ADHD + sleep apnea special issuance success in 5 months

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by programmerpilot, May 4, 2021.

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  1. programmerpilot

    programmerpilot Filing Flight Plan

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    programmerpilot
    After 5 months, I finally have my third class medical :) Absolutely stoked to start flight training. Here's my journey:

    December 2020 - Fill out MedXPress, I already knew I'd get deferred. Visited AME, got Deferred.
    January - FAA request for medical records. Gather CPAP compliance reports, letter from doc, ADHD personal statement.
    February - waiting, started Sporty's ground school.
    March - Request for ADHD neuropsychological evaluation. Did evaluation at end of month.
    April - Still waiting for FAA to send medical records to HIMS neuropsychologist for review, passed PPL written test at this time. Fedex'ed completed report Apr 22.
    May 1 - Called FAA for status update, told me I received SI for both sleep apnea and ADHD, emailed me the letter!

    What I learned:
    • Sending records via Fedex/UPS is pretty quick, since it goes directly to FAA office instead of mail room. Evidenced by fast turnaround, for my neuropsych report, delivery confirmed on Apr 27 and medical issued May 1.
    • Calling three times on nonconsecutive days DOES NOT prioritize your file (contrary to urban legend). I confirmed this with the lady at the FAA medical certification office.
    • For status updates, DON'T call OKC office, they take super long. Instead, call your regional flight surgeon office (https://www.faa.gov/other_visit/avi...gations/designee_types/ame/amcs/phonenumbers/). I called the Western Pacific branch and was able to get a status update within 5 minutes every time. The lady said all the branches have access to the same info.
    • When you call for status update, you can also request them EMAIL you the letter that they sent you. This helped me get a head start on scheduling my evaluation / making appointments with my doctor.
     
    kell490, tawood, MountainDude and 2 others like this.
  2. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    @programmerpilot … congratulations! Now git out there and commence committing some aviation!!
     
  3. idahoflier

    idahoflier Cleared for Takeoff

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    Great news! Best wishes and enjoy flight training!
     
  4. 58driver

    58driver Pre-Flight

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    Bret Wikle
    AWESOME!!! Congrats and fly SAFE!
     
  5. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    Vintage Snazzy (so my adult children say)
    Congrats!!!! Get that Basic Med!
     
  6. Tyler G

    Tyler G Guest

    May I ask how extensive your history of ADHD was? I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child (+10 years ago) and haven’t taken medication for it for maybe 8 or 9 years. I have definitely changed a lot since then and while I may still have ADHD, I think I manage it really well and have never thought that I need medication since my original diagnosis. Hence why I got off of them. My neurophyc told me that if I show any signs of ADHD in my evaluation, the FAA won’t grant me a special issuance. I want to be honest with myself but at the same time I have never wanted anything more than to become a pilot so I would trade anything for a chance to jump this hurdle.

    Everything I’ve read online says it will cost $2000 to $3000. I just want to know how likely the FAA is to grant a special issuance after I spend all that money for the evaluation.
     
  7. programmerpilot

    programmerpilot Filing Flight Plan

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    programmerpilot
    Tyler,

    I was diagnosed as a child too, and took medication until college, I quit pills after my freshman year. My ADHD was a pretty big part of my life when I was younger but I definitely got better over time, like you. I have been off medication for six years. Honestly if you've been off it for this long and have been managing fine at work and at home, you will probably be fine. For the record I spent around 2100 for my evaluation.

    However, I did practice some online brain games to prepare me. I found this link https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ta...-back-despite-a-childhood-adhd-diagnosis/amp/ that details pretty well every step of the process. I was nervous for this test, so I only got 4 hours of sleep the night before, but still passed just fine. It helps to make a good impression on the evaluator: show up on time, dress nicely, be clean and well groomed, and relax (if possible).

    I absolutely think you should go for it! I know it sucks, but I highly recommend sorting your entire medical out before starting lessons, otherwise you might lose motivation since you'll be unable to solo until you do so. During that time I also completed my ground school.
     
    mcmanigle likes this.