From Minnesota, USA:
My husband, who controls his diabetes with pills (for 5 years now), is an over-the road truck driver. If and when he has to go on insulin, will he lose his commercial driver's license? If so, are there re-training programs available for him? He has been a over-the-road trucker (18 wheel tractor/trailers) for some 30 years, is 57 years old; we can not afford for him to "retire" early. What types of vehicles will he be able to drive (and where) according to Department of Transportation regulations, for a living if not big rigs? It would be helpful if you could provide where to locate the regulations according to statute numbers.
Currently, the trucking industry follows the rule established years and years ago which states no one can drive over the road trucks while taking insulin.
Approximately 2-3 years ago, the FAA (Federal Aviation Association) amended this ruling for pilots, stating that pilots can fly while on insulin with medical clearance of diabetes control. We are in great hopes that the trucking industry will follow this guideline since their current rule was written after the FAA.
I am unsure as to what type of re-training is available. The patients I have worked with over the years who had to change their jobs, were typically retrained by their employer and worked as dispatchers or managers once they could not be a driver.
Since diabetes management and the old rules that have surrounded it are constantly changing, I would suggest you contact your state congressman and senator to find out the status of this ruling as it applies to your husband. The FAA rule was changed because one man, who happens to be from Phoenix, believed in his ability to fly a plan safely while taking insulin. Your husband, and others who share his challenge, can do the same. It is possible to change the government rules!
Original posting 16 Jan 2000
Posted to Other
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:07
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