After deciding I could not get into West Point after my Freshmen year at Kstate, i am trying to get into ROTC as a Soph. Currently I am trying to get a waiver for asthma. I was never diagnosed, but I did get an inhaler as a percaution. Dodmerb said the only thing I could do was submitt a waiver, but I need some information regarding this. As of Feb 2003, they do not think Tests for asthma as very valid case. What else can I do?
There is a link posted by Kate Lewis which describes a meth.....something test which is acceptable as proof of not having asthma. Click on her name, and all posts by her will appear. You will have to dig, but it is there. If not here, then on the USNA forum.
One candidate successfully proved that there was no asthma using this information.
Follow through. I do not believe that you can get a waiver for asthma, but many people are misdiagnosed, and this test can be used to prove misdiagnosis.
Yes, the methacholine challenge test is one of TWO tests that can be used, but as I understand it, the methacholine challenge test is likely to bother even those never diagnosed with asthma...as the last inhalation of the irritant is quite highly concentrated (I've taken the test). The other test you can have done is an exercise pulmonary function test. They have you run on a treadmill and increase the incline and speed to make it harder for you. This is a good test for EXERCISE INDUCED BRONCHOSPASM/ASTHMA which is what will disqualify you.
My son was in the same boat as you, brrkelly; he had an inhaler as a precaution, but had never taken any tests to positively diagnose asthma.
The methacholine challenge test is also sometimes referred to as a histamine challenge test. The tests may or may not be one and the same, but they are used to diagnose asthma. I looked up the test on several sites and books, and one thing I found interesting is that a negative result on the test is a pretty good indicator that you WILL NOT develop asthma in the future. However, on the flip side, if the test does confirm asthma, that will put your case in a whole new situation.
As a mom, I was glad to have the confirmation of the test results. Our allergist said that there is a tendency recently to have inhalers prescribed as a precautionary measure or just to please the patient (the old "I came to the doctor for medicine and doggone it, I'm going to get some medicine!" attitude).
The test is often done in a hospital setting since an adverse reaction would probably require medical intervention. I think it took a couple of hours, but some of that was paperwork time.
I just got approved for Childhood Asthma. I had to take a Spirometry with before and after Bronchodilator test. They measured my breath, then gave me a breathing treatment, then measured my breath again, and both readings came out normal. So I have been officially cleared by DODMERB and ROTC cadet command. Another Asthma sucess story........
I saw this stream, and I just had to leave a message, even if it's way passe.
I was disqualified for asthma in October 2004, but I fought for a waiver and got one. My route was slightly different from the norm, though...through some stroke of luck, my MALO was a good friend of my Admissions Officer, and so when I told the MALO that I ran State Cross Country and had never had an asthma attack (despite the fact I had been given an inhaler for my 12th birthday), he immediately informed the big guys at admissions. DoDMERB opened my file for review and asked me to send the (gasp) a letter detailing albuterol inhaler usage and athletic activity in the past 1-4 years. Not to be outdone, I asked my allergist, pediatrician, and XC coach to write letters on my behalf indicating that my "asthma," if existant, was too slight to be a problem. I took a spiromety test at the allergist's and mailed that, along with the letter and my own statement, to the DoDMERB.
I will never know if the additional information made a difference in this quest; however, I recieved my waiver in February 2005 and an appointment almost immediately thereafter.
So my advice to those of you who have been DQ'ed for asthma but still feel yourselves to be commissionable, I give the following advice: don't give up, take a spirometry ASAP, and START RUNNING! I didn't have to take a metacholine challenge test, but some of them are really nasty! Some, you just have to take a "Before" and "After" spirometry exam, but with others, you actually get put o na treadmill with a little mask over your head delivering oxygen and other chemicals to try and induce an attack. You definately wouldn't want to fail that test because your cardiovascular system was too limp to take on a full mile. Additionally, it enver hurts to be able to say, "Yeah, I have this asthma, but I can still run a 5K pretty fast..."
Anyone have experience with the metacholine challenge test for asthma? My younger son is still on the NWL for admissions and due to childhood history of asthma still has the medical issue that needs to be cleared with DODMERB. So he will not make it into the Class of 2009 at USMA. He is planning on attending college and participating in ROTC. He has been offered a ROTC scholarship from the university and they are aware of his medical issue with DODMERB. They are going to help him through the waiver process, and likely a metacholine challenge test will be required. If the results are positive, he may try again for admission to West Point for the Class of 2010, and will have the results of the testing to support a waiver from USMA. If the results are not positive, then the ROTC scholarship and West Point will not be an option. Just wondering how harsh the chemicals are and chances of developing a reaction during the testing.
How severe is your son's asthma? Has he ever had an attack, or does he have bronchospasm? (Does he get a wet cough after intense exercise?) What my allergist told me was that the metacholine challenge tests how reactive your lungs are to stimuli. If your son regularly gets wheezy when the air blows cold or when allergens are in season, this could be an indicator that he will react simularly to metacholine, which can trigger a histamine reaction even in non-asthmatics.
I feel for you both becasue this came so close to happening to me. I hope that you will continue to persevere, even through the iffy metacholine gig. Best of luck and keep us posted.
Hey. Try amy-efaw.fotopages.com
I know it's a blog, but in a recent entry, she describes an Army treadmill test to determine her severity of asthma. (Ms. Efaw is a WP grad) and she didn't have a problem at all because they hardly made her sweat.
Just some food for thought
Well, I had been disqualified by DoDMERB (and am now appointed to class of '09) because of asthma. It is my understanding after talking to the respiratory tech and my pulmonologist that many people who do not have asthma react to methacholine for the sheer fact that it is an irritant and some have allergic like reactions to it. It is a test where your son will be given a baseline pulmonary test (breathing in and out panting like, expelling all the air out quickly, then inhaling, etc.) What my doctor told me is that if you don't lose over a certain % (I belive it's 15%) of total lung capacity after the 6th dose than you don't have asthma. I also had a PFT (Pulmonary Function Test) done by my pulmonologist where I walked on a treadmill and they increased the incline while I was attached by mouth to a spirometer...West Point granted me a waiver after seeing the results of both of these. If you need more answers or have any questions...PM me.