Before I really start bitching, I'll give you some background. I'm a pilot. And before you start thinking that that's something fucking special, it's not. There are hundreds of thousands of pilots like me in the United States, except the vast majority of them have a fucking medical certificate! I'll get into that later. Anyway, for as long as I can remember, since I was a little kid, I've wanted to fly. I've looked up at airplanes soaring in the sky overhead, and at space shuttles rising from the launch pad on TV, and longed to be up there myself. Flying airplanes has been what I've wanted to do with my life for a long time.
So, a few years ago, I entered the aviation technology program at a major university (with one of the best aviation programs in the country, by the way) and became a pilot. For anyone who actually knows and gives a fuck what this means, I have a commercial certificate, instrument and multi-engine ratings, and some 250 hours (a piddling amount) of flight time (my time is that low because I'm not a Certified Flight Instructor, and I don't particularly want to be either).
To help you understand the emotional impact of this whole issue on me, I'll tell you why I love flying. First, it's absolutely, stunningly beautiful up there. I'm not talking about flying in the fucking clouds, either. No, I'm talking about cruising 5000 feet above the ground on a beautiful, clear, sunny day, with unrestricted visibility. The world is ugly as fuck from down here, but when you look at it from above, it's actually beautiful. Cities, farmland, forests, lakes, rivers, oceans, grain silos, skyscrapers, and even interstate highways, are seen in a whole new light from high above. Flying helps me to appreciate both the wonders of nature and the wonders that man has created. Second, I love the sense (even though it's really only an illusion, even up there) of freedom when I'm flying. I like flying VFR (Visual Flight Rules, which means I'm flying in good weather, and I don't have to stay in contact with Air Traffic Control and do everything they tell me) because I can do pretty much whatever the fuck I want. I can wheel and soar and swing through the air (to paraphrase a poem), fly almost wherever I want, see whatever I want, and just have fun up there. Third, I love flying a small airplane by the seat of my pants. Larger airplanes, jets and turboprops, are simultaneously more complicated and less exciting. You feel every little turbulent bump in a small airplane, which I like. It just feels like you have more direct control over the airplane, kind of like you're really the one that's flying, and the airplane is just an extension of your body. And fourth, flying, for me, is a way to just fucking escape. I can just escape the world for a couple of hours, and go fly. It's a stress reliever, and when I'm not feeling so good, it makes me feel so much better. The world sucks, but when you're flying above it, all of the shit seems to disappear for a while.
OK, so now that you know that I love flying, and I've bored all you non-pilots to tears, let me explain medical certificates (some of you may see where I'm going already). In order to fly, you need two things. The first is a pilot certificate. You have to go through so many hours of flight training, and then take a "check ride" with a qualified Designated Examiner or FAA Inspector. I've done this, gotten my certificates, and I'm good to go, right? No. Because you also need a medical certificate. Every 3 years minimum (every 2 years if you're over 40) you have to go to a special doctor called an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) and get a physical exam. While there, you have to fill out a form that asks you about your medical history, what drugs you've taken, any and all doctor visits for the past 3 years, etc. The AME certifies that you're fit enough to fly, and gives you a medical certificate.
Now, finally, I'll get to the serious shit: why I'm fucking pissed off. Way the fuck back in the summer of 2005, I was depressed. Boo-hoo. I was depressed, of course, because life fucking sucks. A friend of mine kept telling me I should take antidepressants, because it might make me feel better. I thought that was a load of shit, but nothing else was working, so I thought, "what the fuck," and went to a doctor at my university's health center to see about getting me some drugs. I got a prescription for Prozac, and I took it for about 2 months. Prozac didn't do shit (as I knew it wouldn't), so I just quit taking it after only 2 months. I thought to myself, "Oh well, I tried it, I knew it wasn't going to work and it didn't, no harm done." Right? Right.
Well, a few months later, in January of 2006, it was time to get my medical certificate renewed, so I went to my local fuckwad AME for a physical. Now, here's where I fucked up. The stupid form that you gotta fill out asks about all of my doctor visits and drugs taken in the past 3 years, right? Well, like a fucking dipshit, I reported the fact that I took fucking Prozac several months earlier. I was so naive. I thought, "surely they won't care that I took antidepressants for only 2 months. It was like 5 months ago now! Surely it won't matter." But of course, I was wrong, because I'm an idiot. Fuckwad AME told me that he can't certify me, and that he was referring my case to the FAA.
