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Childhood asthma?
Last Post 17 Jul 2010 12:45 PM by britt3907. 11 Replies.
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dbriggs9User is Offline
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dbriggs9

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13 Jul 2010 04:09 PM
    Hey everyone, I am very interested in joining the Coast Guard. I've been reading a lot about all the branches and have decided the CG would be my best fit. I'm only two semesters away from having 60 college credit hours; which would, from what I understand, allow me to enlist at E-3. So I still have about a year or so to prepare, while finishing up my second year of college, before I hopefully begin my life in the Coast Guard. The reason I say "hopefully", however, is because as a child I suffered a great deal from asthma. I was even hospitalized a few times because of it. However, I haven't had any symptoms of asthma in about 8 years or so (I'm 20 years old). Also, the biggest trigger to my asthma was cat and dog dander, and I have been living with a dog for over 6 months now, with no problems whatsoever.

    Does anyone here know, or have an educated guess as to how this would be addressed by the Coast Guard? Am I out of the question? Does anyone else here have a bumpy childhood medical record?



    Thanks in advance.

    Dan
    CoochUser is Offline
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    Cooch

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    13 Jul 2010 04:15 PM
    That would be determined by the doctor at MEPS. Get in touch with your recruiter, and give them ALL of the medical documents you can get. They will submit them to MEPS to see if you get approved for a physical. After that, everything hinges on your physical itself.
    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
    ambientemmissionsUser is Offline
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    ambientemmissions

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    13 Jul 2010 04:23 PM
    Suffering from Asthma, be it recently or when you were very young, is a big risk and could definitely lead to a disqualification, but that really depends on the doctors at MEPS. I mean, in the past few years, have you ever physically pushed yourself to the point of exhaustion repeatedly? You'll have to in boot camp and if you've had Asthma before, you'd be a liability. Even though your symptoms have dissapeared, they could flare up again once you start training.

    Don't let this discourage you from trying though. Talk to your local recruiter and evaluate your options with him/her.

    Good luck!

    William
    dbriggs9User is Offline
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    dbriggs9

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    13 Jul 2010 04:41 PM
    Well, as most civilians, I haven't pushed myself quite as hard as I will be pushed as a member of the Coast Guard. But I lead, and have lead a very active lifestyle, including 12+ years of ice hockey, starting when I was 7 years old. Not everyone who has asthma is affected by physical exertion. My only asthma attacks were caused by allergies, mostly pets, or by another illness like strep throat or your common flu. Also, I haven't used or been prescribed any medication for anything, including asthma and allergies, in at least 7 years.

    ...after writing all this I've pretty much come to my own conclusion that I really just need to go to a MEPS doctor no matter what. But I truly do appreciate the responses, and am certainly open to hear anyone else's thoughts on the matter.

    Thanks again,

    Dan
    captkyguyUser is Offline
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    13 Jul 2010 05:11 PM
    • Accepted Answer

    New Asthma and ADD/ADHD Policy
    Military Softens Enlistment Standards

    Asthma
    Previously, any history of asthma was disqualifying, regardless of age. While medical waivers were sometimes possible, waiver approval usually required scheduling and passing a pulmonary function test. Under the new policy, Asthma is only disqualifying if it occurs after the applicant’s 13th birthday.

    Medical record screening may still be required, depending on the applicant’s medical history. However, in many cases, a signed statement, attached to the medical pre-screening form, stating that the applicant did not have any type of asthma (including exercise induced, or allergic asthma) or treatment for asthma after their 13th birthday will be sufficient.

    Applicants who’ve experienced asthma or reactive airway disease after age 13 will require all medical documentation. Waivers may still be considered, depending on the applicant’s medical history and – possibly results from a pulmonary function test.


    http://usmilitary.about.com/od/join...asthma.htm
    http://usmilitary.about.com/od/join...ndards.htm


    In my personal opinion I would not lay a great career opportunity out there solely based on the MEPS doctors and what my old medical records say from 7+ years ago...yes they (MEPS) have the final say but lay it all out there with current documentation from a specialists (immunologists) in the field of asthma not a general practitioner.

    If an immunologists gives you a good clean bill of health and states that on letter head along with the words you are "fit for military duty" it will be a little harder for MEPS to say no, however you will need to be prepared for that answer either way.

