The Medical Certificate (or lack thereof)
My FAA medical is a "Special Issuance" due to my history of heart problems. The FAA makes me get a treadmill test every year in order to keep it. That was Wednesday. It was a disaster! As you might imagine, I have studied cardiology as intensively as I study flying, so I was watching the EKG tracings on the screen and saw them getting worse and worse. I had the PA doing the test check my blood pressure, which was starting to go down, not up. We stopped the test, by mutual agreement, before I was even breathing hard. The EKG got even worse during the "recovery."
I met with my cardiologist this afternoon to go over the results, and we scheduled a catheterization (angiogram) for Thursday morning with the area's best-regarded interventionist. If he says "stent?" I'll say "yes, please."
Angiograms can be dangerous but this is my fifth.
This ain't my first rodeo, so I know I can handle six months of restricting my flying to doing checkouts and BFRs with rated/current pilots, and staying current myself with a safety pilot. Medical or no, I won't feel like a real pilot unless I am instrument and night current! I'll do some glider flying when I'm sure that I am safe.
Facing my mortality justifies being a little philosophical. I've had this disease for 12 years. I should have died then. Instead, I've watched my twins grow up, completed two triathlons, flown dozens of single-pilot air ambulance flights in King Airs and a Cessna 414, made lots of friends, taken friends and family and customers on flying adventures, taught some things both to flying and to university students, directed a doctoral dissertation, written some good mathematical papers, impressed the instructors at Flight Safety, written a book, biked hundreds of miles, traveled in Europe and Asia, cooked some great meals and enjoyed those cooked by others, and generally made the most of every day.
I suggest that you all do the same.