A Medical To Die For

Recently I was prodded and probed as part of my annual aviation medical.  The matron conducting the main ECG test made me run, nay, sprint for a few minutes while testing lung and cadio-vascular function.  Twelve sticky probes are adhered to your chest.  That’s all very well,  but removing these when you’re hirsute is somewhat painful.  Followed by a finger prick to determine cholesterol.

All good, though, my ECG readings were all above average which is nice to know.  But the downside was a high cholesterol number and a slightly dodgy right eye. Still good enough to fly without spectacles, however it’s a fact that my 51 year-old visual system is starting to fail.

Still,  Dr Lategan who’s ten years my junior and wears glasses, was fairly impressed.   I wasn’t.  It’s not good for the ego when your annual medical picks up the fact that you’re getting older.  On the upside,  my hearing is fine,  and all other vital signs excellent, with blood pressure hovering around the acceptable level.   The urine test was clear which is always a worry as the urologist tends to really want to find prostate issues and other signs.  Nothing this time.


While awaiting my Class 1 med certificate, cost R950, I watched my fellow travellers.  Sitting alongside me in the Vanderbijlpark Louis Pasteur Medical Centre were two dozen patients.  Some were in for a check on a newborn baby, others were sniffling with the flu.  I kept my hands away from the door knob on departure just in case a virulent bastard virus was lurking there.

The next day I handed in the copy of the medical to the CAA.  The person behind the desk was friendly and said “see you next year”.

Little did she know that I’m about to re-appear soon to write my first Comm exam.  And if that doesn’t get my blood pressure going, nothing will.  In the meantime it’s back to Sporty’s Complete Instrument Rating Course, and flying VOR/NDB approaches and letdowns.  And ILS approaches.  Shucks.  Practice practice practice.

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