    I could share more in PM if you would like.
    I want to finally set it free, So show me how to see what Your mercy sees, Help me now to give what You gave to me...Forgiveness, Forgiveness
    dbriggs9User is Offline
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    dbriggs9

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    13 Jul 2010 05:37 PM
    Wow, captkyguy, awesome response. Just what I needed, thanks a ton. Looks like I should be good to go.
    ssetnickyUser is Offline
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    13 Jul 2010 05:44 PM
    Lol. Asthma. I really hate that word. It nearly kept me out of the Coast Guard too. Now, I'm about 2 months away from being an OS3. I was the same way. Well, I was never hospitalized for it but I did do the whole nebulizer deal, or sometimes inhalers. I had it up until I was like 10. I am now 20 as are you. All I can say is I hope you are with the same doctor, or have some way of obtaining records because you will need pretty much your entire medical history just to prove that you do not in fact suffer the symptoms of asthma anymore.

    I breezed right through boot camp so. Just work on getting that documentation to prove you don't suffer from it anymore.

    p.s. if you have anymore questions feel free to ask me cause I've been through it all considering this topic. they initially disqualified me from military service prior to even seeing me due to my childhood asthma. So I was at one point DQ'ed and then had to fight back (with the help of people like Captkyguy and others on this very forum) and figured out the right ways to go about dealing with it.
    captkyguyUser is Offline
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    captkyguy

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    13 Jul 2010 06:18 PM
    ssetnicky and Jen899193 would be absolutely great resources for you I would without question utilize them...

    Also there is a lot of posts on the subject you can look at as well...still learning the search feature so you may want to play with a few other combinations to see what else you can find but to start with...

    Click the “search” button located just to the left of the welcome/inbox notification with your name in it. On my screen they are gray and I did not see them until it was pointed out to me. Lol
    When the search screen comes up on the left side you will see some boxes, type captkyguy in the “search by user” box
    Then in the top middle you will see the box with the word “search” attached to the right of it. Type asthma in it and then click search.

    Lots of old posts will come up about asthma.

    I wish you the very best and nothing but success!
    I want to finally set it free, So show me how to see what Your mercy sees, Help me now to give what You gave to me...Forgiveness, Forgiveness
    ambientemmissionsUser is Offline
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    ambientemmissions

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    13 Jul 2010 06:36 PM
    The Captain is without a doubt a lifesaver.

    William
    sardaddyUser is Offline
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    sardaddy

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    13 Jul 2010 06:39 PM
    DBriggs,

    Like you I had horrible asthma as a child rushed to the hospital often and nearly died a few times. It went away when I was about 12. I went to MEPS in 1987 in Minneapolis and against my recruiters wishes I noted that I had childhood asthma. I was accepted into the Army and made a 10 year career out of it and even became a pilot. So flash forward to 1999. I was out of the Army and accepted into the CG Direct Commission Aviator program. The only problem was that I didn't have a current flight physical so they sent me to MEPS in Minneapolis to go through the same thing I did in 1987.

    I get to the doctor after the ordeal expecting a quick signature since it was just a cursory portion of the physical since he has no authority to approve or deny the physical as he isn't a CG flight surgeon. Anyway, he says that my request to join the service is denied because I had childhood asthma. I am of course, set back a bit and tell him that he can't do that since it wasn't an induction physical it was a flight physical. He looks at me and stamps a big red denied stamp on it. I again say this is rediculous because I had just served 10 years in the Army most of it as a pilot and it hadn't been a problem.

    This where it gets fun. His reply was "I don't know who signed your paperwork when you went into the Army but he was wrong to do so." In a moment of clarity, I realized he was the doctor from 1987. So I stated "You did!"

    He huffed for a few seconds and then stated "Wellll...the rules changed since then so I can't approve it. BUT, I will request a waiver." I didn't need his sign off anyway so it was moot but the point is the rules change. So hope for the best, don't lie, and hope for the best.
    jen899193User is Offline
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    jen899193

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    17 Jul 2010 11:15 AM
    like ssetnickey, i also had to help daughter obtain the necessary paperwork and tests for asthma. she was also initially disqualified at meps. if you have the documentation of your past history and happen to have insurance now, i can let you know which tests you need to do to prove you do not have asthma.

    i wish you luck. this will not be an easy process, it will take time and possibly not turn out the way you like. i still wish you luck and encourage you to follow your dreams.
    ~Jen~
    britt3907User is Offline
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    britt3907

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    17 Jul 2010 12:45 PM
    it is very very very possible to get past that whole asthma thing. i did and i've been almost 3 years now... wow cant believe thats right around the corner. but anyways you have to have lot of determination and drive for what you want. it took me almost a year to enlist because of all the paper work and tests. but i have faith and confidence that you can do it. if you have any questions please feel free to ask and i will help you the very best of my knowledge
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