1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    34

    Default Job offer, now medical issue....worried!

    Hi...I am writing in regards to my husband and I will give you a little background first.

    He is 41 years old and has been a Paramedic with a private company for 11 years. The LAFD testing process has gone great so far, he got 100% on his Oral. The BI is done and I assume there were no problems. We have excellant credit, he has no legal issues etc etc etc.

    He is in great physical shape...works out all the time, is very athletic, and he runs. Periodically, his knee will get sore, he ices and then it's fine. Well, Murpheys Law, UGH.....it's bothering him more now than ever, and now he gets the job offer this week provided he passes the Psych and the Medical.

    He knows an Orthopedic surgeon well, and went to see him 2 days ago. The doctor found nothing wrong and said it's most likely just age, possibly a strained ligament or tendon.

    My husbands medical exam is next week and he was told he needs to do the "duck walk", and is hoping he can do it OK.

    We have the records from the doctor this week saying nothing was found wrong. Will my husband automatically be pushed off as this is investigated, or is the doctors record enough?

    I have 2 more questions, and I will post them in the following posts, as this is getting long.

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    34

    Default

    If all goes well, and he does start the Academy...what will happen if his knee starts to hurt too much again? Will he be fired, or will they be willing to work with him, and maybe let him go into the next Academy?

    As you can imagine, my husband is devastated over this....he has wanted this for so long (he couldn't test for LAFD before, because we didn't live within city limits) and has now made it this far....and feels it's all going down the drain

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    34

    Default

    My last question....

    In 2002, my husband went to the doctor for Spring seasonal allergies. The doctor said she heard some wheezing and prescribed an inhalor.

    The records say "history of Asthma", even though my husband doesn't, but we think maybe she wrote that because his mom has asthma.

    The fire dept can look back through our medical and see he has not had an inhalor (except that one time), and therefore does not truly have asthma. But because the record says history of Asthma, will he be DQ'd for that?

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    735

    Default

    While I cant specifically speak for the way LAFD does their hiring, I can give you insight on how a few friends of mine handled similar situations while being hired here in Philly.

    First, I had a friend that had his knee "scoped" after a minor mtn biking accident about 10 yrs prior to being hired. He was worried about being DQ'd for this but made a notation about it on the form prior to his physical anyway. Only ever having minor pain on and off since the accident his knee is in perfect working order. The PA performing his physical required all medical paperwork including x-rays, MRI, etc. He produced this material in a timely manner as well as a note from the ortho surgeon that stated he had no comprimise in the integrity of the knee and would be able to perform any and all functions at the level of a paramedic. I would recommend trying to get all this info together prior to the physical so if they ask, you can present it directly to them to ensure a speedy resolution to the process.

    Second, I knee a guy that cried his way thru the academy about some pulled muscle BS. His found that after the initial week of decreased PT he was still able to perform all the skill during the remainder of the day. Now, I cant say for certain, but its my position that this guy decided to try and milk his "injury" so as to have an easier PT for the length of the academy yet graduating with the rest of us. Well, thankfully, the brass caught his act then started to restrict his ability to finish some practical skills. Just prior to graduation (almost 2 months later) they informed him that he will be unable to graduate with his class due to him not being able to perform a significant portion of the skills due to his injury. He has since returned to the academy and straighted his act up and has since graduate. I would recommend that you push thru the pain unless it is greater or different than the "normal" pain dealt with. Do not risk injury, but dont also "wimp" out.

    Third, I know guys on the job with asthma. So, im not sure its a disease that automatically rules out employment. This may be different in LAFD. I would suggest talking to the physician that made that notation in your medical records and possibly getting a follow up "physical" noting no evidence of asthma since or prior to that isolated incident.

    Good luck!
    Just another one of the 99%ers looking up.

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Thanks........

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,047

    Default

    Most importantly can your husband make it through the rigors of a fire academy. LA City's is extremely physical. If he has problem "duck walking" how is he going to do on a 5-mile run or carrying a 35-foot wooden ladder?

    If he gets injured in the academy he will be eligible for workman's comp for the period of the injury. Once it's healed he will probably be offered an opportunity to go through again.

    If it flares up on occasion THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG. While the Orthopedist may be a friend he may be misdiagnosing your husband. I'm 41 and my knee doesn't flare up.

    Lastly, if he does make it through the process (and I think he will) he needs to have a plan of action to get through the academy if/when his knee flares up at an inopportune moment. I would think at a minimum of anti-inflamatories or maybe even a Cortisone shot. Whatever he needs to do to make it through.

    They will not let him slide by, nor will they have it out for him. His objective is to stay off their radar screen. If he graduates and they don't remember his name, consider it a victory.
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,474

    Default Medical

    Candidates often start creating sea monsters in these unchartered waters at this stage of the hiring process

    If I understand your posting your husband does not have a problem with his knee other than occasional soreness and does not have asthma.

