Skip to main content

We are GO!

For some unknown reason all of my post-college jobs (read: real person jobs) have required a medical certificate. At my last job, as you probably recall, I pushed through the paperwork of an FAA Class 3 medical. And by "pushed through" I really mean, trudged through bureaucratic molasses. At times it was downright disheartening. Thankfully I had an amazing support group, a "military" family that encouraged and fought for me. Oh yeah, and flying on million dollar military aircraft was a pretty sweet reward!

In an unrelated turn of events I took my dream job with NASA and moved to Houston. All the while I dreaded coming face-to-face with another medical certificate. Throughout the interview and in-processing I made it known that "I have Type 1 Diabetes! Be aware!" I just didn't want this cross country move and dream job to turn into a big mistake. My mentors and management assured me it would work out, and I trusted them. Getting a NASA Flight Controller exam was just one of the many "boxes to check" in becoming certified.

I mentioned my initial exam here, and patiently waited for all of the information I gave to be presented to the "Medical Board", dun dun dun. I am thrilled to report that I am GO for Flight Controller duties (at least medically speaking)!! Last week the board granted me a waiver, Type 1 Diabetes and all. Maybe I impressed them with all of my medical devices and associated sensors, real-time telemetry and trend analysis, technical knowledge and years of Diabetes experience, but that's neither here nor there ;-)

With a humble heart and overjoyed little kindergarten-April jumping up and down inside of me, I am so so happy that we have another Type 1 win under our belt. "Going where no Type 1 Diabetic has gone before" has a new meaning today, it means piloting a multi-billion dollar space station!

My cockpit. Can you spot the Dexcom and cheerios? 

Comments

Post a Comment

Who has two thumbs and loves comments? Nerdy April!!! Type one out and hit publish!

Popular posts from this blog

The road to curing Type 1 Diabetes

From the moment of diagnosis, the road is rough, the learning curve is steep and the stakes are literally life or death. The map is less-than-helpful - paths originating from virtually every corner, coalescing at a center point (aka "diagnosis") and bursting back outwards - some paths cross and wrap around each other but others are isolated. And even with all of these roads, most of the territory is uncharted - how did we all get here and how will we all exit? Where are the obstacles we haven't found yet? Which passage holds the key to unlocking the solution?

On any given day I feel pretty isolated with this disease - I'm the only T1D in my group at work, the only one in mission control, the only one in my family. I go through the logistics of calling insurance companies, ordering supplies, changing sites and troubleshooting malfunctions mostly on my own. Even those pesky carbs really only get counted in my brain, no group think for a meal bolus here. But there is b…

On 20 years with Type 1 Diabetes

I think it's finally time to hit 'publish' on this post, considering it's been sitting here for, oh you know, like 2 weeks now ;-) Sometimes I "April" about things too much (this is Chris's term), and with my dad here for Christmas I realized that it's definitely a trait passed down, haha, love you dad!


To be honest, I never thought the day would come when I would say, "I've had Type 1 Diabetes for 20 years."

20 years ago a cure was 'just on the horizon' and as an 11 year old kid I took that phrase to heart - I had to. My continued existence was based solely on whatever the endocrinologist said - pancreas, insulin, autoimmune, blood sugar, islet cells, shots. I didn't know what I didn't know at that point. I had never heard of an insulin pump or glucose meter. Ketones and hyperglycemia were just big, meaningless words. Carb ratios and counting might as well have been formulas for travelling at light speed. I wasn't ov…

Type 1 Diabetes - IT life.

Nine years ago (9 years ago?!), I was still waiting for the black-box-doctors at the FAA to clear my Class III medical certificate - a requirement for my then-job flying on experimental Army helicopters. To 'pump' up my diabetes-dejected ego (ha), Dave let me tag along with him for his MH-47G proficiency simulator runs. That tiny taste into helicopter flight dynamics gave me so much appreciation for him - hovering is literally the.hardest.thing, I was tense the entire time and constantly felt like I was one small cyclic movement away from losing control. Even though I knew in the back of my mind we were in a (moving) simulator, my senses got lost in the weight of the flight controls, the movement on the screens, and the hard thumps when I hovered right into the ground.

At the end of the runs I asked him how he has the stamina to pilot this monster of a helicopter for literally 15 hours straight (these special ops versions can mid-air refuel). He sort of laughed, but his answer…
01 09 10