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Should I quit my career?

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Should I quit my career?

Old 28th Feb 2021, 21:21
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Should I quit my career?

Hi there.

Shortly before COVID arrived and we all got made redundant, I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis.

I am getting treated with a medicine called Adalimumab, which is working perfectly. I take a shot in one of my legs every 14th day, and I am completely free of symptoms. No pain, not reduced mobility in any joints and no side effects.
But, hereís my problem, or my concern.

Because of my condition and the medicine, the Danish CAA have given me 3 limitations on my Class 1 medical. OML, SIC and SSL. The last two, basically just means that I have to undergo regular testing and send all my medical documents from my doctor and blood test result to an AME. But, itís mainly the OML Iím afraid of. Even though Iím allowed to fly, Iím still concerned, that airlines around the world, wouldnít even pay me a single thought when it comes to hiring.

Before COVID I was flying the 737NG with a Danish charter airline and I have 1500 hours on the 737.

But, with my fantastic looking medical, should I find another way of life? Flying has been my lifelong goal, and ending already at an age of 26 breaks me.
Should I be as worried as I currently am, or is a there a future for me? Would recruiters just throw my papers into the bin, or would they actually give me a chance?

I hope somebody can help me out here. I am losing my mind. Anyone with knowledge within the area or experience?

Thank you in advance.
pilotmorten is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2021, 11:07
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Surely, you are flying aircraft which have to be flown multi crew anyway? So, in practice, an OML wouldn’t make a major difference. The only real restriction is flying with another pilot who also has an OML.
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Old 1st Mar 2021, 18:56
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First of all, congratulations on reaching your goal, many have started and never reached where you are now.
Second.....unfortunately life has nothing to do with fairness. Literally thousands of pilots worldwide develop medical issues every year.
A certain percentage will be career ending.
You currently hold an EASA medical, I would expect certain countries would not even consider giving you a medical. China is famously difficult with aviation medicals.
Your save and grace is the experience that you have. That is valuable.
Do not give up at this stage but consider broadening your search to include airline training departments. Ground school instructor and simulator instructor.
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 00:10
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It is not unusual for symptoms to worsen, get better or stop completely at regular intervals.
I've got a pal whose long retirement has been ruined by one form of arthritic pain or another. Anything that's caused by inflammation just might be being caused by something your immune system is objecting to. Although it's taken a large part of my life to get like it, I can not touch anything with wheat in it. So, no beer, whisky, all the obvious foods, they are just memories for me. My pal made no serious attempt at dieting, just half-hearted stabs at it now and then. I have another pal who has just had a new knee, and has one finger that's giving real trouble. He too just would not give up beer.

I have a son who aches if he drinks scotch. He just mentioned it in passing one day and I realised I loved a late night tipple of the good stuff. I felt a lot better.

If I cheat, I'll go from being able (a few years ago) to work all day to someone for instance, that can not throw his leg over the saddle of a bike without being stabbed in the hip. It takes much longer to turn off the problem than to cause it to start.

Given how important it is, I'd go down the route of research and LONG trials. The thing about these reactions is that your body doesn't get used to stuff, it just seems to get more and more annoyed.
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 11:00
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I would suggest your career decisions should be made on the likely prognosis of your condition, not the current regulators' view on a particular drug.

Ankylosing spondylitis is very different from other inflammatory conditions. Some people live all their lives with little deterioration while others have rapid deterioration. Drug therapy has evolved significantly. You might be well advised to sit down with your consultant and discuss the likely progression of your disease over the next 40 years and his best guess on the available therapy. If he suggests you will have good mobility then carry on. If he is concerned you will have effectively a fixed neck and be unable to property turn your head then you may be better considering a career change now rather than in 20 years.
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 11:30
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Pilotmorten: You already know that the restriction prevents you from flying single crew ops. Multi crew ops is not too much of a headache to crewing departments of companies where you are already employed and the rule of not more than one OML on the same flight-deck would obviously exist too. In a competitive hiring regime, you are not likely to gain favour as an applicant with an OML. Hiring is likely to be very competitive. Not a straight no but best prepare for a tough ride as an applicant.
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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 20:39
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My wife has AS, which she inherited from my Father in law, and basically, it doesn't cause too many problems for her in her mid-50s. My Father in law spent a year in hospital in his early 30s with it, as he was in a bar fight and someone broke a stool over his back (he was an RAF policeman breaking up a fight is what he said is why he was in hospital ( except he was involved in a cold war incident where people died and a plane crashed for which no records are available to the public and he wouldn't talk about it and had bad dreams all his life)). His back was basically one bone and so his mobility was very poor but he still soldiered on. My wife just has backaches and pains which even Tramadol won't touch but she is still mobile without other problems. It seems to need a trigger to get very bad. However, it does have other compications as an autoimmune illness, as one day she had massive eye pain which got worse. Went to doctors who spoke to the hospital and booked her to see a doctor in a few weeks. The pain endured so she saw an optician, who sent her straight to the hospital, where they diagnosed Iritus, which is where the body thinks the eye is an infection so the fluid in the eye gets full of white blood cells and so you go blind in that eye. The cure was steroid eye drops every hour 24/7 for 3 weeks, and the consultant at the end said that was the closest anyone had come to losing their sight. There are many other things that she has that can be traced to AS. It;'s a bummer of a thing, and that's if you remain mobile. take care and best of luck in your career, and I hope to speak to you soon on the RT.
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