Now, I know we're talking about government bureaucracy here, but I was still naive, and I thought this would all be worked out within a few weeks. Ha. A full three months after the fuckwad AME didn't give me my medical certificate, I got a letter in the mail from the FAA's "Aeromedical Certification Division." The letter asked for medical records or some such thing, so I very promptly complied, acquired the records they sought, and sent them via overnight mail. I was in a hurry to get this situation resolved as soon as possible, so I could fly. One of my classes that I wanted to take that semester (and was required for graduation) required that I fly one of the university's King Air turboprops as first officer, and university rules required that FOs have at least a second-class medical. (I eventually got them to bend the rules for me, and let me fly the King Air without a medical.)
But was the situation resolved? No, of course not. This is the fucking government we're talking about, here. About two months later, I got another letter from these fuckers asking for yet more information. So thus began the little game of sending information to the FAA, waiting for 2-4 months for a response asking for more information, and repeating the process over again. Not only did I have to get medical records, I had to make (and pay for) numerous doctor appointments, a neurological and multiple psychiatric examinations, and a very expensive EEG. Yes, the cocksuckers made me get a fucking EEG, for fuck's sake. It wasn't until January of 2007, a full year after my physical, that I received a final answer: Denied.
Fucking denied. Just no. After a year of waiting, and hoping, and waiting, and shelling out exorbitant sums to doctors, and mailing shit, and waiting and hoping some more, they said no. More specifically, they said that I could try again in January of 2008 if I want to, and they'll "reconsider" my application. A full 2 and a half years after my little experiment with Prozac, and I won't even get my medical then. I'll have to play mail games with the FAA again, and wait, and hope, and just fucking see whether the gods at the FAA's Aeromedical Certification Division deign to bless me from on high with my fucking medical certificate.
And why did the FAA deny me my medical certificate? I'll tell you why. LIEK ZOMGZ 9/11!!!!1!1ONE!!! They're afraid I'm going to fucking commit suicide by intentionally crashing an airplane into a building or some other occupied space, killing innocent bystanders in the process. I fucking took Prozac for two months, you cunts! That doesn't mean I'm in a fucking suicidal depression. And even if I were suicidal, it wouldn't mean that I'm enough of a cockbite to take innocent people with me when I go. If you actually want to prevent suicide, this is sure as hell not the way to go about it. I may be psychologically strong enough to get on with my fucking life, and get the fuck over it, regardless of what you bastards do to me and my lifelong dreams, but other people aren't! I wonder how many people have fucking killed themselves, or otherwise had their lives ruined and dreams dashed, because of the cocksuckers at the FAA refusing to issue medical certificates, because, oh my fucking god, they don't always feel chipper and cheery and happy, and decided to try a fucking legal drug to see if it made them feel better.
Lots of people take antidepressants, you fucks! Lots of people, and lots of pilots, fully recognize how badly the world sucks, and sometimes feel fucking sad because of it. That doesn't make them psychologically unfit to fly an airplane! Now, yeah, very, very rarely, some douchebag will commit suicide by intentionally crashing an airplane. Even these cocksuckers don't kill other people, though. How often does someone commit homicide using an airplane? Almost never! (Yes, I said "almost." Read this news story.) But that kind of shit is extraordinarily rare. And the fucking assholes who would actually do this shit aren't idiots like me. They're not the kind of guys to take fucking Prozac and see a doctor about this shit in the first place, and they certainly wouldn't report it on the god damn form. You're only hurting people here; you're not helping anyone.
And why the hell does it take a fucking year to tell somebody NO? My fucking EEG was fine, the neurologist and psychiatrist both said I was perfectly A-O-fucking-K, and there was nothing of any concern in my medical records. But they still said NO, which leads me to believe that they had every intention of denying me anyway, and were just cruelly stretching out this whole ordeal. I still don't know if I'm ever going to get my medical certificate back. I'll have spent two years or more waiting and wondering before I finally find out whether my lifelong dreams are scuttled or not.
But if the man thinks he can keep me down, he's wrong. I've got a message for Marion Blakey, Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. I've got a message for Fred Tilton, Federal Air Surgeon. I've got a message for Mary Peters, Secretary of Transportation.
That's right, fuck you. All of you can go to the nearest horses' stables, and scarf down armloads of manure until you choke to death on it. Marion Blakey can go shove a broken broom handle up his asshole, until the sharp, pointy, splintery end penetrates the walls of his rectum, colon, and stomach, and then lie there on the bloody floor in agony until he finally croaks from his injuries. Fred Tilton can saw into his belly with a dull butter knife, until his fucking guts spill out onto the floor. Mary Peters can go get fucked up the asshole by a horse with a huge fucking cock, until it splits that fucking bitch in two. Fuck you!