I’m Off to See the Wizard!

Jesus, that’s a dated reference. *Ahem* I mean, I did it!! I FINALLY got my CDL permit and I’m scheduled to leave to start school to get my CDL on Sunday!

It took me three tries to pass the knowledge test and it made me feel like an ignoramus. I used to do pretty well in school, but this was hard for me. What I found most difficult was remembering exact stopping distances, air brake psi for different situations, and other numbers I needed to memorize. I’ve always had trouble integrating numbers into my memory banks. If it’s algebra, where all you need is the formula, I somehow have no trouble with that. But dates or any other specific numbers for specific situations are next to impossible for me to remember. That’s ok though because I know it is a limitation and have developed methods for coping.

I also had to pass a DOT physical, which has to be given by a specifically licensed physician and usually costs about $60, although I’m sure it varies by state, too. It’s also almost never covered by health insurance, but most schools will reimburse you for the cost. It wasn’t much more intense than a regular physical. Had to keep my blood pressure below 140/90 which usually is not even  remotely an issue, but when I first got it taken with a machine, it was 143/87 which is RIDICULOUSLY high for me.  Fortunately, the doctor took it manually later and it was 123/83, which is much more like my normal range. Had to do a urine test for different health factors, not drugs. It screens for kidney issues, diabetes, and other potential health problems. Had to do a VERY basic strength test which just about anyone could pass. Just push against his hands with your arms and legs while he exerts a very mild amount of pressure and make sure you are able to squat. No big deal. Then they go though and make sure you don’t have any disqualifying health problems like epilepsy or shcizophrenia or anything else that could interfere with your ability to drive a truck. In all the information I read about getting this physical, it talked about bringing vaccination records, medical records, verification of medications taken, but NOWHERE that I found did it say ANYTHING about getting a letter from your psychiatrist verifying that your mental health is stable and your meds are working. That ended up being the ONE thing he needed from me. And OF COURSE my psychiatrist is on vacation until next week. Fortunately, I was able to get in to see a psychaitrist who works with mine and he signed the letter. I’m very fortunate that my office was so willing to help me out, but MAN that was frustrating.

But now I finally got everything done, called my recruiter, emailed her pictures of my DOT physical card and CDL permit, and now I’m scheduled to leave! I’m SO excited!! Also, I found out that instead of having classes M-F 8-5, classes are now 7 days a week at the same times, so that will shave off about a week of training. Now I’m expected to be on the road with a trainer in 3-5 weeks instead of 4-6, which is great because that means I will get a paycheck sooner. I don’t get paid while I’m doing the classroom learning and practicing on the lots. I only get paid when I start hauling merchandise.

I’ll update again soon when I have more information on what to pack and such.

~Catherine

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