AFROTC Pneumothorax

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by auschrtho, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. auschrtho

    auschrtho New Member

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    Hey all, about a year ago I had a Spontaneous pneumothorax and resolved it with surgery. About a month ago, I got really sick and had a very minor collapse that initially went unnoticed on X-Rays. I later talked to my surgeon from my initial surgery and got a CT scan that showed the lung as all clear and he said it shouldn't be an issue and he would talk to any military doc if need be. Is this waiver able or is it time I start looking for another career path? I'm worried about losing my scholarship. Any help or advice would be very appreciated.
     
  2. GoCubbies

    GoCubbies Member

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    Spontaneous pneumothorax within the past 2 years is considered DQ.

    Did you have pneumonia the 2nd time or did your surgeon also consider the most recent one as spontaneous? Or was the other lung affected the 2nd time?

    Is your CT otherwise normal like there are no blebs or bullae?

    What kind of pleurodesis did you have?

    Finally, what is your height?

    I suppose a waiver can be requested for any condition but you may want to start looking for a plan B.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
  3. afrotc16

    afrotc16 5-Year Member

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    Are you a current cadet? You’re going to need to sit down and talk to your cadre. It’s not worth riding it out like it never happened, and the sooner you get started with a potential waiver, the sooner you get an answer. You’ll likely be placed on medical recheck status and have to send in all your records until (if) they clear you. Your cadre will have further details.

    Frankly, I don’t think you’re going to be able to continue. Unfortunately, your condition (and the fact it’s happened twice) does not bode well for deployability and the current Air Force climate regarding medical issues is be deployable or get med boarded and get out. I know a LOT of people who are getting med boarded right now or who were threatened with it because of a non-deployable status. Anyhow, I can’t know all the specifics of your situation, but I’m just giving my somewhat informed opinion. Sorry.
     
  4. auschrtho

    auschrtho New Member

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    It was the same lung, collapsed about 1 cm. My doctor was unsure if it was even a collapse. I didn’t have pneumonia just an awful cough that I waited too long to get treated. The CT scan was otherwise normal. September my treatment was “Left Thoracoscopy with Pleurodesis and Wedge Resection (Left)”. I’m 6’7 and that’s the reason it collapsed the first time (and second) was because of this height. I’m otherwise completely healthy, regularly go to the gym, and play tennis. I did excellent on my PFA. I was on “Light duty” (no sports/ gym but was still going to school and work). Then after my CT was back into tennis and the gym. Doctor said he really wasn’t even sure it technically was a collapse or a strange occurrence post surgery due to the scar tissue. The problem is that I believe it sounds far worse in writing and on paper than the condition really is. It happened because of height and I’m about done growing. I just really how it’s not a problem. Thank you for the help
     
  5. GoCubbies

    GoCubbies Member

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    I figured you are tall. Yes, you’re correct. Being tall puts you at increased risk for a pneumothorax.

    Remember you have 2 lungs. The left had a bona fide spontaneous pneumo (otherwise, you wouldn’t have undergone the pleurodesis) and the “second” event can potentially be explained away. More on that in a bit.

    You still have the right lung that is at risk for a spontaneous pneumo even if you stopped growing.

    Hard coughing can cause a spontaneous pneumo too. You may have had a bleb that burst when you coughed too hard.

    If your doctor can truthfully write a note saying you’ve only got the one episode of spontaneous pneumo, then you have a chance. He’s got to say the CXR was equivocal (ie didn’t clearly show a pneumo) and CT scan didn’t confirm. Otherwise, 2 cases of spontaneous pneumo is DQ. As part of the waiver, you may be asked to submit results of an inspiratory/expiratory CXR and CT scan. Both should show lungs are fully inflated and no other pathology like blebs or bullae. Finally, pulmonary function tests may be needed too.

    For now, you’re DQ for one case of spontaneous pneumo until September 2019. I’m assuming the first bona fide event happened in September 2017 because that’s when you had the surgery.

    Someone more familiar with the AFROTC scholarship will need to chime in because I don’t know if they’ll take away your scholarship based on a condition that is temporary or potentially waiverable. The only reason why I think a waiver is possible because the USAF will consider a waiver for all flying classes for history of spontaneous pneumo.

    I’m the guy who always has a plan B. If I were you, I would start thinking about one even though you have a chance for a waiver for the reasons I stated above.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018