    Take the poison early. If you have the slightest concern for a medical problem, have the leading expert in this field of medicine (no, not just your family doctor) evaluate your condition. If they feel youre fit for duty, have them give you a letter.

    If the situation comes up during your medical, then and only then, produce the letter. The goal is not being DQd during the medical and having to fight the doctors later to get back in.

    As far as the academy LA City is going to be running back to back and parallel academies to hire another 250 firefighters in the next year. Many candidates have waited awhile before they are given a start date for an academy; although I talked to some candidates in the last few weeks that said their conditional job offer letter states they are in a pool for the next starting academy. It's sometimes possible to pass on the current academy offer for consideration for a future academy because your affairs are not in order. This is risky.

    Recruits are expected to complete the segments of the academy. Few departments allow candidates to drop out and get another chance at another academy unless there is a broken arm, leg or other incurred injury.

    The psych portion for LA Ciy is a written MMPI-II. If the written profile fits their criteria that's it. If they want to know more, they will arrange an evaluation with a psychologist.
    Last edited by CaptBob; 05-14-2006 at 01:14 PM.
    _____________________________________________

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Hi again....my husband runs over 5 miles a day and I know he will have no problems, provided his knee doesn't act up. He is in great shape and passed the CPAT easily. He thinks he might have strained the petellar tendon (catching for baseball, which he has now stopped), thought it was better and then starting running again too soon. He has taken this whole last week off, and it's feeling much better. He is icing it and taking 800MG of Motrin.

    As far as getting another letter, I don't think we have time since the exam is this Tuesday.

    What would happen if he needed a mild arthroscopic surgery say 2 years from now once he has finished his probation? I know that arthroscopic surgery has a quick recovery.

    They already told him they are trying to fill the June 12 academy, and they wanted him to do his exam and psych ASAP. He took the first appointment they had available.

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Also...the doctor he went to see is tops in his field in our area, he is a Sports Orthopedic Surgeon, that also happens to know my husband. THis doctor said he would have no problem having the LAFD contacting his and declaring my husband capable of the job. I guess we should have gotten a letter stating that, on that day. Maybe we will call this doctor tomorrow and see if we can get one before Tuesday.

  10. #10
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,474

    Default

    Maybe we will call this doctor tomorrow and see if we can get one before Tuesday.

    Yep, you want a seamless no surprises medical. Have you filled out the medical form already? Did you include anything about the knee?

    If the situation comes up you want to extinguish the situation on the spot.
    _____________________________________________

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob
    Maybe we will call this doctor tomorrow and see if we can get one before Tuesday.

    Yep, you want a seamless no surprises medical. Have you filled out the medical form already? Did you include anything about the knee?
    That was my next question. We have not filled out anything yet. On the front of the medical form, it lists various conditions that we would need to give a report for.....cancer, etc....it says knee problems, and asthma.

    We have to disclose them because they go into our medical insurance history, correct?

    Even though my husband doesn't have asthma, because the doctor wrote "history of asthma" and she RXed him an inhalor, we are worried that it would show up on the insurance and if we didn't disclose it, he would be DQ'd.

    HELP!!!

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,474

    Default Knee Problem?

    We have to disclose them because they go into our medical insurance history, correct?

    Yes, they have access to your medical records. The point I'm getting at is what knee problem does he have? You wrote the doc didn't find anything wrong???? Could you be opening a can of worms you may not be able to close?

    Running 5 miles a day can cause soreness now and then. Does he perform his medic job OK????
    _____________________________________________

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    34

    Default

    [QUOTE=CaptBob]We have to disclose them because they go into our medical insurance history, correct?

    Yes, they have access to your medical records. The point I'm getting at is what knee problem does he have? You wrote the doc didn't find anything wrong???? Could you be opening a can of worms you may not be able to close?

    QUOTE]

    But if we don't disclose that he went to the doctor for his knee, and then they find the info from our medical records, won't it look like we were hiding it? It says if you omitt anything, you will most likely be DQ'd. Believe me, we don't want to open a can of worms, but we feel like we have to tell them??? The form says they need records for "knee problem". Wouldn't pain be considered a knee problem?

    He does fine at work, and he is working right now, he says it's not hurting at all.

  14. #14
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Also....on the back page of the form, they want more yes or no questions to detailed medical info. On that part it says "knee pain", and if you check yes, they want you to write about it. So regardless it seems they will find out about the knee since they will see it on the Insurance medical history, right? He just went to the doctor last week for the knee....do you know long long it takes before it shows up on the Insurance medical history?

    This is stressing out my husband and I, as to what to say or not say.....UGH

  15. #15
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,474

    Default Knee Pain

    If they ask the question you have to answer it honestly.

    Have the letter with your from the doc showing fit for duty to assist in the evaluation.

    Some agencies will set a base line for future reference.

