It all began last Thursday. I woke up at 0600 to be at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS): I had a date with the ASVAB. My previous testing in 2000 left me with a score of 98, an excellent score since the highest possible percentile is 99. I began testing at 7, finished at 8 two hours early and again scored a 98. Excellent, so I went back to the recruiters and filled out paperwork for the next five hours. All set, next stop: the physical.
Sunday I got up at around 1100 and went to work, and got off at midnight. Got home around 0145 after buying some rockstar for the coming day. 0500, the fun began. The Petty Officer picked me up at 0515, and we treked off to downtown Phoenix to MEPS again. This time I turned left for the medical and began my next long day. While sitting down and filling out the medical disclosure form, I listed that I had recently taken protonix, a prescription antacid. Later that morning when sitting with the Dr, he asked what Protonix was and I said heartburn. He wrote down GERD (gastro-esophagal reflux disease). Oops. Seems that is permanently disqualifying. I also mentioned that I had a kidney stone in 2002. Oops again. The Dr filled out a "pink slip" for the waiver for kidney stones with the box checked as "waiver recommended" and sent me on my way - to work, where I sat again until 0000 and to bed around 2.
So the next day Petty Officer C. picked me up again, this time at 0600, and we headed back to MEPS to get the order for a KUV abdominal X-ray to check for additional kidney stones. We were back at MEPS at 9 after completing this - no stones found. Great! I thought it was all done with. Nope. Next they submitted my now-large file to the chiefs downstairs and began my *real* processing.
WTF, you can't join the military if you have heartburn??? So we waited, and waited, and they involved nearly the entire chain of command at MEPS to try and get this through. I made a total of six handwritten statements about why I used Protonix, how I got Protonix, how the word GERD came to be in my file, and my current health. Still denied. I finally got home around 1930, tired as hell from my trials at MEPS and happy to see my son I hadn't seen awake since Sunday. Skipped the remainder of work because I was way too god damn tired, went to Wal-Mart and bought some Hornsby's and went to bed at midnight.
So that's been my week. I was HOPING to have the grand announcement that I was now a member of the united States Navy. Oh well, not yet. In order to join now, I need to go see my own physician and get an Upper GI ordered showing that I do *not* have GERD, and then I'm set, GERD being the only remaining roadblock.