because in 2010, when I was pregnant, I had 2-3 migraines with headaches, but wrote down that I hadn't had any before that since September 2006.

My AME showed me this paper for what the FAA says:

1) No ocular migraines. She interpreted this as meaning "you go totally blind" which is different from auras, so I might be okay.

2) They need to hear from primary care physician that your condition is under control. Shit, I haven't seen my primary care physician in YEARS. I've seen OBs for my baby-having, they'd renew my maxalt prescriptions with a shrug, didn't know anything about flying. They were not caring or monitoring me for migraines.

So my medical is "deferred". I posted on AOPA for some advice. Bottom line though... I can't fly until this gets worked out and it could take weeks if things go well, YEARS if it doesn't, because I have to establish a record with a physician who knows me and says these are under control.

Lesson learned if you want to be a pilot... have a primary care physician who you see every year. Probably one who's an AME too, that would make things really easy.

And maybe I need a reminder that my OB is not my primary care physician. it's just so annoying, when you're having babies, you go to see your doctor so many times, who wants another one?

LASTLY from what others said on AOPA, a lot of people renew their medicals 1-2 months before their current one expires, in case this crap comes up. since this is my first renewal I'd never even thought about that - I have to get one every five years so I'm not exactly going to be experienced at it. hell.