1. #1
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    Default Medical Question

    I am in the process with two departments, with the medical being the next (and one of the final) steps for both. I know this one's a little obscure, but I couldn't find any info in NFPA 1582 or various online searches. Does anyone have experience or knowledge of being hired with gout (or any other uncommon medical issues)? In my case, a year ago I had severe pain in my foot, went to the doc, got a prescription, and haven't had an issue since. But it was definitely gout/high uric acid when my bloodwork came back. I want to prepare myself ahead of time if a) I should expect to fail the medical or b) if I could get a note/opinion from a doctor/specialist clearing me or explaining my diagnosis. I am an active volunteer FF, am in the gym 5 days a week, and have run 2 half marathons since this diagnosis. It really has no effect on my daily life or physical performance. Just trying not to be too let down this late in the game if its an issue. Thanks for any input.

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    I would say you do not need to worry about gout

    Enjoy your new job

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    Is it really that non of an issue fire49? I feel like I've just heard horror stories of depts doing DQs on medicals over very minor things. I know this one is a little obscure, but am I overthinking it that much? Is the clearance from my personal doctor overkill? Thx

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    I am thinking non issue

    Sounds like you do not have an active case, no physical problems

    I have high Uric the last few years and the doctor does not care, even when i ask about it


    May not even be something you have to declare

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    Not to steal the thread but i also have a medical question... I dislocated my shoulder back in 2004 and partially tore my labrum. I've gone through other counties medicals (in 2012/2013) and passed probably because of the amount of time that has passed without me having any more problems with it.

    Kicker is I recently dislocated it again! 1 week ago. Not nearly as bad this time (Took 3-4 months last time to get full strength back) and doc said all i need is PT for a few weeks. I already have 90% range of motion back and would say 90% strength back. Thing is i could have a medical in 1-4 weeks, do you think that will DQ me?

    I think i need 2 more weeks at most to be 100% and academy starts beginning of August so lots of time but if they give me the medical tomorrow I could be screwed. Anyone with shoulder issues get DQ? or what happened to you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by b_stevens View Post
    Not to steal the thread but i also have a medical question... I dislocated my shoulder back in 2004 and partially tore my labrum. I've gone through other counties medicals (in 2012/2013) and passed probably because of the amount of time that has passed without me having any more problems with it.

    Kicker is I recently dislocated it again! 1 week ago. Not nearly as bad this time (Took 3-4 months last time to get full strength back) and doc said all i need is PT for a few weeks. I already have 90% range of motion back and would say 90% strength back. Thing is i could have a medical in 1-4 weeks, do you think that will DQ me?

    I think i need 2 more weeks at most to be 100% and academy starts beginning of August so lots of time but if they give me the medical tomorrow I could be screwed. Anyone with shoulder issues get DQ? or what happened to you?

    Since you have gone through one physical you kind of know what to expect

    If it is just a medical, most of the time the doctor looks at you and halve you go through some range of motion

    So just don't wince when you do

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    Jim,
    Congratulations for making it this far in the process, on TWO departments. You are certainly doing it right! I would not expect you to have any issues. I would declare it on the medical questionnaire form (otherwise it's being dishonest and reason for immediate DQ). I don't expect it to be an issue if you do not have any pain.

    Mr. Stevens,
    Your situation troubles me. Even IF you make it through the medical, the bigger problem is WHY does this happen. You are going to go through a very rigorous academy where you will be throwing ladders, dragging hose and it's going to be tough. If you have another dislocation, you will be terminated from the academy.

    Is there a surgical procedure that can repair it? While you may miss the academy, the department may have another one scheduled. While it's a setback, it's not a career ender. Good luck to you!
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

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    Paul Lepore,

    Had the medical exam and was up front about the past dislocation and the recent one. They said they were 100% unconcerned with the past dislocation and only concerned with this one. (Tells me they are not worried about a trend).

    Once i told them they put me through a range of motion test with my shoulder and i passed with flying colors. (This dislocation was not nearly as severe as 10 years ago). There is only 1 motion i can not complete at this time. Lying on my back flat, with my arm at my side bent at 90 degrees at the elbow with the palm flat against the ground. The motion of bringing it from there to above my head (Strong man pose) without my elbow leaving the ground it the only motion i can not complete without pain. I can feel the impingement but it has gotten a lot better in the past week.

    It is really strange to me because i can do everything else imaginable with no pain at all. The "Why" for my dislocations is because i have very loose tendons and joints. I was just born that way, very common. One way to test is if your able to bend your wrist inward and touch your thumb to your forearm, I can do that. Its a blessing and a curse. I'm very flexible and when I do have a dislocation things seem to stretch / hyper extend rather than tear or rupture.

    The surgery is a option. Its a 6 months timetable from knife to full recovery but my orthopedist actually advised me against it for now. Said if its a once in a ten year thing then surgery is not beneficial as surgery itself will not guarantee it won't happen again. He knows im a volunteer and i want to be career.

    As for the fire academy and throwing ladders and dragging hose and dummies i've never had a problem with it while doing those activities. (Volunteer for 3+years now) Only time i had trouble is while playing sports.

    So I'm at this cross-road. like you said if it happens during the academy then im out the academy but more than likely I'll be "recycled" for the next class usually 6months to a year away. But if i get the surgery then im already out and may never get in.

    I guess since i was upfront about it and if they are willing to take a chance on me, i'll be more than willing to take a chance on my shoulder. For all i know it could never pop out again...

    Thanks for the good luck, probably going to need it.

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    B,
    Good on you for being upfront. As I have mentioned so many times before in this forum, withholding information is the same as lying. IF you had chosen to NOT say anything and had an issue down the road, the doctor would have delved deeper into your medical history. Had you said something about a previous injury and it became known that you had withheld this during the medical exam, you could be terminated for falsification of documents. So, good job on your part.

    I really can sympathize with your plight. You have done everything right and this is out of your control. Be careful when going through the academy. Once you have completed the academy and are off probation, the department completely owns you and your shoulder. If surgery is necessary it's no big deal as you are covered under workers comp.

    If something happens during the academy, you MAY have an opportunity to complete a future academy. If this is not an option it is likely that the department will sever ties with you. This would be a bummer as you have worked so hard to get to where you are.

    If you get hurt on probation, it is possible that you are put on medical leave until you can return. It's also possible that you are terminated due to medical reasons.

    Be careful and use good technique so none of this becomes an issue. Stay safe and best of luck to you!
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

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