Thursday, June 25, 2009

Being a pilot has made me much more health conscious

Before I started flying I was really unhealthy. No exercise, horrible diet and way overweight. My first medical scared the crap out of me. I had rushed to the AME after a stressful day at work where I regularly drank 5 cups of coffee minimum. By the end of the exam my chest had been shaved and I was doubting I would ever fly.

Since then I exercise more often. I normally exercise 30 minutes a day 3 to 4 times a week. Sometimes I skip a week. Don't know why. Always feel better when I exercise.

Prior to flying, whenever I was sick I would go to the doctor and open wide. I didn't care what they put in me or gave me a script for. Not anymore. I am much more cautious.

With this sinus issue I have been having I have had to walk a very fine line. There are tons of great drugs that are not approved by the FAA for pilots to take. My current doctor is not an AME. Before I visit, I research whatever illness I have and possible drugs. I then compare it to a list of approved FAA drugs. I then take the list with me. I advised the doctor that I am a pilot and that I can't have just anything. Last week I went to the Doctor right before having to be back on duty. He wanted to give me  steroid shot to help with the sinus issue. Problem is the steroid he wanted to use requires me to not fly for 24 hours after injection. Thus I left with just an antibiotic and a decongestant. I was fine for the two day trip I was assigned.

Monday I felt a little more congested. I gave the antibiotic till Tuesday afternoon and threw in the towel, another call to the Doctor.  I went back and got the steroid. I didn't mention me being a pilot again, but apparently should have. On the way out I was given a prescription for Astepro nasal spray. When I got home I took one look at the back of a coupon for the nasal spray and realized I can't take it. Why? Well "Do not operate a car or heavy machinery". Hmm yeah. No big deal as I know I can use Afrin nasal spray if I need it.

Feeling better today. I am back on reserve tomorrow. From my crystal ball (me pouring through uncovered flights/shifts) I feel I will be up early in the morning for airport standby. I am going to try to bid for a trip in another base though.


  1. Do you workout while on trips? Do the hotels your Airline puts you in usually have workout rooms?

  2. When I first started at my airline I would work out every trip. My union requires all hotels to have workout rooms. Some are awesome...some are just okay. Now a days I only workout on overnights longer than 10 hours...anything less than that I use for sleep.


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