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  #1  
Old 01-02-2010, 05:24 AM
Jetj01 Jetj01 is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 316
Default In a beat of the heart, life changes...

It's going to be a beautiful RV flying day and I don't get to Last Wednesday at 10:00 A.M. my life changed. Sitting at my new semi-flying job desk, after just recently retiring from the USAF with 21 years and 4,421 hours as a fighter pilot, my heart decided to skip a beat, and a few more. The ambulance drive to the hospital, listening to the EXCELLENT EMT's do their work and tell me what they are finding, was very sobering and I found myself quietly crying as I began to realize that I would no longer be a 'no restrictions' medical kind of guy. Four days later I am home again, thankful to be alive, a lot smarter about 'heart decease' and wondering why this happened to me. As it turned out, I still have a very healthy heart and artery structure but the electronics is confused. In RV building lingo, my magneto is sending out strong spark but it appears my wiring harness is suddenly connected to the wrong spark plugs and causing misfires. Inbedded in my chest is now the top of the line St. Jude wireless pace maker and I'm sitting at my computer quite impressed with the work of the cardiologist(s) and all the smart people out there who keep people like me alive. God bless them.

I guess I am writing this so that if there is anyone else out there who is or has experienced this, well, Hello, I'm new, kinda scared, but realize that God does not make mistakes, this is another mountain I can climb, and the prognosis so far is that in time, with at least a little paperwork and more time, the FAA, may be kind and let me solo my RV-4 again, maybe.

Happy New year everyone and isn't it a beautiful day to be alive! Don't take life for granted...don't take flying for granted...dip a wing for me today!

Tailwinds
__________________
Jj
Eagles Nest, TX
Built and FLYING RV-4 Fastback!
SOLD RV-6/RV-8/Rocket
Retired USAF, Current Boeing Driver
Dues paid ...thru 2017

Last edited by Jetj01 : 01-02-2010 at 05:37 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2010, 06:10 AM
pierre smith's Avatar
pierre smith pierre smith is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Louisville, Ga
Posts: 7,807
Default A wing will definitely be dipped for you today....

...and if your battery runs low, I'll be more than glad to prop it for you

Blessings.....and yes, the cup is half full.

Best,
__________________
Pierre Smith
RV-10, 510 TT
RV6A (Sojourner) 180 HP, Catto 3 Bl (502Hrs), gone...and already missed
Air Tractor AT 502B PT 6-15
Air Tractor 402 PT-6-20
EAA Flight Advisor/CFI/Tech Counselor
Louisville, Ga

It's never skill or craftsmanship that completes airplanes, it's the will to do so,
Patrick Kenny, EAA 275132


Dues gladly paid!
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2010, 06:27 AM
rv72004 rv72004 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 452
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetj01 View Post
It's going to be a beautiful RV flying day and I don't get to Last Wednesday at 10:00 A.M. my life changed. Sitting at my new semi-flying job desk, after just recently retiring from the USAF with 21 years and 4,421 hours as a fighter pilot, my heart decided to skip a beat, and a few more. The ambulance drive to the hospital, listening to the EXCELLENT EMT's do their work and tell me what they are finding, was very sobering and I found myself quietly crying as I began to realize that I would no longer be a 'no restrictions' medical kind of guy. Four days later I am home again, thankful to be alive, a lot smarter about 'heart decease' and wondering why this happened to me. As it turned out, I still have a very healthy heart and artery structure but the electronics is confused. In RV building lingo, my magneto is sending out strong spark but it appears my wiring harness is suddenly connected to the wrong spark plugs and causing misfires. Inbedded in my chest is now the top of the line St. Jude wireless pace maker and I'm sitting at my computer quite impressed with the work of the cardiologist(s) and all the smart people out there who keep people like me alive. God bless them.

I guess I am writing this so that if there is anyone else out there who is or has experienced this, well, Hello, I'm new, kinda scared, but realize that God does not make mistakes, this is another mountain I can climb, and the prognosis so far is that in time, with at least a little paperwork and more time, the FAA, may be kind and let me solo my RV-4 again, maybe.

Happy New year everyone and isn't it a beautiful day to be alive! Don't take life for granted...don't take flying for granted...dip a wing for me today!

