TSA does not equal…

This Shit is Awesome!  However, my recent trip was pretty uneventful as far as TSA is concerned.  I was a little nervous about flying to New York this week since it’s been a while since I’ve flown with a pump.  And now that I’m more mature in my diabetes care in the “want to have a baby between now and the end of time” mindset, I wasn’t going to do anything to risk damaging my pump or CGM.  Because they are, after all, my diabetes care BFFs.  Previously when flying with a pump, I’d disconnect and send it through in my purse.  The interwebs told me not to do this and to request a pat-down (or “pre-flight massage” as one PWD put it).

Before my trip, I thought about using the TSA Cares program like Meri and her sons used, however by the time I actually really thought about it, it was less than 24 hours before my flight.  So rather than requesting a passenger support specialist, I simply called the hotline and asked them what to do.  I may or may not have pretended that I’ve never flown with a pump before.  The person on the hotline was very nice and she told me to just “Opt Out” and request a pat-down when I got to security.

So I did just that.  I told the agent that I had to have a pat-down due to my insulin pump.  She told me that I could go through the scanner, but I was firm and told her that I could not because it voided the warranty and since my pump was only a couple of months old, I did not want to risk it.  She said “no problem” and had me step aside while she called over another agent to give me my “massage”.  I stood there waiting for about 2-3 minutes until I was taken to a separate (although still public) area.  The agent brought my things over and asked me if this was OK our would I want a more private screening area.  I said it was fine and she began the process.  She asked me if I had any sensitive areas and I patted where my CGM sensor is (my thigh) and my pump site on my belly.  She began the pat-down, explaining to me what she was doing as she was doing it.  Then I had to rub my hands over my pump and CGM receiver and they were swabbed for explosive residue.  I was a little nervous waiting for the results of the swab, based on what happened to a fellow D-blogger, but all was good!  I was on my way to wait for my very delayed flight!

All-in-all it wasn’t the huge deal that I had built it up a lot in my head.  It probably cost me an extra 5 minutes in security, which, no big thing.  I think in the future I may try the Passenger Support Specialists, especially way down the line when we have a kid (or two).  The TSA agents I had at both RDU and LGA were courteous and respectful.  They both did try to convince me that it was OK to go through the machines, but I was nice in my response and they were nice back.  The agent in LGA even said “must be hard to deal with” in regards to traveling with diabetes.  I just said that it’s not a huge deal, especially when I have nice TSA agents like her.  Brown-noser.

The weekend with my friend was great!  We had a lot of fun relaxing and catching up – much different from when we would visit each other when we were younger.  The goal of those past trips was to eat all the food, drink all the drinks, repeat.  Now, we’re like, grownups or something.

Oh, and FYI, my average BG for the weekend was 145, according to my Dexcom!  Woohoo!

OK, not really, but better than a broken pump, I suppose!

OK, not really, but better than a broken pump, I suppose!

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9 thoughts on “TSA does not equal…

  1. That’s great. I am so happy to hear that traveling was no big deal. I’ve never traveled with a pump or anything, just my normal insulin/syringes. I’ve only ever had an issue once. I’m especially happy you had fun visiting your friend. I need to take a trip here soon. I’m missing some people. 🙂

  2. Always happy to hear of smooth traveling experiences with diabetics 🙂 Quick question, hopefully not too personal, but did they ask to SEE the CGM sensor on your thigh and swab that down? That is usually my biggest concern (if I told them about it) because I would have to pull down my pants to show it to them, and I really wouldn’t want to feel exposed in that situation.

    • They did not. I held down my pants so they could see the bump and just said “it’s attached to me, there is a wire under my skin” to make them understand that it’s not easy to remove. If they asked to see it, I’d probably be annoyed and request that I show them an unused one. I’d definitely request privacy in that situation. Don’t need to give all the people waiting in security a free show.

      I had wanted to wear it on my belly because I thought they’d ask to see it, but sensors seem to hate my belly for some reason.

      • Same here – belly sites for CGM sensors don’t work for me – especially at night. I sleep on my belly, and it’s just enough weight/pressure to give me ??? all night. Besides, my belly is so scarred from pump infusion set sites that the numbers weren’t great either. Thigh fat all the way! 🙂

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