DINF status

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by sdafmom, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. sdafmom

    sdafmom New Member

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    I will try and keep this fairly brief. My son who is due to start IFS in a few weeks and UPT in January was just diagnosed with a pilonidal cyst, he is supposed to see a surgeon on Tuesday and will probably have it removed the same day. After doing some research I found this information regarding disqualification....

    "Pilonidal cyst if there is a history of inflammation or discharging sinus in the 2 years preced ing examination. Surgery for pilonidal cyst or sinus is disqualifying until the wound is healed, there are no referable symptoms, and no further treatment or medication is required."

    My question is if he heals well after surgery would he be allowed to go on to IFS and UPT or would he have to sit out for a period of time??? He doesn't know I'm asking this question and I don't think he knows there is a potential of losing his PQ status. I'm just trying to interpret the information I am reading.
     
  2. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    sdafmom, welcome to the world of the AF flyer, where the Flight surgeon is seen as "the enemy". Why? Because they have the power with the stroke of a pen to take you off of flying status (and actually, the term is "DNIF", or "Duties Not Including Flying"). 20 years in the back and right seat of fighters, and I spent my career in fear of going to the flight doc. The attitude was along the lines of "how dare he (or she) tell me that I can't fly! I'm supposed to be on a really cool mission tomorrow!" Pima can confirm; unless I was near death's door, I refused to go see the doc. And if I ever volunteered to go, then she became worried because she knew I must have been REALLY sick to actually go on my own. (And has teased me and often was very angry about my attitude, especially if she thought I was really sick and was (in her words) "acting like a baby".) Don't get me wrong, I LOVED our Flight Docs! Great bunch of folks who really did have our (and our families) best interests at heart. And so are the rest involved in military's medical career field. Mr. Mullen here on the forums is a perfect example some one who cares and tries his best everyday to help those in the military when it comes to their medical needs. Share a beer with them, have them over for dinner, make them the God parents to our kids? You bet! Let them get near me with a tongue depressor or stethoscope? Them's fightin' words....

    But I digress. Sounds to me like your son needs to talk to the surgeon and see just how long this will take to heal so he can get back on flying status. Could be a few days, could be weeks, could be months. I just don't know as my medical knowledge is limited to even less than "stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night" levels. But I'm sure the docs will be honest with him, and have his future career in their thoughts as they prepare to heal him. Problems in the nasal cavity are very concerning for a career in aviation (due to the environment you'll be in); this HAS to be taken care of! It's now a matter of the severity and the amount of time it will take to heal. They will come up with a plan and make recommendations to get him back on track in the fastest way possible.

    As to IFS and UPT? Not a big deal if he needs to move his start dates to get more healing time. In fact, a large number of students each year will fall back to a later class for a multitude of reasons, from academic to physical to family emergencies. It won't be seen as a "hit" on him or hurt his career in any way.

    Most likely, they may ask him to report anyway, where he'll sit on "casual" status. He'll be working somewhere on the base, doing admin work and such, until he's ready to start his class. Again, not a big deal. Trust me, his time will be a hectic whirlwind once he starts IFS and UPT. Tell him ot enjoy the chance of a break for now, as he won't get one for another 2 years once he starts. Better yet, if he does go on "casual" status, tell him to "hit the pubs" (i.e. ask for and study the flight manuals and flight procedure publications while he is waiting to start the real course.) Getting in some extra study time ALWAYS helps!

    Best of luck to your son. And just realize this is the start of your son seeing the medical profession as "the enemy". Just get him to realize they have his best interests in heart, but also have the best interests in heart of theUS military. They WANT him back and ready to start flying for the AF' he made it this far in teh selection process, he is seen (and is planned for) as an asset they have to get back to 100% ready to serve status....

    Bullet

    PS. Mr. Mullen is a National Treasure in regards to medical issues and qualifications and disqualifications involving DODMERB. PM him direct, or ask him question on the medical threads. Outstanding individual who will gladly provide greater medical and process detail...
     
  3. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Correction: Looking at the DODMERB threads, Mr. Mullen asks that you NOT contact him via PM from these threads (he can't get them at work). Better plan is to ask him via a new thread, or just search those threads for contact info for him (he's constantly posting it, and may even be in one of the "stickys")

    Best of Luck!

    Bullet
     
  4. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Bullet said:

    Pima can confirm; unless I was near death's door, I refused to go see the doc. And if I ever volunteered to go, then she became worried because she knew I must have been REALLY sick to actually go on my own. (And has teased me and often was very angry about my attitude, especially if she thought I was really sick and was (in her words) "acting like a baby".)

    Oh if I had a nickel for every time MY wife said the same thing...

    And she was an AF pilot! :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  5. sdafmom

    sdafmom New Member

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    Thanks for the insight Bullet. He hasn't been told anything yet, I'm just trying to find out if this type of thing would sideline him, so I can be prepared. BTW, this is not related to his nasal sinus, but rather a condition on his tailbone. Seems like the big potential issue is that the cysts can come back, but from what I've been reading most people are symptom free after having the cysts surgically removed.
     
  6. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Sounds like the news is good then; just remove the problem and wait for the healing process to complete. If it delays him a few weeks, not a big deal...
     
  7. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    I'm not an AF Flight Surgeon so I will avoid making any definitive statements in regards to flight status.

    The way it will most likely work is as described above. He'll be placed in a 'hold' status until fully recovered.

    The problem is going to be the recovery...pilonidal cysts can be treated surgically in various ways and each has it's +/-. The recovery can be quite painful and pretty disgusting with multiple bandage changes done by the person at home.

    These do tend to recur, sometimes even with surgical removal, but hopefully things will go well and your son will recover quickly and go about his business. This will likely not permanently remove him from flight duties, only temporarily.

    And be nice to your local flight surgeon, they usually like free beer :wink: :smile: ha
     
  8. sdafmom

    sdafmom New Member

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    Oh that's good news!! I know it's not a guarantee, but it does sound more hopeful! I'll let my son know about the beer thing, I'm sure he won't mind obliging.
     
  9. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    SDAFMOM: any more news on your son? has he had his doc exam yet? What is his prognosis?
     

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