Tailwinds
I have a friend and a family member with similar conditions.One is 40 the other 72. After discovery they were both real down. Now that some time has gone by, both seem their old jovial selves. Apparently it is not life threatening, just a long term inconvenience . In their case that is.
I can only imagine what you are going through, but let time pass and all will be well.
Happy new year.
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RV7 flying
xp360, CS, All Glass cockpit
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  #4  
Old 01-02-2010, 07:14 AM
LuisR LuisR is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: St Lucie County, FL
Posts: 353
Default Pacer

I'm glad everything went well. Bless your heart.

Is a pacer enough to ground you from flying? Are their restrictions? If so, what are they?
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Luis
---------------------------RV-10---------------------------
Empennage. Complete Minus fiberglass and attach section. FOR SALE
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2010, 07:36 AM
plehrke's Avatar
plehrke plehrke is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Defiance, MO
Posts: 1,407
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetj01 View Post
....was very sobering and I found myself quietly crying as I began to realize that I would no longer be a 'no restrictions' medical kind of guy.

Don't take life for granted...don't take flying for granted...dip a wing for me today!
I had the same feeling two years ago driving myself to the emergency room. It does take some perciverience to work the FAA stuff and is a hassle every year but I now never take flying for granted. I fly every time I can as if was going to be the last time I will ever flying. It actually makes it more enjoyable as you appreciate it much more then before.

Hang in there and you will be flying the RV again.
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RV-6A - 11 years over 800 hours
Cessna 140 - 68 years over 3400 hours
Based at 1H0 (Creve Coeur)
Paid dues yearly since 2007
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  #6  
Old 01-02-2010, 07:47 AM
rv9aviator rv9aviator is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 1,504
Default

I had a similar condition several years which required ablation surgery to laser a nerve in my heart that was firing at the wrong time causing a rapid heart beat, 170 BPM. In my case they found the offending nerve and killed it and cured my problem. They did tell me that there was a possibility that after they killed the nerve my heart might not work right and would then need a permanent pace maker. It worked great so no pacemaker and after a year and a half I got my medical back but have to submit a letter from my cardiologist saying I'm still OK and have to have an EKG to prove it. I'll bet you will be back flying before too long just hang in there. If a heart transplant patient can get a medical surely you can.
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RV-9A N9JW 90919 SoldArkansas
http://www.jimsairplanes.com
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"It's a brutal struggle for the biscuit."
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  #7  
Old 01-02-2010, 07:59 AM
Scott Hersha Scott Hersha is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 863
Default

My son has a condition that sounds similar. His condition is called SVT or super ventricular tachacardia (or something like that). His heart sort of miss-fires and seems to beat about 200+ beats per minute - in certain circumstances. My doctor told me he can get a third class medical with the right kind of medication. He isn't doing that because he gave up on a career in flying and hasn't gotten into personnal aviation (yet). He doesn't have a pacemaker, but I'm wondering if the pacemaker takes the place of medication we were told about. You may be able to get a third class which is all you you need since you're done defending our country (thanks, by the way). You might want to contact the AOPA legal services team, or someone else there when you feel up to it. Best of luck (I know luck doesn't have anything to do with it).

Scott
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  #8  
Old 01-02-2010, 08:05 AM
KirkGrovesRV8 KirkGrovesRV8 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Paradise,Pa S37
Posts: 735
Default

God Bless you
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All the Best ;-)
RV-8
RV-9 once the kids are older
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  #9  
Old 01-02-2010, 08:16 AM
Jetj01 Jetj01 is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 316
Default OK, I'm crying agin...

I may want to think of myself as a tough fighter pilot, but your kind remarks has me crying again, in thankfulness. Yes, I have thought that flying is the greatest thing on earth, but the last few days I have begun to realize it is really my wife, family and friends that rank the greatest. You, my fellow flyers, my friends, are what make flying second best!

Tailwinds!
__________________
Jj
Eagles Nest, TX
Built and FLYING RV-4 Fastback!
SOLD RV-6/RV-8/Rocket
Retired USAF, Current Boeing Driver
Dues paid ...thru 2017
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  #10  
Old 01-02-2010, 05:07 PM
OneCharlieKilo's Avatar
OneCharlieKilo OneCharlieKilo is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Poulsbo, WA
Posts: 208
Default hang in there

Jj - I sent you a PM. As someone who has been dealing with the Special Issuance process for a number of years, including prior to my first RV-6A flight but well after I started the build (and I'm only 41), I can tell you it's worth the effort to get the medical back and can be done for conditions you might think are "too hard".
Worry about health and family first, but don't give up on getting the medical back!

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
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RV-6A, N731CK, 300+ hrs
Poulsbo, WA
http://rv6aproject.ckhand.com
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