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  1. #1
    Bobtail Member
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    Passing A Physical

    Let me start out by saying thanks to everyone whom shares the knowledge on my question. 9 months ago I had a major heart attack, died on the table 8 times, but they revived me. After returning back to work as a vice president within 3 days of having 3 stents put in, I was fired, and point blank told because of my heart attack. Well when I went to school to obtain my cdl, I told them up front what happened and was very concerned if I could pass a physical, and they reassured me I could. Well there doctor was an eye doctor!!! After obtaining the cdl , I went to work for Roehl, and that physical, was pretty much the same as my first, so I passed but only for 1 year. I had to stopped taking the anxiety medication I was on, because of it being a narcotic, and makes me extremely drowsy. Well after 4 months, I quit Roehl, and actually got a great truck driving job, that is a salary, I only drive 3 days a week, brand new truck and trailer, all benefits are paid, and they provide me with a company paid cell phone, along with other benefits. Well here is where the problem begins, there physician only gave me clearance through the beginning of May 2007 and wants a stress test done, and an EKG. Last week, I went and had an EKG done, and received disturbing news from the doctor that my Ejection Fraction rate of my heart has now fallen from 45 to 30, and had made an appointment for me and my wife to meet with an electro-physician. I am pretty sure I know the outcome, for I will probably have to get a pacemaker/defibulator. I am 42 years old, and thought everything was going correctly, but in the last month I have been having anxiety attacks that are out of control which is taking its toll. My question is with all that is going on, will I still be able to pass a physical? I know it is up to the doctor, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I already know the answer. Any information would be greatly apprectiated.


  2. #2
    Banned or Retired
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    You got a lot of medical problems that is going to throw up a lot of red flags. Most companies are going to frown on your health issues. Due to insurance reasons. Plus getting sued if you have a attack on the road and people are hurt or killed and they knew about your condition ahead of time.
    Sounds like you are describing a CDL mill. They usually don't care because most of them want the money to help you get a CDL. Then it is up to you to find a job. I wish you the best, but don't think you have a very good chance in trucking. The 1 year med card was due to a medical waiver. People that have things like high blood pressure, etc are watched closer.

    What I would suggest doing is finding a good lawyer and fighting the company that fired you after you got ill. There are laws in place to help people with problems like you had with them. Good luck, best wishes.

  3. #3
    Heavy Load Member
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    Here's my 2 cents worth. Stay out of a truck. You're a risk and shouldn't be aloud to drive professionally. Your concern shoudn't be about passing the physical, but finding a profession that wouldn't put so many people at risk if you have another heart attack. Your anxiety attacks and serious heart problems puts a lot of people at risk if you're driving. I'm sorry about being blunt, but this why there's regulations and a physical in the first place.

  4. #4
    Light Load Member
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    Mar 2007
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    Corona, CA
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    Before worrying that you are a liability to the public that you'll be driving around.. I think you should be more concerned for yourself. Driving a truck is a very sedentary lifestyle. Most people will say that they'll exercise or diet but it rarely if ever comes to happen


    Trucking takes healthy people and gives them health issues.. so imagine someone with pre existing health issues.. and what trucking will do to you. For your own sake and your own health I would suggest that you not drive at truck. It's too stressful and sedentary. Try something easy for at least a couple years till you get past that heart attack stage.

    Dont worry about the fact that you had a heart attack.. The only thing that happened is that a part of your heart felt overworked or due to electrical signals the brain recieved.. it stopped working for a bit. It doesn't mean that you have a greater chance of dying from heart attack than someone who never had one. In fact the opposite is true because now your heart went thru it and has the brain programmed to know what to do in case it happens again.


    You're young and all you need is a couple years of stress free work. After that.. come back over to trucking if you want and you'll be grateful u did take the time out.

  5. #5
    Medium Load Member
    Member Since
    Feb 2007
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    Leesburg, Fl
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    Fendertelecaster62, I wish you all the luck in the world but I think you're going to have a tough time of it but don't throw in the towel yet. Once you get this problem taken care of you may still be able to drive but your choices of carriers will be limited.

    Firstcav, let me give you change for your two cents. At least this man knows he has a potential problem and he is trying to do something about it. I would never tell him to forget about driving and go find another line of work. He needs to take care of the health issues he has with his heart then once they're under control and if he can pass a DOT physical then more power to him.

    I've never had a heart attack and yet I had open heart surgery just 6 weeks ago. Does that make me unqualified to ever drive a truck again? NO, the FMCSA rules only say that a driver who has had open heart surgery must allow 3 months from the day of surgery for the sternum to heal before returning to driving.

    There are many, many drivers out there who are like me and fendertelecaster 62 who are cardiac patients. We have been lucky or blessed enough to be made aware of our heart conditions before anything catastrophic happened. Most of us have become proactive with our health issues and are making the necessary changes in our lives to become healthier drivers. What about the drivers running up and down the road totally oblivious to what's going on inside their bodies?

    Heart disease doesn't have to be and isn't necassarily a death nil to a truck driving career.

    Rick

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