Monday, November 19, 2012

Under Pressure

On day three of my last four day I was a bit stuffy. Assumed it was allergies.

Pilots can't take just anything while on the job. I've learned (through research Here's one site ) what I can take and still fly. The easy way to rule items out are if they include terms like, "May cause Drowsiness, Don't operate heavy machinery, Don't take with alcohol, Don't take while flying an airplane."  I've never actually seen that last one....but I bet it's out there.

I took an over the counter decongestant from a local Wal-Mart. Felt better. Used a little Afrin nose spray as well.

The next morning I thought I was fine.

Captains leg.

Climbing up to altitude I felt pretty good. No congestion or stuffiness.

Descending though....ugh.

Pressure. I watched the cabin rate monitor descend. I was happy when it reached it's final altitude.

I wiggled my jaw and yawn a bunch to clear my ears. A little better.

Once at the gate though I banged out sick.

That was Saturday.

Sunday I felt no better.

Last night I was sneezing and a little congested.

Supposed to do a very easy 2 day trip today.

Banged out sick again.

Off till next Sunday.

It is much easier being "sick" in base versus commuting. I would hate to be congested and try to commute one requires special permission to non-rev after calling in sick as my company assumes it you're to sick to work then you;re to sick to nonrev.




  1. Smart pilots talk to their *personal* MD (not DME) before using ANY medication. Even smarter pilots talk to their DME before using any medication - including most over-the-counter types - like 'allergy' and especially 'cold' medications. With careful selection and some assistance from a personal provider and/or a DME, one can get relief and without busting the regulations. Hell yes!! Those regulations are medication-specific. I sure hope that you know that - and know better than to self-prescribe - even OTC medications. Please, don't be an idiot! Your doctors, nurses and pharmacists respect you - and expect that you will fly OUR airplane safely - and without medications that MAY affect your performance when we most need it. You ought to trust us to advise you about which medications are SAFE to use while flying - and which are not. Do you know the full details about how those OTC medications interact with your system, especially at altitude or with semi-frequent altitude changes? I kind of don't think so. For yourself, your family - and for us, please consult with a professional before flying with OTC medications in your system. It sounds like you've already busted a BIG FAA rule. For all of us, please don't do it again. A simple telephone call to your PCP or DME is enough - and yes, they DO have safe alternatives to suggest. Prescribing for yourself is really - REALLY stupid.
    If you need examples or lists of pilots who have lost this tickets over this sort of thing, talk to your DME or back-channel email me.
    Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. I understand your concern. I should have added I've taken the same medications for years. The same medications my personal Dr (who is also a pilot and Aviation Medical Doctor) recommended. I don't take stuff willy nilly. He recommended the Affrin nose spray and a specific decongestant that I could use only after taking them at home and having zero effects after 24 hours. When I said I took an OTC decongestant, I meant the same decongestant I've always taken. Sorry for the confusion. I always respect rule #1. Always Come Home


    Sent from my iPad.....

  3. Thanks. I feel better for all of us. It just sounded a bit strange coming from someone who ought to know better… Happy Landings.
    (Retired Medical…)


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