I just did my bi-annual medical for my PPL. These days, it seems this is the only time I get to see a doctor, so I treat it as my regular health check.
CASA has joined the digital age and the medical form is now filled in online by the doctor, as you answer the questions. All that stuff about how much alcohol I (shouldn’t) drink and how much exercise I (should) take. I wonder if anyone ever answers ‘yes’ to the question: “Are you a regular user of cocaine, LSD, amphetamines, marijuana or other regulated narcotics?”. It seems like an endless series of questions, about all aspects of your life, most of which you wouldn’t want to admit to even if you had the ailments/conditions they refer to. I suppose if you give an incorrect answer and then have a ‘mishap’ in an aeroplane, particularly if it is anything related to the wrong answer, they throw a book at you. And any aviation insurance you may have would probably be invalidated. Lucky for me, I’m a clean living boy with no skeletons in my cupboard.
Then after the form filling comes the physical bit. It never ceases to amaze me how even the simple things have been mechanised/computerised. I remember when your blood pressure was taken by the doctor pumping up a cuff on your arm, then slowly releasing the pressure and listening through a stethoscope for your heartbeat, noting the pressures. This time it was a gizmo with a little pump and sensor that did it all automatically and displayed the two pressures on the obligatory LCD screen. Headsets and bleeps for your hearing – my doctor used to stick his finger in one (of my) ears and whisper numbers near the other, asking me to repeat them….And talking of fingers, there’s the mandatory rubber glove treatment for us men ‘down there’.
So far, what’s good are my blood pressure, decreasing weight, and blood sugar levels. Not so good is my eyesight; by my next medical I may even have to consider glasses. Well, I suppose I should be grateful I got this far without them. Now, where was I?
Next are the ‘bloods’ – whatever happened to blood tests? And an ECG as I’m getting older and haven’t been to my GP in the last 2 years. These are not mandated by CASA, so the medical certificate has been issued and I can fly again for another two years.
Deep breath for my Bi-annual Flight Review – BFR – later this week. More of that anon.