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Old 10-28-2013, 07:40 PM
Stalldog Stalldog is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Kansas
Posts: 337

Bob, I've been away from the forum for a while and just read about your situation. All I can say is WOW. At least it sounds like you have something starting to work in your favor.

I doubt I need to tell you how much help you've been to me (and I suspect most of us) getting into our builds. I'm in my early 60's and in good health, but even your plight is helping me see how to handle medical situations like these. Realistically, it's not if these situations will come, but when.

Hang in there, my friend, and keep us posted on your progress. Sending my best wishes and prayers for a speedy treatment and return of your medical certificate.
Lenexa, KS

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Old 10-28-2013, 09:58 PM
acroflyrgirl acroflyrgirl is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 406
Default Catching up reading here

I just read this thread from the beginning. Wow! So many thoughts come to mind. I have had my battles with OKC AME's and know very well how things can quickly change in the eyes if OKC Aeromedical.

I would keep pushing, but also consider a spouse pilot option as mentioned earlier. I know it's a lot to ask of your wife, but hey she married you, watched/helped in your build, not to mention was likely your best friend over the years....maybe.

I know that life is such an awesome amazing gift, and every day I am on this planet is a great day, pilot or otherwise.

I wish you success here. I pushed in my case and with persistence and luck I am still flying.
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:04 PM
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LettersFromFlyoverCountry LettersFromFlyoverCountry is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: St. Paul, MN.
Posts: 4,826

And even more updates:

A gentleman was kind enough to send me an FAA medical examiner bulletin from 2007, detailing the woes of an airline captain with Meniere's. He eventually got it back after an injection of gentamicin, a substance that is toxic to the little hairs in your ear that wave around and, thus, send signals to your brain regarding which way is up. It kills them, and is an alternative to a more radical surgery -- a labrythinthectomy, which takes all of your hearing and balance nerves with it.

"I've been thinking about that for you," my neurotologist said to me when I emailed it to him last month, and I followed up today for a love conversation (my nursing-student son in tow) to evaluate the next course of action.

There's not a lot of hearing left in the ear, but I still would like to keep what little is still there. It's possible the Meniere's has completely burned itself out in that ear, but we don't know that and while this is not a guarantee there'll be no future episodes, it's a pretty good bet as a next step.

So we scheduled a procedure for December 4th. I've been doing physical therapy for the last three weeks to begin training the remaining ear (and eyes and other parts) to compensate. The recovery time is a few weeks, and then it takes about four months for everything to return to normal.

That starts the clock on what I presume will be a six-month period that the FAA will want without any symptoms.

So, bottom line, this seems like the best course of action now and one that the FAA may very well look favorably upon. I'll probably miss Oshkosh 2014, but I'm still hoping to fly to Cleveland for a game before the end of the season.

One other thing. I met Daniel Alvarez last year in Minneapolis, at the beginning of his kayak trek to Key West. he arrived there after 7 months down the Mississippi and Gulf. Then he decided to paddle back by way of the Atlantic Ocean, Hudson River and down via the Quetico to International Falls and Minnesota's Northwest Angle. He arrived there a week or so ago.

When I last visited with him in person, I told him I was a little nervous about flying to New England. "If you're not nervous," he said, "you're not dreaming big enough."

I've remembered that all this time.

Though we've been communicating, and while he was giving me grief for not flying, he was unaware of the reasons for it until I sent him this thread.

He sent this picture back after reading it:

I'm guessing you've heard more than enough "I'm so sorrys" and "keep your head ups" for a lifetime by now, but I thought I'd send you a picture from the Appalachian Trail. This is from the day before I finished the trail. I was walking with my friend and we see this guy walking toward us. Suddenly, we realize he has one leg and is on crutches. He's hiking the Appalachian Trail too.

I'd actually seen him before at a trail event and he had an artificial leg. It was super technical looking and had sponsor's stickers all over it, but he didn't have it with him when we saw him on the trail. I asked him about it and he told us it had bruised his stump, so he had to ditch it for a bit to let the stump heal. He got a pair of crutches so he could keep hiking. He was going southbound into a section of the trail that is fairly remote and called the "hundred mile wilderness." I'll never forget seeing him walk away on those crutches, finding a way to keep going.

Maybe you can find a way to keep going too. Maybe it means fighting like **** to get that medical clearance. Maybe it means switching to powered gliders or whatever you are able to fly. Maybe it means getting a co-pilot (I wish I could fly, I'd be there in a heart beat!). Maybe it means forgetting about flying and dreaming of something else. Who knows, but whatever it is, I'm cheering for you and if there is anything I can do to help--even if you just need to call someone up and yell at the phone--you know how to reach me.

The picture is now in my hangar. I don't yet know how any of this will turn out, but it's all a metaphor for building a plane anyway. You should read all about Daniel's journey here; it'll sound familiar.
Bob Collins
St. Paul, MN.
Blog: Letters From Flyover Country
RV-12iS Powerplant kit
N612EF Builder log (EAA Builder log)
Last article: "Gonna Finish This Sucker" (Kitplanes)
Waiting for the avionics kit (backordered: chip shortage)
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:44 PM
Stalldog Stalldog is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Kansas
Posts: 337

Yep, Bob, every day is a new day, so never say never. Sounds like you've got a good plan.
Lenexa, KS

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Old 11-13-2013, 05:22 PM
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ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 2,017
Default Great Story!

One thing's for sure: it's sometimes tragic and it's sometimes magic, but life (at least a life worth living) is always a great story! Keep on dreamin' Bob... It teaches those who've never learned, or have forgotten how.
Mike Rettig
EAA Chapter 301
VAF Dues Current
RV-10 - Working on engine / prop installation
F-14 (Pedal Plane - Daughter's Project) "Flying"
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:16 PM
crabandy crabandy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ottawa, Ks
Posts: 2,350

.......But I had a good life, all the way.....
RV 7 590 hours and counting
21 donation done
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:29 PM
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mike newall mike newall is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Yorkshire, England
Posts: 2,221

Message left....
"I add a little excitement, a little spice to your lives, and all you do is complain!" - Q

Donated in 2021
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:06 PM
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Chino Tom Chino Tom is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Chino, CA
Posts: 739
Thumbs up

Press on Bob!
Tom Prokop
Chino, CA
RV-8A,180/CS/Carb, AFS 4500 EFIS/EMS
RV-6, sold, 820 hrs of fun.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:39 PM
Rupester Rupester is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Mahomet, Illinois
Posts: 2,195

All of us here will have our fingers crossed for you over the next months. If it all plays out as we would like, just THINK of the celebration we could have at OSH next year !!!!
Terry Ruprecht
RV-9A Tip-up; IO-320 D2A
S. James cowl/plenum
(Dues paid thru Nov '18)
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:33 AM
TS Flightlines TS Flightlines is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ridgeland, SC
Posts: 2,957

Bob---may I respectfully request that you change the heading to read--A new Beginning-- !
Tom Swearengen, TS Flightlines LLC, AS Flightlines
Joint Venture with Aircraft Specialty
Teflon Hose Assemblies for Experimentals
Proud Vendor for RV1, Donator to VAF
RV7A Tail Kit Completed, Fuse started-Pay as I go Plan, on hold while we develop new products for RV builders
Ridgeland, SC,
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