  16. #16
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Another question.....

    My husband has admitted to smoking pot once or twice about 20 years ago. He told his investigator and I also told him when he came to our home and interviewed me. On the medical form, it asks if illegal drugs have ever been taken, so we need to disclose it again, correct?

    Can the doctor DQ him for that, even though he already admitted it before?

  17. #17
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    34

    Default

    OK...I just got off the phone with the Orthopedic Surgeon, he is writing a letter and I will pick it up this afternoon.

    This sounds like a dumb question, but my husband was wanting to know. If he is walking into the exam, and has papers to hand the doctor, won't it seem suspicious if he is keeping this one envelope. I was told yesterday to not give the letter unless the issue is pushed. Or should he keep the letter in his car?

    Or should he say "Yes, I checked off the part for knee pain, but I have a letter from a Orthopedic Sports Surgeon stating I will have no problem doing all the duties as a firefighter"?

  18. #18
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,474

    Default Medical

    I believe not to bring it up until they do. If the situation comes up during your medical, then and only then, produce the letter.

    Why isn't your hubby jumping in here?
    _____________________________________________

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  19. #19
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob
    I believe not to bring it up until they do. If the situation comes up during your medical, then and only then, produce the letter.

    Why isn't your hubby jumping in here?
    Does he keep the letters in the car, or should he bring in a briefcase to the exam?

    LOL, about my hubby jumping in here...he hates computer stuff and I love it...so I just relay all the info to him

    We appreciate all the help too.

  20. #20
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    2,474

    Default Medical

    Am I married to you?

    Not big deal. Carry the letter in an envelope so if the situation comes up it can be presented on the spot. They're not going to strip search him.

    When is he scheduled for the psych?

  21. #21
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA
    Posts
    271

    Default Knee....

    All your questions about policy and what might happen are not ones I can answer. Carrying the letter sounds like a good idea. Boy- the diffrence between history of asthma and family history of asthma is big. I might be tempted to talk to that doctor and ask her to correct that with an amended letter or notes.

    I hope I can offer some sound advice about the knee, though. The intent is to minimalize any swelling inside the joint up until the test. Thereafter would be nice, too. The inflammatory process is like a campfire. It must be put out over and over and over so it won't re-kindle.

    Avoid any activity that agrrivates it- especially hyper flexion.... like duck walking. Don't PRACTICE it to see what will happen. This will only irritate it. He can't strengthen this. It's an inflammatory reaction from over use or a slight problem with his ligaments in there. I have this same "invisible" problem, and here's what else I do:

    Ride a bike for 15 minutes, seat high, very low tension every day until the test. Put the feet in the pedals, push and pull. Go easy and ice after wrads. Do Ice cube massage for 5-8 minutes all over the joint. Icing can be done several times a day- at least 20 minutes apart each time, though.

    At the health food store:

    I would get on MSM- it's an herbal anti-infalmmatory. Take a loading dose for a week... that's 1.5-2 times the normal dose. Then back off to the normal dose.

    Also, get "Traumeel". It's an herbal rub that decreases inflammation, swelling, and pain. Use it every 4 hours religeously through the day of the test.

    AND: get glucoseamine sulfate and take 2000 mg/day for 2 weeks, then back off to 1200-1500 depending on his size. DO NOT GET glucoseamine HCL. It won't work.

    I might even be temped to use advil, but, I won't recommend it. He could ask his ortho friend about that. I don't use it myself because it makes your platelets really slippery. I have had bruises that wouldn't go away until I got off the advil.

    Dr. Jen
    www.fireagility.com

  22. #22
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,047

    Default

    I took the medical exam for LA City years ago. I can tell you that he will need to have his documentation. The longr it takes him to get it the longer he waits to get cleared for the academy.

    A couple of other observations after reading the dialogue.

    1. He declares information about his knee because it is the ethical thing to do, NOT BECAUSE THEY WILL FIND IT.

    2. If he does get hired, the city owns his knee.........period end of story. If he hurts his knee two years down the road..........see above.

    Intentionally with holding information is the same a lying about it. It's no different than what you tell your kids.

    His pot smoking 20 years ago will not be an issue. As long as he doesn't feel (or exhibit) pain in his knee, it won't be an issue. Tell him to perform the duck walk with a smile on his face.
    Have the letter from the ortho handy (see above regarding delays). The city MD will not over ride your specialist.
    Asthma is not an issue if it was not you. In his case he has a family history. No big deal, just background information. Will not be a problem.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Utah-Fire Captain Fights for his Job
    By UTFFEMT in forum Fire Wire
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-16-2008, 01:47 PM
  2. HOUSTON walked away from this contract
    By Firewalker1 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 71
    Last Post: 05-17-2007, 01:34 AM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-17-2003, 05:12 PM
  4. 9/11 and Political Correctness
    By JayTL in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 03-11-2002, 07:43 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register