Type II diabetes and my future

Sugar_aviator

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Hey Guys and Gals,

I am soliciting all of your expert advice and collective wisdom on my future career plans. Currently I have a good corporate job, decent money, good future, advancement potential into some very nice aircraft with corresponding and approporiate raises. However, I have no decent medical benefits, pension and/or 401K (part 135 life). I am married and my lovely wife takes care of the medical bennies. I am a Type II diabetic, so I know that any major airline will not hire me, due to the risk of a potential disability case in the future (however I will try). I know I can stick to corporate and do all right. However as my education of this lovely disease increases, I am learning that it can be progressive and is slowly progressing in the 5 years I have had it. I am in my early 30's now, if i continue in my path and suddenly I can't fly when I am 40 or 45.....I am left hanging and then who will feed my kids? I am debating leaving my flying career and taking a full time job outside of aviation. A job that has good bennies and a pension and decent salary.

Am I copping out? I want to secure my future and that of my family, but I do so dearly love my job!

Please feel free to voice any and all opinions, I want to hear them

Thanks!!
 

sydeseet

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Reality is a B#$*h I guess. I don't think quietly exiting professional flying in your case is a cop-out. You have plenty of other responsibilities to be concerned with first. It sucks though, as you have worked hard to get where you are. Yes, I think I'd start to look for other opportunities outside of the cockpit that allow you to provide for your family, although they don't have to stray too far from airplanes. Diabetes is a strange diesease with many symptoms and characteristics that don't always show up until later in life. (Family experience) so having a back-up plan in the works is probably a good plan.
 

DC9stick

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With the advances in medicine relating to diabetes your chances of completing a flying career are very good if you properly manage the disease. If you are overweight get it off, NOW.
While flying prepare for a second career that you can jump into if you should lose your flying privledges. If flying is what you love don't give up now. Work hard to manage your diabetes stay on top of recent medical advances and enjoy your career.
 

Snakum

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My girlfriend is an RN and also a diabetic, and I've heard her speaking lately about a new protocol whereby donar islet cells are implanted into the pancreas and will sometimes start making insulin naturally. I may have this all screwed up, but I'll talk to her at lunch and I'll post back here or PM you if you're interested.

Minh
 

bobbysamd

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Diabetes and Medical

What grade medical do you hold? First Class? As long as you have a First you shouldn't have to worry. I understand that some diabetes can be controlled by diet.

Try this website, www.leftseat.com . It's a decent aviation medical website. I'd also call AOPA if I were you for advice.

Lots of luck to you.
 
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Braniff

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I know a few diabetic mainline airline pilots, but it was contracted after their hire date and is under close survelliance by doctors.

I've lost someone very close to me to diabetes and I think I'd start developing an "exit strategy" myself. Continue flying if you'd like, but I'd have a Plan-B established in case your condition worsens and you've got wife & kids to feed.

Braniff
 

ITICKLISH

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As Bobby stated, diabetes can be controlled with diet and exercise. As a matter of fact, your Dr. should have recommended some kind of diet program. If the diabetes cannot be controlled by diet and exercise then its medication(s).

You probably have the type II diabetes, commonly seen in patients who are > 40y/o and overweight. Also, in type II diabetes, it tends to run in the family.


Unfortunetely, diabetes is a progressive disease that could lead to all kinds of problems down the road. But, you can slow it down by Strict control of your blood sugar. There is no reason why you can't lead a long normal life.

As far the the beta cell transplant, remember your putting a foreign substance in your body which mean you'll have to take an immunosuppressant medication. Your trading in one medication for another and this does not make sense to me.

Your best bet is diet and exercise.

Good luck
 
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